January 25, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Rodolphe Lemieux



-the improbable future Minister of Inland Revenue. Do you think, Mr. Speaker, that the appeals they made were justifiable? Would any one .say today that those appeals were such as should earn the .consideration of true and loyal subjects in this country? Let me quote one of the speeches delivered by the present Postmaster General. Speaking at a political meeting at St. Louis de Rlandford, Quebec, on October 25, 1910, the Hon. Postmaster General used the following language :
You are intimidating- the people in waving the British flag and adding that we must contribute always and everywhere to the defence of that protector of our constitutional liberties ; but we will not be made to forget that in 1S37 it was necessary to bore holes in it in order to breathe the atmosphere of liberty.
The English have never done anything for the French-Canadians. We do not owe them anything. The only liberties which we enjoy have been snatched. England has sown the world with hatred, quarrels and wars. We have had enough of England and the English.
I shall be reminded perhaps that the Postmaster General, when he was appointed Deputy Speaker of this House, suddenly denied ever having used that language. I shall observe that when he was receiving the loaves and fishes it was an easy matter for him to deny. What was the language of the present Imperialist candidate in the county of Dorchester, the present defender of the British Constitution and British liberties as against that infamous Lucien Cannon? Speaking on October 21, 1910, M. Sevigny said:
The Laurier Cabinet is a Cabinet of Imperialists who want to sacrifice Canada's interest and plunge us into wars with which we have nothing to do. What has England done tor you? She has no need of your help. You must protest against helping England in her wars.
I wonder if the Ottawa Journal or the Journal-Press will publish that to-morrow morning. Later on he said at Arthabaska, on November 1-All Saints Day-1910, when commenting on that provision of the Naval

Act by which it is enacted that the control of the navy is vested in the King. He said:
The navy belongs to His Majesty. Is that a Canadian navy? Who is His Majesty? Have we any Majesty here?
You are surprised that there are people in the province of Quebec who are not very anxious to enlist to fight the wars of Great Britain and the wars of the Empire when they see the men who preached that doctrine promoted from year to year to what is best in the Government of the day. Mr. Speaker, public opinion was aroused. But that is not all. Mr. Sevigny did not speak in Arthabaska only. Speaking on the 26th of July, 1911, at Ste. Flavie, in the county of Rimouski, he used the following language:
When they talk of war with Germany, Russia, and probably France they would like to force Canada, which has always been happy and peaceful, to give cannon and a navy inj order to make war against such great countries. Well, we do not want our money to be spent, because it belongs to our people and to our country. It is to you electors to obtain from us that this iniquitous naval law be repealed by sending 'to the House of Commons true patriots and not men deprived of honour like Brodeur, Lemieux and others.
Mr. Speaker, the campaign in Drummond and Arthabaska aroused the feelings of the country, and one of the leading English organs of Montreal wired, the day before the election, to the present Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) quoting the speeches delivered by the Blondins, the Sevignys, the Pelletiers, the Patenaudes and the others, asking his opinion about that campaign. What was the answer of the Minister of Trade and Commerce? "The first duty of Drummond and Arthabaska is to defeat Laurier." That was the typical answer, the loyal answer, of the present Minister of Trade and Commerce. And on the night of the election the whip of the Tory party, Mr. George Taylor, now Senator Taylor, wired his congratulations to Mr. Gilbert who carried the election-and I might remind you that when Mr. Gilbert was introduced in the House of Commons by the late Mr. Monk and perhaps by the present Prime Minister, he took his seat- at your left to-night? No, Mr. Speaker. He went and sat with the faithful at the then left, he sat with the good Tory members of the House of Commons, and he voted with the Tory party as long as that Parliament lasted. He has since been appointed by the Minister of Inland Revenue as revenue collector in the town of Victoriaville.
That election came in 1911, and as was stated this evening by the member for

Bonaventure, it was arranged that a doublebarrelled policy should be preached by the Tory party. In the English-speaking provinces reciprocity was the bugaboo, but in the province of Quebec, it was the Naval Bill. Two committees were formed in Montreal, one presided over by my good friend from S't. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames), and the other presided over by the late Mr. Monk, one Tory committee and one Nationalist committee. And, as my hon. friend stated this afternoon, Le Devoir was circulated in the English-speaking portions of the country when there was a sprinkling of French votes. Help was given to Be Devoir with genuine Tory funds by my friend the present member for St. Antoine. I remember my colleague the member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) coming to me one day iand say-in, in his mild language: How is it that in and around. Edmonton, where there are many Freneh-Canadian electors, Le Devoir is circulated by the carload? Who pays for this distribution of Le Devoir? I did not know then that Le Devoir was circulated through the good offices of the present knight who represents St. Antoine in this House. Well, Sir, the elections were won by the alliance, a cabinet was formed, and it is well known that Messrs. Bourassa and Lavergne were offered portfolios, which they refused because they were sincere, whilst others, as I said a moment ago, accepted the loaves and fishes. Certainly Mr. Bourassa was not satisfied with pounding his views in Quebec; he was invited to go on the border land. He went into northern Ontario, at the instigation of my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals, and on the request of the hon, member for Algoma (Mr. Smyth). Mr. Speaker, it might be interesting to read some of the telegrams that were exchanged during that election, Mr. Bourassa, as I said a moment ago, was sincere; he meant what he said. But he was not sure that those who were so keen to invite him to speak were as sincere, and, therefore, he exacted pledges from them. So Mr. Charles McCrea, of Sudbury, Ont., was addressed as follows on the 8th of September, 1911, by Mr. George Gordon, now Senator Gordon:-
I certainly am opposed to reciprocity and will support request tor appeal of Naval Policy and a referendum to tlie people, no matter who is Premier.
You remember that Mr. Bourassa and the Nationalists were opposed to the Laurier Naval policy and to the equally nefarious policy of. the then Mr. Borden,' now Sir Robert Borden. Mr. Smyth, the member
for Algoma,- wae forced also to give a pledge. He wired to Mr. McCrea-evidently Mr. McCrea had the confidence of Mr. Bourassa. Mr. Smyth's telegram was dated Providence Bay-quite an ominous name-on September 28, 1911. " I am opposed to the reciprocity pact "-that was for the English-speaking electors of the constituency.
I am opposed to Reciprocity, pact. I am opposed to Naval Policy of Liberal Government. X will support request for repeal of same, and referendum to the people on Naval question, no matter who is Premier.
There were some doubting Thomases in the constituency. There were some good old Tories who were rather nervous at the sight of Mr. Bourassa in the constituency; and they began to howl, and to howl very vehemently. Mr. Gordon had to come to the rescue, and he wired: "The Liberals are blaming us"-of course he had to put it on the Liberals as usual; one would think we were reading the Journal Press-
The Liberals are blaming us for bringing the Nationalist leader here. I am willing to take full responsibility and to express my full admiration for Bourassa. I have no use for the navy and I think Reciprocity is a baneful policy. I give Monsieur Bourassa the keys of the district.
What did Mr. Bpurassa say? In a statement published a year or so ago he said:
Mr. Cochrane, usually very shy of his compliments, has since done me the honour of telling me that my arguments had made a deep impression, deeper still among English-speaking than French-speaking people.

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