January 29, 1917

CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

I should indeed he happy if I knew the sentiments of the right hon. gentleman, but the difficulty I hare in knowing what his sentiments are is that they differ so widely on different occasions. At times we find him making most eloquent statements in regard to recruiting and Canada's participation in this war, and at other times in his career the right hon. gentleman has used different language, which I am sorry to say he has never seen fit to retract, and he used such language, not as an irresponsible youth, but as leader

of a great party in this House and country. These are the things which leave me in doubt as to what the real sentiments of the right hon. gentlemen are. .

Mr. Cannon in his remarks at meetings in Quebec also referred to the Hon. Dr. Sproule, a former Speaker of this House, as the master of Orange lodges and the bitter enemy of the French-Canadian race. I want to say that a statement of that kind is unworthy of Mr. Cannon, and I say that any person who knows the Hon. Dr. Sproule would not believe for one moment a statement of that kind against him. This precious Liberal candidate in Dorchester appealed to the people of his constituency to condemn hie opponent, Mr. Sevigny, and he included in that condemnation Mr. Rain-ville, also a member of this House. And why? Because they had stood up in this House and sang " Rule Britannia." Mr. Cannon also appealed to his constituente to condemn this Government and defeat Mr. Sevigny, because the Government made them put an extra stamp on their letters and pay a war tax on a bottle of medicine. Notwithstanding the repudiation by Mr. Cannon of the statements he is reported to have made, one has only to follow the reports of the different meetings he held throughout the riding to be convinced of his attitude, and his attitude was not that which should be expected of a man seeking a seat in this House. It was not one person alone who reported Mr. Cannon to have made the statement about, " Are we to ruin ourselves for England?" There were several reporters there, and his words were carefully taken down, and reported from one end of the country to the other.

One thing however does stand out and it is this: I think in a time of war like this, when such statements were alleged to haro been made by a Liberal candidate in the field, with the endorsation of the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition, and when those statements were reported in the papers from one end of the country to the other, it would have been in the best interests of Canada and the cause we have at heart, if the right hon. gentleman had taken the trouble to stand up in this House the moment those sentiments were reported, and say that those sentiments were not his sentiments. What a pitiable, contemptible position Mr. Cannon, the Liberal candidate in Dorchester with the endorsation of the right hon. gentleman, places himself in when at a time like this he appeals to the people to condemn the Government, be-

cause, forsooth, the people have to put an extra stamp on a letter or pay an extra cent as war tax on a bottle of medicine. The pitiable thing is that this gentleman, well educated as he is,'and of a very good family, having every advantage, and possessing, one would naturally suppose, more than ordinary ability-the pitiable part of it is that in seeking a seat in this House he apparently lost sight of the big things and descended to the small and petty. He asks, " Are we to min Canada for the sake of England?" " No," he says, " I have no hesitation in saying no to that." Ruin Canada for the sake of England! For England! England, which at the outbreak of war sent across the Channel every man she had-a little army of 150,000 British regulars, every man of them a hero. That little army stoppea the German hordes, blocking the way to Calais at a point almost within sight of England. And Calais is in France. That little army, nearly every man of whom lies buried in France, should not have been supported by Canadian arms, according to Mr. Cannon, when he was making his racial appeal in the county of Dorchester. Ruin ourselves for England? England has poured out her money to all the countries engaged on our side in this war to the point almost of bankruptcy, and has thrown into the struggle every available man for the defence of France. Ruin ourselves for England? No, says Mr. Cannon, no.

There is only one kind of bankruptcy or ruin that we have to fear in Canada, and it is not represented by dollars, but it is represented by discredit and dishonour. We need not be afraid of spending money, of spending the extra cent on a letter or on a bottle of medicine, though these taxes were represented as burdens by Mr. Cannon whose candidature was endorsed by the leader of the Opposition. The bankruptcy we have, to fear in this country is the bankruptcy of high ideals-ideals which do not seem to be possessed by the Liberal candidate in the county of Dorchester.

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An hon. MEMBER:

But they are possessed by the people.

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CON
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

In order that there may

be no misunderstanding, I- may say that 1 quoted in full the resolution adopted at St. Eustaehe- I suppose the hon. member is giving a summary of the resolution.

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CON
LIB
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Then it was quoted

either by the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) or the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr- Sinclair), if I recollect correctly. Tbte hon. member (Mr. Marcil) will not say that these were not the principles declared-

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I suppose that that is a summary of the resolution, but I should think it would be more satisfactory to the House if the hon. gentleman will Tefer to the resolution in full. He will find it in Hansard.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

I am giving here what was given on the floor of this House by the hon. member for Rouville as the Nationalist doctrine, and the hon. member for Bonaventure, and the hon, member for Rouville condemned the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. S6vigny) because, as it is said, he subscribed to that doctrine in 1911. I would like to ask the hon. member for Bonaventure this question- does he think a man is doing right or is doing wrong in subscribing to that doctrine which I have just read.

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LIB
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

That is the very question. And I will put it again to the hon. member,-does he think that a man is doing right or is doing wrong, who subscribes to the doctrine of no participation by Canada in Imperial wars outside of Canada's own territory?

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I think that under present circumstances he is doing wrong, because the whole of Canada wants to participate in this war. The whole Liberal party has declared that over and over again.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

The hon. gentleman

says that he thinks he is doing wrong now. Does the hon. gentleman think that he was doing wrong in 1911 in subscribing to that doctrine?

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Let us see where that lands the hon. member for Bonaventure. Speaking the other day in this House, my hon. friend, after paying a glowing tribute to Mr. Lamarche because he had stood true to Nationalist principles, went on to say- he will find it in Hansard:

If the present Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Sfivigny) had preached this week and last week the same gospel to the electorate of Dorchester that he preached in 1911 he would have been elected by acclamation as was the late Postmaster-General.

The hon. member says to-day that the doctrine of "no participation by Canada in the wars of the Empire'' is wrong. He says, therefore, that Mr. Sevigny must have been wrong in 1911; if he was wrong in 1911 he is right now in repudiating that doctrine. But the hon. member for Bona-

venture, and the hon. member for Rou-ville and the right hon. leader of the Liberal party in this House condemned Mr. Sevigny because he dared to repudiate the Nationalist doctrine which they say he espoused in 1911. .

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I never repudiated Mr. Sevigny for taking the attitude which he did take in this House. I blame him and his party for proclaiming in the province of Quebec that under no circumstances should Canada ever take part in the wars of Great Britain. He obtained his mandate in the 1911 election by appealing to the vilest passions of the human heart.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I have a correction to make, if the hon. member will permit me. If he will look at the revised Hansard he will see the correction that I have made. It would have been nonsense for me to say what appears in unrevised Hansard; the reporter misunderstood me. What I did say was that if Mr. Sevigny had proclaimed in 1911 the policy that he was now proclaiming, he would have been elected by acclamation. My statement was reversed in the unrevised Hansard.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Unfortunately for my hon. friend we have Hansard reporters in this House. I am taking his own words from Hansard and there they are. It is all right for my hon. friend to twist and turn now so that he may change this in some way to suit his purpose.

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January 29, 1917