January 31, 1912 (12th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. CLARKE (South Essex).

His prototype had some other characteristics. One was that a prince or a ruler should not be

altogether good-some parts good, but, if necessary to save his life, then he should have some parts bad. I find in the composition of this Cabinet there are some parts that are bad and they find it is necessary to hold their names and their positions in order to do some things that are decidedly wicked, as instanced in their conduct in this very matter.
Another characteristic was that they must appear to be good, the hon. Minister of Customs goes up to Renfrew, but he does not give them the wickedness that is in his heart and say: we are going to try and kill Graham, but he says: there is a reason, they did not treat the present leader of the government correctly in a former instance and that is a good plausible reason, I will conceal the wickedness in my heart and say we mean to be just as good as they were.
Then there is another reason, perhaos the most far-reaching of all, that a prince, in order to rule well, ought to go to a preceptor who is part man and part beast. I do not know but what we have an illustration of that here, because when the hon. member went to Renfrew he spoke with the tongue of a man, but when, in this House, he is confronted by what he said there and the falsity of the statement, he takes the part of the beast and sits dumb in his seat.
The only fault I find with the hon. leader of the government (Mr. Borden) is that he should have allotted this wing of the government to the province of Ontario. I think the premier province of this Dominion deserved better at the hands of the Prime Minister than for him to have chosen the followers of this eminent statesman from that province. I do not think they represent the ideals of that province, and I think that an apology is owing by the Prime Minister in that respect. Who are the men who are the disciples of Mac-hiavel? You can scarcely think that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster), is responsible for this state of things. He has been a gymnast in his day, but I have heard him here as the apostle of the strictest virtues when he sat on this side of the House and, with the mellowing influences of age, I cannot think that he would be responsible for the subverting of the law for the sake of depriving a constituency of its right.
One cannot think that the Minister of Militia (Mr. Hughes) who comes from that province would be guilty, because who is there _ more valiant in fighting for'fair-play and justice than he is? If he is true to himself he will call out the militia, and see that right is done and that the muzzle is taken off the people of South Renfrew.
I know that my hon. friend from western Ontario, the Minister of Labour, (Mr. Crothers), cannot be guilty. These are not the ideals or the principles of western Ontario. He would not be a true representative of that district if he did not disavow the attempt that has been made here to gag the electors of a prominent constituency in this province. Then the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. White)-much is expected of him. He represents the people who stand for the rights of all parties, for justice and right in this country. He comes from a party in which he was trained up in those principles and I think that the hon. member has it in his heart and if he is allowed will say that those schemes shall not prevail in the province of Ontario, and that common decency and right will be observed.
Then if these are not the disciples where are they? There are only two left from the province of Ontario, one is the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid), and he appears perhaps to be the leader in this respect. Then we have left only the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Cochrane). The Minister of Railways and Canals so far has exhibited more of the dumb portion of the ruler, because he does not say much in this House, but, none the less, he is credited with representing a very strong element of action. The lion is a very strong animal although he does not speak. The hon. Minister of Railways and Canals came down here with a very strong reputation given to him by his former leader, Sir James Whitney, in the province of Ontario, and from my personal acquaintance with him I did not expect that he would be a disciple of this great statesman of whom I have spoken. But circumstances are suspicious. These are the two, I am afraid, who are to be credited with being the authors of this mischief which has been perpetrated. The Minister of Railways and Canals has, within the past week, appointed a commission to investigate the deportment of the Liberal candidate in South Renfrew, Hon. George Graham, a man who ought to be on the floor of this House when his administration is being discussed, and a man than whom no one is better fitted to watch in this House the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Cochrane), in his dealings. If the hon. the Minister of Railways was as courageous a man as he is reputed by his former leader to be, he would say: Give me the very strongest critic you have, give me the man who knows most about my department, let him come in here, and let him watch my every movement. But that is not the case here; instead of inviting criticism from the man most able to critise instead of assisting, or at any rate giving fair-plav so that that man may come into this House, we find this effort to prevent him gaining a seat in order that

the House may not have the advantage of his assistance and experience.
Another thing points to the Minister of Railways in connection with the Minister of Customs, and it is not at all satisfactory. I again refer to the hon. member's organ, the Renfrew 'Journal.' That paper says:
A Low appeal from a Cabinet Minister.
Dr. Reid then turned his attention to the good roads movement advocated hr the Conservative government at Ottawa, and the bald way that he handled this .topic disgusted all decent men-who look for something higher than this kind of talk from a cabinet minister. The burden of this part of Dr. Reid's speech was to the effect that South Renfrew should vote for Dr. Maloney and the Borden government would then spend money in this district for good roads. '
It is a little significant that when the Minister of Railways announced the Roads Bill in this House he stated that it was the intention to turn the money over to the provinces, but after this election contest became warm, we find he adds a little clause to the Bill providing that in addition to turning the money over to the provinces the government may spend it themselves. That is the provision of the Bill. Then we find his associate going into the riding of South Renfrew and saying: Vote right and then we will spend this money right in order to help those who vote for us. That is practically the result.
Then leaving that reason, if it may be called a reason, I have another, given by the hon. the leader of the government (Mr. Borden), only two days ago, and I think that a great deal of the virtue which might have existed if this reason had been given six weeks ago, is lost when we remember that although day after day the leader of the opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), has inquired why the writ was not issued in South Renfrew, no suggestion of any obstacle was ever given until two days ago when the leader of the government said there was some trouble about voters' lists. There is no trouble about voters' lists in the organized districts of the province of Ontario, there is always an official list. Section G of the Dominion Elections Act provides:
For the purposes of any Dominion election held within the limits of a province, the voters' lists shall, except as herein otherwise provided, be those prepared for the several polling divisions established, and which, on the sixtieth dav next preceding the day fixed for the nomination of candidates for such Dominion election, were in force, or were last in force, under the laws of that province, for the purposes of provincial elections.
Does the hon. member not know that lists are made up every year in Ontario, except in the cities where registration takes place? Previous to an election there is al-

Topic:   THE WRIT FOR SOUTH RENFREW.
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