April 4, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ANDREW BRODER (Dundas):

With the permission of the House, I would like to speak for a few moments. I do not wish to intervene before the right hon. leader of the Opposition addresses the House, but, as my name has been made a subject of controversy, I think I should say a few words now. I do not seek any great publicity, and I desire to say that I never gave any authority for an interview which has recently appeared in the newspapers, nor did I make any statement to anybody to be made public. While I am on my feet, I wish to state how I intend to vote, for I do not wish to give a silent vote on this occasion. A good deal has been said of the wisdom or unwisdom of investigating the Shell Committee's business. The argument largely used is that the money spent was British money. Now, Sir, I look upon this war as a partnership between Great Britain and her colonies, and I think we are just as much interested in the outlay of British money as in the outlay of our own money. I do not think the people of this country will be satisfied unless they feel assurance that there is to be pretty thorough investigation. I am glad to see the right hon. leader of the Government (Sir Robert Borden) go as far as he has gone; but I wish he would go further. I do not think that anything short of the fullest investigation will satisfy the public feeling of this country to-day. I do not think that grafters should be allowed to hide in the shadow of this great war, to plot against the interest of the country, and to feed on her revenues. I think the people of Canada are alive to the situation; and, while we believe it is not wise to say too much or criticise too much during the war, we have but to look across the water to see that public opinion, which is always acute and sensitive in Great Britain, was so aroused by the public pres- that it became irresistible, and the Premier of England was obliged to. cross the floor of the House and change the personnel of his Government. These are things that the people notice. While I have no fault to find with the fact that judges are to be appointed to make investigation, and while I am satisfied that they are as competent and as thorough, and better judges of evidence than any committee that this House could appoint, yet the people cannot distinguish between these fine technicalities. I have no fault to find with the fact that judges are appointed, and those who have been appointed have such a standing in the country that the people will be satisfied with their work. But I wish to say further, while I am on my feet, that the people of this country, who are working night and day, who are subscribing money to help the army-the willing sacrifice of an earnest people-feel, as I am sure this House feels, that the money for this war should be properly spent. I intend to vote for the motion of the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition.

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