I wish to say a few words on this subject, because the various gentlemen who have spoken have confused four or five different episodes or occasions. It happens that I was here when a general officer of the British Empire was sent out first in connection with the purchase of horses. I know him very well, he has been many years in the British army, but he is a Canadian born, and I fancy there are thousands of people in this country who know him. The gentleman who opened this argument charged the Government here with some neglect in connection with his visit. The gentleman to whom I refer did
not come out to act for the Canadian Government; he was sent out by the British Government to see how far horses could be procured here for the British army. He went to Toronto, and, as he is a Canadian, he knows all about our part of the country.
I was asked by a member of the Government if I would go to Toronto and see this general officer and offer him any assistance I could afford him in the way of directing him to people he should see, or anything of that kind. I did see him. He had opened an office in Toronto, and had a small staff of junior officers with him, and was getting ready to buy horses. He was not asking this Government what he should pay for horses or anything of that kind; he knew all about that, I fancy, a great deal better than this Government or any member of this House. He is a thorough soldier, acquainted with his business. I had an interview with him. He was very thankful to the Government for having asked me to go to him and give him any assistance I could in the way of directions about seeing people, and I had a talk with him. He asked me to come and see him again. I saw him a few days afterwards, but I found that his orders had been countermanded.
They did not ask permission from this Government to countermand the orders, they simply changed their directions, and very much because of some change in the sale of horses in the United States, with which this Government had nothing to do and nothing to say. The gentleman at once found that his object in coming was cancelled, and he went home. If any one wants to know his name I can give it. It is a well-known name in Canada. The gentleman is not in any sense a Canadian officer or a Canadian official, but an officer in the British army. That is all there is to that part of the story, and all the rest of the story has been built on that. The horses that have been spoken of were not the horses that that officer of the British army was sent out to buy. All that came long after he went home.