February 2, 1926

PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Mr. Speaker, I sometimes wonder, when I hear members to my right making remarks about who has the confidence of the people of this country and hon. gentlemen here show by their votes who has the majority in this parliament, by what process of reasoning they make out that they are the proper parties to carry on the government of this country at the present moment.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does not the same process of reasoning show that the government, having received a minority of the votes polled, have not the right to carry on the administration?

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I do not think so. Perhaps I am a little slow in my reasoning but I cannot see it just exactly in that way.

Having said this much I wish in a few words to explain why I intend to support the motion of the hon. member who is leading the House. A good deal has been said by gentlemen to my right about the great disadvantages that they are subjected to owing to an adjournment, and their having to come back and the session running into the summer. I want to put this to hon. members: Are there any hon. gentlemen in this House who are put to greater disadvantage than the members of the Progressive group? Most of us are farmers, our whole occupation depends upon our summer endeavours, and the longer the session extends into the summer the more disadvantageous it is to us to have to attend parliament. But, Mr. Speaker, no matter what may be the sacrifices we have to make we are here to do what we believe to be in the best interests of the whole Dominion. We are ready to make those sacrifices, and I can assure every member of this House that to me it is a great disadvantage that we are likely to adjourn for several weeks.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Why support it then?

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I heard the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) make the statement a few minutes ago that he was ready to place every obstacle in the way of this government carrying on.

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An hon. MEMBER:

He did not say that.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Hon. members to my right declare that he did not say so. Very well, let them look at Hansard to-morrow and they will find that he did make the statement. I think it slipped out accidentally.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Make your own speech and never mind the speech of anybody else.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I think I have a right to repeat a statement of that kind. Now, as to the adjournment, the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) has stated the case very much as I see it. If by-elections take place during the next few weeks we shall have the spectacle of hearing speeches from both sides of the House which will be nothing more or less than election speeches and I feel-I think the members with whom I am associated feel the same-that we might just as well spend those few weeks at home as remain here and listen to speeches of that sort, without transacting any business.

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CON
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

It is all very well to dissent from that, but we have had some experience in the past. This is my fifth session in parliament. I know something about the way business is carried on, and that is what I feel sure would take place. I do not believe any business amounting to anything would be transacted if by-elections were taking place, because hon. gentlemen on both sides would be deeply interested in what was taking place at those elections.

Let me say again, in conclusion, in reference to this talk about something discreditable, something that should haTdly be mentioned in daylight, as taking place between the government and the Progressive group, that we have nothing to conceal.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

I would ask the hon.

member if he will be good enough to read the Prime Minister's answer to his letter.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I have not got it, but I

am sure there is no objection to its being published; I do not think there is anything secret about it. Hon. gentlemen to my right are always suspecting that there is something underhand, something dark and secret going on. The reply of the Prime Minister can be put in print to-morrow morning. I will try to get the hon. member a copy if I possibly can, and I hope it will satisfy him.

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An hon. MEMBER:

It will not satisfy

him.

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PRO
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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Adjournment oj the House

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Hon. gentlemen to my right catch at straws-I mean there is nothing secret about it. We shall support this government-

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

-as long as we think they are bringing forward legislation that is in the best interests of this Dominion. If hon. members to my right had been able to come into office, as they dearly wished to come, and had brought forward legislation that those of us sitting here believed to be in the interests of the Dominion, they would have got the same support from us-I do not see why they should not.

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CON

February 2, 1926