That brings up a question
which I intended to refer to later. It is not the question whether Conservatives or Liberals should be in power at this time. Mr Mackenzie King issued a manifesto to the people of the country in October when he asked them to return him to power upon certain policies which he submitted to them. What was the result? Leave out of consideration for the moment the Conservative party, the Progressives, the Labour and Independent members. What was the result, I ask? The people decided against Mr. Mackenzie King in the proportion of 101 candidates elected in his party to the rest of the membership of this House of 245. In view of this decision Mr. King had only one plain duty, and that was to resign. The issue was not whether the government should corral enough support from independent sources to enable it to carry on; that was not the issue at all. The issue was very clearly stated by Mr. King at Richmond Hill and throughout the Dominion; he said, "I want the electors to give me a sufficient majority to warrant me in going back to parliament and putting into force those policies which I have not been able to make effective so far because of the meagre majority I have at my command." I say, therefore, to my hon. friend from North Winnipeg that it is not a question of his being opposed to the policy of the Conservative party or the policy of the Liberal party and having to choose between the two. No; that is not the question. His constituency, I presume, sent him back to parliament to oppose the King administration, as did all the other constituencies
represented in this House by hon. gentlemen in all quarters who were elected in opposition to the government; and' the government has no right to accept, nor is it just in accepting, the support of either Progressives, Independent members, Labour members, or any other faction in this House. The people, I repeat, decided against the King government, and Mr. King, if he wanted to keep faith with them, would not now accept support from these sources, for the constituents of hon. members who were elected in opposition to the government and were returned to parliament for the express purpose of opposing the government, and they should oppose it, irrespective of what the policies of the Conservative party may be.
The Speech from the Throne promises the building of the Hudson Bay railway. Now we from the east have little knowledge of that undertaking; we do not know what it is going to cost nor whether it will be under the control of the Canadian National Railways or not. Has any report been received from Sir Henry Thornton and his engineers on this project. We should like to know these things. We want to know whether there is going to be set up in this country a distinctly dual system of governmental control of the National railways. As matters are now, I for one have not been made acquainted with the intention of the government in this respect. Is this new railway to become a part of the Canadian National system, or is another Canadian National system going to be brought into being entailing high paid officials and all the inevitable paraphernalia of such a system all over the Dominion? These are some of the things we want to know before committing *ourselves to such a gigantic project as the Hudson Bay railway, and we are entitled to have that information. The people should know all about the matter before being asked to undertake this project.
Other questions are dealt with in the Speech from the Throne such as rural credits and various other matters which have been carefully gone into by hon. gentlemen who have already spoken. There is, for example, a proposed commission to inquire into Maritime rights. As I said in my maiden speech in this House, we do not need a commission to ascertain what these rights are; we know what they are and we are here to insist upon their recognition.
Reference was made to myself a few days ago by the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Robichaud) who observed that we Maritime righters were not in our proper place when
The Address-Mr. Lacombe
sitting on the left of the Speaker. I want to ask the hon. gentleman where we should go to have Maritime rights recognized. Certainly not to the Mackenzie King government. We sent a delegation of 200 to Ottawa a year ago to urge recognition of our rights without any benefits. We sent 16 representatives in 1921 to support the Liberal party, but our cause was not recognized, and in 1925 they do not know what Maritime rights are. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the hon. member, he is the sole survivor of the virtually extinct species of Liberalism from the province of New Brunswick in this House. Might I say while on that question, Mr. Speaker, that in Nova Scotia to-day the parties in both houses of parliament, local and federal are made up of one Labour member, six Liberals and fifty Conservatives. The hon. member no doubt will receive the reward he is entitled to and be asked to accept a seat in the cabinet now to be reconstructed. New Brunswick is too important a province to go without representation in the government, and I have no doubt that his past services to the party and his ability merit that reward.
Referring again to the hon. Minister of National Defence I would ask him-if he were in the chamber-why the Guvsborough railway was not built under the same procedure as the Rouyn railway. The Liberal party made great claims down in Nova Scotia with respect to the building of the Guysborough railway, and said they had done everything in their power to get the road built for the benefit of the people in Guysborough and the adjoining counties. But evidently they did not do everything in their power, because I understand that a certain act was placed on the statute books in 1915, and according to the way they 'dealt with the Rouyn railway, I believe they would have been able to pursue the same procedure to bring about the construction of the Guysborough railway. But I do not admit that they were really entitled to build the Rouyn railway in that way, nor do I admit they they could have built the Guysborough railway by following a similar course. But having taken the wrong course in that case, they could easily have repeated the wrong and built the Guysborough railway, instead of bringing in a bill to authorize its construction, which bill they knew was a sham because it would be and was rejected by the upper chamber.
Mr. L. LAOOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains). (Translation): Mr. Speaker, allow me to make a few comments in my mother tongue -were it but to assert again the principle, already acknowledged' long ago, of the use of
the two official languages in this country- that tongue of which Andre Chenier was able to say: The most beautiful language born on human lips.
I am happy, Sir, to take part in this debate and support, as a member of the Liberal party, the so dignified, tactful and energetic attitude taken by the acting Prime Minister, the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). It really is a pleasure to assist in the efforts made by all the members of this government and I shall add, moreover, in the offorts made by our congenial colleagues in this House, the Progressive members. I cannot, however, pay the same compliment to the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) and to his followers who, for weeks, have been obstructing legislation and will have to answer to the people of Canada for the enormous expenditure which, each day, they are the cause. Where are these gentlemen who, in the course of the last electoral campaign, proclaimed themselves the champions of economy? I ask you, Sir, were they sincere? Were they in earnest when they advocated economy and when, to-day, they confine themselves to obstruction which threatens to become everlasting? That is why the government has thought fit to take energetic means, and I deny the leader of the opposition's right of being shocked with regard to this measure since it is his own child. He was its father not under similar circumstances as do now apply to it; but he was the author of it at a time when all men having the interest of their country at heart, wished to protest as to Canada bleeding itself to death in order to participate in the wars of the empire; he was its father at that time just as he charged, this afternoon, the hon. Minister of Justice of being the father of the measure to-day.
I must congratulate the Minister of Justice who in a way comes forward as the standard bearer of the rights of the people in this House. He is the bulwark of these rights because knowing himself well supported by us, he wants to put an end to this deluge of words characteristic of an incompetence unsurpassed but by its own insignificance.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot refrain from pointing out to the energetic and strong stand taken by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). I am happy, although not always agreeing with him in his views and principles, to offer him this sincere mark of my admiration, and to observe that he has lost nothing of his eloquence and energy of days gone by, that this eloquence also is still persuasive and
The Address-Mr. Bennett
fiery and can only find its equal but in his high intellectual culture.
When I speak thus, when I express myself frankly, clearly and precisely, I know I am voicing the general feeling of my county. Have we not obtained in this House, the sanction of the people through the unquestionable majority we repeatedly have been registering up to this day? Are- not the . people backing us up? Is not the established authority of this country supporting us, and does not the majority of the representatives of the people constitute the established authority?
That is why, to-day, we are fearless in suppressing the unceasing obstruction of those who oppose our measures. We are in duty bound to govern because the people, through their representation in this House, have decreed that we were the government. This is why we have no fear in saying: desperate diseases require desperate remedies.
I state that it is absolutely wrong for the opposition to have, week after week held this House in suspense, when the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) stated a short while ago, that the opposition had no desire for a holiday, I was in no wa5r astounded, as the opposition has been enjoying a holiday for already five weeks. And when the hon. member further stated that after giving it serious consideration he had changed his mind, I would ask him to also return to his first love, to the sacred ties of the Liberal party whose cherished aims are the country's happiness, prosperity and glory.
I was listening, a few moments ago to the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Mewburn). Hamilton! The prophetical word of to-day, .since it sums up the new political policy of the right hon. leader of the opposition. Hamilton! The famous Hamilton speech! which, thank God, the province of Quebec did not swallow down at the last election in Bagot. And how could they believe in that speech when the most intimate satellites of the leader of the apposition were criticizing him throughout Ontario? It is not necessary to name these members, however, beneath the velvet paw we felt the claws of these satellites of the leader of the opposition.
I do not wish, Sir, to further impose on your kindness. Allow me, by the way, to add a few words with reference to the hon. member for St. Lawrence^St. George (Mr. Cahan) who, the other day, in this House, made a speech lasting five hours and a half. His attitude seems somewhat strange, especially when one beholds him sitting on the same row as the right hon. leader of the opposition, he who always acknowledged Mr. REVISED
Patenaude as his leader in the province of Quebec. The same remark applies to the hon. member for Mount Royal (Mr. White) whose newspaper so strongly condemned the attitude taken by the opposition these last days.
I trust that the high ideals of these two hon. members will have a beneficial influence on the opposition.
In closing my remarks, Mr. Speaker, allow me to state that I rose not to harshly criticize the opposition, but because the interest of the country at large demanded it, and because we need, we on the government side, to reorganize the cabinet, to complete our legislation and bring it down before parliament in order to carry out our sessional programme. That is what the people demand of us, to-day, and that is why I have taken part in this debate.
Topic: l-MO COMMONS