Sir SAM HUGHES (Minister of Militia and Defence):
Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I desire to make a personal explanation. On the 9th of March I left Ottawa for England. [DOT] A week or so prior to my leaving, I spoke to my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden)' and some of my colleagues, explaining to them the necessity of my going.
I asked the Prime Minister if he would see the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and ascertain if there were any questions likely to arise in connection with my department which would require my attendance here. It was agreed that I should see the 'leader of the Opposition, and I did so. I saw also the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald), the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean), and others on that side, and asked them if there were any questions affecting my department that would require my attendance here. The leader of the Opposition frankly stated that he did not know of any; but also, with the statesmanship which characterizes him, he declined to assume responsibility for all his followers. But I think I am justified in saying that he said he did not know of anything-
Subtopic: STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF MILITIA.