Some hon. gentlemen
have objected, and objected very strongly, to our raising a campaign fund by voluntary contributions. Those of us on the cross benches seem to be a thorn in the flesh of hon. gentlemen opposite. Our presence in this Chamber must occasion them great pain judging from the agonizing groans which they emit from time to time.
In criticizing our method of collecting money to meet election expenses the hon. member for East Peterborough (Mr. Sex-smith) declared it was disgraceful and very humiliating to see the farmers' organization collecting funds voluntarily and publicly, and he spoke of going around with a basket for these funds. Well, all I can say is, the farmers in East Peterborough must have contributed very lavishly when it required a basket to hold the collection. Hon. gentlemen opposite, if they are sincere, must also object to the method of raising funds for the Forward Movement in connection with the churches. As I say that was a Forward Movement, and ours is a Forward Movement also.
I am very sorry to think that the few members in our little parliamentary group have caused hon. gentlemen opposite so much annoyance. At the same time we cannot help it. We were elected just as they were by the votes of the people in the ridings that we represent, and consequently we have as much right to our seats in this Chamber as have the hon. members who have been indulging in the criticisms referred to. We are only a small group as yet, and there are always some bullies who will abuse the small boy, but the time comes when the small boy reaches manhood. This "small boy,'' if I may speak of our party as such, will eventually grow up and take the places of hon. gentlemen opposite. Our representatives have commenced to arrive and they are still coming.
It was suggested during the discussion that these men who gave subscriptions were buying votes. I must say that I never before heard of a man buying his own vote with his own money.
I will not occupy any further time of the committee, except to say in closing that all hon. gentlemen opposite need to do is to keep on abusing the farmers, because we are thriving on that abuse. My advice to them is to keep on putting up all the obstacles they possibly can in our path; they are only, driving the nails deeper into their own political coffins.
DMr. Halbert. 1