Mr. JOSEPH READ (Prince, P.E.I.):
Mr. Speaker, I am like Othello; my occupation is gone. The ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) had the temerity to stand up and say, in so many words, that he would support a Government which he has shown to be the most contemptible Government that ever administered the affairs of Canada. A more terrible indictment of any government in this country has never been delivered from the Opposition benches, much less from the side of the House on which the members of the Government sit. If I did not know my hon. friend to be an honest man, I would have commenced my diseours.e by saying that " when thieves fall out, honest men come by their own." But the hon. gentleman will have to be replied to from his own side of the House, and from the front benches of his own side of the House.
Unfortunately for Canada, unfortunately for the soldiers, particularly, the indictment that my hon. friend has made of the Government is only too true. It is lamentable. One of the last things that he pointed out was that in the floating of the Victory loans $50,000,000 were loslt to the revenues of Canada. Any one who will analyse the negotiations in connection with the Victory Loan and the other war loans of Canada, and who will look at the success of the United States people in negotiating their war loans, cannot help coming to the same conclusion as that which my hon. friend has reached. Whom does this $50,000,000 fall upon? It falls upon our soldiers, those men over whom hon. gentlemen on the other side and some hon. gentlemen on this side of the House have been slobbering for the last four or five months. People have been saying what they were going to do for our brave boys when they came home; but upon whom are these terrible war taxes going to fall more than upon anybody else in this country? Upon our soldiers. When our soldiers come home and settle down they are the nucleus of future Canada; 500,000 men who, by reason of their youth, possess the generative forces of future Canada in a very much greater degree than all the rest of us put together. They, then, are to be the future people of Canada on whom this great debt will ultimately fall. When we are talking about what we are going to do for the dear soldiers, the best thing we can do for them is to stop this terrible expenditure, this throwing away of the people's money, the public money of the country. There never has been a grosser or a more scandalous piece of mal-
administration in the history of any country than there has been in Canada during the last four years.
The revelations of the hon. member are simply marvellous, and I want, on behalf of the honest people of Canada and the honest members of this Parliament, to thank the honourable gentleman for having the courage of his convictions in standing up on his own side of the House, because those revelations will have a more far-reaching effect than if they had come from me, as in that case motives, political or otherwise, would be imputed.
I was astonished yesterday or the day before to hear an honourable gentleman opposite state that this was one of the greatest Governments that we had ever had in Canada. He made that statement in the first part of his speech, but he had not got very far before I saw he perceived the mermaid's head, although he did not see the dragon's tail. He was telling us about the great necessity there was in the Dominion of Canada for a Health Department, and he discovered before he got through that more than one person was looking for the job of head of that department.
One of the most terrible revelations that my hon. friend (Sir Sam Hughes) gave to the House and to the country is something that will come out directly in history. I refer to the terrible sacrifice in Canadian life that has taken place in France and Flanders for the glory of certain individuals over there. That is something that is coming across only in little drib-drabs through the returned soldiers, but when we get it from the ex-Minister of Militia, who knows the circumstances, it is one of the most terrible indictments that was ever made in any parliament on the character of the men who were supposed to be looking after our military affairs.
We all knew that the Canadian boys were made the spearhead of the terrible offensives in France and Flanders. What do we find this Government doing now that the war is over? What gratitude has there been for Canada? The great altruistic, idealistic President of the United States had gone over to Europe and had mystified the European chancelleries with his high idealism. One would think it was the second coming of the great Nazarene to bring peace on earth, good will to men, coming to bring the millennium, producing the beautiful precept of the great Master: "If a man strikes you on one cheek, turn the other." That beautiful precept is, of course, meant for an ideal for people to
live up to, to strive for, but is quite impracticable. " Sell all you have and give it to the poor a beautiful ideal to be lived up to. Our great southern President,-I mean the President of the United States-was over there and was acting the part of the great idealist, but he kept gaard on his nose when he was showing first one cheek and then the other; he took mighty good care to guard his solar plexus. No sooner was the armistice signed than Mr. Hoover the Food Controller of the United States, was taken to Europe and he was put in charge of the feeding of the famine-stricken districts of Europe to fatten the larders of the people of the United States to the exclusion of Canada. What did we find in this country? We found that in the last week of January, the price of coarse grains, oats and barley, dropped, in a single week, twenty-five per cent, the result being that hundreds of hundreds of merchants throughout the country were ruined. What was our beautiful Government doing at that time? Where was our Food Controller? Instead of our Food Controller or some one else of some ability, some one who had enough business capacity to be able to buy and sell a cambric needle intelligently, being sent over, he was kept in Ottawa, and the result has been that we find some individual American firms getting $200,000,000 contracts while our people have been putting up money for some contracts down in the Balkan States which are still under blockade. That is the condition of things which we are up against. That is the satisfaction, that is the gratitude which Canada gets for being made the spearhead of the terrible offensives in Europe. It is enough to break a Canadian heart.
I want to say a few words about Union Government. Hon. gentlemen who . occupy tire front seats on the Opposition benches are, I believe, with a few exceptions, honest men.
Topic: RE LOANS TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.