Ferdinand Joseph ROBIDOUX

ROBIDOUX, Ferdinand Joseph, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Kent (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
October 17, 1875
Deceased Date
June 17, 1962
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Joseph_Robidoux
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=e6666b13-627c-4812-9538-0228c57bab28&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
CON
  Kent (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 2)


September 5, 1917

Mr. ROBIDOUX:

I trust the minister

will not treat too seriously the abuse which has been heaped on the Government telephone lines by hon. gentlemen opposite. I happen to know about that part of the line to which my hon. friend refers. It extends from Chatham to Point Sapin, part iu Northumberland county, and part in Kent county. It i's about 50 or GO miles in length, and the proposition is now t-*. extend it from Point Sapin to the Kouchibouguac river, following the shore, through districts spars-ley settled, and altogether out of communication with the rest of the world. The people who live along the shore are engaged in fishing and the telephone service is their only means of communication with the outside world. The hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) referred to the New Brunswick Telephone Company, and the readiness of that company to do anything they could to give telephone facilities to the people of New Brunswick. I do not know how telephone companies act in other parts of the Dominion. But I want to say that in New Brunswick, so far as telephones are concerned, we have one of the worst monopolies in the Dominion of Canada. We formerly had two companies in New Brunswick, the Central 'Telephone Company and the New Brunswick Telephone Company. I do not know to which company the hon, gentleman belongs, but today competition has been absolutely abolished by the absorption of the Central Telephone Company by the New Brunswick Telephone Company. The hon. gentleman has stated that the New Brunswick Telephone Company was always ready to come to the rescue of people who desired telephone communication and I desire to say that that is not so. I know a number of irstances where applications were made to the New Brunswick Telephone Company to extend their lines to different localities

and They would n-ot give the people these facilities. The New Brunswick Telephone Company was generous enough to say to the people: You put up the poles, we will put up the wire, and the line will belong to us. That was the basis upon which they were prepared to give telephone communication to these people. The proposed line will end at Kouchibouguac beach. It does not connect in any way with the New Brunswick Telephone line at Kouchibouguac; it connects with the main line at Chatham, and gives very valuable service to the people of that section of the country; the government will be well advised, if they extend the system further whenever needed. Reference has been made to the amount paid for rental om these lines, and the $4.50 rate has been considered ridiculous by gentlemen opposite. Well, $4.50 at first sight is ridiculous, but it is not quite so ridiculous when you take into consideration the fact that by paying $4.50 you merely get communication with Chatham, and the localities along that line, which I say are sparsely settled.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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September 5, 1917

Mr. ROBIDOUX:

I cannot give my hon. friend the information, but I believe the matter was broached when Mr. Richard O'Leary was a member of the board of directors of the New Brunswick Telephone Company, and my information is that the company could not consider the question of establishing a telephone line in that district, 'because the line would have to be built through about ten miles of uninhabited country, from which no revenue would 'be derived. From a business standpoint the proposition could not be considered at all, and the New Brunswick Telephone Company would not consider it. The company is not in business for the good of the health of its members; it is in business for dollars and cents, and that is the policy it followed ever since it has had the monopoly. Before the New Brunswick Telephone Company had obtained a practical monopoly in the province we could get certain privileges and certain advantages from the rival companies, but evidently the competition was not satisfactory to the shareholders of the New Brunswick Telephone Company, so they absorbed these other companies. This was good business. Although it is permissible for any man or any body of men to start a telephone company in the province of New Brunswick, it is a difficult matter to carry on a business of that kind with competition as strong as the competition of the New Brunswick Telephone Company. For that reason there are no rival companies. In many instances the rates of the New Brunswick Telephone Company are fair, but in many others which I could enumerate if this were the time and place, they are unfair.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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September 5, 1917

Mr. ROBIDOUX:

60 miles of communication through wilderness, and the New Brunswick Company would not, under any consideration, undertake to build the line there, and the moment you reach Chatham if you want to communicate with any other portion of the province you must pay 25 cents to the New Brunswick Telephone Company. If you were to telephone into Chatham, in order- to get your connection with the town of Chatham you must pay a pretty heavy toll. The Department of Public Works would be well advised not to pay too much consideration to all this howl which is raised against their telephone lines, which are giving good service to a portion of the population, which would not get any service at all were it not for those lines.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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June 26, 1917

Mr. FERDINAND JOSEPH ROBIDOUX (Kent, N.B.):

Mr. Speaker, I would take no part in this debate did I not feel bound to raise my voice in support of the measure introduced by the Prime Minister, and I take this position believing it to be in the best interests of the race to which I belong, as well as of the country generally. I have : followed with close attention the debate which has taken place in this House during the last few days, and it'seems to me that there are a few things which have been pretty conclusively established, the first of which is the fact that the principle of compulsory military service has been embodied in our statute law ever since Con-

federation. It is therefore quite clear that the proposed Military Service Act does not introduce into the legislation of this country any new principle as far as compulsion for the defence of Canada is concerned, except in so far as it provides that troops shall be raised by selective drafts and not by the methods laid down in the Militia Act, which require that the men be selected by ballot. The new Act does not trust to luck for the selection of the men; it provides that the selection shall be made in an intelligent manner, having regard to the requirements of the great industries of the country, chief among which must necessarily rank agriculture and the fisheries, which are the most important agencies of food production.

In the second place, it has been shown beyond question that the Governor in Council already has the power, under the terms of the Militia Act of 1904, to send Canadian troops beyond the limits of Canada for the defence of Canada in a case of emergency. The hon. member for Kamouraska has cited old statutes in force before Confederation, in which it was specially stipulated that the militia could be called out and marched to any place without the province, but conterminous therewith for the purpose of repelling or meeting an attack. My hon. friend cited those old statutes in an endeavour to prove that under the present Militia Act the same limitations applied. But in my judgment he has only succeeded in proving exactly the contrary proposition to that which he sought to establish. In the Militia Act of 1868, drafted by Sir George Etienne Cartier, as well as in the Act of 1904, the word " conterminous" has been eliminated, showing conclusively that the framers of the new law had in contemplation certain circumstances which might arise and might compel Canada to send her troops even beyond the seas to fight for the defence of Canada. Otherwise the word " conterminous " would have been left in the statute. Moreover the words uttered by the then Minister ot Justice, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, at the time the clause dealing with this matter was adopted, words which have already been quoted in this House, evidently show that this is the true and proper construction to put on that clause.

There is another fact which, clear and distinct, looms out of this debate and out of the events which transpired in this country at the outbreak of the war. Canada went into this war, not only because Great Britain and the Empire were threatened

by a grave danger, not merely for the purpose of helping Great Britain and France in the tremendous struggle into which the unjust aggresision of Germany 'had thrust them without cause or warning; but Canada entered this war for the stern and fixed purpose of protecting herself and her people against a grave and serious danger which would inevitably become a disaster should Germany win out. It was mainly this sentiment of self-preservation which prompted the people of this country at the outbreak of the war, and ever since, without distinction of race and creed, to unite in a common voluntary effort to resist the German menace and help crush it, and upon this sentiment chiefly rested the appeal which was made to the youth of Canada in order to urge them to enlist and fly to the defence of our country.

Finally it has been shown by the Prime Minister, and i.t has been generally admitted by those who have spoken in this debate, that the system of voluntary enlistment had ceased to , yield the requisite number of .men to maintain the Canadian troops at full strength at the front. While this state of affairs is to be regretted, at the same time I agree with those who hold that voluntary enlistment has not been a failure. My own native province, the province of New Brunswick, has done wonders under the voluntary system. It gave me a good deal of satisfaction the other day to hear the former Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes), quoting from a memorandum on recruiting which he had addressed to the Prime Minister on July 10, 1916, state that " it must be borne in mind that the Acadians have done magnificently." While I might not be justified in saying that the Acadians in proportion to numbers have enlisted as .well as their Englishspeaking fellow citizens in my province- and there are good and valid reasons which I need not give here which can account for this-still it, can indeed be stated truthfully that they have nobly answered the call to arms and that they have performed their duty as Canadians and British .subjects in a splendid manner. But, Sir, the attitude taken by my compatriots in the present war is in line with the best traditions of the past. In years gone by, in the hour of their country's need, they never failed to respond to the call of duty. As far back ,as in the year 1812, when they had just begun to recuperate from the hardships of evil days, when hostilities broke out between Great Britain and the United States, we

find them faithfully -and courageously serving their king and country in the militia of their respective provinces. A few days ago I came across an old militia list containing the names of a comparatively large number of Acadians from my own county, the county of Kent, the population of which was small in those days, the names of men who, within a month -after the declaration of war, had enlisted to fight for their country. I would like, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and the consent of the House, to put these names on Hansard as a matter of record:

Topic:   JUlSlE 26, 1917
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April 28, 1914

Mr. ROBIDOUX:

The hon. member

knows that the acting Premier to-day is the Hon. Mr. Clarke.

Topic:   THE ST. JOHN VALLEY RAILWAY.
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