House of Commons, 6 April 1868, Canadian Confederation with Newfoundland

466 COMMONS DEBATES April 6, 1868
Mr. Gibbs said he had no hesitation in giving the vote he had done the other day, but the remarks of the honourable member were rather ungracious, coming from a gentleman who introduced his last resolution well knowing, from the fate of the first, that the information asked for would not be granted, and who, because he could not get all, would take none.
Mr. Mackenzie said that the motion moved by the honourable member for Chateauguay, to which allusion had been made, was one suggested by the member of South Lennox, and spoken favourably of by the members for Renfrew and South Ontario. One of these gentlemen having suggested the motion to the member for Chateauguay with whom they had been in accord in bank sentiments, nothing was more natural than that honourable gentleman should make the motion, and he (Mr. Mackenzie) confessed, however, that he was never more astonished in his life than to see one member after another member stand up and vote against this very motion. (Hear and laughter).
Mr. Cartwright was free to acknowledge he did suggest the motion, but he bowed to the judgment of the Minister of Justice in the matter, who had desired that compliance with the resolution would be adverse to the public interest.
Mr. Mackenzie said that not a single member of the Ministry said the motion of the member for Chateauguay was adverse to the public interest.
Hon. Mr. Galt protested against its being taken for granted that the Government were at a great disadvantage in consequence of their arrangement with the Bank of Montreal. He wished to bear his testimony to the fair dealing of that institution towards the Government. In circumstances of very considerable financial difficulty the Government had received assistance from the Bank of Montreal, the absence of which would perhaps have proved exceedingly embarrassing to the Ministry of the day.
At six o'clock the House rose. After the recess.
Hon. Mr. Rose having obtained leave to speak, said he did not decide to allow the statement of the member for Chateauguay to pass unchallenged. Now, he would state once for all, that the Government desired to give the fullest information of all the transactions they had with their fiscal agents. There was nothing whatever in these the Government need to be afraid of. All these transactions had been solely dictated and carried on with an eye to the public interest. No information which the House or country has a right to expect would be withheld.
Hon. Mr. Holton hoped, as every information was to be given, that the correspondence on this subject, which he had asked for, would be forthcoming. He had no hesitation in saying that at one time when he was in the Administration, the Bank of Montreal was a useful public servant—now it would become master.
Hon. John S. Macdonald said the statement of the member for Chateauguay regarding the Bank of Montreal was not warranted. He protested against this continued harping against the Bank of Montreal. The fact was that the bank was patronized by the Government because it had helped them cheerfully and materially in times of need, and was besides by far the best managed institution of that time in the Dominion. Let the member for Chateauguay attack the Government and let the servant of the Government alone. It was unfair to attack the Bank of Montreal when the gentlemen of the Treasury Benches were the really responsible parties.
Dr. Parker thought that even though there was nothing to conceal, as the Minister of Finance stated, still his continued mystery on the subject would excite suspicion in the country. He would prefer that the whole information should be given.
The motion was carried.


Mr. Fortin moved an address for all correspondence between the Government of the late Province of Canada and of the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland, in relation to the boundary line of Labrador.—Carried.
Mr. Fortin moved an address for all correspondence relating to the custom duties exacted by the Newfoundland Government from Canadian fishermen on the Coast of Labrador.—Carried.


Mr. McDonald (Antigonish) moved for a copy of the address of the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, praying for the repeal of so much of the British North America Act as [...]


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1867-1868. Edited by P.B. Waite. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1967. Original scans accessible at: http://parl.canadiana.ca/.



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