POLITICS
08/10/2014 03:06 EDT | Updated 10/10/2014 05:59 EDT

Quotes about Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's First World War minister of militia.

Quotes about Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's minister of militia, or defence minister, in the early years of the First World War:

"I believe him to be mentally unbalanced, with the low cunning and cleverness often associated with the insane." Sir Joseph Flavelle, a Toronto industrialist who was appointed to straighten out munitions production during the war.

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"Hughes was a force to be reckoned with in cabinet and country, a man of strong passions, raging biases and immense drive." Historian Jack Granatstein in his latest book, The Greatest Victory.

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"He was under constant illusions that enemies were working against him." Sir Robert Borden, wartime prime minister.

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"You must surely realize that I cannot retain in the government a colleague who has addressed to me such a communication. I regret that you have thus imposed upon me the disagreeable duty of requesting your resignation as the minister of militia and defence." Borden, Nov. 9, 1916, after Hughes sent him a letter which essentially accused the prime minister of lying.

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"For Hughes, there was never any middle ground." Historian Tim Cook in his book, The Madman and the Butcher.

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"Sir Sam Hughes's career was so bizarre and unsettling that it read like a novel, and perhaps an unbelievable one at that." Cook, The Madman and the Butcher.

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"Hughes's reputation will live as long as mountebanks are admired. That guarantees his historical longevity." Desmond Morton and Jack Granatstein in Marching to Armageddon, Canadians and the Great War 1914-1919.

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