January 27, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)

CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

But I can tell the
right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that the men whom we have in mind for appointment to that commission are men who will act for Canada and without salary in that respect. Their only object will be to help this Government in coming to a wise conclusion on this subject. I cannot give names now, but I think it is but a matter of days before we shall be able to tell the House the personnel of that commission.
It may be taken for granted that the people of the West-the people of Winnipeg, for instance, because Winnipeg is the great distributing centre of western Canada- should have some interest in this matter, and that this portion of the country, as well as Montreal and other important Canadian centres, will be represented on that commission. At all events, the Government, as the hon. Minister of Public Works has said, have been looking into the matter, and will try to find the best men, being guided by whatever will be in the best interests of Canada at large.
The hon. member for Rouville has said that certain things which took place in the county of Chateauguay were very bad. The right hon. leader of the Opposition, during the Debate on the Address, I think, said that the county of Chateauguay had been robbed from hon. gentlemen opposite. I do not think that we should accept with a great deal of anxiety the declaration made by my right hon. friend in this respect. Last year, during the debate on the Address, reference was made to another election robbery, and it was a matter of such public shame that the right hon. leader of the Opposition thought fit to move an amendment to the Address, which read as follows:
We Peg to represent to Your Royal Highness that in the elections of Macdonald and [DOT] Richelieu there were practices' calculated to terrorize and corrupt the electorate, which were connived at by your ministers and which deserve the censure of the House.
Now, some things have happened since then. When the trial took place, what became of the awful charges made in connec-

tion with the election in Macdonald? In that election, as in the Richelieu election of 1911, the sitting member admitted that certain errors had been made by some of his friends, the election was annulled, and that was all. Where was the terrorizing? Where was the proof of the operations of election thugs and of the other alleged irregularities in connection with the Macdonald election? No proofs came to light. The election was annulled without any scandal, and the same good man was reelected by a majority of over nine hundred, his majority at the preceding election having been seven hundred and fifty. If the robbery which hon. gentlemen allege to have taken place in Chateauguay is of the same nature, I am sure my right hon. friend will be compelled to acknowledge that in his motion last year he went too far; that he made certain accusations against members of the Government without having the facts before him, and that he failed to substantiate them. I fully realize that the result of the Chateauguay election was not very agreeable to our friends on the other side of the House.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY.
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