The hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Burnham) stated 79
that labour was complaining of the high cost of living and that the farmers were complaining of the high price of labour. Speaking as a farmer, I am perfectly satisfied to pay labour the wage which it asks for, and I will ask the hon. member to join with the Farmers' Organization and help out labour and help us to take the duty off foodstuffs so that labour may have food cheaper, thus reducing the cost of living.
Mr. Speaker, I rise not to take part in the discussion which has covered a fairly wide field of opinion upon many questions which were, perhaps, not absolutely essential to the proper determination whether we ought to make the creation of any campaign fund a criminal offence. I rise simply to suggest to the hon. member who introduced the resolution that he might, perhaps, consider whether he might not with propriety withdraw that resolution. He has had an opportunity of very fully and frankly exposing his views on the different matters that are referred to in the motion.
He has evoked what may be described as a very frank and a very full expression of views on these different questions not quite in accord with his own. So far as the purpose he seeks to achieve by this motion is concerned, I should like to call his attention to the fact that we have presently before the House a^ franchise Bill dealing with questions precisely of this kind, and I would suggest to him that that perhaps would be the proper place for the House to arrive at a conclusion with regard to the desirability of making provision concerning campaign funds in general and campaign funds of particular kinds. Having that opportunity, 1 would suggest to the hon. gentleman that he would Jose nothing by withdrawing the present motion, if he desires to insist upon his proposal that funds of that nature should be absolutely prohibited as being criminal offences. In this connection perhaps I might take the liberty of suggesting, to him, as his resolution is apparently based on a report as to a very large sum of money which a reverend gentleman has estimated as being necessary to carry on a particular campaign for prohibition, that the report, as Mark Twain said of the report of his death, may be somewhat exaggerated. It seems a trifle difficult to believe that the reverend gentleman referred to, the Rev. Mr. Spence, who from his general record we all I am sure, are satisfied is, generally speaking, most temperate in his habits, could have contracted such very ex-
pensive habits with regard to campaign j funds. Perhaps with that as an additional reason, the hon. gentleman might be satisfied to withdraw his resolution with a view, perhaps, to satisfying himself more perfectly as to the accuracy of the report upon which he premises his conclusions.
Mr. JOHN H. BURNHAM: Mr. Speaker, when I put this resolution on the Order Paper the Franchise Act, so far as I knew, was not then in contemplation. I quite agree that the clause in the Franchise Act which has been adopted referring to campaign funds probably covers the dangerous phase to which I refer in my resolution.
I wish to say in regard to farmers that I had no intention of condemning farmers or even the Farmers' party, but I did condemn many of the principles which they laid down in their platform, among them being what I understood to be a national campaign fund.
It is a national campaign fund that I object to, and not constituency campaign funds. Perhaps my resolution might be plainer in that respect.
As to my reference to treason, which an hon. member asked me to explain, I did not refer to the Farmers' party in particular, but to all movements which might have a sinister bearing on the policy of the country. Like Caesar's wife they must avoid the very suspicion of evil, and if they do not, they must be prevented from doing evil. We must observe the principle - that all men are equal before the law.
With regard to prohibition, the reason why I ridicule and fight it is because it is an anti-Christian measure. No man can be a prohibitionist without sneering at the policy of the Most High, "which is not prohibition. There is no prohibition of evil in the Christian religion. The prohibitionist cannot be a religious man; he is nothing but a tyrant. It is because I hope that 1 am at heart a Christian and a religious man that I am fighting prohibition, and will fight it to the end, because I believe that it does not come from God, and it cannot be supported by a single quotation from the Word of God. I believe it comes from the devil, whither it will go. I withdraw the resolution.
*able to bringing down the correspondence between the Grand Trunk Railway Company and the Government, with respect to the agreement that Parliament is to be asked to confirm. I think the correspondence will be necessary if we are to discuss intelligently the agreement before confirming it.
Topic: GRAND TRUNK ACQUISITION.
Subtopic: CORRESPONDENCE TO BE BROUGHT DOWN.