January 22, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


George Henry Barnard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEO. H. BARNARD (Victoria, B.C.).

Mr. Speaker, I take it that if the result of the recent elections in British Columbia re-

quires any justification, it has received it at the hands of the right hon. the Prime Minister to-day, for I think I am right in saying that the right hon. gentleman has paid more attention to the needs and wants of that province this afternoon than he has ever done since he has had the honour of leading the government. I do not propose to-night to discuss the questions on which the elections in the province of British Columbia were decided. The British Columbia members will, I think, if opportunity is afforded to them, and if it is not they will try to create it, discuss fairly, fully and freely those questions before thi8 House, and I think the right hon. gentleman will find that the members from the province of British Columbia will be prepared to take up the gauntlet which he has thrown down to-day.
The right hon. gentleman did me the honour to refer with some particularity to the election in Victoria and to a certain telegram which had been sent by the hon. leader of the opposition to the 'Colonist ' newspaper in that city; and, as I hope to stand in the estimation of the members of this House, not only on this side, hut on the other side as well, as a man of honour and integrity, I deem it proper to make a statement with regard to that telegram. As a matter of fact, the telegram was handed to me when I was speaking on a platform at a public meeting in the city of Victoria on the evening of Saturday, the 24th of October, by an emissary of the 'Colonist' newspaper, a man on the reportorial staff of that paper. I read the telegram as it was handed to me, and it appeared the next morning in the 'Colonist' newspaper in the form in which it was handed to me. That is all that I knew about that telegram at that time. I heard afterwards that there was some alteration made in the telegram, but I want to say that so far as my inquiries gave me any information, it was not made either with any knowledge of mine or with the consent or connivance of any of the gentlemen who did me the honour of assisting me in any way in my election in Victoria.
The right hon. gentleman had a good deal to say this afternoon about the reasons for the result of the elections in British Columbia. I think I can fairly tell the right hon. gentleman that he did not lose those British Columbia elections on the 26th of October, 1908, but he lost them when he made a certain speech in the Bussell Theatre in the city of Ottawa on the 3rd of December, 1907. The right hon. gentleman is reported in a paper which I believe is a Liberal paper, the 'Ottawa Free Press', as having on that occasion used the following words:
Japan is an ally of ours, declared Sir Wilfrid, and if there was a war in the Pacific in which Great Britain might be engaged we would have the Japanese fleet by the side of

Topic:   R. L. BORDEN.
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