A gentleman to whom he thought he ought to go in order to get the position for this lady. I know of another case in which a medical man in charge of an ambulance corps was urged' by a prominent member of the patronage committee to take on some nurses. He declined because he did not want them. He was called up again and asked if he was not going to play the game fairly. He declined again. It was not long before, I am told, a peremptory order came from Ottawa to take on one of those nurses at once, although there was
absolutely no reason in the world why she should be taken on, because her services were not required. In the city of St. John, from which I come, it is known by everybody that since the war began the patronage committee is the Government so far as that constituency is concerned. I believe that is the case also throughout the country. You may speak about the affairs of Canada being administered from Ottawa, they are not; they are administered by the patronage committees in the different constituencies. The patronage committees form a part of the machinery of this Government. Not long ago, there was a proposition to form a Union Government, and it was suggested that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) should be the Prime Minister of this country. At a caucus of my hon. friends opposite, they stated they would not have the Minister of Trade and Commerce as Prime Minister. They knew that he had declared in this House that he was opposed to patronage, and they considered that if he became Prime Minister patronage would be done away with. Tnere-fore they refused to entertain the suggestion that he should become Prime Minister. The party machine must still continue, as under Union Government the Conservative party machine would continue to administer the affairs of this Dominion from coast to coast.
With regard to my hon. friend from West Lambton (Mr. Pardee), who spoke of the very great hardship to this boy and his family by reason of his not being allowed to have the position for which he was recommended and which his father had previously filled, I suppose he has been informed that his female relatives are to be allowed to vote in the next election. Why, then, should they complain? Surely that ought to be a compensation for any financial distress which they may suffer. Has my hon. friend from North Waterloo (Mr. Weichel) written to them that they are to be allowed to vote in the coming election, and therefore they must not complain that their brother is ill-treated in respect to the position?
In Military District No. 6, in the Maritime Provinces, to-day there are 257 gentlemen bolding positions in the Militia Department, only ten of whom have been overseas, while there are in the Great War Veterans' Association of St. John, I think about 350 members, who could easily be placed in those positions, running from small salaries up to the enormous sum of
$6,200 per year. Let ime read the resolution which the Great War Veterans' Association have sent me, and I do it because it shows that it is all a holloiw pretense to say that this Government is prepared to do everything it can for the returned soldier. The resolution, which was passed at a general meeting at St. John on September 12, 1917, is as follows:
Resolved, that the attention of the Premier and Minister of Militia and Defence be drawn to the state of affairs existing in the Militia Department, District No. 6. In a recent list of officers employed in Military District No. 6, there was shown to he 257 holding positions, of whom only 10 had seen service at the front, and these were all holding minor positions, while the better positions were held by officers who had never seen service overseas or had made no attempt to do so.
Therefore, resolved that these officers should be made to go overseas or revert to civil life and take their chance with conscripts when called, and their places taken by returned officers who have done their duty for the Umpire.
Also that ail men employed in safety-first jobs who have not been overseas be sent immediately to the front and their places taken with returned men wounded for their country.
Further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to Hon. J. D. Hazen and Hon. Dr. Pugsley as minister and members of St. John, and they be asked to take a definite stand in this matter and report same and advise the Intention of the Government in this matter.
(Sgd.) E. J. Puddy, Secretary, The Great War Veterans' Association, St. John.
I bring this before the House and, through Hansard, before the people of this country. I say that these returned soldiers are realizing to-day that they are not receiving fair treatment at the hands of this Government, and it is necessary the Government should be aroused to a sense of its duty in . respect of positions which returned soldiers could fill. They are now walking the streets, waiting for recognition, feeling that their services demand recognition, hut as I have said, all the recognitionwhich they .are to get from this
Government practically is that their female relatives are to he allowed 'to vote. Why should they not complain at this treatment? Is the mere privilege of voting to be regarded by this Government as being a fair and reasonable recognition of the services which these men have performed for their country?