April 19, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Ralph Smith


Mr. SMITH (Vancouver).

I am not discussing the point of the truthfulness of the hon. gentleman's statement in contradistinction to the statement conveyed in the telegram. I am discussing the point that the hon. gentleman has risen on to a question of privilege to discuss, a matter that does not concern this House-the position that Mr. McGregor holds with regard to the labour unions of Peterborough. If the resolution the hon. gentleman has read contradicted the statement in the telegram, I would be willing to accept the statement of the resolution. But, there is not a word to show untruthfulness in the telegram to be found in the resolution that the hon. gentleman has read. As I have said, a certain local union has attempted to come to his rescue, but they have not saved him, because they have not contradicted the statement in the telegram which I read in the House. I do not dispute the hon. gentleman's word as a member of this House ; but, when he renews a discussion on the question of the truthfulness of a statement made, the evidence he produces ought to be enough to convince hon. members that the statement is incorrect. And, if he does not do that, I do not see what his address has to do with the subject under discussion. Now, Mr. McGregor has discussed this matter in the public press of Peterborough. I have had the papers here for some days, waiting for this matter to be brought up. In these papers Mr. McGregor, over his own signature, reproduces and takes the full responsibility for this telegram, and for having sent it, and certifies to the country that the statements he made in the telegram are absolutely correct. Yet, the hon. member for West Peterborough questions the reality of the telegram. If he says frankly and openly on the floor of this House that what was stated in the telegram was not a fact, I am obliged, under the rules, to accept the statement, and will do it with good grace. But, when he brings up the question of the position that my informant hold's in relation to the labour unions of Peterborough, I have a right to complain that he has done that, and has not contradicted the facts of the telegram.

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