May 26, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)



I am making no accusation against Mr. Chamberlain, or questioning the perfect integrity of what he was doing; but I am pointing out that it does not lie on the lips of hon. gentlemen opposite, who approve of the actions of the gentlemen to whom I have referred, to come here and endeavour to cast aspersions on the Minister of Militia, who was not and has never been a member of a company carrying on business with or receiving subventions from the government of which he is a member. ,
Sir, a great deal of stress has been laid bv my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) on a letter which I wrote to Mr. Williams. I did that perhaps in rather loose language, since my hon. friend's ingenuity has been able to draw from it prac-

tically the basis of his whole accusation against the Minister of Militia. The Minister of Militia had been talking with me and probably a great many other people, of the importance of developing the fruit industry and other agricultural operations in the province of Nova Scotia. The Minister of Militia is a land owner in the province of Nova Scotia and has properties there which he thought were not giving that great return which they ought to be giving and might be made to give if properly managed from an agricultural point of view. He discussed these things with me on many an occasion. He talked to me about the proposition he has here described of establishing a company which I think was called the ' Canada Lands Produce and Cold Storage Company, Limited,' a large undertaking intended to be capitalized at a million dollars with which to develop large fruit growing and other agricultural industries in the county he has the honour to represent. I cannot see for a moment that in this my hon. friend was doing anything improper. On the contrary, he was doing what was in the very best interests of the people whom he represented, the people of the province of Nova Scotia at large and the people of the Dominion of Canada at large. When that question of cold storage came up my hon. friend the Minister of Militia, like myself and the other members of the government, believe that the Act which was being placed upon the statute-book for the encouragement of cold storage would be a good one. Supposing even for a moment that he was interested in a company which might get a bonus under that Act, supposing even for a moment that that was the case

he has denied that this is the case and as far as I am personally aware of the matters, I know that it is not the case and 'that he was not interested in any company that got the bonus or was expecting to get It-but supposing that he was, would it be proper and right for him as a minister of the Crown to block a proposition of the government to be laid before parliament which was in the interests of the people of Canada at large ? If a cold storage proposition-

Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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