May 12, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Armand Renaud La Vergne


Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE (Montmagny).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. I desire to call the attention of the House to an article wnich appeared in ' La Presse ' on the 11th May instant, under the heading: 'That meeting at the Monument National.' The article is directed against me as a member of parliament and against the privileges or this House. It reads as follows:
It is now clear that this sudden cry for the French language in the administration of railways, is _ nothing but a nationalist manoeuvre organized in view of the elections. At the Monument National neither Conservative nor Liberal leaders were present. And although, for the purpose of soothing public opinion, it had been everywhere proclaimed that the English element was favourably disposed in the matter, the audience refused to listen to the, Hon. Mr. Dandurand, who oam-e expressly for the purpose of making known these favourable dispositions. The conciliatory offers of the Grand Trunk, the Canadian Pacific and the Northern Railways were such as would demolish the whole fabric of the nationalist conspiracy: hence the necessity of crying them down.' Sudh indeed are the tactics which Mr. Lavergne himself has adopted. At the second reading of the Bill in question, the 18th March, 1908, Sir Wilfrid Laurier had made the following statement: Sir WILFRID LAURIER. The Bill as a whole appears to me to embody a sound and equitable principle, but I think that in some respects its application may be too broad. My hon. friend's object is to give the public increased facilities for the transaction of business, and it must be admitted that simple justice requires that those who do not speak English should be enabled to transact business in the language they understand. . .
I have no objection to the second reading, subject to the amendments which may be suggested later on.
(The motion was carried and the Bill read a second time.)

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