August 12, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


John Charlton


Mr. JOHN CHARLTON (North Norfolk).

Mr. Speaker. At the close of my remarks last evening I had very nearly finished my review of the speech of the hon. the ex-Minister of Railways (Mr. Blair). I have only a word to add to what I have already said in that connection. I have thought over the position of that hon. gentleman ; thought'it over carefully, and I am obliged to arrive at the conclusion that there was no sufficient reason for the course that he has taken. When I coiTtrast his declarations in his speech made in Victoria last October, in which he asserted that we wanted another transcontinental road, that we wanted it right away, that we wanted to penetrate and open up new districts of country in the North-west and fit them for settlement- when I contrast that with his statement of yesterday : that we do not want a transcontinental road now, that we should delay in proceeding with the construction of that road, that the government were proceeding with indecent and reckless haste in the matter ; the two positions are irreconcilable, entirely irreconcilable. He puts me in mind of a story I read a few years ago as to the great riot in Chicago. A United States regiment of regulars who had been engaged in a winter campaign under General Miles against the Sioux Indians, were on their way to quarters in the east where they were to be granted a respite from their labours. They were ragged and toil-worn but they were veterans evidently, and as they were drawn up in line a person on the side walk said to the soldier nearest to him : you would not shoot us fellows would you ? He replied : I would not unless the captain told me to. Now, the difficulty with the ex-Minister of Railways is that he, did not shoot when the captain told him to. It is necessary to have discipline in an army, it is necessary to have discipline1 in a party. Individual men may have very strong individual opinions-1 belong to that category myself

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