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38   DAYS OF PREPARATION

out that a Liberal and a Conservative who were hammering each other in a partisan way on Tuesday night could hardly be expected to stand together and make eloquent appeals for recruits on Wednesday. It was contended also that the ministers would need all their energies for carrying on the war, and ought not to waste them in defending their record and attacking their critics. One fight at a time was enough.

During the session of 1915, it was evident that the views of those who advocated a war election prevailed, for a measure was introduced and passed to allow soldiers at the front to cast their votes. But public opinion showed itself more and more strongly opposed to a war election, and as no one could predict the duration of the war, the opinion gradually gained ground that the life of Parliament should be extended. It will be convenient here to anticipate the course of events, and say that this action was taken in the session of 1916. The Prime Minister then moved that an address be presented to the King, asking for the extension of Parliament for one year, namely, to the seventh of October, 1917. This involved an amendment to the British North America Act, which could be made only by the Imperial Parliament. Subsequently that Parliament passed the necessary legislation.

The war brought to Canada a large volume of orders for munitions, horses, saddlery, clothing, and other supplies. Great industrial prosperity ensued; unemployment for a time ceased to be a troublesome problem; there were opportunities for large legitimate profits, and for some that were not legitimate. Charges were made in Parliament that middlemen had levied toll on con-tracts; two members of Parliament who were found to be interested in war contracts were rebuked by the Prime Minister, to whose party they belonged. War contracts were investigated by a Parliamentary Committee, by Sir Charles Davidson as a Commissioner, and later on by a Royal Commission composed of Sir William


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