Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).
Before the orders of the day are called I beg permission to raise a question of privilege. In the ' Le Devoir ' of last night there is published an article charging me with having in three instances purposely deceived the House by attributing to that newspaper some quotations which, it says, were not published in it. The article is very violent and injurious, and certainly the circumstances do not at all call for the denunciations and the violent language used in it. For instance it states that I read some extracts from the ' Le Devoir ' as having been published on the 30th of October when that day was a Sunday, and contains other statements charging me with having purposely deceived the House. In that connection I may say that I quoted, in the speech I made the other day, several extracts from addresses made previous to the election in Drummond and Arthabaska and also during that election. I quoted from speeches made at St. Eustache, Farnham and Victoriaville-all speeches
made by Mr. Bourassa which, according to the notes I have before me, were published in ' Le Devoir.' I also quoted from the famous pamphlet which was published by * La Gazette d'Arthabaska,' as I am informed. At the same time I gave some three quotations from speeches made by the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Blondin) during the election in Drummond and Arthabaska. According to the unrevised edition of ' Hansard,' I am reported as having said:
Another gentleman who spoke at those meetings was the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Blondin). I may say that all these extracts are taken from 'Le Devoir,' their organ, and I have every reason to believe that they are correct. Here is what the hon. gentleman said on the 25th of October at St. Louis de Blandford:- ' _ .
You are intimidating the people in waving the English flag, and adding that we must contribpte always and everywhere to the defence of that tormentor of our constitutional liberties; but we will not be made to forget that in 1837 it was necessary to bore holes in it in order to breathe the atmosphere of liberty.
Now the hon. gentleman, the extracts from whose speech I was reading, taken from ' Le Devoir,' took occasion to state that this quotation was incorrect, and that ' Le Devoir ' had misrepresented him. Of course, I accepted his word, for we. must always accept the word of an hon. member of this House in such matters. I went further and quoted two other extracts from the hon. gentleman's speeches, and, to the great dissatisfaction of ' Le Devoir,' I attributed these two extracts to that journal. I may say that in the notes before me at the time was a memo, with the following heading: ' Words uttered by Mr. Blondin, M.P., at St. Louis de Blandford, the original of which is to be found in ' Le Devoir ' of 26th October, 1910,' and in quoting the above extract and the two following ones I attributed the three quotations to ' Le Devoir,' believing that the above heading applied to all those three extracts. It would appear from the information which I now have that I made a mistake in stating that the two last were taken from ' Le Devoir.' The important thing wras to find, not where these statements were published, but whether they had been actually made or not, especially when those speeches were quoted in presence of the member to whom they were attributed. As to the second extract which I read, the hon. member tor Champlain (Mr. Blondin) disavowed the paternity of what I quoted. As to the third, he stated that one phrase only was incorrect. I repeat that the most important thing wTas to find out whether the statements have been made or not, and, though I made a mistake in attributing the two last to ' Le Devoir.' I do not think that that was a reason for
' Le Devoir,' particularly as I was correct in attributing to them the other utterances that I quoted, using the words they used. I say I deprecate the assertion that I purposely deceived the House.