April 16, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


John Alexander Macdonald Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. Speaker; I have no intention of imposing on the good nature of the members of this House for more than a few moments, and I would not have craved their indulgence at all but for the tact that I consider it my duty to those who sent me to this House as their representative to place myself on record at least-with regard to the more contentious matters in connection with the tariff. The House listened last night with a great deal of attention to the able address made by the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemi-eux). I for one always listen to that hon. gentleman with a great deal of pleasure-I believe in giving credit where

credit is due; in rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. I congratulate the hon. member on having delivered what, to my mind, was a very capable address. As a work of literary art, I think it would class as a masterpiece. I also congratulate the hon. member on his wonderful command of the English language and his extensive knowledge of the Latin tongue, as evidenced by the several Latin quotations he gave last night. I do not pretend to be a Latin scholar, but I recollect the phrase- ' He-reditas damnosa.' I noticed that my hon. friend from Rouville repeated that expression several times, and that he laid stress upon the first syllable of the last word. I presume that he sought to- convey to this House what he would like to do with the members of the Conservative party if he had the chance. I will willingly and freely congratulate the hon. member on that speech and on the manner in which it was delivered. But I regret that I cannot congratulate him upon the subject matter of that speech. If the hon. member's political epitaph is to be carved or framed according to the standards of that speech, I am afraid it will be this -and nothing more: ' He talked much and said little.'
The hon. gentleman did, in one respect, follow the lead given by other hon. gentlemen since the early days of this -session; he began by telling the House that there were many, many unemployed in Canada, and that a very unsatisfactory condition of affairs prevailed. He said it with a gleam of satisfaction in his eye. His political partisanship, his desire for political preferment, no doubt overcame his interest in the welfare of the Canadian people. He said that hundreds and thousands of unemployed were walking the streets of Montreal, a-n-d that the same condition prevailed in other cities throughout Canada. Apparently he is not satisfied with that condition, but wants to make it worse. According to his own showing, he wishes to recruit the ranks of the unemployed, to see more destitute homes and more hungry children in his native city of Montreal. For, forsooth, he has asked this House to eliminate the duties on agricultural implements. He is not satisfied with the condition of unrest that prevails in the manufacturing world, but wishes to disturb it to a greater extent, to remove any feeling of confidence that may exist, and to compel the manufacturers to retrench furtherf and to throw more hands out ot employment, Showing clearly that the hon. member for Rouville and many other hon.

members behind him are willing, in order to bridge the gulf that separates them from the Treasury Benches in this House, to walk over the half fed and half clothed bodies of the wives and children of the artisans of Canada. Hon. members opposite have at last come out in the broad light of day; at last we know where to place them. They have nailed their colours to the mast and have said: we will make a hid for the votes of the farmers of the plains and for them alone. That is what it looks like. They have no regard for the interests of the workingmen. I trust it will be heralded throughout the length and breadth of Canada just how anxious these hon. members are to help the artisans and labourers at the present time.
The hon. member made some very peculiar statements. He said that the big interests won the last election for the Conservative party. Well, there is one 'big interest we did not have, and that was the interest of the Honourable Lyman-hyphen-Melvin-hyphen-Jones. We did not have it then, and did not want it, and I do not know that we want it very badly now.

Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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