November 4, 1919 (13th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Sora Middlebro (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))


Air. W. S. AIIDDLEBRO (Chief Government Whip):

I rise to a question of privilege. I notice that in the Toronto Star of last evening Colonel Currie, in addressing a meeting of the United Veterans' League at Toronto, is reported as follows:
In .pointing out that the Government had no intention of having gratuities recommended, the Colonel said that the Whips were sent out to sound out each member as to his views on gratuity; and in the formation of the committee they made sure that there should he no member favourable to the scheme.
I should like to say that I did not, and so far as I am aware no Whip on the Government side did, sound any member with reference to his views on the question of granting gratuities. More than that, I did not, and so far as I know no Whip on this side of the House did, interview any member in any shape, manner or form as to whether that member was or was not in favour of gratuities. Therefore I say that the statement of Colonel Currie has no foundation whatever in fact. I should like to point out that in the formation of these committees the Opposition was consulted. There were seven members of the Opposition on that committee. These members were nominated by the Opposition; the Government had nothing to do with their membership on the committee beyond the acceptance of their names as submitted by the Opposition. I should like to point out also-because the article is more or less a reflection upon the personnel of the committee-that it is composed first., of its chairman, a cabinet minister, Hon. Mr. Calder; next, Colonel Hugh Clark, parliamentary secretary of the Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment Department; next of seven returned soldiers; next a member of the Op-

position an ex-cabinet minister who was for four years a prisoner in Germany; next of one man who had a son in the Plying Corps; next a man who had a son in the Medical Service at the front; next a man who had two sons overseas, one of whom made the supreme sacrifice, and next a man who had three sons overseas, all of whom made the supreme sacrifice. Of the remaining members of the committee not one has a son of military age. Some have no sons at all. So far as I am aware not a single member of the committee had a son of military age who was not overseas or in the firing line.

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