Railways must be possessed of some supernatural power if he is able to read into my remarks some direct reference to the Minister of Customs. I find that on this side of the House we are not alone in our opinion on some of these things. I find the hon. member for North Vancouver made a very direct reference to one of them when, speaking from the Liberal benches and pleading for that application of the rule and for a vote of confidence in the government, he said:
Nobody with any sense of public honour would attempt to justify the expressions used by Mr. Robichaud in that letter and I am not going to attempt to justify
fMr. Campbell.] ,i i jj !f$|
them. My self-respect will not permit it. The sting, I say, is in that letter and it is contained in these words in the letter which Robichaud wrote to Mr. Bureau, not to Mr. Boivin:
Mr. Aziz is of the highest help for us during this campaign, and we cannot do without his services.
And so on. It appears 'to me that When we have remarks of that- kind from the Liberal benches, there is at least some justification -for strong language from other parts of the House.
The hon. member knows as much about the evidence as I do.
-Several hon. members have referred to this House as a jury. In a sense that may be true, but if I were to go into details I would describe the situation a little differently; I would place the government in the position of defendant, the official opposition in the position of plaintiff, and I would place the jury seats in this corner of the House. After all, we have to face the facts and there they are; there can be no question about that, and even in a larger sense I am not so sure that it is not so. Our party system is based on the principle of competition. We have two major parties competing for the spoils of office; we have a party in power fighting to retain office and a party out of power fighting to get into office. The group in this corner of the House was brought into being through a desire on the part of hundreds of thousands of the electors of Canada for something which would modify that situation, something which would make a definite change there. They believe a system could be worked out on the co-operative principle; they believe a system could be worked out whereby all the parties in the House could co-operate in forming a government and giving to this country the best brain and brawn of all parties. That, I say, was the ideal in the minds of hundreds of thousands of electors, the evidence of which we find in this corner of the House. This group is not looking for power; we never expected to be in power and probably never will be. _ But I say that in this position we should at any rate be able to judge without partisan consideration, and that is what the people of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific are going to expect of us at this time.
I object to the expression, "voting with the Conservatives" or "voting with the Liberals." That is the way the press have dubbed it, but I think we have tried to vote on the
Customs Inquiry-Mr. White (Mount Royal)
issues at stake regardless of where the chips fall, and in this case I think we should do the same. I think the voting public of Canada are not going to deal very harshly with the government; I think' the people understand the party system of government and they will expect the government to hold on to office and probably try to whitewash themselves if they can, while they will expect the official opposition to try to get on the treasury benches.
Will my hon. friend allow me a question? The hon. gentleman says that we would attempt to whitewash ourselves. Can he say that I am guilty of anything more than he is? I would like him to state that like a man.
the crown; I am only a private member, but as a private member I have certain responsibilities, and I am prepared to face them. If there is anything wrong that I have done I am quite prepared to admit it, if my hon. friend can prove to me that I have been wrong.
Now I want to point out again that the voting public of Canada will not after all sxpect very much else from the Conservatives jr the Liberals than a struggle for the spoils of office. Perhaps I am not fair in saying that, but I think generally speaking the voting public will look at it in that way. But J._ voting public will expect something different from the group in this corner of the House. Unless the third party stands for something different from the two old parties; unless that party stands clearly for something different, I do not see much justification for the necessity of putting the people of Canada to all the expense of organizing and maintaining this party, because it does mean a good deal of expense to our electors. When this matter is brought before the final court of appeal, the people of Canada, the credit or discredit, whichever it may be, will fall on the members in this corner of the House.
the hon. gentleman is willing to allow a question. We have been discussing the question of affairs of political organization which he undertook to bring forward in his address to-day. I was just going to ask him-