May 7, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal


knowledge, not only of British politics, but of English literature and British parliamentary history. The right hon. leader of the Opposition knew there had been a coalition under George III between Newcastle and Pitt, and being a great student, he had read Macaulay's description of that coalition, when "the vilest arts' of corruption were wedded to stainless integrity." Macaulay says:
Newcastle brought to the coalition .a vast mass of power . . . The public offices, the church, the courts of law, the army, the navy, the diplomatic service, swarmed with his creatures .... Pitt, on the other hand, had what Newcastle wanted, an eloquence which stirred the passions and charmed the imagination, a high reputation for purity and the confidence and ardent love of millions.
Newcastle took the treasury, the civil and ecclesiastical patronage, and the disposal of that part of the secret service money which was then employed in bribing members of Parliament. Pitt was Secretary of State, with the direction of the war and of foreign affairs. Thus the filth of all the noisome and pestilential sewers of government was poured into one' channel. Through the other passed only what was bright and stainless.
I repeat that the venerable leader of the Liberal party, when the Prime Minister made his offer of a coalition Government, remembered what happened to Pitt. He knew that Pitt's alliance with Newcastle led to Pitt's downfall, and he refused the offer of the Prime Minister. There is, however, a coalition to-day, or a Union Government based on self-interest, and formed on a fifty-fifty basis. But that coalition will not last. It won the election on the shallow pretext of winning the war. I am told by my hon. friend from Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg) that in this Government there are no Grits and no Tories. My hon. friend is labouring under a delusion. There is a Tory party to-day, and the Government is a Tory Government. Otherwise we should not have the junta we have in Canada governing by Orders in Council under the War. Measures Act, governing with the aid of the profiteers and the flag-flappers. But the most serious thing of all is that the Tory Government has shattered national unity in Canada, because the country has been deceived. Pledges and promises have been made to the French Canadians on the one hand, and-to the Ontario farmers on the other. The Government has been riding the old pair of fiorses, the Catholic and the Protestant. But we know what will happen when that delegation of farmers, two thousand strong, arrives in Ottawa on the 14th of May next.
I say the farmers were deceived. The

Government had recourse to all the expedients of a good old Tory campaign. They first of all showed their best cards, one of them was a four-flusher in the person of Lord Northcliffe. He came to Canada and said:
It is known to economists that the world's supply of food is not sufficient to feed the world's armies and the civilian population, too.
Eight here in Ottawa he said:
Owing to the shortage of labour'caused >by the war, labour has been taken away from the farm, which has produced varying harvests with the result that there is a world shortage of food.
The food controller, Mr. Hanna said:
labour must 'be supplied to the farms by the cities in time of war when labour is scarce. Canada is the base of supplies. Canada must not fall. Canada must produce.
Naturally, the farmers of Ontario said: we [DOT]will vote for this Government which urges us to produce for the hoys at the front. The then Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Burrell) repeated the same thing in the leaflets which he issued. With all these appeals, pledges and promises, the Unionist Government carried the election. But, to-day they have changed their minds. To-day it is man-power, not food production, that is needed. Sir, it is a long lane that has no turning. Because the French Canadian habitant would not be bullied in the ranks he was said to 'be shirking. Because the province of Quebec is a rural province, affording no such basis for recruiting as the industrial province of Ontario, Quebec was labelled as disloyal. Because the French Canadians have been for 300 years on this continent, have no link with Europe and may not have the same reason to cross the Atlantic and join their fellow-men on the battlefields as have British-born or Anglo-Canadians, they are called slackers. It is now found after the tornado of last December, after all the flag waving, after all the money spent in insulting placards, that the Quebec habitant and the Ontario farmer think exactly alike.
Let me say one more word as to the spirit of Quebec on the question of service in this war. The people of Quebec are a God-fearing, law-abiding, liberty-loving people. They protested against the passing of- this conscription measure through closure. There were a few riots, not engineered by the people of Quebec but engineered by agents provocateurs, some of whom were paid by the Department of Justice. The sober minded people of Quebec never .thought of rioting or revolting. There is only one instance, in recent years not of

a riot, but of a revolt against one of His Majesty's statutes passed by this Parliament. In the eighties when the Parliament of this Dominion sanctioned the Canadian Pacific contract, there was a clause known as the monopoly clause. The people, and legislature of Manitoba protested against that monopoly clause, and when they had exhausted all their protests in a constitutional way, the people of Manitoba-the Britishers of Manitoba,-armed themselves with rifles and guns, met the sheriffs despatched at Winnipeg by the Government at Ottawa and thus resisted His Majesty. That is the only instance of revolt against a statute of His Majesty's Government. The people of Quebec never revolted. They protested, as it was their right to protest, but now that the. law has been embalmed on the statute book, out of respect to the majesty of the law, the people of Quebec will obey it. They will do their duty, a'l their duty, and they will do it with credit to themselves and to their native land.
The arguments which were advanced by the Quebec people against the passing of conscription were the same arguments as those which are being advanced to-day by the Ontario farmers, which are being advanced sub rosa by representatives of farming constituencies in this House, and which are being advanced by the committee on-agriculture. Let 'me read a resolution which was unanimously passed the other day by the Unionist members of that committee:
That in the opinion of the committee on agriculture the Minister of Militia should he requested to order:
(a) That actual farmers who have been called up shall be given leave of absence and
(b) That no actual farmers be required to report until all others in the class affected by the Order in Council of April 2'0th, 1918, have been put in service; such leave of absence and delay in reporting to be 'conditioned upon their actual employment in farming.
So that, Mr. Speaker, Quebec is being vin-. dicated.

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