The remarks of the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), I think, call .for 'a statement to be made by somebody. The decision of the Chair, sustained by a vote of the House, was, briefly, on the question whether a reference to the opinion of an editor on the war published in a newspaper was relevant to a discussion of the estimates of the Department of Inland Revenue.
Before the Chairman ruled I put the question straight, whether it was open to us to discuss the policy of appointments by the minister, and the answer was that that was open to us. I take this to include the character and record of the men selected for appointment. I understood the Acting Chairman to say that we were within our rights in calling attention to these -matters. But he objected to a certain newspaper article toeing mentioned, and the'House sustained him in his ruling-
I will not say whether I think that was right or wrong. The principle was admitted by the Acting Chairman (Mr. Blain), and I presume will 'be admitted by you, Mr. Chairman, that we have the right to discuss the policy of any minister as to the kind of people that he will call to the Civil Service of this country. And that is what we are doing. I was startled by the announcement, made by the minister, that he thought it
was necessary to put an end to the articles appearing in a newspaper in Quebec which were detrimental to the best interests of recruiting and to the winning of the war, and the way he took to stop them was to bring the author of them into the Civil Service and into the heart of his department. That was to me startling- that any man whose conduct was such as to make him a danger to the country, a firebrand, had to be given the King's money and the King's appointment in order to take him out of the way. That is what started the discussion here to-day. But we need hardly be surprised that the minister followed that course, for he is a product of that line of action himself; he owes his position in the Cabinet to just such reasoning. When the right hon. gentleman (Sir George Foster), who leads the House, gave out the slogan in 1910, "Anything to beat Laurier " he announced a policy the chickens of which are coming home to roost. I't would be a strange thing indeed if we are not permitted in this House to call the attention of the minister to the fact that he is giving the reward of iniquity to the man he is calling to he an officer of Government. If this man, who was threatening sedition, did not come into the Service, it was not because the minister did not try to bring him in. He went as far as he could, but a commission, whose members, perhaps, knew more than the minister, turned him down. The fact that this man is not today receiving a reward for his flagitious conduct is not the fault of the minister; he was willing that such a man should come into, his department, and possess the secrets of that department, to spread them abroad, perhaps, against the interests of recruiting and to neutralize the efforts put forth to win the war. I hope we shall not hear again of efforts of that kind by the Minister of Inland Revenue, or any other minister.
The hon. member (Mr. McKenzie) has referred to what took place in 1910 and 1911. In 1911, I was elected in the county of Dorchester. Two years after I came to this House I was asked by the Prime Minister to vote a contribution of $35,000,000 to help the British Naviy and increase the strength of the British Empire. At that time the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Sevigny), the French-Canadian, the "bad Nationalist," as he had been called by certain members of this House, voted for this .contribution-of $35,000,000 to help the British Empire, 'but the records
show that there were members of this .House sitting on the other side who refused to vote for that contribution. I repeat what I said a few minutes ago, that since the war broke out I have done everything possible to help recruiting and to promote the participation of Canada in the war; and it is my intention to do the same in the future. If the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie) turns his attention to current events in the province of Quebec, he will see that the press of his own party in that province is doing worse than was done in 1910 and 1911. The excuse that might be pleaded for the people of 1910 and 1911 was that we were not at war; nobody knew what was coming. Nobody knew' what was coming, but at the present time every one knows what is going on and that we are in the greatest crisis of our history; and yet all the French press of the Libera] party in Quebec is repeating exactly-
The minister is certainly not representing the facts as they are when he dares to say in this House of Commons that the Liberal press of the province of Quebec is to-day using the same line of abuse that he used in 1910 and 1911.
I challenge my hon. friend to show any newspaper representing liberal opinion in the province of Quebec which has ever published, either before the war started or during the war, such statements as I have mentioned a few minutes ago to have been uttered by the hon. gentleman and his friends in that province. The reverse is the ease. The Liberal press, from the outbreak of hostilities, has always advocated the participation of Canada in the war. The doctrine that the Liberal press is preaching to-day in Quebec is the same doctrine as that on which we went to the people in 1911, and upon whicn we asked the people of Quebec to return to this Parliament members supporting the right hon. gentleman who, in that province as throughout the rest of Canada, advocated the participation of Canada in the wars of the Empire in time of danger, and the taking of the necessary steps for giving adequate defence to Canada at any time.