February 7, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

My hon. friend calls " order ". Go ahead and call the order if you wish. We hear constantly in this House attacks made upon men who have become prominent in the industrial life in this country. Yesterday afternoon, one of the speakers did not hesitate to make a few little insinuations about the Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin). I am sure that if my hon. friend were sincere, if you could look into the innermost recesses of his heart, you would find he was not so much against the Minister of Justice as he was envious of men who, through their greater ability, secured and occupied greater positions in life than he. I want to tell my hon. friend who made that address yesterday that the present Minister of Justice was for many years leader of the people of the province of Quebec; and if my hon. friend wants to know the opinion of people outside of Quebec, he can come down to the old blue-nose province of Nova Scotia, and he will find there what our opinion is of the Minister of Justice. In the 1921 election, when it was said that the present Minister of Justice was coming back into politics, that statement aided every man in every constituency in Nova Scotia in securing his seat in the present parliament. That is the opinion which the people of Nova Scotia have of the present Minister of Justice.
Again, we were told yesterday that the Liberal party came into power on a platform of lower tariff. That is not the case. On every political platform that I had an opportunity of speaking in the province of

The Address-Mr. Martell
Nova Scotia, wherever I heard a colleague from Nova Scotia speak, and wherever I heard any of our leaders in Nova Scotia speak, no pronouncement whatever was made upon the tariff. What we said was this, that we had it on good authority that if the right hon. gentleman who now leads the government were returned to power, Mr. Fielding would be Minister of Finance, and that was all that the people of Nova Scotia wanted. That was our tariff policy - Mr. Fielding as Minister of Finance. I might go on and elaborate on this. It is true that there is a tariff wall in the Dominion of Canada to-day; but what have we to offer in its place? It is all that the people demand. It is said, that Solon, the Athenian law-giver, said that the laws which he gave to the Athenians were not the best laws, but they were the best laws the Athenians at that time could stand. So it is in connection with the present tariff. It is not the best tariff; but it is the best tariff that Canada, under present conditions, can stand.
I am not going to intrude further, to any great extent, upon your valuable time, but I wish to say simply this. As I have already stated, the time has come in this country when public men should get a fair measure of justice meted out to them. My hon. friends opposite stand in their places and say that the two old political parties of this country have gone into desuetude. I want to tell my hon. friends who sit opposite that the grand old Liberal party of this country and the historic Conservative party will exist in the Dominion of Canada when there will be no Progressives occupying seats in this House.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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