February 1, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


George Perry Graham



I say that in one instance of which I know the Munitions Board advanced money to an American firm for a particular product, which I will explain to my hon. friend. I say that the Canadian manufacturer got no advance. I am not whimpering about that. But I do say that the good name of the manufacturers having been brought in question, I believe I am uttering their sentiments when I ask the Government to give a full investigation ; and if it is found that any manufacturer in Canada has done anything dishonourable in connection with the manufacture of munitions, I will vote to mane him disgorge what he has got dishonourably. It has been said that this investigation could not well he held without interfering with the British authorities because the money is supplied by Great Britain. In supporting that argument the South African war is taken as a precedent. In the first place, we have the word of the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) that a portion of this money, at least, that is being expended will be paid by the Canadian people. So that element is removed. But I want to give you one or two authorities which I think you will agree are reliable. I will give you the authority of the hon. gentleman who has just left the House in reference to this matter. Mr. W. F. Maclean of South York-and this was when there was no .question but that the money being expended was all furnished by the British Exchequer and no part of it by Canada-said:
This is a new doctrine of responsible Government. It seems to me that a minister must be held strictly accountable for everything he does
as head of a department, and I will not sit here quietly and allow a new doctrine of responsibility, or rather lack of responsibility, to be submitted without repudiating it. Reasons may be given for not bringing down the information asked for, but not the reasons given just now.
I give another authority which I think ought to be of the highest importance at the present moment; in fact, I think it ought to be indisputable. [DOT]

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