I do not think my right hon. friend said he agreed with me at that time. Then my right hon. friend mentioned the name of Mr. Stansbury, who at the present time happens to be president of the Liberal association in Kingston. In the first place he suggested that Mr. Stansbury was a director of the Frid Construction Company, which had the contract in connection with the restoration of Fort Henry. I immediately dealt with that question; I preferred to get accurate information before making any statement in connection with it. I secured the information, and later my right hon. friend made a retraction and admitted that his recollection was faulty when he said that Mr. Stansbury was a member of the Frid Construction Company.
Very well, but what the right -hon. gentleman then said was that there were several other construction companies; there was the Campbell Construction Company and the Frontenac Construction Company, his whole purpose being to leave the inference that Mr. Stansbury was connected with one of these other companies; and he was not.
To my knowledge Mr. Stansbury has had no connection whatever with any one of these contracting companies. To my knowledge he has not had any part in the awarding of any government contracts from which he has benefited in the slightest degree. But his predecessor-
Certainly my right hon. friend seems to have made a special purpose of conducting a minute investigation in the constituency of Kingston, if he is now coming down to the question of the garage in the yard of the president of the Liberal association of that constituency.
Let my hon. friend make a charge and I will make an investigation. Probably my right hon. friend is no more correct in that information than he was in his earlier information. I am quite content to have the matter investigated at once; I want to make that perfectly clear.
other appointments, casual vacancies which have occurred from time to time in the operation of the departments, it is a matter for this house to determine whether or not all these appointments should be brought within the Civil Service Act. If they are brought within that act, then certainly it becomes our duty to observe that act. But my right hon. friend may recall an order in council which gives the Prime Minister certain prerogatives having to do with the appointment of deputy ministers, senators and judges. My right hon. friend was also Secretary of State for External Affairs. He had it within his power to determine who should be appointed to high diplomatic posts. What is patronage?
As I understand patronage1-and I endeavour to deal with this thing in the open, not in the language of scribes and pharisees-patronage is giving preference to friends of the political administration in office. Will my right hon. friend describe it otherwise? And if that is so, is he prepared to rise in his place and say that with respect to these high appointments he did not exercise patronage in that sense of the word? My right hon. friend smiles. Why does he smile? Is it prerogative for the rich and patronage for the poor? Is that the explanation? Or, if that is not the explanation, what is it? The whole truth of the matter is-