January 28, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


Ernest Lapointe



Before my hon. friend keeps his promise I will give him some material. Of course, I will kfeep some in store for the occasion when my hon. friend . will come back. I do not know to whom my hon. friend referred, but I purpose to say to this House that if any hon. members on this side did discuss political questions, they had to do so to protect themselves or their party against the attacks and political speeches of the ministers of the Crown in the province of Quebec since the last session of Parliament. Let us look at some of these thoroughly patriotic utterances of the members of the Government.
" A tout seigneur, tout honneur 1 begin with the master, the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers). The Minister

of Public Works came to Montreal-and here, I am afraid, I am going to scandalize nry hon. friend from West Peterborough (Mr. Burnham). The Minister of Public Works came to Montreal and delivered a speech on May 3, 1915. Here are some extracts which I take from the report of the Montreal Gazette of the Minister's speech, so that the House may be made aware of the patriotic declarations uttered by that hon. gentleman on that occasion. He speaks o'f the Prime Minister and says:
"But the fact that he has sp 'honestly and so honourably discharged these great responsibilities apparently means nothing to a certain horde of designing Grit grafters and simpletons-grafters that are strong and powerful to reason of the wide scope given them in their field of operations during the fifteen years of Liberal reign. For example, who will deny the strength of the press of Canada to-day that represents Grit graft, Grit loot, and Grit plunder? A press that in its desperation descends to the very lowest possible level; and when I make this statement I frankly acknowledge I am thinking of the Montreal Herald, ithe Toronto Globe and the Winnipeg Free Press-all papers that have prospered in one form or another by the purchase and sale of influence with Liberal leaders, by the purchase and sale of Liberal principles, or by pure and unadulterated graft during the reign of the late Administration.
Allow me to make the remark that when that hon. gentleman was speaking so loudly and so earnestly about graft, he was exchanging telegrams with his friends in Manitoba and telling them that he was looking around Eastern Canada; to get the *best counsel available to send to the rescue of the grafters of Manitoba. He proceeds:
It is true, for a time they were temporarily silent, nursing in shame their remorse of conscience for their conduct of the year previous, through which they were obliged to witness their own most ignominious downfall in the eyes of every good Canadian, and for months and months they were treated by the Government and by the people generally with the reverence and respect that is always due to a political corpse.
I might read his reference to the ministers of religion in the country, but I do not think it is necesary for me to do so. A few weeks later another minister-he was not a minister at that time; he was Solicitor General; but he is now a member of the Cabinet. The Solicitor General came to Montreal and made a patriotic speech.
I take the report from the Montreal Gazette of June 11, 1915:
A strong fighting speech was made last night by the Hon. Arthur Meighen, Solicitor General, before the Westmount Conservative Association, at Victoria Hall.

Here are some extracts:
" Can you call that anything hut party trickery?" asked Mr. Meighen. . . , " The Liberals Showed they were blind to the facts on the naval issue, as they now show themselves blind. Ho you think that, knowing what the leader of the late Government has . done and what has been achieved by the present Government, the people of Canada would wish to restore LaUrier to power?" It was there, as a monument over his political remains. . . . There will be immense deficits without a doubt.
I will now quote, from a speech delivered by the Minister of Finance at Durham, and reported in the Montreal Gazette of June 19, 1915:
The Liberal leaders had acted like a lot of bad children, rather than responsible statesmen seized of the gravity of the crisis.
Further on he says:
It was true that public expenditure had been increasing. In a country like Canada it always will increase, but by far the greater part of the increase in recent years has been due to the policy of wasteful extravagance of the late Government in enterprises such as the National Transcontinental. *
Further on he says:
In all their actions they have displayed a wilful and perverse blindness which has resulted greatly to the detriment of the Empire in the day of trial.
I now come to my own province. My hon. friend the Secretary of State (Mr. Blondin) made a speech at Louiseville, in Maskinonge county, on July 12. That speech was reported in La Patrie on July 13, and I will quote the following extracts:
Sir Wilfrid has received everything from the province which has bestowed all things upon him-confidence, power, and a halo of glory. Why has he accomplished so little for her? The Conservatives have but twenty seats in the House of Commons, and yet more than under any previous administration they have acquired the recognition of the rights of the French language. The future looks forward to a great many efforts. But give Us your help, grant us your confidence. One can hardly explain the reason why certain Liberals, the Hon. J. E. Caron especially, so persistently criticise new taxes at the creation of which the Liberals have unanimously applauded. That small boot scandal has fallen through. These boots had been manufactured by Canadian firms. The inquiry has been closed. Why *have the members of the Opposition discontinued to push it forth after they had obtained so little out of it? The evidence was that one fourth of one per cent of these boots had been found defective. The sole conclusion is this: Praise be given to the Canadian manufacturers! Praise be to the Government! Following all the financial disasters, wheat shall be the essential wealth, and that of prime value. The Government has been far-sighted and has established a protective tariff which will prove efficient.

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