January 26, 1917

CON
LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Shame on your

friends.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

Shame on you (Mr. Wright), you are perfectly right, you ought to be ashamed and I am glad you are.

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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT:

You ought to be

ashamed

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I must remind hon. gentlemen that there is only one method of address permitted in the Chamber, and that is through the Chair.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I say that for no other purpose, the Prime Minister has kept in his Government these three Nationalists- disloyal Canadians, disloyal Britishers- simply and solely and purposely to hinder recruiting in the province of Quebec. Why, Mr. Speaker? Simply because my hon. friend who is leading the House (Mr. Rogers) and my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) know that they have no possible chance of being returned to power on their record as the administrators of the Government of Canada, and secondly that my right hon. friend the Prime Minister and his minister of elections know perfectly well that on their administration of Canada's part in the war they have no possible chance of being returned to power; and therefore they had to seek about for some other means that would bring them to power; and they have kept up this Nationalist arrangement, as I said a moment ago, for the sole and only purpose of being able to carry on the next election as a racial fight, bringing into line, so far as they could, all the Englishspeaking provinces in Canada, the eight English-speaking provinces, bringing them up and making the fight English against

French in the province of Quebec. That is what I charge against the Government, and that is what the Government will have to clear themselves from. Why, Mr, Speaker, look at the Conservative press throughout the province of Ontario. They openly advocate it. You cannot talk with half a dozen Conservatives in this city or any other place that three, four or five of them will not tell you that is going to be the next fight. They make no bones about that, they do not hide it. They simply say: The bilingual question; Quebec is not recruiting-and that is going to be the bone of contention during the election.

Mr. Speaker, I was born and brought up in the province of Quebec. I am proud of the province of my birth. I am not here to defend the French people of Quebec; they are well able to defend themselves. I am not here to say that they have recruited in as large numbers as they should, but, in the name of Heaven, how can they be expected to recruit in the face of what I have brought forward in this House tonight, in the face of what has been said by my hon. friend from Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil); in the face of what was said only last night by my hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux)? How could you expect recruiting to be good in the province of Quebec under the leadership it has had, and under the circumstances, and in view of what has been done to prevent recruiting. It has been said that Quebec has not recruited as largely as Ontario, and that is made a terrible crime against Quebec. As I said a moment ago, I think they should have put up more men; but you might as well say that Ontario has not recruited as largely as Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta or British Columbia-and she has not, not by any manner of means. Is that a particular crime?

I will tell you why Ontario has not recruited so well as the western provinces. The reason is that we have more men of' British birth, Englishmen, Irishmen, Welshmen and Scotsmen in these provinces than, in Ontario. We may laugh sometimes at the young Englishman who comes out to, this country, and who knows nothing about it, but I take off my hat to the remittance-man for what he has done since the war began. The moment hostilities broke out he did not stand on his going; he immediately went to the nearest recruiting place and enlisted. The reason why the proportion of recruits has been so big in Saskatchewan, in Alberta, in Manitoba, and in.

British Columbia, the reason why it has been longer than in the province of Ontario is that in these provinces there is a larger proportion of British born people. I say, Mr. Speaker, without fear of successful contradiction, that if you take the rural population of Canadian born people you will not find so much difference in the number of recruits in the different provinces. Do not misunderstand me. I say that if you could separate the Canadian born men in the English-speaking provinces the proportion of recruits would be larger, I know-and I am glad of it-but at the same time the difference would not be nearly so great as a good many people on both sides of politics seem to imagine. I do not want to defend Quebec; I do not need to do so, but I want to put the matter fairly and reasonably.

I am going to say something else that, perhaps, my hon. friends on the other side of the House may not like. I am sorry to say it, but I am going to say it all the same, because I believe it to be true. We hear a good deal to-day about what has been said down in Dorchester by a hot-blooded young Irish French-Canadian, and it has been twisted and distorted in the Tory papers until I believe very little of it. However, we are going to have that young man here next week, and he will make his ,own explanations.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. ROGERS:

No chance.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

This young Irish-French-man says he is a true Britisher through and through. We have heard a good deal of what he has been saying, but we have not heard anything from the other side of the House about the intimation made by the Prime Minister, the right hon. Sir R. L. Borden, last spring to the representatives .of the Ontario Recruiting Committee, that if he had his way there would be no -more recruiting in Canada, and that the attention .of the Canadian people should be turned to the development of their industries. That intimation, Mr. Speaker, was followed by a direct falling off in recruiting from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. MEIGHEN:

Who does the hon. gentleman say used these words?

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I will say it over again for the benefit of my hon. friend, because I want to make it absolutely clear. I said That we had heard a good deal about what a young Irish-Frenchman, Mr. Cannon, had been saying, but that we had not heard anything from hon. gentlemen on the other .side of the House about the intimation that

had been made by Sir Robert Borden. I want to get this correctly. We have not heard about the intimation given by the Prime Minister last spring to the representatives of the Ontario Recruiting Committee in Toronto that if he had his way there would be jjo more recruiting in Canada, and that the attention of the Canadian people should be turned to the development of their industries. That was followed by a direct falling off in recruiting from one end of Canada to the other.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. MEIGHEN:

Will the hon. gentleman give his authority for ascribing these words to the Prime Minister?

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

If my hon. friend, who is a Minister of the Crown, will appoint a committee I will give my authority and bring him forward, and I will make it good.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Come on.

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Docs the hon. gentleman really think-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Will the hon. gentleman allow me to ask him a question?

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LIB
CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Does he really think

it fair to make that charge; is it his code of ethics to refuse to give his authority?

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I have offered my hon.

friend the Solicitor General, that if he will appoint a committee I will bring forward my authority. What more can my hon. friend from Peterborough want?

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

A committee on lunacy.

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January 26, 1917