Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).
That shows that the hon. gentleman's party is more frequently wrong than my party is. Besides, I do not pose as an independent member of the House or as the leader of a third or fourth party. The hon. member (Mr. Bourassa) says he cannot condemn this government, because they have exercised due diligence in the matter, and that it is the fault of the British government. But, considering that these tenders had to be put in in April of last year and that a whole year has gone by, it seems clear that the Minister of Agriculture has not exercised the diligence he should have shown. And, when the matter was brought to his attention last January by the clerk of the legislative assembly in Manitoba, the hon. minister admitted that he knew nothing about it whatever. One would imagine that in such a case as this a clause referring to a matter under his own department, a matter so important as the supply of the army rations, the hon. Minister of Agriculture would be the first man in Canada to be seized of the facts and the man who would take the first and promptest measure. But the records show that, as I say, he knew nothing about the matter until his attention was
called to it last January by the clerk of the legislative assembly of Manitoba. Therefore, we have a right to condemn the hon. gentleman for not being as diligent as he should have been, and for not taking steps for doing away with this clause in the contract. A series of resolutions were passed by the legislature of Manitoba last February, just prior to the prorogation of the legislature, urging upon the Dominion government the necessity of petitioning the imperial authorities in favour of allowing bur cattle to be placed on the same footing as the cattle of Great Britain in relation to these contracts. Those resolutions were passed unanimously. They were moved by a man who is a large exporter of cattle. Evidently, the people of the North-west look upon this as a most important matter and one that, unless a change is made, will have a serious detrimental effect upon the interests of our people. Therefore, I view this differently from the hon. member for Labelle, and think that the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Macdonald is worthy of the support of every Conservative member of the House and of every independent member as well.