February 17, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Hugh Havelock McLean


Mr. HUGH H. McLEAN (Sunbury and Queens).

Mr. Speaker, this question, which is one of the greatest questions that has ever been brought before this parliament, has been so thoroughly discussed that it is difficult for one now speaking to bring forward any new matter. I did hope that this great question would be discussed without party feeling. I did hope that the two great parties in parliament, having passed the resolution of last session, would have united in carrying it into effect. As a new member, I must say that I do not like the reflections that have been made by the hon. members of the opposition on the right hon. leader of the government and on members of the government. Surely, Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentlemen do not think

that the right hon. leader of the government is disloyal. I do not believe that members of the government party are disloyal. Since I have been here I have not heard one sentiment of disloyalty pronounced by any hon. gentleman or seen any such sentiment given effect to. I know that the members of the government party are loyal, and I know that every member of the opposition is loyal. I believe that we have in the right hon. leader of the government as loyal a man as we ever had in Canada, and a great statesman. I believe that we have in the hon. leader of the opposition a gentleman of the highest integrity and character, and a loyal man. Therefore, I say that it is beneath the dignity of any member of this House to give utterance to sentiments impugning the loyalty of any gentleman here present. I am loyal; I am a grandson of a loyalist. I may say further that I am an imperialist. I say that, because I have heard a number of members declare that they were not imperialists. It has also been asserted here-what I never thought would be said in parliament -that the right honourable leggier of the government was against sending men to South Africa. Unless the government at that time had responded to public sentiment, and sent men to South Africa, so far as I am concerned, and so far, I believe, as every man in the maritime provinces is concerned, they would not have had one supporter. But I cannot find that there was any holding back on the part of the right hon. leader of the government in that matter. 1 find that the right hon. gentleman left on the 7th of October for Chicago and returned on the 12th. I find that the Boer ultimatum was issued on the 9th of October, that it was rejected on the 10th, and that war was declared on the Uth. I find that Sir Wilfrid on the 12th of October declared that he would send a contingent to South Africa even if his government were defeated in consequence thereof. Then I find that on the 13th of October, an order in council was passed to send a contingent; and it reflects great credit on the Militia Department that within such a very short time the contingent was recruited, equipped and sent. At that time no regular regiment, supposed to be ready for service, was able to get ready and sail any more quickly than the contingent we raised, equipped, armed and put on ship-board. But our hon. friends of the opposition, who have given expression to such ultra-loyal feelings, cannot have forgotten what was stated by Mr. Bour-assa, in a debate in this House in 1906. Mr. Bourassa, who is now, one might say, the Moses of the Conservative party in the province of Quebec, stated this on page 98 of 'Hansard' of that year:

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