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


William Aurelius Clarke



My hon. friends
may laugh, but this fs too serious
a matter to laugh at. We do not blame you very much. You do not get any too much support from your leaders; you do not get any too much support from the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Le-mieux), who, this afternoon, took occasion to lecture the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Hodken). You do not get any too much support from the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). His loyalty is somewhat questionable at times in the opinion of a great many people in Canada, although not 'by many in Quebec, because fye always stands by them, and I give him credit for it. I must give him credit for an expression which he used in this House not long ago on the occasion of the visit of Mr. Balfour. He stated, and I was glad to hear him, that he was much more loyal to the British Empire now than he had been three years ago. We all heard him state that and I must congratulate him upon having made that statement. The question that this Government is confronted with was dealt with by the hon. member for Maisonneuve this afternoon. That hon. gentleman said that the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell) should go back and consult the farmers, and that the Prime Minister should do the same, and find out what their opinion is with regard to war service. I wish to express the hope, and I do it in the kindest possible way, honestly and conscientiously, that this Government will see fit to man every department with the strongest and best men they can glean from the ranks on this side of the (House, because in this crisis in the war we feel that we cannot have too strong a Government. I am surprised that the Prime Minister is able to bear the burden that falls upon him and I realize that he will need all the assistance that this Dominion can provide for him.

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