February 28, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)

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Mr. D. D. McKENZIE .@Cape Breton

I can assure my hon. friend that I did not have him in mind at all, and entirely acquit him from any imputation of the kind; but if he will read the rank party press of Ontario and follow

those who undertook to speak for his party in Ontario, he will find that the affirmation I make is only too well founded. I am a Scotchman, and a Nova Scotian, and a loyalist from away back, as far as there is anything to be spoken of, and for that reason I have no love or standing for any such thing in this country as charging my fellow countrymen with being less loyal than myself. I regard such a charge as most pernicious, and in that connection I cannot do better than quote the language of so distinguished a Conservative as the late Mr. Chapleau, who said in this House that the man who starts the cry of disloyalty and racial and religious prejudices is a traitor to his country and his God. That was the language of so distinguished a Canadian as Mr. Chapleau, and I am sure that there is not a man on the opposition benches who thinks himself a bigger Conservative that was that distinguished gentleman, and that was his measure of the contemptible line of action which we find followed to-day in the interests of the opposition. I repeat that if the Conservative party were purged of that element, if no cry of race or religion were raised in one part or another, the leader of the opposition would have stood manfully to the position he took less than a year ago, which he reaffirmed in England and which he afterwards repeated in his own constitutency of Halifax and the city of Toronto. I for one thought that he would have stood by it, I thought he had the backbone to do so, but others said, no. Wait, they said, until the psycological moment arrives and you will find that the barnacles will drive him as they please, just as they did before.. Events have since proven that those who thus predicted .knew the leader of the opposition better than I did. A year ago that hon. gentleman was perfectly satisfied with the course followed by the government. He had heard that policy declared clearly and distinctly by the Prime Minister, there was nothing hidden, he knew it all, and he agreed with every word of it. I do not regard the decision of this House as a trifling matter, even a majority decision. But when the high court of parliament deliberately, after all the facts are before it, comes to a unanimous conclusion, I cannot look upon the breaking of that compact or the reversing of that decision as at all a light matter. Whv should we reverse to-day the position then taken? No new principles of law have since come into existence nor have any new facts, nor has any new light appeared. If there were any reasons in subsequent events to justify the decision we took a year ago, .one would understand this change of front. But nothing has occurred since to alter the position. There has been no change of facts or law, we are exactly
in the same position, and I ask hon. gentlemen on the opposition benches where they would find themselves now if they had to go back to their constituents and explain this sudden change of opinion and doctrine on their part in less than a year.
I submit that the only explanation of that tthing is party expediency as stated by the 'Courier,' which I quoted a moment ago.

Topic:   *FEBRUARY 28, 1910 QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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