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,