March 26, 1918

REPORTS.


Report of the Department of Public Works for the year ended March 31, 1917.- Hon. Mr. Carvell. Report of the Department of Customs for the year ended March 31, 1917.-Hon. Mr. Sifton. Report of the Department of Labour for the year ended March 31, 1917.-Hon. Mr. Crothers.


RESIGNATION OF HON MR. SEVIGNY.

UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister):

I have the permission of His

Excellency the Governor General to communicate to the House the letter of the hon. the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Sev-igny) conveying his resignation and the reply I made to that letter:

Ottawa, Ont., March 7, 1918. Dear Sir Robert,-

In view of the result of the election in the Province of Quebec, I deem it advisable to render my resignation as a member of the Government.

Since I entered the Cabinet, I did my utmost, together with you and1 my colleagues, to fulfil my duty in the interest of the country. The

hard exigencies of the war imposed upon us tasks difficult but necessary, and the conduct of our soldiers and of the Canadian people since the month of August, 1914, gave us to understand that we could not ignore our responsibilities. The immense majority of the people have declared by their vote that their patriotism and courage have not been lessened by the terrible trials of these last years. That vote of confidence in our policy is certainly a great consolation to me, notwithstanding the defeat I have suffered in my Province. Another consolation I experience is to have remained true to those who fell on the field of honour, to those who made the glory of our country, at the price of the most noble sacrifices, and also to have remained faithful to their families who have suffered for the holy cause our country espoused freely and unanimously in August, 1914.

I hope, dear Sir Robert, that the French Canadian minority will soon consent to have representation in the Government. I know you have done everything possible to urge Sir Wilfrid Laurier and other French Canadians to enter Union Government. I have witnessed your efforts to obtain the union of all races and, as a French Canadian I do not hesitate to hold responsible for the present isolation of Quebec those who failed to carry out their sacred duty of giving to my Province a proper and patriotic direction in this terrible crisis which our country has to face with the rest of humanity.

Rest assured that the great majority of the French Canadians want representation in the Government and that you will soon learn that the Province of Quebec does not wish its isolation. I am convinced that you will always be disposed to treat with justice the French Canadian minority, as your responsibilities show you clearly that the future and welfare of Canada rest upon union and harmony between the races inhabiting our country.

I was pleased to ascertain, in my ' conversations with my colleagues, that they wish the present division to cease.

I shall always retain very pleasant recollections of my relations with you, particularly since I entered the Cabinet. Often, in the trials I had to endure, I found consolation in your kind words and in your noble conduct.

Despite the difficulties caused' us by the exigencies of the war, I have confidence in the future of my country, because you and your colleagues have decided to devote to Canada all your ability and patriotism.

Believe me, dear Sir Robert,

Tours very truly,

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ALBERT SEVIGNY.


To which I replied as follows, on the 9th of March: Ottawa, Ont., March 9, 1918. Dear Mr. Sevigny,- I have your letter of the 7th instant, and X have received with great regret the announcement that you consider it your duty to tender your resignation as a member of the Government. Under conditions of great difficulty and trial you have exhibited remarkable courage and devotion in adhering steadfastly to your ideal of duty. Although for the present you have failed to secure from your Province the support to which you were entitled, I am confident that the not-distant future will bring to you well deserved vindication and a thorough justification of your attitude upon the great questions which have been debated and determined during the past year. As you well know, it has been my constant desire that the historic Province of Quebec should at all times be adequately represented1 in the government of the country. If my efforts have been unavailing, I am not responsible for that result. I should esteem it my duty as well as my pleasure to use my best endeavours for the consummation of such arrangements as would enable you to remain in the Government. On the other hand I realize the force of the considerations which you expressed to me in conversation and which in your opinion make it desirable that you should retire for the present. I have no doubt, however, that you have still before you a great future in the public life of the country. Be assured that I have the happiest memories of my association with you in public affairs; and I send my best wishes for every success in the years to come. Believe me, dear Mr. Sevigny, Yours faithfully,


R. L. BORDEN.


Hon. Albert Sevigny, Ottawa. The resignation has not yet been formally accepted but it will be accepted at the end of this week. It is the intention to consolidate the Department of Inland Revenue with the Department of Customs under the Act which has just passed its third reading in this House.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT SITTINGS. '

UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That, on Wednesday, the 3rd April next, and on all subsequent Wednesdays to the end of the Session, the House shall meet at three o'clock p.m., and that the sittings on such days shall in every respect be under the same rules provided for other days.

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Motion agreed to.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.

UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That, on and after Wednesday, the 3rd day of April, Government Notices of Motion and Government Orders shall have precedence on Wednesdays and Thursdays, until the end of the Session, over all business except questions by Members and Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers.

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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Mr Speaker, I am sure that it is the intention of every one to have as short a session as possible. -I would suggest to my right hon. friend that he leave Wednesday, the 3rd of April, for private members, amending his motion to read " after Wednesday, the 3rd day of April."

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

That will bo agreeable.

Mr, SPEAKER: The motion passes with the omission of the words " on and."

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Motion agreed to.


EASTER ADJOURNMENT.

UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That when this House adjourns on Wednesday, the 27th instant, it stand adjourned until Tuesday, the 2nd day of April next.

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Motion agreed to.


THE WAR.

March 26, 1918