January 31, 1912 (12th Parliament, 1st Session)


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


Does the hon. gentleman deny that the member for South Renfrew drew his sessional indemnity up to the 31st day of December? Now, my non. friend has used some strong expressions in the course of his remarks. He has told us that the riding of South Renfrew has been gagged, and he has posed as the champion of common decency and right. Does he know that his own leader sat for a whole session in parliament, when the government he supported denied this city the right to be represented here? Does he know that he sat in parliament during .aill * that time and never lifted up his voice 'against what he now describes ias ian outrage ? My hon.
friend will perhaps remember that. He has expressed the aspiration that this government shall be an improvement upon its predecessor. I am sure that we would deserve to be turned out of office instantly if we do not come up to that standard; and I venture to think we will improve on it to such an extent that the people of this country will realize the distinction without any mental effort whatever.
It will be interesting, as my hon. friend has provoked this discussion, to go into the record of the late government with regard to this matter. It would take up too much time to go into all the instances in which the time during which constituencies were not represented in this House was greater than it is at present, but I may give a few of the constituencies in which the time that elapsed between the issue of the Speaker's warrant and the election was twice as long as in this case. I will begin with just a few illustrations and ask my hon. friend, as I go on, what he thinks of the efforts at gagging allowed by his leader to take place on those occasions. My hon. friend has spoken of my hon. colleague the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) sitting dumb in his seat. May I ask my hon. friend a very pertinent question? Why did he sit dumb in his seat when those outrages, to which I am going to allude, occurred?

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