I understand the minister knew nothing about this shipment until it arrived at Halifax. What would interest us all is to know why these animals went to Halifax on their way to Australia when some of them were purchased in Ontario and some in Alberta. It was giving them a long joy ride to their destination to go to Halifax-not that I have anything against our Atlantic ports or anything like that; but generally shippers take the shortest, most direct route; they are not fond of paying excess carriage.
My first assumption was that one minister in this case, the then Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) the ex-minister now, facilitated in some way through the Percheron breeders' association or otherwise the purchase of six brood mares for Australia, and the Minister of Agriculture, learning of this apparently for the first time, had his inspectors examine them at Halifax and retained three of them as unfit to send to Australia as typical of the quality of the animals of our Percheron breeders' association, a conclusion which has proven to be correct. This is not the first time this kind of monkeying between two departments, one nosing into the other's business, has occurred during the last year and a half under the administration of the ex-Minister of Trade and Commerce, against whom I have nothing to say except that when a gentleman is preaching business ethics and the control of industry, he should first get himself under control. Here we have a record and it is not the first one; we all remember the story about the Yorkshire geldings the ex-minister was responsible for in a bulletin that went around the world, something that will be news in our libraries in hundreds of years from now when research readers will be wondering what kind of political geldings had control of our destinies in Canada at this time. We know about the
Richelieu Shipping Corporation. The ex-Minister of Trade and Commerce was nosing very prominently into that by bonusing those two worthless boats to the tune of $6,500 apiece. I am delighted to learn the government have seen at last their moral obligation in the matter by correcting the ex-minister's blunders and making it right to the farmers who had lost the proceeds of their cattle through the control of industry by the ex-Minister of Trade and Commerce trying to control the business of another department. That is business ethics personified. We have other instances to which I might refer, but that is sufficient for the moment. This is what I would like to ask the minister, because I want to get the information from him rather than give it myself: I have before me a return tabled by the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan) in reply to a number of questions I asked about this matter. Apparently I did not put them in quite proper form, thus giving whatever minister is responsible for this return an opportunity of getting by and not giving anything like the information the Minister of Agriculture has given to-night. Had my hon. friend anything to do with getting up this return to the questions I put on the order paper about a month ago, which return was tabled recently by the Secretary of State?