My hon. friend did not
favour the increase of the indemnity in 1905. For fifteen years, .against his wish, with those strong principles that he advocates and that make him ashamed of both sides of this House, he has kept in his pocket $15,000 of the people's money, which he claims we robbed, and he robbed with us. Consistency! Why Mr. Speaker, if there is any consistency in the hon. gentleman that $15,000 ought to be in the coffers of the country. May I exclaim: Consistency, thou art a jewel! Furthermore: Honesty, thou art not a vain word!
I want to show that some of these gentlemen who come here and pose as angels and models of virtue by saying that they do not want the indemnity, have been taking it and using it. There is not a dissentient voice in this House as to the desirability .and the need of having this indem-
ity. My hon. friend from North Renfrew (Mr. Maekie) admitted that it was necessary, but on one 'Condition-there is .always a "but"-divide Canada into zones; let the Western members have $4,000, and let those who are in close proximity to Ottawa have less. That is a good idea, he thinks. It may be a good idea, but I do not share his views, and every man is entitled to his own views on the question. If it is good for the man who lives west of lake Superior, it is equally as good for the man who lives east of the Ottawa river. What is the difference? We are all on the same footing. Men who live west of lake Superior do not render greater service to their country than men who live east. The western men make greater sacrifices, I admit, as they are away from their families and their business. Every one admits that the principle of the thing is good, and every one says the increase has become a necessity.
The hon. member for Marquette (Mr Crerar) says: I am willing that the law regulating the increase of the salaries of the ministers should take effect now, but not the law regulating the increased indemnity to members. I must confess that I do not see the logic of the position taken by him and by other hon. members. If the thing is as good as my hon. friend from Red Deer and others say it is, let us put it into force at once. A good thing cannot be placed on the statute book too soon. I have expressed my views on that. I have had occasion, Mr. Speaker-and I say it with all deference, for we do not share the same views-of criticising bad laws that have been placed on the statute book. But when I see a good law going on the statute book I am glad to give it my support.
Now a word en passant. I think I have never complained about statements made by the press, but in this case I think we have been misrepresented. The motives of the gentlemen of the press I do not discuss. It is their business to enlighten public opinion. But I think before they impute motives to others, before they tell us that we should have some self-respect, those gentlemen ought to make a little examination of their conscience. I remember when anxiety was on every face in this country, when we were at the most crucial moment of our history. You talk about returned soldiers who have fought at the Front; I bow to them and they have my admiration; but I remember when the fate of civilization was in the balance; we wanted money, and we wanted men; we had to advertise for loans and we had to advertise for re-283