Mr. E. J. GARLAND (Bow River):
Mr. Speaker, I do not propose to attempt to follow the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Cahan) through the ramifications of his speech. There is much in what he said, without agreeing -with it at the moment, that I submit might well be responded to by the Prime Minister. I think a very serious indictment has been levelled against the right hon. gentleman. I for one have hesitated to condemn him unheard, and so until this moment I have refrained from expressing publicly or privately the opinion which I hold following
Imp. Conference-Mr. Garland (Bow River)
the publication of certain correspondence until I heard the right hon. gentleman's position thereon. I think it is only fair that the House should hear both sides of this question, and I trust that before the debate is closed the Prime Minister will give to the House an explanation of his position in respect to it. I wish to say, however, in fairness to everybody, that I cannot follow the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George in the position he assumes of wanting to know everything categorically, specifically, dogmatically, immediately. As a matter of fact, I doubt very much whether, even if everything were specifically produced before him and every declaration dogmatically determined, the hon. gentleman would not still find himself disposed to discredit most of it.
On the question of casuistry, I do not think I am going beyond the limits of parliamentary debate when I submit to the House words that the hon. gentleman himself used some years ago, I do not intend to flatter him when I say that the speeches which he has made on Canada's political relations with the empire have always been of intense interest to me, but in none of them have I come across a passage with which I am in such complete agreement as the following. This is taken from a speech made by the hon. gentleman before the Canadian Club of Boston on the evening of Tuesday, January 30, 1912.
An. hon. MEMBER: What hon. gentleman?
Subtopic: IMPERIAL CONFERENCE