I am glad that the late hon. gentlemen who had a seat in this House and who was appointed to the Railway Commission, now that he is dead, received some credit from his political opponents. They say in the west that the dead Indian is the good Indian, and I suppose hon. gentlemen opposite think that the good Grit is the dead Grit.
I hope that this appointment will be made shortly, although there is nothing on record to show that the country is suffering. I believe that the present members of the commission are quite capable of handling the business that comes before them to the satisfaction of the country, and it is admitted by hon. gentlemen opposite that the work is being well done and in the interests of the country as a whole. I cannot accept or follow the advice given by the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Schaffner) that we should follow the example of the United States and entirely eliminate politics in such appointments. I hope, if it is necessary, as I believe it is, that the vacancy on the board will be filled as soon as possible and this government is quite well qualified to make that appointment at the proper time. I said I hoped it would go to the west because I am a western man. So far as I am concerned, I would have pretty nearly every appointment paid for by the people of Canada go to the west. Let them all go to the west, and I hope this one in particular will go to the west, and if a farmer is the best available man, let us have a farmer by all means. If the best available man is not a farmer, then we do not need a farmer and I hope one will not be appointed. The very fact of
appointing a farmer might be detrimental to the interests of farmers. A farmer might be appointed who would not be as well qualified to fill the position as the next man in line. Is that not true? Is there any guarantee that if this government does appoint a farmer he will be the best available man and will fill the position better than any one else? I do not think so. It does not necessarily follow. We hear particularly at election time, from some speakers and candidates in rural districts, the cry 'the farmer, the farmer, the farmer, I will do anything on earth for the farmer. It is just stage play, the greater part of it. Sometimes the Grits are guilty as well as the Tories. The greater part of it is in vote-catching, and I believe this resolution is intended as a vote-catcher, but I believe it will fail.
Topic: $531,000,000 COMMONS