January 26, 1917

LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

When he says I am not stating facts, I ask him to name a statement I have made this afternoon that is not a fact.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member some time ago referred to a lack of interest in the soldiers on my part and so on, and he was also saying that I was smiling because I had no interest in soldiers. When I spoke about his not dealing in facts, I was referring to what he said at that time.

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

My hon. friend the Minister of Labour is skating on very thin ice indeed. I can tell him that if it takes him as long to consider any question that is brought before him by the labour men of this country as it has taken him to consider a question that I brought up something over three-quarters of an hour ago, which he has just come to understand, and with reference to which he says I did not state facts, I do not wonder that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with his administration on the part of labour men.

I want to read one or two other letters written by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Militia. In his letter of resignation dated November 11, 1916, Sir Sam Hughes

says:

You state "I conveyed to you on the 31st of July a clear intimation that upon so important a proposal involving considerations of the gravest moment, the Cabinet must be consulted before action was taken. All the Members of the Government have full and direct responsibility in respect to the very important matters which the -proposed Council would advice upon

and direct. The intimation which was given to you in my telegram of 31st of July should not have been necessary. As soon as it was received you proceeded to disregard it."

The first sentences of this quotation are absolutely true; and it is my belief that had you been actuated by the best interests of the Force, instead of favouritism, that cablegram would not have been dispatched.

The ex-Minister of Militia says that if they had been actuated by the best interests of the force, this cablegram would never have been dispatched. What does that mean? It certainly is an indication that the attitude of the Government was not in the interest of the forces at the front, in so far as they appealed to the intelligence and understanding of the responsible Minister of Militia at that time. Sir, the different paragraphs in the letters and in the correspondence go to bear out all the facts that I have alleged and have read from the statements made by the ex-Minister of Militia, and if they are not correct, if these statements are not facts, as my hon. friend the Minister of Labour says, let him say they are not facts, and show to the people of this country that they are not true. I say that not only is it his privilege, but it is a duty devolving upon the Government to show to the people that these statements are not true, because if they are not true, and they have gone unchallenged so far in this House and in this country, they should be controverted, and the people should be set right in regard to this very important question. I consider them of the very gravest importance to the people of this country, irrespective of whether they are supporters or opponents of the Government.

While the actual statements made by the ex-Minister of Militia could not possibly be known by the public but for the publication of this correspondence, it has been practically known and understood by the people of this country that there were grave differences in the Cabinet, and that very thing alone has been one of the biggest forces working against recruiting, working against the Empire, that could possibly [DOT]exists. The trouble in the Cabinet, then and since has been very largely responsible for the falling off in recruiting throughout the Dominion during the past year:

That brings me to the clause in the speech from the Throne which refers to National Service. That is a subject of great importance to every Canadian, who, I believe, is interested in the carrying on of this great war. Much has been said in this House during the past week in regard to National

Service. The first question which arises in one's mind is, why was it necessary to institute this National Service Commission? I presume, Sir-I do not think I am taking too much upon myself to presume-that it was because recruiting had fallen off, and that we were not likely to get the 500,000 men that were promised by the Tight hon. Prime Minister and that we all hope to obtain so that Canada may play its proper part in the war. If that is the purpose of the National Service Commission I agree with it up to the very hilt. I am willing to subscribe to it and to do anything that can be done in the interests of national service. I do not say that I will do nothing, or that I will not give it support until I see what is actually to become of it. I am willing to go into it a little blindly if it is along the line of being of advantage to the country generally, and in the interests of the war. Criticisms may be made in regard to the wording of the National Service cards, and in regard to other details; but whenever I have been consulted as to the filling up of the card I have advised my friends to fill them up, and have done everything possible, as I am prepared to do everything possible to assist the scheme in the hope, though possibly not with a great deal of confidence, that good may come out of it, and that the interests of the country will be better served through having a record of the man power, wealth and resources of the Dominion. I am willing to subscribe to anything that will help the mobilization of our troops and be of service in connection with the war; but we must realize that a number of people who are being blamed for not signing or returning their cards do not understand them. There are others who may not be able to fill up the cards, and therefore I think some latitude should be allowed. I believe that the great majority of the people have done their duty in regard to the National Service scheme, and I sincerely hope and trust that the results will be satisfying to the Government and to the people as a whole.

There is one other matter to which I would like to refer. I have referred before to the attitude of certain organizations throughout Canada towards the present Government, and I desire to bring to the attention of the Government a resolution that was passed a few days ago by the municipal council in my own county. We consider the county council of Westmorland one of the most important, if not the most important, municipal body in the whole

province of New Brunswick. It is a very strong council and conducts its affairs in a manner that would do credit even to the Dominion House of Commons. This council is composed of both Liberals and Conservatives who, however, set aside their political affiliations in the conduct of the business of the county. They are chosen because of their fitness to represent their respective localities. We have in that council a gentleman who politically is a very strong opponent of my own, a gentleman who has stood staunch and true to the good old traditions of the Conservative party. In view of that fact, Mr. Speaker, you will, I am sure, be glad to.hear the statement he made in regard to matters touching the question that I am now submitting to the attention of the Government. I am sure, Sir, that you, if not other members of the House, will know the gentleman when I mention his name-Councillor Fawcett of Sackville, one of the leading farmers in that locality. At a meeting of the council a few days ago he moved the following resolution, and it appeared to me to be of such importance that I take the responsibility of placing it upon Hansard. It reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the Municipality of Westmorland County (including the towns in the County of Westmorland and the City of Moncton) has since the commencement of the war, contributed the sum of $86,000 for patriotic purposes which has been levied by a direct tax upon the rate-payers of the county, and

WHEREAS, it is anticipated that a further and larger amount will be required for like purposes during: the year 1917, and which amount it will be necessary to raise by direct taxation, and

WHEREAS, the Municipal Council of said Municipality have become and are aware that enormous profits have already been made and are still being: made in this county and throughout Canada by certain persons and companies engaged in the manufacture of shells or other munitions and products, by reason of the war, and

WHEREAS, in many cases the plant and equipment of such industries were paid in effect by the people of Canada-that is to say, by the Munition Board of Canada, giving to such persons and companies before they embarked in the business, a sufficiently large order for shells at very large prices, as would enable and which did enable such persons and concerns to pay out of the profits therefrom the whole cost of such plant and equipment, and provide a handsome profit besides, and

WHEREAS, the avowed purpose of the said Munition Board in giving such high prices, was to indemnify those who might engage in the manufacture of munitions against any loss in case of a sudden termination of the war, and

WHEREAS, the war has now continued for about two years and a half, and the persons and companies who went into the business of manufacturing war products have been allowed

to retain substantially the whole of the profits derived from such business, and

WHEREAS, such persons and companies by reason of the action of the said Munition Board in paying such high prices in the first instance, received in' full the whole cost of their plant and equipment from the profits of the first order, and they would therefore, thereafter, actually have no moneys of their own invested in the undertaking, and

WHEREAS such persons and companies have during the last two years accumulated great wealth from said war profits, to which it cannot fairly be said they would be entitled, their plants and equipment having been paid for out of profits, and all operating charges, expenses, and salaries having been also charged up against earnings, and

WHEREAS, the people of Canada will ultimately be called upon to pay the debt that Canada is rapidly accumulating by reason of the war, and such debt would be materially less if the profits now improperly going into the pockets of private individuals, were diverted into the treasury of Canada, and

WHEREAS, the Municipal -Council of the said County of Westmorland feel that a great wrong and injustice will be done to the ratepayers of the County of Westmorland, in requiring them to face direct taxation in connection with the prosecution of the war, while other people are being provided with what in effect are large "gratuities" out of the pockets of the people.

Be it and it is therefore resolved that the Municipal Council of the County of Westmorland do and it hereby does most respectfully and earnestly urge upon the Government of Canada that it insist upon the payment to it. during the remainder of the war, of all net profits hereafter made by all persons and companies engaged in the manufacture of war munitions, and in respect of such persons and companies as have in the past been allowed to retain profits of the cost of their plant and equipment engaged in the business that they may be compelled to account for and hand over to the Government all such surplus profits.

That a copy of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Militia of Canada.

That is the resolution and the words of the gentlemen who introduced that resolution are iso strong and so much to the point that I propose to read a few paragraphs from the statement which he made. In introducing this resolution Mr. Fawcett said:

Mr. Warden, while it is no doubt desirable to vote money to the Patriotic Fund, it is also desirable that this Council should make some emphatic protest against public moneys in the way of war profits being paid to private individuals instead of being appropriated by the Dominion Government for the purpose of prosecuting the war. That this is being done on a very large scale is now established beyond doubt. Protest should be made and that the facts may be placed clearly before the public. I know that Canada as a part of the British Empire is at war, and I am more proud of that Empire to-day than I have ever been before ; I know that the young manhood of this country unhesitatingly sprang to arms at the bugle call for volunteers, and that they

gloriously fought and died on the plains of France and elsewhere. I know that the women and even children of Great Britain and Canada are performing heroic services for the Empire, either without any or very small reward; I know that the privately-owned railways of Great Britain, the coal fields of that country and most of the munition plants are in the service of the state. I also know that the few remaining private enterprises are being taxed to the hilt in order that no discrimination shall anywhere exist, and X am assured, that the self-sacrifice and patriotism that is now dominating the minds and efforts of ail classes, throughout Great Britain, and which is the marvel of the world, is largely traceable to this fact.

All are sharers in the struggle, all are making sacrifices. But this is not the case in Canada. The munition factories and many other of the business enterprises o'f this country are getting rich and richer as the war progresses, out of and because of the war, while many people are perforce becoming poorer. The people know, as I have said, that nothing like this state of affairs exists in Great Britain, and they also know that it would not be tolerated in France or any other European country engaged in the war, hence it is, that it is beyond their comprehension that it should be allowed to continue in this country. I wish to here say that the public are fast becoming disheartened and embittered over this condition of affairs, and are not in a humour to remain silent. They are not in a mood to stand for partiality towards any class or special interests, and they are not prepared to see these people gobble up money that should properly find its way to the Public Treasury.

These are statements made not by a partisan, and not by a man who is supporting, or whoever supported, the Liberal party. They are made by a gentleman who has consistently and honestly supported hon. gentlemen opposite. But, realizing that the people are becoming disappointed and discouraged because of the condition of affairs he takes this stand. Therefore, it will be seen that I am not reading this from the standpoint of party politics. I would have very grave doubts whether he would change his party allegiance. Possibly he has taken this means of showing his friends the position of affairs as it appears to the people of that portion of Canada. He goes on to say:

"The people of Canada today," said Council-Fawcett, "are interested solely in a body of men who will rule and run the country affairs with fairness and equality."

Councillor Fawcett substantiated his arguments by giving figures purporting to be the cost of construction of a munition .plant, and of the profits made by the company. He gave details of the shell orders filled and of the profits in each shell.

He said that he was prepared to stand behind all his statements, and said further that he had been a strong Conservative all his life, but that he could not conscientiously see his way clear to stand for such conditions as existed in the Government forces today.

That is the evidence of a gentleman who stands high in his community, who gives a great deal of careful study and thought to public questions and who occupies a very prominent place in the minds of the people of that portion ,of the county that I have the honour to represent. I have laid before you the fact that these charges have been made. It is not that I am making them myself but they have been made in other quarters and I am only reiterating what has been said elsewhere. They have been made by public bodies, organizations, and boards of trade independent of party, independent of what has taken place in this House, they must have very great weight with the Government and I trust that the Government will yet take time by the forelock and do something that will be more in the interest of the people generally.

The next matter I want to speak of briefly is the paragraph in the speech from the Throne that refers to the extension of Parliament. That is a matter that will come before this House by resolution. I do not know just what attitude Parliament will take in regard to it. I feel that it is a question that should be given the most serious consideration in the light, of what would be best for the country generally and not for any particular party or body of men. I sincerely trust that when this resolution comes before the House the First Minister will be able to give very much better reasons for extending the present term of Parliament than he gave the other day when he addressed the House in answer to my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition? The only reason that he gave the other day for saying that an extension of Parliament would be a proper thing was that if an election were called during the present year the probabilities would be that a very large portion of our population would be disfranchised because of the number of soldiers at the front. I was surprised to hear him admit the other day that it would be impossible to record the votes of our soldier boys at the front. When, something over a year ago, this matter was before the House and the Bill was passed giving soldiers the right to vote, there was evidence that the Government intended to appeal to the country at an early date. I understand that the ballots were prepared, shipped across to the Old Country and were practically placed in the hands of the gentlemen who were to have control of taking the soldiers' votes at that

time. But, what a change has come over the spirit of the dreams of my hon. friends opposite? The hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) who was in charge of the Bill, pointed out in the most emphatic language at that time that it would be absolutely reasonable and quite easy to take the soldiers' votes at the front. Now, a change has come about and they say it would be almost impossible and impracticable to take the soldiers' votes. They say that the soldiers should not be disfranchised and that is one of the reasons given for an extension of the term of Parliament. I am not here to say whether or not I would support an extension of the term of Parliament. The matter will come before the House in the regular way, and I sincerely trust it will then be given the importance that it deserves.

Another matter that has been brought to my attention very frequently, not only during the progress of this debate but during the past year, is the loyalty cry. I had hoped that this cry of loyalty or disloyalty from any political party was at an end, but still the cry is kept up. Our friends on the Government side take to themselves all the credit for being the loyal party in Canada. While I do not wish to detract anything from them in that regard, as one member of this Parliament who has spent some little time in public life and who has always conscientiously supported the party which I believe to be in the interest of the country, although I am not thin-skinned, I dc not like to have it cast up to me day after day and time after time by my opponents or by the Tory press that I am disloyal to my King and country or to any portion of the Empire. I sincerely trust that this cry that the Liberal people in Canada are disloyal will cease, because the time is past when any party of any standing in the country should stoop to such low tactics. We have heard a good deal of talk in this House in regard to loyalty or disloyalty of utterances by certain persons in different parts of the country.

I wish to refer for a few minutes to the election which is about to take place in the county of Dorchester, P.Q. Much has been said, and much has been published in the daily press in regard to this election, and I have been somewhat impressed with the very active manner in which the campaign has been carried on by both gentlemen who are contesting the constituency. I was more than surprised -I was simply shocked, on picking up this morning's Citizen, to read the following:

Ste. Germaine, Que., Jan. 25.-The Liberal organization here sprung a mine tonight when they announced that Hon. P. E. Blondin, who is working at Ste. Rose in the interests of Hon. Albert Sevigny, minister of inland revenue, had been uttering disloyal, sentiments in meetings at Ste. Rose.

The following affidavit was given out tonight by the Liberal chiefs:

We, the undersigned, ' declare that we heard last night at Ste. Rose, January 24, 1917, the Hon. P. E. Blondin make the following declarations :

'As for the Allison scandal and others of the same nature, let us suppose that if these thefts have taken place it has not importance for the people of Ste. Rose, because it was English money that was stolen.'

Speaking of the danger of conscription, Mr. Blondin declared: 'Even if conscription was put in force that would mean little to the people of Ste-Rose, because they had only to cross the frontier to get away.' .

"(Signed) Dorille Prevost, Valere Lamon-tagne.

Sworn before me, Justice of the Peace, J. B. Cote, at Ste. Germaine, Dorchester, this 25th day of January, 1917.

(Signed) J. B. Cote, Justice of the Peace.'

There we have a member, not only of this House, but of the Government, going into a constituency in the province of Quebec and making a statement of that nature.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I would just like to draw my hon. friend's attention to the fact that a few moments ago I was telephoned to from Quebec by Mr. Patenaude, who had been asked by Mr. Blondin, who had seen this statement to-day, to give it an unequivocal denial as being absolutely untrue, and to say that he will answer it himself when he comes into the House.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Perhaps my hon. friend has seen the answer which is given by Mr. Blondin and which is published in the Journal of this evening. I hope my hon. friend will read the contradiction.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

It is not his answer.

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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

No, it is not.

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. GOPP:

I have not seen the reply in the Journal of this evening. I was going on to say that that i3 a statement signed by mo men and sworn to before a Justice of the Peace in the county of Dorchester. The hon. Minister of Public Works says that Mr. Blondin has given it an unequivocal denial. That answer I will read in order to have it placed upon Hansard, because I do not want to say anything unfair about any one. If, however, the statement in that affidavit is correct, that this gentleman (who occupies a position in the Government and who is in the service

of the country and has the secrets of affairs in connection with this matter) has made use of such a statement, it is no wonder that the member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) and the member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) pointed out last night how impossible it would be to expect _ recruiting to go on when one of the ministers of the Crown would go down to the county of Dorchester in the province of Quebec, and for the purpose of a little, cheap party advantage at an election to be held there on Saturday, would put it into the minds of his compatriots that, instead of signing the National Service cards and doing their part in the war, they should step across the border. Mr. Blondin says:

Let us suppose that if these thefts have taken place-

He does not say the money was stolen, but by implication he comes very near to admitting that a great deal of the money was stolen; but he asks what difference does it make as it is the money of England. The matter should be taken up at once and some light thrown on it. I will now read the denial of Mr. Blondin.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Denial?

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LIB
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I am reading from the Ottawa Evening Journal of January 26:

Hon. P. E. Blondin, through his lieutenant, Felix Durocher, has issued a reply to an affidavit, which purported to give a report of his remarks at Ste. Rose during a Dorchester county by-election speech on Wednesday night. The affidavit credited Mr. Blondin with contending that the Allison scandal was of no importance to Ste. Rose because it is English money that was stolen, while those who desired to escape conscription could do so by crossing the United States border. Mr. Blondin's explanation follows :

" The statement which has been sworn to by certain Liberals with regard to my utterances are a distortion of my words. I never by any means intented to convey the meaning which they have attached to my speech. Mr. Cannon had been stating in his speeches that the Conservative party had been grafting from the Canadian treasury in connection with munition contracts.

" In my speech at Ste. Rose I explained that, it was not true that the Allison scandal had to do with Canadian money pointing out that the money paid for the shells was the money of the British Government. I did not imply that Allison had done a worthy act, but simply corrected Mr. Cannon's mis-statement. In regard to the conscription matter I told the people of Ste-Rose that I did not believe conscription would be necessary because so many Canadians were eager to go and fight for the cause of liberty and humanity. I added that if any of them were afraid of conscription, if conscription

should be passed and they did not want to go to the war, they had a remedy left. They could go across the United States line which is near Ste. Rose and escape military service."

What an exhibition on the part of a minister of the Crown, that when our friends are asking the people throughout

5 p.m. Canada to assist them in having the National Service cards properly signed and returned, he should go into a county where an election is to be held to-morrow and intimate to these people in that county that if they do not want to go to war, and if they fear that these cards will lead to conscription, they can easily step across the border to the United States and thus escape it.

I can well imagine the headlines that we should see in the Journal to-night if the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) had made a statement like that, or if such a statement had been made by my hon. friend from Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), or my hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux). Hon. gentlemen opposite would have raised their hands in holy horror, and would have gnashed their teeth in an effort to rouse and inflame race prejudice. But the Postmaster General (Mr. Blondin) is the man who makes these statements in the county of Dorchester. Frankly and honestly, I had hoped that in reading the paper this morning I should find that the hon. gentleman had cleared his skirts by making such a denial as the Minister of Public Works stated he had received by telephone. That denial may appear in this evening's papers; I sincerely trust it may.

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LIB
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

He does practically admit it, from what I have read. Knowing the deep and active interest that the people whom I have the honour to represent have taken in the prosecution of this war, as shown by their self-sacrificing efforts and the utterances of their several organizations and institutions, I have felt it my duty to bring before this House the charges made by the ex-Minister of Militia that there has been bungling by the Government in matters connected with the war, and to demand in their behalf some explanation.

In conclusion, Sir, may I hope that the Government, notwithstanding their many and almost criminal failures in the past, will amend their course for the time they still have the control of Canada's part in the terrible conflict-be it long or short; that they will awake from their lethargy' tear asunder the party shackles that have-

bound them hand and foot to the manufacturing and other monopolistic interests of this country, and sever the ties of that unholy alliance they have made with the Nationalists in their thirst for power, the most dangerous element that has ever been introduced into the political life of Canada, and that, before it is yet too late, they will show to the world at large, show to Canada, show to the thousands of our heroic sons who have gone to the front to do and die in the cause of liberty and civilization and for the memory of those gallant sons who have fought, bled arid died that the flag we love shall still wave; show to the mourning fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, wives and children, who are left, that the Government of Canada, the public men of Canada, are able to rise above small party politics, and thus place our fair Dominion above and beyond further reproach, that she may maintain her position as the greatest of the overseas colonies of the British Empire.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. J. G. TURRIFF (Assiniboia):

Autonomy Bills of 1905 it was provided that a census should be taken in those provinces every five years, so that their representation is based upon the census taken in 1906. Notwithstanding the fact that there are 43 vacant seats in this House, hon. gentlemen oppoisite contend that there should be another extension of the term of [DOT]Parliament. While it may be argued that the life of this Parliament should be further extended, any such extension should he made by the people of Canada. We are sitting in this House not as a result of the votes of the people, but through our own votes. A number of men are sitting in this House by their own vote who could not possibly get back to Parliament. Maybe I am one of those members, but if that is so, it is one reason why there should be an election. If I do not represent the views of the people of my constituency, why should I vote myself into Parliament for a second additional year? I am not prepared to say that there should not be any extension of Parliament; I want to hear the question discussed. I want to hear what additional reasons the Government can put forward why there should be an extension of Parliament. Last year we voted for an extension. After that certain investigations were held which did not redound to the credit of the Government or lend it additional strength. Nor do I think that the result of those investigations led any of the people to have increased faith in the men who are running the affairs of Canada to-day. Moreover, before considering the advisability of extending the parliamentary term, I want the Government to bring down information as to what they have done during the past year and as to what they purpose doing during the next year if an extension is granted. When our friends on the opposite side of the House bring down this information and the matter is discussed, they may be able to offer good reasons for an extension; but they will have to be pretty good to satisfy me that such a course is advisable. I do not believe that the outfit sitting on the treasury benches are fit to govern this country in times of peace, let alone in time of war. If the people of Canada by their votes say that they are, well and -good; we on this side will have no objections to make. I trust that there will be an appeal to the people, so that it may be ascertained whether the majority of them are in favour of a continuation of

what we have had during the past three years.

The Prime Minister gave as one of his reasons why there should not be an election the impossibility of taking the vote of the soldiers at the front. The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers), who is now leading the House, practically chloroformed the right hon. leader of the Government two years ago when the Soldiers' Vote Bill was passed. What has caused the change of mind on the part of the Prime Minister? If the vote of the soldiers at the front can not be taken, why was that Bill passed? Why were the ballots printed and sent to England, all ready for the springing of an election at any moment? We on this side of the House felt that you could not fairly get the vote of the soldiers, but I said at the time the Bill was passed that if we could get the ballots properly delivered in the different constituencies, we would have no fear of the result. Judging from all the evidence, and particularly from letters received by parents of the boys who are at the front, if the soldiers' ballots are taken and properly delivered to the various constituencies, there will be a vote of three to one against the Government. That is why hon. gentlemen opposite have changed their minds; that is why they want to back out and avoid getting the votes of the soldiers. My genial friend the Minister of Public Works has told us in the House that if he does not know much else-I am using . his own words-he knows how to win elections. My hon. friend did have that reputation, and for a while he made it good; but that reputation has been shattered since my hon. friend left a small province to assume a federal role. At that time the

price he was paying to get into the Dominion Cabinet was an undertaking to turn over Saskatchewan and Alberta, bound hand and foot, to the Conservative party. Saskatchewan did not respond to his advances; Alberta did not respond to his advances, and even in the province of Manitoba, that he had trained and that he had controlled by the most diabolical political machine that ever had been in existence in the history of this world, even with that machine my hon. friend was not able to hold his own. My hon. friend took a part in the recent local elections in the province of Quebec. He won five seats out of eighty-one. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is five anyway, so we will leave it at that. -1 am not going to put any blame on my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works for what took

place in British Columbia, except to say that our friends in British Columbia, when everything was fine and the flag was flying and waving all the time in Manitoba, looked on him as a big man and a safe man to follow in order to win electrons, and they duplicated his political machine in British Columbia, with the result that to-day in British Columbia the influence of my hon. friend and of his friends there has been practically wiped out. In all these provinces that I have referred to Liberal 'Governments are in power, and there are mighty small Oppositions of our Conservative friends. And that is what awaits my hon. friend and his followers and his colleagues on the treasury benches whenever the people of this country have an opportunity of passing judgment on the manner in which this Government has conducted the affairs of Canada during the past five years. I do [DOT]wi wonder that my hon. friends are anxious to nave a further extension of time instead of an election. It is the most natural thing for them to do; if I was in their place I would be very glad to have an extension of time, instead of facing an outraged public. It is natural, but the question is, should it be allowed them? We hear a good deal today of a national government. Where is all that talk coming from? Is it coming from the Liberals?

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Ralph Connor.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

It is coming from Ralph Connor? All right. Ralph Connor is a very good man.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

A good Grit.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

He is a very good man, and a good man has to be a Grit; he cannot be a really good man unless he is. It is a credit to Ralph Connor that he is not able to follow my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works. That redounds to his credit. That is why he stands so high in Manitoba and in the Dominion, that he could not see his way clear to follow the present Dominion Government. But practically all the agitation for a national government is coming from the ranks of my hon. friends opposite. And why should there be an agitation at this time for a national government? For a government of business men? Why, practically all the business men of the country are in either the one party or the other. Does my hon. friend mean to say that in a population of seven million or eight million people, half of them Conservatives, he couI'd not pick out more than twelve or fifteen men in his own party if a

business government were wanted? Or if a national government were wanted, could not my hon. friends opposite pick out from among their own friends enough men to make their Government a good government? But in order to make a business government, or a national government, or a decently good government, it would be necessary to replace fourteen of the fifteen members of the present Government by new men. Is it possible that I have come so near the truth that it pleases even my hon. friend from Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen)? I have left that one so that each member of the Government can take it to himself that he is the man who should remain in the Government, and that fourteen others should be selected. I know that my hon. friend from Portage la Prairie naturally would feel that he was the one, and I will do my hon. friend the credit of saying that, leaving

out little pecularities such as being a great word-splitting acrobat, he has the brains, and if he would only use them right, as his conscience would direct-that is if he has a conscience, which sometimes I doubt-then I think he might be the man who would select-the fourteen to form a national government. What does this national government mean? I do not know whether my hon. friend who is now leading the House (Mr. Rogers) would be called upon to make the selection, but if he did, what would the national government be like? But taking it at its best, allowing that in the selection of a new Government, a national government, a business government, great care was exercised by my hon. friends opposite, it would be, in my judgment, neither more nor less than a government of the big inter- [DOT] ests of Canada. There is no question about that. We have heard mentioned some names of men likely to be called to a government of that description, and from what I can judge it would be a government whose chief duty would be to so place the taxation of Canada on the poor and the middle classes of Canada that the big business interests and the millionaires would escape. Have you noticed that the direct taxation legislation that was passed last year was so drafted that it hit certain men, hit them pretty hard, but left others scot free? I do not think the legislation that was passed last year providing for direct taxation hit one of the multimillionaires sitting on the treasury benches. If you had a national government selected by some one of the present Government, you would have very much the same

result. Who is to select this national government if one is to be formed? There must be somebody in charge and, unless we have an election, it would have to be the party opposite, so far as I can see, and so you would simply get -another party government. I do not doubt that you would get better men, because 1 think it is a moral impossibility to put in fourteen new men and not have a better government, I care not whether any care was exercised in the selection or not, it would be an improve*-ment; there is absolutely no question about that.

But would it be the class of Government that the people of Canada want at the present time? Have the big interests done so much for the country during the past two or three years? They have been making money by the millions, the tens of millions, and the hundreds of millions out of the people of Canada. Have they been moderate in their demands for profits? Not to any extent. There have been one or two exceptions. We have had a few instances of what these men are making. Take the Montreal Ammunition Company. As stated by my hon. friend from Bona-venture (Mr. Marcil) yesterday, that company paid a dividend of D00 per cent for one year. Imagine, Mr. Speaker, the Government allowing any set of men to put in $100 for a share, and during one year take out $900 in dividends, and leave $600 more as a rest account, thus robbing the people of Canada and of Great Britain. Imagine this Government allowing them to do that, and not even taxing them any more than they tax the ordinary honest business man. Why should not these men who are making millions not be taxed as they are in Great Britain? The Prime Minister on his return from a visit to Great Britain stated that the whole resources of Canada in men and material would be devoted to the winning of the war, and in the face of that statement the Government are allowing a few of their personal friends to rake out money from the pockets of the people of Canada and Great Britain by the tens of millions of dollars, while they treat them exactly the same, so far as taxation is concerned, as they treat the ordinary honest business man who does a legitimate business.

Let us take another instance. A couple of years ago, -a firm in Hamilton got a contract for shells. They filled that contract; they had a year's work at it, and they made

a lot of money. The owner of the factory went to the Government and said: I have made as much money out of that contract as one man ought to have; I am satisfied, and am willing now to turn the factory over to the Government so that they may run it and supply the shells for the Canadian and British troops at cost. One would think that that was a pretty fair and reasonable offer, but did the Government accept it? No, they refused that offer. Why? Because, the Minister of Labour stated it was not in the interests of the country for the Government to go into competition with private industry. In order to allow their party friends to take millions of dollars from the people of Canada-because in this, as in everything else connected with the war, practically everything had to go to their partisan friends

the Government refused to take over that factory and run it. The result was that the gentleman who made that offer was compelled to continue the work, although he did not want to go on, and during the second year he made a profit of $750,000. As he had stated the year before that he did not want that money, he handed it over to the Government, but why should the Government allow any one to make money to that extent out of the agony of the people of Canada? Why does the Government not come forward now and take over a lot of this work, make the shells, fuses, and other munitions of war at cost price, and supply them to the-soldiers of Canada and Great Britain at the cheapest possible price? That would seem to me, Mr. Speaker, to be the proper and business thing to do; but our hon. friends opposite have absolutely refused to move in any way at all, to do anything to prevent this extravagant waste of money, or to help out the Empire and Canada by supplying the munitions of war at a fair and reasonable price.

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Who sets the prices?

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January 26, 1917