The ex-Minister of Militia, as any one can see by his speech, was arraigning and criticising his former colleagues in the Government; he was saying nothing about the Opposition and it was not in the power of the Opposition to discard the rifle. He was speaking about the people who discarded the rifle and who brought about the conditions which made it impossible to use that rifle further, and he said that those conditions were successful, not because there was anything the matter with the rifle, but because German gold was too influential. That is what he said, and it is for the Government and hon. gentlemen who are in touch with the ex-Minister of Militia to find out what he said. To the ordinary person who understands the English language, his words mean that somebody or a number of persons who brought about the discarding of the Ross rifle, did so, not because there was anything wrong with the rifle, but because German gold was too influential. That is the way I understand his language, and that is the way it has been expressed in tjie loyal city of Lindsay in the loyal province of Ontario, by a super-loyal ex-Minister of the Crown. That is an arraignment of the Government by a former colleague which we on the outside, until the contrary is shown, must accepted as being correct. If correct, it shows the condition pf things in connection with handling of the war to-have been absolutely deplorable. According to the minister himself, while he was doing his best to carry out his plans for putting our armies in the field, he was thwarted by a bad element, and an unwholesome atmosphere was created against him at the War Office and in official circles in England by the High Commissioner, a member of this Government. That is a sad condition of affairs, .if true. It may not *be true, but the minister says that it is and it is up to him and his friends to-prove to this country whether it is so or
not. Why even gold was used against him. The money of this country was taken to sweeten the press. The press was bribed in order to secure their influence in maligning the minister in order to defeat his purposes. No language that I can use is strong enough to characterize a condition of that kind, and I submit 'that for that reason I am justified in saying on this occasion to the Government 'and to this country that hon. gentlemen opposite have not handled the war well; nor are they entitled to any credit for their conduct of the war, nor is it in the interests of a successful prosecution of our share in the war that its conduct should be left any longer in their hands. If the people of this country or if we in this House believe that what the exMinister pf Militia has stated here is correct, then the sooner the carrying forward of military matters in this country is put on a sounder basis, the better it will be for the country and the better for all who are deeply interested in the war.
Subtopic: THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic: DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.