March 28, 1922

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

Exclusively, to the extent that under section 92 of the British North America Act the organization of the courts is committed entirely to the legislature of each province. I submit that the only reason why the appointing power was vested in the Dominion Parliament was the theory that the Governor General was the sole representative of His Majesty in Canada. Down to the time of the decision in the Maritime Bank Case the theory obtained that His Majesty was not present in regard to provincial legislation, and that consequently there was no power vested in the Lieutenant-Governor to make judicial appointments as the direct representative of His Majesty. Since then that theory has been held to be bad law, and to-day the right of the provinces to deal with matters entirely within their jurisdiction is unquestioned, and I think it is rather too late in the day for us to say that we have any reviewing power in such matters.

Resolution reported and concurred in.

Sir LOMER GOUIN thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 19, to amend the Judges' Act, founded on the Resolution.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


SUPPLY-AMENDMENT


Mr. ARTHURS' MOTION ON SOLDIERS' . BONUS PLEDGE On the motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding that the Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to resolve itself into Committee of Supply:


CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound):

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair, I desire to call the attention of the House for a few minutes to a matter which arose yesterday afternoon while the House was

in Committee of Supply and the Estimates of the Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (Mr. Beland) were under discussion.

A few days ago we heard from the leader of the Government that we should pay little attention to political documents, especially those issued during an election. We did not believe then, Sir-I do not think any hon. member believed-that this remark also applied to the platform of a great party. Before an election each party issues a platform, and the difference between the respective platforms constitutes the issue before the people in that election. And not only that, but the party issuing the platform is of course pledged to substantiate its provisions by legislation if returned to power.

In 1919 the Liberal party held a great convention in this city, and a platform was then adopted which was the basis of their appeal to the country during the recent election. We have already had from the Government side a repudiation of many of the tariff planks of that platform, and the remaining planks are being carefully held in abeyance for the express purpose of securing a few votes from my hon. friends to my immediate left. But the most glaring case of repudiation occurred yesterday. In that platform, as enunciated in 1919, we find the following resolution:

Resolved that this convention declares that the adoption of a system of cash grants to the soldiers and the dependents of those who have fallen is the most satisfactory and effective means of civil re-establishment-such grants to be in addition to the present gratuity and to any pension for disability resulting from service.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, and also the minister in charge of the estimates of this department, both declared that they not only do not intend to fulfil this pledge, but so far as the Prime Minister is concerned, he declared that he never had any intention of doing so. I believe that the majority of those who attended that convention in 1919 were honest men and went home firmly convinced that the Liberal party had pledged itself to implement by legislation every plank in that platform. According to the Liberal handbook this pledge was made in the most solemn manner. The men who attended that convention went back to the country and used every plank of that platform during the last election, and it is idle for the Prime Minister or anybody else to say that they did not use the particular plank to which I am now drawing the attention of the

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House. This was a solemn promise to the returned soldiers that the Liberal party, it they got back to power, would grant cash bonuses, and it was used in every constituency where there was a returned soldier. It was used by the followers of my hon. friend, the leader of the Government, in his presence, and he himself, in spite of what he said yesterday, did pledge himself to carry out this resolution, because he said that he endorsed every plank in the platform of 1919.

The attitude of the late government and of the party to which I belonged was well known. We were opposed to the granting of $2,000, or any similar bonus, indiscriminately to returned soldiers. We did not believe that that was the proper policy to adopt. But our friends opposite, by this plank in their platform, succeeded in getting thousands of votes, evidently under misapprehension and in spite of the fact that the present Prime Minister knew that his party would never implement that promise. While the Conservative party was opposed to any cash grant of this nature, it was not opposed to doing everything possible for the returned soldier. I have had the honour to be on the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment Committee for the last four or five years, and I have personal knowledge that the then government had no strings on that committee, that the members of that committee were perfectly free to take any course they chose. That committee, by their recommendations, and the late government by implementing those recommendations by legislation, have done a great deal for the returned soldier. It is not necessary at this time to go into details, but we know and, as Canadians, are proud, no matter whether we are on one side or the other, that Canada has paid the most liberal scale of pensions of any country that was engaged in the war. The late government directed its efforts toward bettering the condition of widows and orphans who had lost their bread winners during the war, and of men who returned from overseas unable to pursue their ordinary vocations through illness or wounds. But as I have said, we were faced throughout the country with this pledge made by the Liberal party under the conditions to which I have referred.

The leader of the Government, speaking of this matter yesterday, defended his position by saying that a course advisable at one moment may not be the best at another time. Assuredly this has a

familiar sound to me; it is right in line with the general policy of hon. gentlemen opposite. They had not only a policy for Canada, but a policy for each province. And in the provinces you found the present leader of the Government supporting in one county a man who was a free trader, in another county a man who was a protectionist, and in another county a man who had no idea of tariff matters at all. In fact, that procedure was carried so far that the policy advocated in one polling subdivision was different from that advocated in another, and so on right along the line.

The leader of the Government says that conditions have changed; that at present we have a large debt, incurred through the railway situation. But he has forgotten to tell the people of Canada that during the last election-not in 1919, but in October, 1921,-a handbook was issued and placed in the hands of Liberal speakers throughout Canada bearing on its face the portrait of the present leader of the Government and subscribed to by him, in which his pledge to the returned soldier was reiterated and renewed; nor has it ever been repudiated by the hon. gentleman or any one on his side.

The minister in charge of this matter took a somewhat different stand; he declared that he had reason to suppose that the returned soldier would not accept $2,000. Now, Mr. Speaker, if you took a vote of the members of this House, or, say, of the members of the press gallery, on the question of whether they would accept a cash bonus of $2,000, I am sure they would all vote affirmatively; and I have not the slightest doubt that the returned soldier would do exactly the same thing. It is quite true that certain soldier organizations have passed resolutions advising against any request for a cash gratuity of $2,000. It is quite true that they have moderated their demands; but it is foolish to say for one moment that these men are repudiating a cash grant of any kind.

I have brought this matter to the attention of the House for the purpose of setting forth one of the reasons why hon. gentlemen of the Liberal party are sitting on the other side of the House. I beg to move, seconded by Mr. Stevens:

That all the words after the word "that" be struck out and the following be substituted therefor: .

The Liberal Party assembled in convention in August, 1919, adopted the following resolution:

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"Resolved that this Convention declares that the adoption of a system of cash grants to the soldiers and dependents of those who have fallen is the most' satisfactory and effective means of civil re-establishment-such grants to he in addition to the present gratuity and to any pension for disability resulting from service.'*

That the policy embodied in such resolution so adopted was continuously thereafter held before the people of Canada, and in an official handbook issued in October, 1921, by the Liberal Party under the authority of its leader Hon W. L. Mackenzie King, the said resolution was quoted and reaffirmed, and the promise and the pledge embodied therein declared to be the policy of the Liberal Party.

That candidates contesting on behalf of the Liberal Party in the late election used widely such promise and pledge as the means of securing support.

That the Liberal Party having been returned to power, the refusal now by the leader of the Government and by the Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment to fulfil such promise and pledge constitutes a repudiation of a solemn obligation and a disregard of political honour.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the custom of this House has been to extend to the leader of the Government the courtesy of permitting him to see, before the moment it is handed to you, Mr. Speaker, any amendment or resolution which is likely to be moved by a member of the House. Neither my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) nor the hon. member (Mr. Arthurs) who has just spoken has given me slightest intimation that any resolution of the kind was to be submitted this afternoon.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

May I be permitted to say, Mr. Speaker, that I am very sorry if my hon. friend did not receive a copy of the resolution. I instructed my secretary at one o'clock to send a copy, and I dictated an accompanying letter. I sent it also to the leader of the Agrarian party (Mr. Crerar.)

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Shame.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If my hon. friend has not received it, I am quite prepared to let the debate adjourn.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There is no necessity for the debate being adjourned.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It was quite unintentional on my part.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I would simply like the House to know that the first intimation I had of this resolution was as I heard it read a moment ago.

Now, Mr. Speaker, may I just read to the House the resolution of the Liberal Convention of 1919 and see exactly what it states? First of all, it is a resolution on Soldier's Civil Re-establishment. It reads:

Whereas, it is considered that the guiding principle for a permanent settlement of the problem of civil re-establishment should be equitable treatment to soldiers in all avocations, having regard to the length and nature of service,

Resolved that this convention declares that the adoption of a system of cash grants to the soldiers and dependents of those who have fallen is the most satisfactory and effective means of civil re-establishment-such grants to be in addition to the present gratuity and to any pension for disability resulting from service.

That resolution is not a pledge on the part of the Liberal party to give cash grants indiscriminately to all returned men. As I read it, and as the Liberal convention understood it, the resolution was a declaration that in the opinion of the Convention that was the most effective means at that time of dealing with the question of re-establishment. The resolution relates, as I have pointed out, to the matter of re-establishment, not to the granting of an indiscriminate bonus to every soldier who was overseas, simply as a recognition of his services. [DOT]

What the convention believed, and I think rightly believed, was that if the government would adopt the policy with the returned soldiers of giving to them a cash grant of a certain amount, and allowing them to re-establish themselves with the aid of that money, that would be the most effective way of bringing about their reestablishment. It was felt that the government was proceeding under a policy of more or less obliging returned men to act in accordance with the wishes and under instructions of officers of the government, not trusting them to make use of sums of money, according to their own light, which would enable them with regard to what might seem to them to be the most effective way having regard to their interests and circumstances, to work out their own salvation, so to speak, in the matter of re-establishment. I think that if that point is perfectly clear, hon. members will see there has not been any attempt on the part of hon. members on this side of the House or of their supporters, in any way to repudiate any statement that appears in this platform in regard to the re-establishment of the returned soldiers.

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I said yesterday, and I will repeat it now, because I believe it to be absolutely true, that what may have been the wise course to take at that time, when men were returning from overseas and seeking to return to their regular vocations, would not necessarily be wise or the proper course to take some years later, particularly after Parliament had met and after the House of Commons on two occasions, had discussed the whole question, in Special Committee, and had decided upon certain measures of re-establishment, and when the government were taking action in accordance with views which were unanimously concurred in by Parliament. Let me repeat, this statement in the Liberal platform is not a pledge of cash grants to all returned men. It cannot be so construed. It is a statement of what in the opinion of that convention at that time would have been the most effective way of dealing with re-establisment.

May I say this further? Hon. gentlemen opposite are given to use of extravagant language in criticising their opponents. They have on repeated occasions resorted to the use of terms which I think are a little stronger than is necessary, even for the political purposes they have in view. May I read the last clause of this amendment?

That the Liberal party having been returned to power, the refusal now by the leader of the Government and by the Minister of Soldiers Civil R'e-establishment to fulfil such promise and pledge constitutes a repudiation of a solemn obligation and a disregard of political honour.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that hon. members of the House of Commons, regardless of whether their references are to their political opponents or not, should be careful in imputing motives of political dishonour. I think hon. members on this side of the House are just as true custodians of honour as any hon. gentlemen opposite, 4 p.m. and I would ask the House, when voting upon this amendment, to consider that aspect of the question.

It seems to me, the point of material importance at the present time, is the attitude taken with respect to this question of cash grants by myself and others associated with me in the recent election campaign. I notice that this amendment is directed primarily against myself as the leader of the party, and for that reason it is proper I think that I should refer somewhat to my own attitude on this particular question.

Yesterday my hon. friend from Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion)

read to this House an extract from a speech made by Colonel Thompson, who was with me in our Canadian West during the course of the political campaign. My hon. friend said that the extract which he read, while it did not amount to a pledge, carried an implication to the effect that I was standing, because I was with Colonel Thompson at the time, in favour of a cash grant to the returned soldiers. As Colonel Thompson is not at present a member of this House and was therefore unable to speak for himself,

I was about to rise and reply to my hon. friend when you, Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee, ruled the whole discussion out of order, and I permitted the incident to pass. My recollection is clear as to what took place at that meeting, and if my hon. friend will consult with those who were present at that gathering, or will read the full reports of it, he will find that Colonel Thompson said that while returned men might very well feel that their services were worth $2,000, the Liberal party did not propose to measure their services in terms of money, and was not standing for cash grants. That was the position he took.

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CON
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon.

friend was ready enough to bring into this House a paper which had a partial reference to what was said at that meeting. He was careful to say that what he read did not constitute a pledge, but he did say that it carried a certain inference. Now I was present on that platform and I heard Colonel Thompson say to that audience that the Liberal party was not proposing any cash grants to the returned men. Not only did he say that on that platform, but he said it on a dozen other platforms on which he spoke when he and I were travelling together, and I submit that if we on this side of the House are to be judged in respect to our attitude toward the returned soldiers, we should be judged by what was said on the public platform as to what our attitude towards the returned men would be if we were returned to power, and not by any inference which hon. gentlemen may draw in regard to what may or may not have been said at a political meeting, or, indeed, by any misrepresentation of the purpose and spirit of resolutions passed at a general convention.

I think, Mr. Speaker, I may well leave the matter there. What I have said' to different audiences, what I have said to

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every deputation of returned men whom I have had the privilege of addressing, has been this: That I regarded the old House of Commons as not being representative of the will of the people, that I felt the returned men could not expect to receive from a parliament that was not truly representative the treatment which they had a right to expect from a parliament that was truly representative, and that when the election was over and the new House of Commons had been formed, one of the first steps I would take would be to refer the whole question of the treatment of returned men to a committee of this House which would be truly representative of all shades of opinion in the country; that I would ask the committee to deal with the questions that came before them, and that the Government would be guided in its action in the light of the report made. That was the pledge I made during the campaign, and that pledge has already been fulfilled. My hon. friend the Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (Mr. Belaud) has already given notice of the establishment of that committee, and as soon as its members have an opportunity of meeting there will be placed before them the whole position in regard to the returned men. There is no reason why the committee should not consider, if it so wishes, the question of cash grants. As far as I am concerned, the broader they make the whole of their inquiry, the better.

The point that is of concern at this moment is this: This amendment is an attack upon the honour of myself and my colleagues as to our attitude towards the returned men. I am quite prepared, Mr. Speaker, to leave to the House, to hon. members who have heard the discussions throughout the election campaign whether in any particular, as the leader of the Liberal party, I made a pledge of cash grants to the returned soldiers generally, irrespective altogether of their need or their desire or their wish for such. I say again that the resolution of. the Liberal Convention was an expression of opinion as to what seemed wisest and best at that [particular time. I think in that respect the resolution was sound. In regard to the position taken during the general election, I have nqthing to retract, and I am only too happy to leave it to this House to express its view as to the political honour of the gentlemen who sit on this side, by asking hon. members to reject this amendment.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver Centre) :

The resolution which has been placed in your hands deals with a principle somewhat broader than the very narrow and limited scope ascribed to it by the Prime Minister in his appeal to the House to reject this resolution. The object of this resolution is to meet the oft-repeated repudiation, by the Prime Minister in particular, and by others around him, of solemn pledges publicly given and written in the documents of the Liberal party to the people of Canada prior to the last election. It is, Sir, to bring before the House this point: v.hether or not a party-or a group, if you choose to use a more modern term-can go before the people of Canada, offering a written document stating their policy and their views upon important questions, which are bound to come before Parliament, asking the public to support them on that platform, and, after having received the support of the people and having secured the power to implement those pledges, can coolly tell the country that these pledges are light and frivolous matters, not to be taken too seriously, but, may be repudiated absolutely by those who made them. That is the principle which we call into judgment before the House to-day. We are asking the House co say whether or not they stand by an old practice of parliamentary procedure in the British Empire, namely, that groups of individuals, known in the past as parties, go before the country, issue their platform and appeal for support on a general policy, not on details of government; and if they do that, then they are bound, when they are returned to power, to implement those pledges by legislation. That is the affect of the responsibility we assume. Why, Mr. Speaker, while you were not in the House during the whole of last parliament, I think you were here long enough to remember that my hon. friend himself, the leader of the Government, and many around him, wanted my right hon. leader (Mr. Meighen) to resign and go to the country. Why? Because, forsooth, he had fulfilled the pledges he and the party had given. They said that we had discharged our mandate, that we -had completed the pledges and promises we had given, and, therefore, we had no right to sit here any longer. But now we have the same hon. gentlemen coming into office and absolutely repudiating pledges. He says it is not a pledge. He says he made no promise of this kind as he went about the country. I asked him yesterday, and I ask him today, is this document an official document of the Liberal party or is it not? I hold

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in my hand the handbook of the Liberal party. Yesterday I invited the hon. gentleman to repudiate it, and he said, no, he would not repudiate it, nor will not repudiate it to-day. This document, Sir, contains, in its opening pages, the platform of the Liberal party. Is that platform a meaningless document? Or is it a document issued to the people of Canada upon which they are invited to support that party? I have here the platform, for the sake of comparison, of my hon. friends of the Progressive party. Will these hon. gentlemen say that in issuing their platform to the people of Canada they did not consider they are now bound in honour- that is what the resolution refers to-to support that platform to the limit of their ability? Every one of them who has spoken so far has given expression to that principle. As far as we are concerned, we stand exactly on that same principle. This platform of the Liberal party is issued with the imprimatur of the Prime Minister himself, issued by authority of the committee he had guiding him-he will remember that he told us the other day that he had adopted the course of being guided. I invite the attention of my hon. friend to this. I notice he is not giving me very much attention, but I would like him to do so. He said a moment ago that this pledge, which he chose to call a pledge, was all very well in 1919, under the conditions existing then. But, why, Mr. Speaker, did they reissue this pledge again in 1921? Why did the hon. gentleman offer it to the people of Canada during that three months up to December 6, 1921? If it was only intended for August, 1919, why did he issue it again last fall? If -what he told us is sincerely true, that it was a pledge under the conditions obtaining in 1919, then exactly the same thing applies to every statement in this platform. I have them here. Let me give hon. members the headings. There are resolutions on finance, tariff, reciprocity, agriculture, labour, conservation of physical standards, soldiers' civil re-establishment, railways, national unity, Canadian autonomy, control of natural resources, elections, and so forth. Are all these resolutions just to be considered as they happened to apply in August, 1919, or do the principles contained in these resolutions guide my hon. friend in his leadership of his party today? That is the question that is before the House. Here is what my hon. friend says in this document preceding all these

resolutions. Referring to the convention as a large and representative convention comprising 1,800 delegates, he says:

The interest of the delegates in the policy of the party was evinced by a mass of resolutions from which those adopted were carefully selected by a representative committee. They express the idea of a great body of delegates of-

Of what?

-the aims of the Liberal party.

That is set forth in this document. He himself says, as leader of the party, that these resolutions, the ones I referred to and others, were carefully selected and issued to the public as the aims and the platform of the Liberal party, not as something to guide the party in 1919, but for the guidance of the party in October, November, and up to December 6, 1921, for the winning of votes for the party. If thjs resolution is to be treated as my hon. friend desires to treat it to-day, I say to my hon. friends to my left, who have been very courteous to him in anticipation of a fair deal on the tariff question, that they can expect exactly the same answer from him in regard to the resolution on the tariff. My hon. friend the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock), when he meets his fellow workmen in Toronto, will be able to say to them, in the words of the Prime Minister, when he is called upon to state why he did not bring in the eight-hour-day, as pledged in his resolution on labour, "Oh, that resolution was for August, 1919, and not for the present time." Either the argument made by the Prime Minister a moment ago in regard to this pledge is meaningless and a mere subterfuge, or the same language must be applied to every resolution in this platform; that

is, that the resolution, the pledge, the plank in their platform, whatever you like to term

it, is merely convenient to stand upon for the time being, and for the purpose of influencing the public, but was never intended to be implemented by legislation. That is the position.

My hon. friend made to-day, and has made on several occasions, quite a display over the promise that he gave to the returned men to the effect that he intended to refer this matter to a committee of this House, and that this committee would deal with it. In this same interesting book, the same piece of Liberal literature, I find pages devoted to this question. I draw the attention of the Minister of Health and of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (Mr. MARCH 28, 1922

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Beland) to this, because yesterday, when he was discussing this question, he took a a very strong stand. He said that personally, he had never supported the cash gratuity. That is correct, I think. He said that, as regards himself and those who were associated with him, the committee on Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment was a committee free from embarrassment and unanimous in its decisions. He does not contradict me, and I think I am stating the case correctly. But all the way through this literature, my hon. friends say that the only reason why Parliament did not give to the soldiers what they were demanding was-what? It was because the hand of the Government was over the committee and controlling it. That hand is now removed. My hon. friend knows that, and he and his friends take a great deal of satisfaction out of that fact. Let him and let his minister go before this committee, which is freed from this sinister influence which he says was exerted, and allow that committee to do what he says it was prevented from doing by the former government, That is what we ask him. My hon. friend knows perfectly well, and we know, that in making this pledge-we call it a pledge, and if it is not a pledge, his whole platform from end to end is meaningless, because there is nothing more clear in any of the resolutions than this-he had no intention of implementing it. If my hon. friend was sincere at all in making this pledge, he would implement it, but we know perfectly well that he has no intention of doing so. Indeed, we know, and we knew in the last parliament that such a pledge as this could not be implemented without serious difficulties in this country, and that is what made it so difficult for those of us who were supporting the late government, to make good in the last election, because of the conviction carried to the minds of many people by speeches and utterances of my hon. friend and his followers on such subjects as this. The people were told that it was possible to do things which my hon. friend and his followers knew it was not possible to do. We are calling upon him now to do one of two things, either to implement that pledge by legislation providing for cash gratuities, or to admit that his statement and the statements of his party were unfair to us, that they misled the soldiers in regard to the course which my hon. friend intended to pursue. Either one or the other is what we are asking; and in 28i

the absence of that,-and last night we were led to believe that we could expect neither-then we say this: This resolution having been passed, this is a repudiation of-a solemn obligation and a disregard of public honour. It is that principle that we are bringing to the attention of the House; it is that principle that we are asking the House to pass upon on this occasion.

We believe that in this country public utterances and platforms issued by responsible leaders of a party should have a meaning. We believe our system of government cannot be sustained unless there be some regard for the pledges of a party when it is offering itself and its programme to the people. What position will this country be in if a party can go before the people of Canada offering to them a programme, and then after attaining its objective, can coolly tell the people: "It is not our desire to discharge that pledge"? That is the position in which the hon. gentleman finds himself to-day, and that is the reason why we move this resolution and invite the House to support it.

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PRO

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. JOHN MORRISON (Weyburn):

Mr. Speaker, this matter of the promises made by the present Government during the late election campaign in connection with giving a cash gratuity to the returned men, has been sprung upon us, and we have not had much opportunity to prepare evidence to the contrary. During the campaign, I was not out of my constituency, but I want to contribute my little bit of evidence as to what went on in Weyburn constituency. At only two of my meetings was this matter mentioned, and at one of those meetings I was asked, when on the platform, what my attitude was towards granting this cash gratuity. I had really not considered the matter very much, and I replied that I was not in favour of it. A returned soldier was helping me at the meeting that night, and I asked him what the boys would think of my reply. He said: "You are perfectly right, Mr. Morrison; the boys are not expecting it today; they were at one time, but that is not an issue with them any more." I do not know what promises were made in other constituencies; I can speak only for what occurred in mine. The chief issue there was not what we were going to do towards rewarding the returned soldiers;-it was the record of the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) in managing the business of the United Grain Growers. That was the chief issue and practically

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the only one. His record in this House was not touched on; the issue was the private business that he was conducting. The campaign in this regard was carried on very unfairly, and the issue was instigated by my hon. friends to my right. Those hon. gentlemen are finding very much fault with campaign matters, but to me their attitude looks like the pot calling the kettle black. They did their best; they did not regard all the finer rules of the game; they did everything to gain; and they lost. I think it would become them better if they would not say anything about breaking the rules of the game.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (East Calgary) :

Mr. Speaker, in this amendment there is involved a policy which makes it necessary for me to make a few remarks upon it. I believe in the policy of the returned soldiers as it has been laid down by then-organization, and I have been pledged, both by the organization which I represent, organizer labour, and by the organized soldiers, to support such a policy. I regret, however, to see that this question should have been so involved with censure of the Government, and judging from the sentiments which have already been expressed by the Opposition, I should say that they are more interested in getting a censure of the Government than in getting a bonus for the returned soldier. I personally find it very difficult to believe in the absolute sincerity of the hon. member who has moved the amendment. I hate to be a party to any imputation of false or biased motives on the part of the Opposition, but nevertheless I think that if they are absolutely sincere in this matter they should bring in a resolution or bill, as they please, dealing with the question specifically and not involving the Government or any individual in censure. I agree with the position as set forth by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I do not see how the political honour of the Government is involved in this matter at all, and while I am in sympathy with, that which is alluded to in the resolution, in so far as the soldiers' bonus is concerned, at the same time I do not feel -that it ought to be tangled up with any censure of the Government. I think that this is a case of using what would be more or less a popular issue for the purpose of getting a vote of censure passed on the Government. I am sure that if the hon. gentleman who is responsible for the resolution will bring in another one on the specific question which is before us, he will find a great deal of

support in this wing, whereas I doubt very much whether he will find any sympathy for his motion as it stands. I cannot vote on this question because I do not want to vote against the bonus, and I do not want to vote for a censure of the Government.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENT
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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. W. C. GOOD (Brant) :

As an onlooker and a new member, I must say that this discussion, while illuminating and interesting, has not so far been edifying; and I agree with the member (Mr. Irvine) who has just sat down that it would be very much -better if we could dissociate the specific issue under consideration from the question of censure of the Government. There is another question related to this one which occurs to me, and which was brought up some days ago in the House and that is as to what would result it this group, to which I belong more or less independently, should vote against some Government measure. Now, I think it would be unfortunate that anyone in this House, not wanting to censure or to oust the Government, should be compelled by some custom, which I think surely is now obsolete, to vote contrary to his own conscience and opinion. And this is a case in point. If the Government could be convicted, on the present occasion, of dishonour and duplicity in this matter, and we in this section of the House should desire to censure them, I should hope very much that such a vote would not be carried too far; and I should be glad if some amendment to the constitutional rules could be effected which would leave greater freedom to an individual to vote according to his own conscience and his own opinions. I think that such freedom is necessary. I simply say, in conclusion, that so far as I am concerned it will be practically impossible for me to sit in judgment on this squabble between the two old parties. I do not feel that I can vote at all.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENT
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March 28, 1922