Médéric MARTIN

MARTIN, Médéric

Personal Data

St. Mary (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 22, 1869
Deceased Date
June 12, 1946

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1906 - September 17, 1908
  St. Mary (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  St. Mary (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  St. Mary (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 20)

July 11, 1917


How can you say they believe in conscription if you do not consult them and give them a chance to express their views?

Mr. "W. F. MACLEAN: You had a chance to discuss this when it was up in this country, and Canada to-day is committed to conscription by the Militia Act, What surprises me and the people of Canada is that we are ire-discussing this question of conscription. I am willing to have discussion of the matter, but it should be reasonable discussion. I am trying to reflect the views, not of either political party in this country, but of the people, and I say that the people of . Canada to-day are largely in favour of this conscription measure, and in favour of its enforcement, and that they think the best way to get it enforced will be by a national government.

Full View Permalink

July 5, 1917


Does the Minister of Justice mean by his statement that Lord [DOT] -Sha-ughnessy was mistaken when, on his coming here from England, he said that the only thing to do was to- produce for the Allies?

Full View Permalink

July 4, 1917


The hon.

member a few minutes ago told the various Quebec members to do their share in encouraging enlistments. The hon. member is a member from Quebec province. Has he done so himself? Has he asked his people to enlist, and if so, what have they said?

Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Full View Permalink

June 28, 1917


From good authority. As for yourself, it is true you have fourteen children, hut not one of them has yet enlisted. Yon may have some nephews in the army, but no son of yours.

Who is in favour of the referendum? I aiswer: the people. Now, who are those in favour of conscription? The Montreal Board of Trade, the Government contract-holdei s and those beyond the age limit.

They want to give women the right to vote. Does anyone believe the women will vote for conscription? I am sure of the contrary.

As I said a few minutes ag), the people of Canada are against conscription and the reason I gave is that, during the thirty-six months which have elapsed since the war broke out, and all those who believed it was their duty to enlist have had all the required time to do it. And the real reason why a referendum is refused, is that the people would declare against compulsory enlistment. Some Ontario and Western newspapers would be in favour of an open vote upon this question, but that would be in order to prevent the people from giving their free opinion. Do you really believe that the farmer, who has not seen fit to induce his son to enlist, would now be disposed to have him sent away forcibly?

As for these gentlemen who have boys, Papa's own boys, who axe sent to college until they are 25 or 30 years old, do you believe they will be in favour of conscription, when, for the past thirty-six months, they have not seen fit to advise them to enlist and to go and defend the cause of Liberty? Do you believe that the married women who have, until now, had plenty time to advise their husbands to enlist, do

you think they will vote for conscription? I say no, for all those who wanted to get rid of their husbands, have already done so. Do you believe, Mr. Speaker, that the young girls would vote for conscription? The evidence is to the contrary, there have been more weddings than ever during the past four or five months; the young ladies feared conscription and would not let their friends depart. The proof of my statement is in the very Bill itself, which contains a special clause stipulating that young men married, on and after June 11, shall be considered as unmarried.

I declare, Mr. Speaker, that the present Government have not the right to pass such a la w because they have no longer any mandate, and I say that you are doing just what Germany is doing. You are a murderous Government, nothing else, and you imitate the Kaiser.

A reproach was made to us, a few moments ago, that the enlisting had not been a success. I say that the Government should not have permitted those moving pictures, representing the horrors of the war. These scenes are reproduced here in a Sparks street theatre, as well as in our own theatres in Montreal. The only practical result has been to scare the people. The opinion prevailing among the people of Quebec is that the Government have tried by every possible means to stop enlistment. You have the case of General Wilson who is a perfect gentleman, but who does not know a word of French; if he does not know it, it is not our fault. If the Government had taken the necessary steps in order to stimulate enlisting, they would have had as much success as anywhere else. You have evidence of this in Major Asselin's regiment which was completed within two months, also in the case of a second regiment which was organized just as quickly.

Now, do you know what happened during Marshal Joffre's visit to Montreal.

When the time came for the inspection of the troops at the base of Mount Royal, where some 400,000 people were present, the general commanding the division could not say a word in French and as Marshal Joffre does not know any English, they could not understand one another. Marshal Joffre must have made this reflection: These

soldiers must then all be English? Where are the French Canadians?

Mr. Speaker, the French Canadians of the province of Quebec cleaves to the soil. Our province is not like the other ones. We have only two big centres: Montreal and Quebec. There may well be Three Rivers, Hull and St. Johns, but when we speak of large

centres, we have only two. We need all our manual labour for the manufacture of shells, which we are asked to make, and for all other articles required by the people of the province and of the other parts of the Dominion. What we need' is farmers. The farmers clamour for help.

My hon. friend, the member for Parry Sound, in his speech yesterday, stated that Toronto, the province of Ontario, could not afford to give another man, that it was impossible, that they absolutely needed aid for farmers. It is the same thing in the province of Quebec. We stick to the native soil, but we also stick to our language and to our religion. We are, as said the member for Three Rivers (Mr. Bureau) in his speech, the pioneers of this country. When the French landed here to colonize 'Canada, the first thing they did, in disembarking, was to plant the cross and to celebrate mass.

Now, Mr. Speaker, our Ontario friends are trying, by all ways and means, to insult our faith. We are strongly attached to it, [DOT]and we have the Tight to believe as we please, just as much as they have the right to believe what they please- When it has come to the point of attacking that which is most sensible in the human being; his faith, his tongue and his nationality, I say that those who are doing it are doing a nefarious work and only disorganizing the " entente " which has been advocated for so many years by the hon. leader of the Opposition and by the Fathers of Confederation.

For what is happening to-day, Mr. Speaker, they are responsible. Now, let us discontinue these ill-boding struggles, let us shake hands, let us blot out these religious and racial differences; we are all Canadians; French or English, we are all Canadians. Will our Ontario brethren at last understand? I hope so. As for us, we are familiar with such maxims, our religion ^teaches it, we know that we should live as brothers in this world.

As was stated the other day by the hon. member for Three Rivers, it would be desirable to send into our sister-province five or six good men to say to these people: Put an end to these struggles. Life is too short. When war will be over, the question, of sharing will arise between the nations. Do not get away with the idea that the United States are fighting for nothing. I know that the United States owe a great deal to France and specially to Lafayette, but it might very well happen that the province of Quebec, which is divided. . . exempted by an imaginary line, the 45th, it is possible that

they might say: you will give us Quebec. It is not what I *wish, tout if this is kept going, you will see what will happen.

May I be allowed to recall a word uttered by the late hon. Mr. Mercier, stating that Confederation had been instituted, nevertheless, to serve the interests of a party, which was the Conservative party, and that it might mean the removal of the French Canadian influence.

Mr. Speaker, at the end of fifty years, the discussion upon this 'question of race, of religion and of language is still alive. His words come true.

Well now, Mr. Speaker, when we shall celebrate, next week, the fiftieth anniversary of Confederation, on the site where the Parliament buildings are being erected, I do hope that, then and there, an understanding will be for ever concluded, that it shall be stated that never hereafter we will attack one another. We, the French Canadians, we are always ready and we must do it, it is not a sacrifice, it is a duty; but the yellows, with their Orange press, are provoking trouble wherever they are. Why? Have we not the right to exist as much as they have? We are the pioneers here. Well, Mr. Speaker, to conclude, I say that the best way to serve the interests of the Empire and our own country's interests for the future, is not in sending men; we have sent 420,000. I do not say that we have done too much. No, we owed it to England, to do what we have done, and we should even" do more, if possible, but that, we should do it voluntarily and not forcibly.

When two persons are forcibly united, divorce soon follows suit. That is what is going to happen, you will create civil war in the country; you are not able and you have no right to say to the 700,000 tax payers whom I represent, you have not the right, do I say, to take their own opinion away from them. A man's opinion for the community, that may be nothing, but a man's opinion for himself, that is everything, and it is what you are trying to take away from him.

The Prime Minister, not very long ago, before a large audience in the Monument National, in Montreal, often referred to Democracy. Democracy like those, we find them in Germany and here.

I shall support the amendment of my right hon. friend, the leader of the Opposition, because I believe that the people should be consulted, I am convinced of it, they are loudly crying for it, and it is the only way to obtain a fair and honest opinion. It is the only way that will give you the

right and power to do what you may wish to do.

Mr. Speaker, if I have gone a little too far, I regret it; I should probably have restrained myself a little more, but in the heat of the debate, the fact that I was speaking on a question as important as the one now before us, and after having heard in this House all the speeches made by persons better informed than myself, I may perhaps have made some mistakes.

Now, take notice of what is going to happen.

The present Government's act means that you will have a third party here at the coming elections. That party will be called, just so, the Unionist Labor party, who certainly will not act as did the Nationalist party in 1911, but will stand between the two parties, and when a question of public interest will be brought before the House, the workman who has always taken a deep interest in all public matters, will as ever before keep his word and will thereby hold the balance of the two parties and have the people's rights duly respected.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that it is not the right time to do what I will now suggest, because we are at war, but I am one of those who are against war; I would like that, at a given moment, in the understanding which will take place, when this war will be settled after the war is over, 1 would like to see, as I say, every gun to the last one melted, every piece of ammunition cast into the deep seas, and a general disarmament ordered. There is no reason whatever for the nations to cut each other's throats as they are presently doing it. It is only family quarrels among the governments. 'Sometimes, these quarrels, these wars are only roused in the sole interest of the big manufacturers.

Indeed, what do you see after these wars? You see colossal fortunes spring up and all this wealth is always made, during the war, out of the people who, for centuries, can never get out of it; the families run into debt, they are left in misery for centuries. Therefore, I do not hesitate to declare that I am one of those who are opposed to war, and I believe that after this war, as I have just said it, there should be a general disarmament.

Among the questions which should be dealt with, after the war, one of the first should be that of creating a tribunal of universal peace, which, to my mind, should be composed of representatives of all the powers in the "whole world, from the crowned heads to the lowest of the Indian tribes. That is what should be done in or-

der that no nation in the future can attempt to do what is now going on. When we witness the painful spectacle which brings misfortune to the whole world, for the sake of a family quarrel between crowned heads, well,

I say that this should stop, and the idea put forth by President Wilson will become a full reality. _

Mr. Speaker, much more could be said upon this subjest, but I am through. I might, however, be allowed to say this more: Why send our men to the front if actually, as reported the other day by a newspaper, there are,'according to the Minister af Labour, 3,500,000 men fit for military service, and that, of this number, 1,200,000 are to be found in the taverns, in the theatres and in the gambling places. Then, why not take these men and leave the population of Canada in a large country like ours, where we need labour for agriculture, in order that we be able to exist in the future.

Do they really mean to put us out of the way entirely, to replace us by others? It looks very much that way to us, it seems to be the present Prime Minister's policy.

No, the Government's act is a brutal act, which is not constitutional. This Parliament has not the right to legislate, because it has no mandate. You must appeal to the people and the people shall pronounce and' decide.

I conclude by thanking this House for the kind attention given to me.

I will vote for the referendum proposed by the right hon. the leader of the Opposition, because the people want it and because I am here to do the people's will and not to do as I please. That is the way I understood my mandate and it is the way all the members should understand it.

Topic:   ON DEMANDE.
Full View Permalink

June 28, 1917

Mr. MED ERIC MARTIN (Saint Mary's, Montreal):

Mr. Speaker, I must prelude my remarks with thanking the hon. member for Maskinonge (Mr. Bellemare) for giving me his turn so as to permit me to leave tomorrow to attend to my duties in the great metropolis.

For nearly nine days both sides, of the House have been discussing the most important question which has risen since Confederation.

I have the'honour, Mr. Speaker, of speaking on behalf of a population of 700,000 souls, which is more than several other members of this House can say.

Religious and racial questions have been mooted and insulte hurled about. I may say that if there is one who has been insulted, besides the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), it is your humble servant, the mayor of Montreal, since he is a public man.

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to explain and place the responsability where it belongs 1794

for what is now occurring in our province, *and especially in the city of Montreal.

In 1911, when came the federal elections, there was a compact between three persons. One is now deceased, and. I regret to mention here the name of Hon. Mr. Monk; the others are Mr. Bourassa and Mr.

A great meeting was held in the village of Saint Eustache. I was not on the platform, but with the crowd in attendance, and if anybody then insulted the British flag, the Prime Minister of to-day and the prime minister of that time ('Sir Wilfrid Laurier), they were those three gentlemen. They had undertaken to preach one policy in the province of Quebec and another in the West.

Their plan has succeeded. They went all over the different counties of the province of Quebec and deceived the electorate to such an extent that the former Prime Minister, who is now leader of the Opposition was defeated and twenty-two candidates supported by these .three gentlemen were elected to this House with a mandate which they had never expected. 'Such was the compact.

After being insulted, as was the present Prime Minister, by these three gentlemen, including Mr. 'Monk and Mr. Bourassa, what happened the very next day? The portfolio of Public Works, the most important of the Borden Cabinet, was given to Mr. Monk, which well proves what I have just said.

Hon. Mr. Pelletier, to-day Judge Pelletier, for whom I have the highest consideration, and other honourable members on the other side of the House have mentioned the name of Mr. Armand Lavergne. Mr. Pelletier at the time was bowing low to Mr. Lavergne who was then but a young man, and was calling him his leader; yet here was he the very next day" accepting the portfolio of Postmaster General. All the others went to the Government side. My hon. friend knows something of it; he well knows what happened in the province of Quebec.

Now, Sir, when you see such things, and others still worse, for I will show the means taken to deceive the people-I am not at all surprised at what is happening to-day in the province of Quebec.

Since Confederation, the Conservative party has always resorted to insult and has always had recourse to a double-faced policy; one for the province of Quebec and the other for the province of Ontario.

It was said in the province of Quebec when I was a boy, for I am concerned in elections since I am ten years old, that Sir

Wilfrid Laurier was ;a traitor to his race, that he had sold Canada to England; they eaid in the West that Sir Wilfrid 'Laurier was not enough of an Imperialist, but a papist and the champion of Quebec only.

I have no hesitation in stating that those responsible for what is happening to-day are the Conservative Government and the twenty-two members who had the honour to be sent here, but who never heeded their mandate.

It was said in this House, Sir, that the province of Quebec was not loyal to the British flag, and that we have not done our duty.

There are two ways' to solve the problem which is now submitted to us: We have to decide if our contribution must be in money, if we have to pay the toll of blood in sending men overseas or if our contribution will be by sending supplies to the Allies.

The city of Montreal alone, and if I speak here, it is in consequence of a resolution adopted by the city council of Montreal, dated June 5, 1917, and worded as folio .vs:

Copy of the minute of proceedings of the special meeting of the Montreal Municipal Council, held on Tuesday, June 5, 1917.

The order of the day having been read for the consideration of a notice of motion by Alderman Mayrand on the question of conscription, are submitted and read: (a) A communication from His Honour the mayor, transmitting a letter from Mr. D. C. Hould, secretary of a citizens' league re conscription; (b) petitions from Montreal citizens objecting to conscription for the oversea service.

Alderman Mayrand moves, seconded by Alderman Vandelac:

That the members of this council have always been of the opinion that Canada should do its full duty towards the triumph of the Empire and of the Allied powers; but they believe likewise that it is their duty to oppose any conscription scheme under whatever form it may be introduced, as long as it shall not have been approved by the people of Canada by means of a plebiscite, and to declare that the enforcing of the Militia Act or of all other conscription laws, far from reaching the object in view, would create throughout the country a useless perturbation and would prevent us from supplying the Empire and the Allies with all essentials needed for the prosecution of the war;

That copy of the present resolution be sent to Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada, and to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, leader of the Opposition ;

That His Honour the Mayor, Mr. Mgddric Martin, M.P., be respectfully requested to submit the present resolution to the Federal authorities, together with the various petitions which have been sent to the Council, on this subject.

And, a discussion having ensued,

Alderman O'Connell moves, seconded by Alderman Blumenthal:

That the council now adjourns.

The council divided upon the said motion, as follows:

For: O'Connell, Ward, Blumenthal, Macdonald, Weldon-5. [DOT]

Against: LariviSre, Turcot, Mayrand, Menard, Vandelac, HoulS, Elie, Dubeau, Lamarre, Brodeur, Lafortune, Bedard-12.

And it is rejected.

And a discussion ensuing,

Alderman Ward moves, seconded by Aider-man O'Connell:

Whereas the question now before the council is now the subject of the most serious attention of both political parties in Ottawa and that any intervention on the part of this council might be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the House of Commons and the Senate;

That the discussion of the motion now before the council be suspended until the Federal authorities shall have passed upon the question.

The said amendment being put, it was lost on division:

For: O'Connell, Ward, Blumenthal, Macdonald, Weldon-5.

Against: LariviSre, Turcot, Mayrand, M4-nard, Vandelac, Hould, Elie, Dubeau, Lamarre, Brodeur, Lafortune, Bedard-12.

The main motion being put, it was carried, on division.

For: LariviSre, Turcot, Mayrand, Mdnard, Vandelac, Houle, Elie, Dubeau, Lamarre, Brodeur, Lafortune, Bedard-12.

Against: O'Connell, Ward, Blumenthal, Macdonald, Weldon-5

Resolved : In consequence. .


(Signed) J. CrSpeau,

Deputy Clerk of the City.

This resolution, Mr. Speaker, was adopted by a vote of 12 to 5; there was an amendment to adjourn moved by alderman O'Connell who, though not opposing conscription, wanted to delay the question in order to allow the two political parties of this country to decide the question, and ha further stated that the adoption of such a resolution would be likely to hurt them to a great extent. It is said that Montreal, as well as the whole province of Quebec, generally, have not done their duty in the present war. I will take the liberty to mention to you the fact that we have adopted, since the beginning of the war, more than thirty resolutions, and the first, adopted by the Board of 'Commissioners and sanctioned by the *Council, is good evidence we have done our duty. We have done, twenty-four hours after the war resolution, what the Government had not done and also what the Council of the Queen city of Toronto had not done. On August 4, 1914, when I saw that England was at war, as well as France, I submitted to the Board of Commissioners the following suggestion:

Resolution of August 5, 1914, with a view to pay half-salary to the families of the permanent employees who have left to defend their country.

I considered that the half-pay alone was not sufficient, and I did not weary. On the 17th of the same month, I went back before

my colleagues and I had them adopt the following resolution:

Resolution of August 17, 1914, with a view to amend the resolution of August 5, 1914, so as to allow the payment of the salary in full.

That is what has been the attitude of the Montreal City Council, of those who represent the ideals of the people of Montreal, and would any one be right in coming to tell us that we have done nothing.

By means of thirty resolutions we have spent since the beginning of the war $7,580,791.51, distributed as follows.

Resolution dated October 5, 1914, granting $1,500 for ten beds in an hospital organized in Paris for the care of wounded soldiers.

Resolution dated October 5, 1914, granting $10,000 to the Belgian Fund.

Resolution dated November 24, 1914, granting $10,000 to the French National Fund.

Resolution dated August 28, 1914, advising the city council to vote $150,000 for the Patriotic Fund.

That amount was in answer to the first request we received for a contribution.

Resolution dated September 3, 1914, calling upon the municipal servants to subscribe to the Patriotic Fund-An amount of $12,509.39 was subscribed on that occasion.

Resolution dated March 8, 1915, advising the city council to grant an additional sum of $50,000 to give help to the unemployed labourers.

Resolution dated May 3, 1915, recommending a grant of $1,000 to the Montenegro Benevolent Fund.

Resolution dated May 18, 1915, recommending a grant of $5,000 in favour of the Red Cross Fund . . .

Resolution dated October 19, 1915, inviting the municipal servants to help the Red Cross Fund. The amount subscribed on that occasion was $8,323.13.

Resolution dated November 12, 1915, to raise to $10,000 our contribution to the Red Cross Fund. .

Resolution dated November 23, 1915, granting $5,000 to the Khaki League.

Resolution dated January 26, 1916, inviting the municipal servants to subscribe to the Patriotic Fund. This subscription amounted to $16,462.29.

Resolution dated February 12, 1916, granting $300,000 for the Patriotic Fund, and towards helping several public benevolent associations.

From this grant $250,000 went to the Patriotic Fund and $50,000 to the Benevolent Associations.

Everybody knew at the time that there was no employment to be found in Montreal. The wives of the soldiers that had enlisted were starving and we had to vote the money to help them. How many people have I seen lining up in front of my office, every morning! Hundreds of mothers told me that they could do nothing to save their children from starvation. Is there any justification, Sir, for the charge that the province of Quebec has been lacking in patriotism?

Resolution dated March 18, 191G, recommending a grant of $25,000 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

I must state that that Society had never before applied for help from the city.

Resolution dated March 25, 1916, granting $10,000 to the Charity Organization Society of Montreal.

We have here, Mr. Speaker, the undeniable proof that we, the French Canadians of the Metropolis make no racial nor religious distinctions. We make a fair distribution of the grants and we see to it that equal justice is dealt to all deserving parties.

Resolution dated May 9, 1916, granting $4,000 to the Baron de Hirsch Institute and the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

Another proof, Mr. Speaker, that we are giving fair treatment to all people. A large number of Hebrew citizens were in such a plight that they could not provide their families with the necessaries of life. You know as well as I do, Mr. Speaker, that those people, as a rule, are not poor; they generally have fairly large amounts to their credit. But this time they had been caught napping.

I feel it my duty, on this occasion to offer my hearty congratulations to Mr. Beaubien, mayor of Outremont, and a brother of the hon. Senator Beaubien. He foresaw that a good many of our soldiers who are fighting for liberty, will come back blind and with the co-operation of the Grey Nuns, he laid the foundations of an institution in which those maimed heroes will find work and the means of making a living for themselves and their families. The Government had nothing to do with that organization; they could not think of everything.

It is often said that enlistments, in the province of Quebec, have not been satis-fastory. What was the duty of the Government before proceeding to enlist our young men? I am speaking of the Canadians from the whole Dominion. For my part, I maintain that before enlisting our married men the Government should have provided for their wives and children; they should have provided for the wives of the soldiers a sufficient allowance for their maintenance and the maintenance and education of their children; they should have seen to it that the families of those soldiers who suffer a glorious death on the battle field, will not live in dire poverty till the end. The Government have done nothing to that end.

Hon. gentlemen have no idea of the number of complaints that come to me every day,

as mayor of Montreal. Poor women come to my office and tell me that the head of the family has been killed and that they do not get a single dollar for the blood that has been generously poured in defence of the common cause.

Let me take up once more the list of the grants voted to help the various organizations in Montreal:

Resolution dated March 27, 1917, granting $1,500 to the association "Help to the Blind." Resolution dated March 27, 1917, granting $2,500 to the " Comity de Culture."

Resolution dated June 8, 1917, granting $5,000 (budget of 1918) to the Overseas Campaign Fund of Y.M.C.A.

Budget of 1917. British Sailors' Club, $20,000.

Budget of 1917. Red Cross Society, $12,000, payable at the rate of $1,000 a month.

Contributions of the municipal servants, for 1917 (approximatively), $7,000.

To the deputation "Bonne Entente." $86.50. War Relief Fund, $10, $74, $140, $66.

For works on draining canals that were not urgent, but were executed to help the large army of unemployed, approximatively, $5,000.000.

Our contribution, to date, amounts to *ever $7,000,000. We have also voted one million dollars for the Patriotic Fund. I regret that my hon. friend for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) is not at his seat. He would bear testimony to the generosity and geniality with which the city of Montreal has answered every call for the Patriotic Fund. In justice for all interested parties I must say that this fund is well administered, notwithstanding the efforts of certain newspapers to cast discredit on tho^e who have charge of its administration. In my capacity of Mayor of Montreal, I state positively that all the monies, to the last cent, have been judiciously and honestly distributed. It is hard work to stop the people from talking. There will always be found some one inclined to hurt his neighbour. As far as money is concerned, I have no hesitation to say that we have done more than any other province of the Dominion, in proportion to our wealth and our Dopul-ation.

On a certain date, in compliance with the wishes of the Imperial authorities, the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Evariste Leblanc, invited the province to organize a Tag Day for the benefit of the Red Cross. He asked me to take charge of the organization in the city of Montreal and do you know, Mr. Speaker, what was the result of a single day-eight hours-in the city of Montreal? We collected, in round numbers, no less than $93,000. Does not that compare favorably with what has been done by certain large contributors? The hon. me.n-

ber for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) told us last night, that certain big corporations had. given $200,000; but remember that in eight hours time the workingman took nearly $100,000 out of his pocket. Is there not more generosity in this contribution of the workingman, than in the suberiptions of big corporations who-as it was explained last night by the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Verville) by several newspapers before that-made up for their losses by a cut of 20 per cent in the salaries of their staff? They have been generous at the expense of the workingman. There is no sense in reproaching Quebec with having failed to do her duty, and having exhibited a lack of loyalty to the British flag. We have constantly submitted to insults. You can have the proof of what I am saying, Mr. Speaker, by referring to Hansard, page 288, .229 and 707, Vt>l. I 1910-11, and pages 3219 and 3329, Vol. II of the same session. There you will find what the ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) said concerning the French Canadian clergy. We all remember what happened in this House, concerning the Eucharistic Congress, one night that a Catholic bishop was in the gallery.

We are bound to respect all creeds, and when insult is offered to wbait the French Canadian holds nearest to his heart, his religion, that is not calculated to promote harmony between the various elements of our population.

In spite of all that, Mr. Speaker, in spite of all which has been said against us, we are just and fair.

In the administration of the city of Montreal, we have Englishmen, we have Irishmen, we have Jews, we have all kinds of nationalities.

When I came into power, as mayor, two hundred poliqgmen had to be engaged. One of the conditions I imposed was that the policemen should have a knowledge of both languages, not perfectly, but enough, so that when a tourist would ask for some information, these policemen would be able to furnish it, for every one knows that when a stranger visits a city and needs some information, he generally applies to the policemen. They must therefore speak both languages.

Do you know what happened to me?

The first one which I had to swear in, when I asked him if he had paid any money to get his position and put him a few other questions in French, started to cry, saying he could not understand a single word.

You can see in what a plight I was. I thought that if I refused him, I would be charged with discriminating between the English and the French Canadians, so I turned around and said to him: " Here, my boy, go back to the chief, take your uniform, I allow you three months' delay, and you come back to me three months hence to satisfy me that you are able to say a few words in French."

That was three years ago. He never came back to me, but later when I inquired about him from the chief, the latter declared: " He is the best man we have on the force."

A month and a half later, being obliged to swear in a new man, a French Canadian, who could not speak a word of English, I dismissed him, I refused to accept him.

Take our department, for instance; we have many which are split in two, in order to do justice to the English population- In. the Parks department, there are two superintendents. Why? We could get along with only one. It was to be fair to the English speaking population. The Mountain Park superintendent is Mr. Henderson, and the various other parks are under the direction oc Mr. Bernadet. In the various departments, even justice is dealt out.

In every department, we strive to be fair to all. Why do they not act the same way in Ontario? My own opinion is that they deliberately will not do it. Should we not live in harmony and help one another as brothers? Everybody remembers that, some three or four years ago, in a certain city of Ontario, there was only one French Canadian policeman, a Mr. Lambert, and he was discharged.

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Three Rivers (Mr. Bureau) was speaking in this House, two or three days ago, referring to the Prime Minister who wras asking the hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) to form a Coalition Cabinet, with . the object of having the French Canadians of the province of Quebec submit to the conscription law, did he not ask the Government to employ five or six of the most influential Ontario men, in travelling over this province and in urging the population to discontinue the campaign of slander and abuse against the province of Quebec? No, I repeat it, as to the animosity which exists between these two provinces, we are i!n no wise responsible, we of the province of Quebec, and we do all that we possibly can to maintain the Bonne Entente.

Bo you want another example? Every one knows that, very recently, a Bonne Entente

delegation came to Montreal and afterwards visited the different other most important towns of the province of Quebec. In Montreal, this delegation was the object of an official reception, and we spared nothing to receive it well. What happened? In a small municipality, it had been thought fit to pass a vote of thanks to the mayor, but the same courtesy was not extended to the mayor of the Canadian metropolis. We have also had. the visit of the Win-tlie-War delegation, the city council voted a sum of $2,500 for the good work undertaken by these gentlemen. Have we not done in Quebec all that we should do?

Now, some aTe surprised that Quebec does not enlist. To show that the hon. Prime Minister has not kept his word, although I must repeat what was said by the hon. leader of the Opposition, I will quote the words he said on January 17, 1917:

" I therefore asked the Prime Minister to positively state whether, yes or no, we would have conscription. Put into such a fix, my right hon. friend replied-here is his answer, when I asked him if his offef of 500,000 soldiers meant conscription, or not:

" My right hon. friend has spoken of conscription, of the idea entertained in this country or elsewhere that conscription might exist in Canada, Speaking during the first two or three months of the war, I have clearly had the Canadian people to understand that we did not intend to establish conscription. I again declare it explicitly."

This is not all, Mr. Speaker. Referring to the law which is now before this House, if we consult " La Presse " of December 7. 1916, we will find the words which were uttered, before an audience of 2,500 to 3,000 people, by the Prime Minister when a reception was given him in the Monument National in Montreal; we will be in a better position to see what kind of a man is the Prime Minister who to-day wants to impose such a brutal law. I understand that in the course of a year, circumstances may be altered; but I will point out that this reception was given on December 7, 1916, not more than six months ago. We shall see what say these so-called democrats who pretend to safeguard the people's interests, but who, in reality, safeguard the interests of the Empire. I will even say that it is we who take the true interests of this country, by supplying the Allies with both ammunitions and food. Here is then what the Prime Minister said:

" Canada is a State in a larger State, which is the Empire. Our country enjoys the benefits of a constitution which was granted

to us fifty years ago, and which was written through the wisdom of the Fathers of the Confederation, men whose names are dear to every Canadian heart, the Macdonalds, the Cartiers, the Browns and the Tuppers.

It is true that there are no more such men on the Government side.

" By keeping within the limits of that Constitution, the people of Canada govern themselves, and every citizen exerts his personal and individual influence, when he is called upon to declare in which way he. intends to be governed."

Is that what the Government is proclaiming to-day? That principle, Mr. Speaker, which was advocated in the Monument National, on December 7, 1916, by the Prime Minister, is the very one which the right hon. leader of the Opposition is putting into practice to-day.

" It is a right established conformably to the principles of every democratic government."

I repeat it, Mr. Speaker, is that what the Government wants to-day? The referendum which we are asking in the name of the whole people of Canada, they want to deny it and to impose an arbitrary law. Is not that exactly the condition as in Germany?

I .say (that it would be ia good thing if the taxpayers of the country had the courage to come up here, in 'Ottawa, and make a clean sweep of the present Government, without injuring them, 'for no one has the night to do that. That is whait should be done with these people who do not respect the Constitution, who do not respect the given word, who indeed; db not respect anything, and here I refer most particularly to those members of the province of Quebec who .are preaching to-day the very contrary of what they preached in 1911. Is this democracy? No., I claim they iare autocrats and nothing else. Can anyone he surprised after all if, today, the province of Quebec turns a deaf ear to the Prime Minister's words?

I continue:

"But every tight necessarily imposes a corresponding duty. The State .protects the citizens, their person .and their property; it sees to the enforcement of the laws .and to good administration. Every citizen must, therefore, give a certain sum of service to the State, there never has been and perhaps there never will be an occasion to make that duty more imperative, more necessary, than the one now offered.

"For the Belgian land the French, the oo-cupation of the national territory by the foe, the implacable manifestations of his iron hand, the .terror inspired 'by his devastations constitute the most eloquent plea in1 favour

[Mr. M. Martin 1

of .the organizing of the national service for every citizen. To ns, the need seems more distant, but it is not the less real for all that.

That is what the Prime Minister had said *if even, 'at that time, he had said: gentlemen, the circumstances are such 'that they compel ns to .change our minds, Canada is in danger, perhaps oiur own territory miay be 'invaded by the Germans.

No, Mr. Speaker, never will -Canada be invaded by the Germans. We have to protect us the United States, and on the other hand, we have England who will do everything possible to keep us among her colonies because it is 'her own interest to do so.

Here is what was .said by the hon. member for Jaeques-Cartier (Mr. Descarries), in reply to. the speech from His 'Excellency the Governor General (See page 15 House of Commons Debates):

I believe, in any case, Mr. Speaker, and I think I am voicing the opinion of the majority of the hon. members in stating that the constitution of the country forbids sending our soldiers to fight outside of Canada, without special legislation being enacted in this House and that no such legislation altering the very basis of our constitution would be enacted without its being first submitted to the people of Canada. No, Mr. Speaker, there can be no question of conscription. Obligatory enlistment is not needed. The people of Canada have given noble proof of their loyalty. Freely and voluntarily, four hundred thousand men have already answered the call. If they are required, one hundred thousand more will follow of their own free will. And thus the Prime Minister will have given to the Empire and the allied nations a royal and magnificent contribution to restore the peace of the world, which, let us hope, Providence will soon grant to Europe. .

That was on January 18, I believe, ox the 21sit or 22nd. Mr. Speaker, with men who have mo longer any mandate, men who are here only by their own will and by that of the Imperial Government, I say that they hiave not the right, as it .suits their fancy, to fry .and take away the people's liberty, and especially .so, after the .speech .made by the Prime Minister .in the Monument National.

It is said and -repeated that enlisting has not been a success. In Montreal, they put .at the -head of -recruiting, as -stated -by my hon. friend the member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) a Protestant -minister, .a perfectly honest man, I .attended the first meeting he held in a theater. The clergy have done all they could. When one considers how the Prime Minister bias -deceived his Grace the Archbishop of Montreal, about the National Service -cards, can one he surprised that no one gives any more credit to the Prime Minister's words? Obviously, th-e people are in-

censed, -tbait their own ATch bishop has mot been respected. I regret to be obliged to say this. I concede ibait -a common individual may make a mistake, but when it as the Prime Minister of Canada who, in the space of five or six months, changes his speech several times on itihe floor of the House. . .

I say that the defeat of that man is not distant. He will perhaps pass the Bill now being considered by this House, there is no doubt it will be adopted by the majority at his back and who do not respect the mandate entrusted to them. I regret to be forced to say this. As stated by the member for Maisonneuve, the workingman is intelligent, buit we have our full measure of ills in Montreal, we don't want any thing of this.

Here is where we are at: we have reached the point of having a Government in no wise responsible, having no longer the right to legislate.

On the second of next month, the fiftieth anniversary of Confederation will he celebrated. It is the end of Confederation that is coming, nothing else, if we continue to insult one another. Most frequently, it is the fault of certain newspapers, in order to make .a few dollars- I say that if such abuse is continued, if this law is passed, you will have, unfortunately, civil war in this country. We have enough war, enough hardships, without having the Government bring about what they are bringing about [DOT]to-day.

The Prime Minister has promised 500,000 men to England. He had no right to do so. He should have, at least, consulted his ministers, he should have, at least, consulted the leader of the Opposition; but no, he leaves, he goes to England, he returns; at a given moment, completely changed, the pledged word is broken, there is no more constitution, the people doesn't count. The people can be deceived once, twice, but the third time, they strike hard.

Mr. Speaker, I rely upon the opinion of ia clear-sighted man, I refer to the greatest Canadian living, after Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Lord Shaughnisssy) a good Irishman, who has received the highest honours which England can -bestow upon one of our own. What did he say, when he returned from England: "That i.f the Government gave

500,000 men, it was calculated to disorganize the country." This interview has been published in the press, therefore I pass over many things. I had promised my hon. friend, the member for Maskinonge (Mr. Bellemare) to speak only ten minutes ; I beg his pardon if I am taking advantage of his

goo-d nature, but I do not want to resume my seat before having added a few more remarks.

We, of the province of Quebec, we believe we can better serve the interests of the Empire and of the Allies by supplying them with ammunitions and foodstuffs. That is what was stated by Lord Shaughnessey, and if there is a man well informed as to our situation from the economical point of view, he is really the one; for me, he is in Canada the man who knows best. He is at the head of a large institution, the Canadian Pacific, which alone is worth more than the city of Montreal, more than the city of Toronto. Here is a peer of England, who comes to us and declares that, in the interest of the Empire, as well as in the future interest of Canada, our duty is neither more nor less, to supply munitions and to feed the soldiers.

The member for Red Deer (Dr. M. Clark) -said the other day that while we were discussing, some one hundred and thirty people bad been killed by German bombs and that victuals and munitions intended for the Allies had been sunk, had been sent to the bottom of the sea.

Now, a conference was held most recently in New York city, between Mr. Emile Level, the representative of France, and Mr. Hoover, -the United States' representative. England's representative, whose name has been mentioned a few minutes ago, did not attend that conference.

Here follows a report of it:

France's envoy demands a billion bushels of grain.

Emile Level exposes to Mr. Hoover the allied nations' as well as the neutrals' needs.

The task of the United States and of Canada. Our own farmers will have to supply a considerable amount of provisions over and above the ordinary production.

Washington, June 2, 1917.-The Allies, as well as the neutral countries, will need a billion bushels of grain during the next twelve months, besides what their respective countries can produce, according to a detailed statement -prepared by Mr. H. C. Hoover, who has been appointed by President Wilson food controller for the United States.

According to Mr. Hoover, the United States and Canada will he called upon to furnish the greater part of this grain which the belligerent and the neutral nations will divide among themselves as follows, always after his own calculations :


Great Britain . . .. 225,000,000

France 175,000,000

Italy 90,000,000

Belgium and Portugal 50,000,000

Neutrals In Europe. 10,000,000 Other neutrals.. .. 5,000,000



70.000. 000

60.000. 000




Topic:   ON DEMANDE.
Full View Permalink