March 15, 1904

M ARCH 15, 1904

that our frequent boast of unity among our people is sadly belied by the almost solid vote from the French speaking districts. We are to have a fight, and the sooner we have it the better. But let the parties meet, as they did in 1S91 and in 1887, on questions of fiscal policy or other great lines of policy, and in the name of all that is good, let us put an end, for all time to come, to these racial cries which we hear echoed time and again in this House by men like the hon. member for Labelle and which, I regret to say, are the stock in trade of the Liberal party in the province of Quebec. Why, Mr. Speaker, what did the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Mr. Prefon-taine) say when the fight was over the other day ? Did he say that the policy of the government prevailed ? Not at all. Ho said that it was a question of a Frenchspeaking premier-it was a question of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's popularity. That, he said, 'vas the whole cry and in saying that he Save away the whole case. I would wish that when the history of this country comes to be written it may be said of every premier who ever guided the destinies of this Dominion that he played well his part, that he noted in the interests of the Dominion as a whole, and that the success he obtaiutd was not due to any appeals to Prejudice or passion, but to the great measures he instituted for the development °f this country, and that it was owing to jJis wise policy in the general interests that Pe became entrenched in the affections of the people.


Jabel Robinson


Mr. JABEL ROBINSON (West Elgin).

Mr. Speaker, I hesitated before I rose believing that some member of the government should reply to the accusations made against them by the hon. member for East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett). I am satisfied that the government ought at least to have some reply to make to the charges of nepotism and of having violated the independence of parliament .in view of the fact that the memhers of the government used to be so fond of denouncing in this House the very things that they are charged with doing. Some of the gentlemen on the government benches should make a speech, to point out that the member for East Simcoe (Sir. Bennett) is not telling the truth, or else they should admit that what he said was correct. I am not prepared to believe it until I get further evidence, but I do think that further evidence should be forthcoming. The first part of the speech from the Throne tells us that we are to have a short session, and if that be so we must have short speeches. I intend to set a good example in that respect. I would propose that any member who was not a cabinet minister explaining a policy, or the leader of the opposition, who speaks foi more than one hour should be compelled to sit every Sunday listening to the longest winded preacher in the city of Ottawa. I think that would teach him to cut his speeches short, and I would recommend that cure. The next paragraph of the speech from the Throne deals with the transcontinental railway, and most of you will remember that I spoke on that question last session. I took different grounds from the most of those who spoke ; I only spoke for thirty-five minutes, and I had two thousand copies of that speech printed and sent broadcast throughout my constituency. I have yet to meet a man who read that speech, who has not said that the speech was just to the point, and that it was just what the farmers wanted. If that is a fair specimen of how the people feel all over Canada on this railway policy, then, the government instead of calling parliament to renew the charter with the Grand Trunk Pacific, should wipe it out altogether, and commence to build the road themselves. They need not do it in one year, but they can easily complete the railway in the seven years which tliev have allowed the Grand Trunk Pacific. They tell us that they have a surplus of $15,000,000 this year, and if for each

Wednesday, March 16, 1901.

Topic:   M ARCH 15, 1904
  • 1

March 15, 1904