August 28, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (translation):

Have not these gentlemen been knighted under the late administration?
Mr. LAFORTUiNiE (translation): My hon. friend seems to be well informed. The hon. gentlemen who spoke before me have repeatedly reproached the Minister of Finance and his friends with refusing to produce the list of tthe debenture holders, stating that this had nothing to do with the case. In our province, when a man who is put a question refuses to answer, it is the same as if he pleaded guilty. When men of such a high standing as tlhe Minister of Finance and his colleagues refuse to show the list of the debenture holders, it looks had, it squints, as we say. When they take the trouble of saying that the total amount is $600,483,280.39; it's the 39 cents that amuses me; thirty-nine cents! How important that is! And we ask them the list

of the debenture holders. No, do they answer, that would take too much time, we would have too much trouble in getting it. Well, gentlemen, am I wrong in suspecting there is a snake in the grasis? Am I not right in isuspecting that we would find in that same list certain names which would compromise some of the Government's friends or of their relatives, such as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins of either sex? Why not give, Mr. Chairman, to the people, represented by the .member to your left as by those to your right, tlhe exact list of all those holding such debentures? Because it would be too incriminating to do so. One cannot draw any other conclusion. And if I fake the given word of the bon. member for Calgary that these bribers, these bandits have distributed stock right and left, to Peter, Dick and Harry, it is readily conceived that the publication of such a list would perhaps compromise a great number of gentlemen who hold such debentures; but when the people will be called upon to judge the conduct of those who are now in power, there will .be no gag. Ib my county, where we will discuss this question, you will not be there, Mr. Chairman, with your gag. Everyone will speak, and you will not be always watching the clock to call time.
Woe to the members who shall vote this transaction ! iWIhat says Lord Sbaughnessy, not a friend but a political adversary, the most qualified, the most upright, the most honourable and the most competent man on the subject you can find in the whole Dominion? What does the president of the Bank of Montreal .tell us, and what do say the managers of all our important industries who have .condemned that transaction?. Are they not worth as much as the hon. member for Calgary, who is ever ready to cry out against everyone, who has found fault with all our friends and who has just voted to-day in favour of a measure which he had so forcibly denounced?
When I said, in 1913-1914, that that transaction was a disastrous one, I was perfectly right, and when I saw, in those days, the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) who had the floor after me, speak for two hours, condemn the Government, say all kinds of things against the Government- he spoke two long hours to prevent the $35,000,000 vote-and when I see him, today, bestowing praise upon the other side,
I say: how much the times have changed, how changing is this gentleman's polities! After having said all he did say against the _
hon. members to your right, after having supported Ifor so many years the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and then to come back and insult him by calling him the St. John the Baptist's lamb ! That man has fallen a great deal in my .consideration. Be Conservatives, be Liberals, what you please, but if you do not share my opinion, the opinion of your leader, you .have not the right to abuse him, to insult him, as the hon. member for Red Deer has just done.
The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Verville) has made a remark which I consider too broad. 'He will allow me to draw attention to what he has said, that gold controls Governments. I do make one exception. Gold has never controlled tihe late administration, gold has never in any way influenced the right hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier; gold may perhaps, control the present Government, but the late administration came out victorious in all it undertook; it has honorably fallen, and never has any one had. occasion to say against Sir [DOT]Wilfrid Laurier's administration that gold or money, favours or honours have ever influenced it.
We have struggled to prevent this grant of $35,000,000, we were unsuccessful. From Monday mom until midnight on Saturday, we slept and ate in the Honse. That law was voted in the House, after the gag had been imposed upon us; hut, fortunately, there was in those days a Liberal Senate, a Senate composed of distinguished and serious men., of whom the majority were Liberals!, .and the Government could not carry away from the country that sum of $35,000,-
000. (But times have changed; new men have been recently appointed to the Senate *where they form the majority. And with these new members, they have succeeded in .passing the conscription Act, as they will be successful in having them vote this sale o.f the Canadian Northern Railway. There is no doubt about it. It is all prepared in advance, the deed is already drawn up, signed and sealed, and if it is not registered, it shall soon be.
Where are these millions to go, where will go the Government millions for that stock which, has been declared worthless? We do not know, and the hon. Minister of Finance does not want to tell us.
When something is to be done and there is something to de-dbct, when people refuse to speak, to play above hoard, I am airaid of such things, yes, I am afraid of such transactions; I like a man who plays an open hand, I like an administration that

has nothing to .suppress, that has nothing to conceal, that submits to the House, to the country, all it knows; and the reasons given by the Minister of Finance, in my humble opinion, as the hon. member for Kings, P.EjI. (Mr. Hughes) who spoke before me, has said, are that the transaction is not genuine, it is not a first-class transaction.
A MEMBER: Time, time.

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