March 18, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

It is not pleasant for the hon. gentlemen opposite to have their past record thus brought before them, and the dying words of the premier is the best evidence in the world that they do not like to be reminded of their past. The Prime Minister tells ns that we are familiar with these cries and these tactics. Yes, we are. They were admirably played for 18 years in this House by the
Liberals in opposition. What troubles; these gentlemeh now is that their chickens have come home to roost, and that no stronger condemnation can be given of their inconsistency than the very position which they have talien to-day. The hon. member for York (Mr. Maclean) distinctly declared that hei made no insinuation against Sir Oliver Mowat, but what he denounced was the pernicious principle which these gentlemen on the treasury benches themselves denounced in this House some years ago. Not a word was said disrespectful to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, but it was said that in view of the most imminent crisis now pending in that province, it is regrettable that Sir Oliver Mowat is at the present time holding his place by sufferance of the present federal government, for it is needless to say that Sir Oliver can be removed at any moment that the government here intimate to the Governor General that he should be removed, and so if Sir Oliver Mowat does not carry out the wishes of the powers here, he is at their mercy. The parallel cases cited were most apropos. They were argued at great length in great vehemence, and with strong logic by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) by the present Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier), by the Postmaster-General (Hon. Sir W'illiam Mulock) and by the leaders of the opposition of that date. Will they say to-day that they were entirely wrong, or else that they were insincere. Which horn of the dilemma will they hang themselves on. If they were sincere then according to their own reasoning they made out a good case, and if their case was good then it is equally good to-day. What glaring inconsistency do we not find here ? The right hon. gentleman tells us that the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba was then overholding his office for two years, he points out which is not so in the case of Sir Oliver Mowat. What has the length of time got to do with it ?

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