January 29, 1917

LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The hon. gentleman is bound, under the rules of the House, to accept my statement.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

I am bound under the rules of the House to accept the hon. gentleman's statement. I will accept it, as I have to, under the rules; but I will do so with a mental reservation.

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LIB
CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The rule is clear that the statement of an hon. member as to his words must be accepted unqualifiedly, which I hope the hon. member for Fron-tenac will do.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

The spoken word, Mr. Speaker, or the written, printed or reported word? I am accepting the statement made by the hon. gentleman as recorded on the pages of Hansard. If Hansard made a mistake in the report of the hon. gentle-

man's speech, the hon. gentleman should have made the necessary correction.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The moment the unrevised Hansard report came before me I made the correction, as the hon. gentleman will find in the revised Hansard. What I said was that if Mr. Sevigny had preached in 1911 what he was preaching now, he would have gone in by acclamation. How could a Liberal have opposed him now if the policy we are supporting in this House had been supported by him.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Do not ask me to explain why a Liberal should dp this or that; ask me something easy. I ask my hon. friend to explain how it was that the . Liberal party supported a man of Mr. Cannon's calibre-a man who would make use of the expressions that he has used, according to reports in the press?.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Mr. Cannon has made a correction; perhaps my hon. friend does not wish to accept it.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Of Course he did, just as my hon. friend made a sort of correction.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I have been 16 years in this House, and my statement has never yet been challenged.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

If my hon. friend will sit down for the time being, I have something else that I wish to refer to.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I hope that the hpn.

member for Frontenac does not mean that he does not accept the statement of the hon. member for Bonaventure.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

No, Mr. Speaker; I accept the statement of the hon. member for Bonaventure as it is pn Hansard, and if the hon. member says that the report in Hansard is not correct, I will accept his statement as he gives it now.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I understand that that is what the hon. member for Bonaventure does say. He says that he has corrected the report accordingly.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Let us now come back to the subject. The hon. member for Bonaventure at least says that a man who accepts the doctrine of no participation by Canada in Imperial wars outside her territory is doing wrong. It is alleged by the member for Rouville that the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue did subscribe to that doctrine in 1911 and that he was opposed for that reason. In other words, if he had remained true to that doctrine he would

have been elected by acclamation; because he did not Temain true to that doctrine he was to be punished. The member for Bonaventure and the member for Rouville placed the Minister of Inland Revenue, the present Postmaster-General, and the Hon. Mr. Coderre all in the same box with regard to their Nationalist proclivities in 1911. The member for Bonaventure states also that his leader allowed certain of those members who had professed Nationalist principles to be elected by acclamation, but would not allow this particular gentleman, who had professed that doctrine but had since repudiated it, to be elected by acclamation. What explanation is there other than that they sought to punish him because he had fallen away from that nefarious doctrine of 1911? The hon. Minister of Inland Revenue said the other day:

I placed the question of the war before my electors and told them that it was their duty to make all sacrifices to assure victory.

We on this side of the House can all subscribe to that doctrine, but hon. gentlemen on the other side cannot. They endorse Mr. Lamarche for sticking to his Nationalist principles, but they have no mercy or consideration for a man who came to the conclusion that the principles that he had espoused in 1911 were wrong. If ever there was a time when a minister of the Crown deserved to be elected by acclamation, this was the time, even from the standpoint of hon. gentlemen opposite, because he had repudiated the doctrines which they said they were opposed to. Another reason why they should have offered him no opposition is that given by the member for Bonaventure as to why these other gentlemen were not opposed: because Canada should be united while this war is in progress.

The hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) referred quite extensively to the matter of recruiting in the province of Quebec, and I desire to place upon Hansard some views upon that matter. Allow me to quote from a paper called l'Autorite, of the issue of September 5, 1914. That French-Canadian paper makes this statement:-

Of the thirty thousand troops at Valcartier, how many are French-Canadians ? We cannot answer this question with any degree of certainty, but from the best information at hand we are led to believe that there are scarcely four hundred.

I also wish to quote from l'Evenement of date June 4, 1916, which says:-

We must perforce submit to evidence. The recruiting campaign in the province of Quebec

is almost a complete fiasco. . . After twenty-two months of war it would be stupid to try and justify this extraordinary fact by local considerations. It is better to admit this truth publicly-The large majority of French Canadians is hostile to the idea of all participation in the war. Why? First by lack of military vocation; second by antipathy to the cause of Great Britain.

We add immediately that, from our point of view, this antipathy for the British cause is a misfortune. . . The respect of civil authority represented by the King does not exist any longer in this province. . . Most certainly,

the Catholic Episcopate reacts against this pernicious tendency, and the elite of the laity cordially seconds its wishes. But the lower clergy, the politicians in favour, and the French Canadian middle class are indifferent or hostile to the Mother Country and to our compatriots of English origin. Is it not time to loudly and frankly express this sad truth?

I have quoted from two French-Canadian papers. I wish now to quote some expressions given utterance to by the hon. member for Bonaventure in regard to this matter of recruiting.

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LIB
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Very frankly I answer: I do not know, and I do not care.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

It is the chief Conservative organ in the city of Quebec, and the editor is Mr. Bernard, who was Mr. SAvigny's' candidate in the county of Dorchester in the provincial election and was defeated by Mr. Cannon.

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January 29, 1917