June 24, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Samuel Hughes



There is another little matter to which I wish to refer. The Ministers of Militia and Agriculture and also the Prime Minister have charged Lord Dundonald with not observing the principles of responsible .government. But neither in their subsidized organs nor from their places in this House have they pointed out one act of Lord Dundonald which is nqt in harmony with the principles of responsible government. Suppose Lord Dundonald did defy them and make a speech in Montreal, is that contrary to the principles of responsible government ? Did not Hampden defy the government of England and bring about a reform ? Did not William the Third and his friends defy tyranny in Great Britain and bring about a reform? Did not George Washington and his friends in the United States take a stand against the government of that day and bring about a reform ? If Lord Dundonald has taken a stand in this country in order to bring our people to a realization of the position they occupy and the practices that are going on, he is quite prepared to take the responsibility of what he did and there is nothing in his action contrary to the principles of responsible government. Suppose he has fallen foul of our friends, he is ready to abide by the consequences. He asks no favours and he has acted in a legal

and constitutional manner. Where then has he done anything which was not in perfect harmony with the principles of responsible government ? Hon. gentlemen opposite failed to show us that Lord Dundonald has sinned in any way against responsible government, but they have attempted by their bluster to cover up the real issue and justify their own shortcomings. The Minister of Militia waxed very warm last night because Lord Dundonald 'had said that there was some difficulty between himself and the government. But surely the hon. minister must understand the use of the English language. The charge is made by Lord Dundonald against the government and not the government against him. I hope the Minister of Militia will study nil the proper use of the English language and not give us another exhibition similar to the one he gave last night. At one time I thought the hon. gentleman was going to explode when he told us in excited tones that this officer had yet to learn the first principles of proper conduct and before trying to control the government should learn to control himself. But I do not see how Lord Dundonald could say otherwise than that the charge was made by him against the government. It is he who is putting the government on its defence, and before the government are through, this matter they will find they are very much on their defence.
The Minister of Agriculture did not say much ; but he claimed that it was his right as a citizen, his right as a member of parliament, his right as a Minister of the Crown -nay, more than his right, it was his duty -to intermeddle with the organization of the regiment. All I have to tell him is this-that had I been Colonel Smart he would have got out of that business in mighty short order. As the Minister of Militia knows, one Liberal heeler tried it in reference to my own regiment, and he got out of it about as quickly as he knew how. And I may say that, in the olden days, long before I had anything to do with politics, when a Conservative administration was in power, a pettifogging Tory

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