Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):
As to the question of loyalty, we have shown in the past that we are as devoted to the mother country as our friends opposite, and that it is not being disloyal to England to criticize
the acts of this government, When we are satisfied that they are opposed to the interests of our people.
Today we are apprised of what transpired, we are aware, in part at least, what the agreements of the conference were. The game of hide and seek is over, the magic lantern is shining, but the figures on the white sheet are blotted. I should very much like to be as optimistic as the government and our friends opposite. I should rejoice if from these trade agreements there was forthcoming all the good results which the government expect. Even conceding that perhaps some good may result from these agreements, for it is seldom that even a bad bargain does not profit someone, I cannot, however, have faith in the new remedy of the right hon. Prime Minister, whose patent is very insecure. I listened the other day to the Prime Minister reading, on large size paper, to the house the famous agreements, up till then kept jealously secret, no doubt so that nobody would be able to criticize, and I thought, like many others that, truly, it was unnecessary to surround with so much secrecy the hatching of this political chicken.
I do not know, sir, whether you have ever been present at a public auction sale, an "auction" as it is called. You must have witnessed some. Suddenly, in order to draw the attention of the public, the auctioneer in his loudest tone calls out: "Gentlemen, I take pleasure in putting up a surprise box, who will bid for this box."
Subtopic: IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE