March 14, 1924

CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

I am quoting from the Montreal Gazette, a stenographic report, and if my hon. friends question this report, they will have an opportunity of denying it.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

Let them do that now.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Nothing to deny. It is a true picture of what you did.

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

Need I quote any more of those nefarious scandals that were committed in that county for the purpose of winning votes in that by-election? In his address the other evening, the leader of the government (Mr. Mackenzie King) said that the Kent county election had been won on local issues, and that we had not used any solid or valid arguments against the administration. I might say that, apart from the racial and religious cries used by some of my hon. friends opposite, a certain number of promises were made for the purpose of catching votes in Kent county. One promise was, and it was somewhat explained this afternoon by the Minister of Justice:

Hon. Mr. Lapointe was in a better humour and after telling a few stories launched out into an address of about an hour. The Minister of Marine also had a promise up his sleeve and this he lost no time in bringing to light. Never again as long as he was Minister of Marine and Fisheries, he declared solemnly, would there be a single Royal Canadian mounted policeman sent into Kent to enforce fishery regulations. Just why he did not think of this action until the by-election was getting warm, the minister forgot to tell his audience.

The Address-Mr. Doucet

During that famous by-election campaign, Santa Claus visited the county. Strange to say, this honourable and much talked of personage, who generally appears on the scene about the 24th of December, appeared in Kent county this year on the 11th or 12th December. He was very lavish in his promises, and every one of the company accompanying this personage had a different pledge or promise to make to the electorate of Kent should they vote for Mr. Bourgeois. I said that the Minister of Marine had promised that no more Royal Canadian mounted policemen would be used in Kent county. I may say that the premier of the province promised hydro development. But it remained for the Secretary of State (Mr. Copp) to make what I would term the most liberal promise of the whole procedure. He was at the time talking about railways and he said: You cannot build a railway of even seventeen or eighteen miles all at once and until we get the money voted, and we attempted last session to get the approval of parliament to build some branch lines in other parts of the country, but the bill was defeated.

And of course, wherever these gentlemen spoke, they told the people how the bill came to be defeated; they did not hesitate to say that it was the Conservatives in the Senate who had refused to sanction the passing of it. Had they been fair they might have added that in referring to the bill Senator Beique, of Quebec, one of the ablest members on the government side, strongly opposed it in these terms:

I hope parliament is not committed to the board of directors of the National Railways to such an extent that it will vote blindly any amounts that are asked for building railways. They may be given a reasonably free hand, but surely parliament is entitled to know whether the demands made and the expenditures suggested are warranted.

When the bill was voted upon there were ten in favour of it, and amongst those who strongly opposed it were six Liberal senators from the province of Quebec.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

They did not tell them that.

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

No, it would not have

been politic. But the following statement is attributed to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) at that time Minister of Marine and Fisheries:

The Minister of Marine expressed himself as very confident regarding the election of the Liberal candidate. The outlook is very bright, he said, and there seems to be little doubt but that the people of Kent county will show their confidence in the King administration.

Poor people!

They will avail themselves of the opportunity of being represented by a man who will have access to the members of the Cabinet-

Note the word.

-as a member of the opposition could not hope to do.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Who said that?

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

The present Minister of

Justice. I ask every fair-minded gentleman in this House whether the fact that a constituency returns to parliament a candidate who happens to be a member of the opposition should be a sufficient justification for a cabinet minister refusing to be interviewed. Now,

I want to quote from the Regina Leader of December 17. The Leader I understand is an important newspaper that advocates the same policies as my hon. friends opposite. Dealing with these promises made by hon. gentlemen opposite and by Mr. Veniot this paper says editorially that the government has no right to barter public moneys for party support.

-which is what Hon. Mr. Copp seems to have attempted in the present campaign.

The paper has no hesitation in saying that the government candidate should be defeated at the polls and has no intention of condoning this conduct on the part of the present government as the practice is absolutely indefensible. Then referring to the Minister of Marine (Mr. Cardin) at Buctouche it says that the hon. gentleman appeals for unity between the French Canadians and the Acadians -to secure the realization of legitimate aspirations. The doctrines of the Liberal party were always the same in all the provinces in 1911, 1917 and 1921. He'stated, "Premier King deserved credit for being a candidate in North York in 1917, while Doucet's friends had sent soldiers into his riding to create trouble at his meetings."

I have quoted from a Liberal newspaper; let me read somethihg else from the press. The following is a press despatch:

Never again as long as he was Minister of Marine and Fisheries, he declared solemnly, would there be a single Royal Canadian Mounted policeman sent into Kent to enforce fishery regulations.

Never in all the political history of Kent county was there such an open and unblushing attempt to blind eyes of the electorate to the sins of the government of the day by means of promises. The extension of the Moncton and Buctouche branch of the Canadian National railways to Richibucto, a bait that has been dangled before the eyes of Kent County electors by Grit politicians time after time, only to be thrown in the discard just as soon as the votes were counted, was again trotted out as an undertaking that would be carried to completion provided the government candidate was returned on the 20th.

I have here a copy of a letter sent by a friend of mine in Kent county to a Liberal friend outside the county. In it he says:

The county is plastered with Liberal orators, submerged in Liberal rum, and polluted with Liberal money. They are scared blue and they are resorting to all the tactics known to civilization, heathenism, idolatry and low-down "Injun" cunning in order to

The Address-Mr. Doucet

win. You never saw such a desperate lot of desparadoes in your life.

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LIB

Jean George Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. ROBICHAUD:

The letter which my

hon. friend is quoting seems to me to be compromising. I think it should be placed on record and the name of the writer disclosed.

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

Would the hon. gentleman recognize the writing if he saw it?

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LIB

Jean George Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. ROBICHAUD:

Will the hon. member disclose the name of the writer?

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

Now, Mr. Speaker, in

view of all these things-

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT: Will the hon.

member allow me a question?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

One at a time.

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT: Will the hon.

member not give the name of the writer?

Mr. DOUCET: If the hon. gentleman

wants a decisive answer, I say, no, inasmuch as I have not had the permission of the writer to divulge his name in this House.

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LIB

Joseph Archambault

Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

I rise to a point of order. It is a rule of the House that an hon. member may not read a letter without giving the name of the writer.

Mr. MEIGHEN: Mr. Speaker, I never

heard such a rule even suggested in parliament before. What the hon. member evidently has in mind is that if a Minister of the Crown reads from a public document he must put the whole document on the table; the rule does not apply to a private member at all.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Then we have the right to say that the letter is not true at all.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The rest of it is worse.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

If you are ashamed to give the name the letter must be untrue.

Mr. STEVENS. It is uncomfortable, but-

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LIB

Hance James Logan

Liberal

Mr. LOGAN:

An anonymous letter is a bad start.

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CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

Mr. Speaker, when I started to describe the means adopted by the government party to win the by-election in Kent county I did not think I would stir up such a hornet's nest. But I have here something entitled A Vicious Doctrine. It says:

Mr. Black's selection is a notice to the administration that Halifax does not approve of the heavy expenditures in public works the King government is making there, and has planned to make in the future.

I ask all fair-minded men in the House and in the country at large whether any constituency is to be punished and deprived of reasonable and necessary public works simply

because of the fact that it could not see eye to eye with the Liberal candidate? But I have some further comment upon the Kent county by-election. I am quoting from the Moncton Transcript, published in the constituency of the Secretary of State (Mr. Copp), and of course the organ of the Liberal party:

But Kent county has exercised its right in choosing the representative it prefers, and it is to be hoped that Mr. Doucet will secure for the constituency all that Mr. Bourgeois could have secured. One cannot see how that is to be expected, for in a sense he is pledged to oppose anything the government may want to do for Kent.

Well, Sir, let me state here and now that if the government is prepared to include in the estimates or in the supplementaries any votes that would be beneficial to the interest of Kent county, be it the acquisition of the Kent Northern railway or the much-talked-of extension of the Monction and Buctouche railway from Buctouche to Richibucto. I, as the humble representative of Kent county will not be in a position to vote against such expenditure.

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LIB

March 14, 1924