April 28, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Scott Maclaren


Mr. MACLAREN (Huntingdon).

Well, Mr. Speaker, if my hon. friend be correct in his estimate, we on this side of the House must be a poor deluded lot, far inferior to that hon. geittleman and to those who share his views. Have we really been deluded all these years in believing that we have a business administration at the head of affairs ? According to that hon. gentleman we have, but we enjoy this one consolation that we are superior in numbers, and I think, to put it mildly, equal in intelligence to himself and his friends. We have believed during all these years that we have had our country's affairs administered by the best men the country could afford. I am not saying this for the purpose of flattering hon. gentlemen on the treasury benches, but simply in vindication of myself and hon. members on this side. Is it possible that when, after the election of 1S96, the right hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier chose the members of his administration he blundered and was utterly mistaken in his choice when, in forming his cabinet, he associated with himself men who made their mark in local and Dominion politics ? And when these men, in after jmars, appealed to the country on their record and when they were approved by a large majority, I do not believe that the people were misled or deluded. I believe, on the contrary, that the estimate put by the people on these men is the correct one and not the estimate of these hon. gentlemen who sit on the other side and who speak disparagingly of those who are their superiors. I believe in praising the present government for what they have done. I believe in expressing my high opinion of the abilities of those men who have held their own with the best British and colonial statesmen and the best statesmen of the United States. Such men can well afford to be sneered at by crude and unsuccessful politicians, and we delight to honour them notwithstanding the disparaging remarks of that illustrious statesman from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) and the sneers of other hon. gentlemen opposite.

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