thrust my name into his speech because I have refused his personal solicitations to debate here his personal grievances against the minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White). I told him the other day, while he was addressing the House, that he deliberately gave instructions that a young man living in my city was by his directions refused enlistment. I thought I would be able to read the letter which was sent by the Department of Militia here to headquarters at 'Halifax, directing that under no circumstances should this young man, who was 'desirous of fighting for his King and country, toe permitted to enlist. The hon. gentleman stated that this was done because, [DOT]as correspondent of a Nova Scotia newspaper, while in England, this young man had written letters to his paper criticising the conduct and management of Salisbury camp. Mr. Speaker, one could hardly imagine that it could happen anywhere in the British Empire, that a young, intelligent man anxious to fight-and not as an officer but as a private-was to be refused enlistment under the direction of the Minister of Militia.
The most bitter and unrelenting newspaper criticism against the war administration in England has come from Lord North-cliffe who was the other day honoured with a very high appointment to the United States. We also remember that in the early days of the war, a Montreal genteman, sir Herbert Holt, returned from England and very vigorously criticised the conduct of the war by the British 'authorities -and for a few days it caused a considerable stir in this country. I suppose it will yet transpire that, if Sir Herbert Holt has unfortunately no sons, some fool Liberal or Conservative Government will force hiim into the British peerage because he criticised the conduct of the war by the British war authorities. Here was a case where a young man was willing to seTve as a private and anxious to fight for his King and country and it was apparently the policy of the Minister of Militia to prevent him if he possibly could. Mir. Speaker, will you please pardon this diversion? I do not want to provoke any partisan discussion but I cannot help but protest when I hear the threatenings of that hon. gentleman hurled against the leader of the Opposition and other gentlemen on this side and against hon. gentlemen opposite, looking for smiles here, plaudits there. I hate skim milk, masquerading as cream, man as superman, human weakness as infallibility, and when I hear it, I protest. I
do not say this with malice. Naturally, I am disposed to be generous and I quite appreciate the position of the late Minister of Militia. It is always sad, to look upon an exiled monarch, longing for his kingdom, crown and sceptre. He always thinks of right forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. Yes, that administrative record did not help recruiting, and I want ho say to hon. gentlemen opposite that it makes it very difficult for many hon. gentlemen on this side of the House to take the position which they do by reason of the many just criticisms made by citizens of this country in respect of that record. That administrative record has planted the -seed of distrust in the minds of our people, and has militated against recruiting. It makes it difficult for the public to accept with favour and confidence the proposals of the Bill and offers a justification for the suggestion that there should be a further trial of voluntary enlistment after the Bill becomes law and before it is enforced.
I am of the opinion that in any event it should not be put into immediate operation. I do not make this statement casually or perfunctorily. I say it earnestly and sincerely. I would make the statement if I were before my constituents tomorrow and I would make it as a matter of policy. I am of the belief that a further campaign of education is necessary and desirable in this country to make clear to our people our military necessities and the purposes of the war. It took the best of our countrymen some time to catch the true vision of the real significance of the war. Some may have been slower than others. Let us not be too critical, but let us be fair and generous in assigning causes. Should a further appeal be made to our people, I believe that our young men who have so nobly responded in the past- will make a further and sufficient response if given another opportunity for voluntary enlistment under the inspiration of the sincere and united efforts of all leaders of public opinion in this country. Having put our hands to the plough, I cannot make myself believe that the young manhood of this country now want to look back. I believe that they would rather prefer seeing a magnificent beginning end in a blaze of glory. At any rate, is it not worth a trial? It will be regrettable if resort has to be made to the present Bill to secure the relatively small number who are needed if a united and sincere effort on the part of our leaders of all shades of public opinion in this country would