February 28, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I understood my hon. friend from West Hastings to have brought this matter up in a good-natured way, and did not understand him to have accused the inspector of taking part in an election, but simply of having spoken as he should not have done to some person in connection with the petition filed. I agreed with the hon. gentleman that that was a very injudicious and improper thing for this official to do, and it is my intention to call his attention to the statement and ask for an explanation. I agree with my hon. friend that men holding positions in the public service cannot be too careful. I have always insisted upon their being careful. But I cannot agree with the hon. gentleman in his sweeping statement regarding dismissals of Conservatives from office, and I think that on reflection he will admit that a very small proportion indeed have been dismissed on account of politics. And those who have been, he will find have been more injudicious than the gentleman referred to, and have taken more active part in the different campaigns. For my part I am inclined to take a broad view with regard to this matter, because after all in many cases it is simply gossip started by somebody who may want the job himself. However, I agree in the principle laid down, and, so far as I am concerned, will see that this matter is investigated and the officer punished if guilty.

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