May 4, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)


Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)


Roosevelt says:
Now about the Alaska business. I have written Hay at once that England must be kept right up to the mark. I am by no means certain that I would acquiesce in deferring the matter until next summer. I do not want it hanging on during the presidential campaign. I dislike making any kind of threat, but my present judgment is that if the British play fast and loose the thing to do is to declare the negotiations off, recite our case in the message to congress, and ask for an appropriation to run the boundary as we deem it should be run.
I could make other references to historical works citing even some of the prominent members of the administration of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier, some of his legal counsel, and others eminent in this country at the time. But I refrain from doing so. I have simply cited these-and the library has a number of other books containing similar ' historical evidence-in support of the truth of every statement which I have made.
' I therefore claim that the statements made by the hon. member for Parry Sound that I "insulted the United States", and that the statement I made with respect to the boundary line was an untruth and mere "fishwives' gossip in London", and that it was "a vile slander against the then president of the United States"; and that it was "a type of vile traducing of the head of a neighbouring friendly country", were not only insults such as should not have been permitted if objection had been taken, but were words which should be retracted by the hon. member and should be eliminated from the records of this house as a very serious breach of privilege.
I submit this therefore to you, Mr. Speaker, and ask you to take into your consideration in due time, as to whether, in view of the records which I have cited, these charges should not be eliminated from the record. In other days, years ago, perhaps I would have been tempted to reply in undignified and more severe language to the charges made. But as I grow older I am not so disposed to be vituperative as perhaps I once was, and therefore I submit the matter, sir, for your consideration.

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