Even if he had been in the employ of the Government, and had been dismissed for partisanship, that is no reason why he should not work for the Government if he works honestly and uprightly. I had the Halifax situation and the North Sydney situation on my hands and time was pressing. I went to Colonel Low to see if he could take the work. He represented Bate, McMahon and Company who were doing work at Sydney and also at Halifax. He said: Yes, he could take on the Halifax work. I gave him the con-
tract for the Halifax work, and I want to tell my hon. friend that I did not do this without taking the whole thing to council where it was thoroughly thrashed out. I canvassed the whole situation with a number of men in the contracting business in the province of New Brunswick, and I could not find a single man who was in a position to take this contract. I know the contractors in my province and I could pick out every man who ordinarily would be in a position to undertake this work, but everybody was busy down there last year. The Valley railway, as we call it, was under construction, and practically every contractor in New Brunswick was employed upon that, as well as some of the principal contractors in Nova Scotia; the Government was carrying on tremendously big works at Halifax and Sydney, and practically every Nova Scotia firm that I knew anything about was engaged there. I want to say here that Mr. George W. Kyte never came to me and I never spoke to him until recently. The leader of the Opposition has been referred to, but I never heard from him, and he had no more to do with the matter than a man in Saskatoon. I inquired of a certain man who happened to be here-and I will give my hon. friend his name in confidence-a large employer of labour in the province of Nova Scotia, probably the largest there, a man who knows every workman in Gape Breton Island, about the situation. He told me that Mr. Dickson was well qualified to carry on the work. I sent for Mr. Dickson, and he convinced me of 'his ability to undertake the work. I gave him the contract on force account, and the work was inspected as no other work was inspected in my deipartment last year because the contract had not been given until my friends had come to me with stories that they had got in Sydney and they said, "You are employing a Grit to do this work," and asked me to rescind the contract. I would not do so and I never yet have done so. I could not believe that because a man happened to be a Liberal he could not work for this department honestly and uprightly, that is no part of my political faith. I have given my hon. friend the facts as I understand them.