Mr. A. LAYERGNE.
I do not know whether my hon. friend wishes here to escape responsibility for the brutal cartoons published in his newspaper the Toronto 'World' -cartoons in which the province of Quebec is represented as an illiterate Indian and the people of the Northwest as most intelligent, civilized, and claiming they are white men. What does that mean if it does not mean that the inhabitants of the province of Quebec are of mixed origin ? Sir, I would be prouder to have in my veins the blood of the noble red man than the blood of some hon. gentlemen opposite who write in the Toronto ' World.' I would wish that every British colony and every province of this Dominion were peopled by inhabitants of as pure an origin and with as pure blood in their veins as the French inhabitants of the province of Quebec. I would wish that they could trace as good a genealogy as any inhabitant of that province is able to trace, not only in this country but in the country of bis forefathers. The cartoons published in the Toronto 1 Globe ' are bold, brutal, stupid and as untrue as they are stupid. It appears now that my hon. friend from South York would lead us to infer that he does not approve of those cartoons, but I do not know that he has ever gone back on them.
But supposing the schools of the province of Quebec were as bad as they are described by hon. members opposite and by some people who write in the Ontario papers, I say that if we have a system of schools in the province of Quebec at all we have a right to-day to be proud, because after the treaty rf Paris in liG3, when the last ship for Fiance took away from our shores the r obility and the rich people and left be-
hind the poor peasants, ruined by war, left with a debt from France of 20 million irants, a whole cloud of adventurers came to this country and_continued on the ruin of the poor settlers who were left behind. Then contrary to the Act of capitulation and the treaty of Paris, the Catholic institutions were taken away from the French people. The system of schools we had then were taken from us. I should like to give my hon. friend a history of the school system in the province of Quebec if it were possible to enlighten him, because although he tells us he has spent much time in that province, it is quite evident that he has not learnt much. From 17G0 to 1800 the French Canadian refused to participate in the schools then existing, because it was against their conscience to do so, and I consider that their ignorance was a glorious one. In 1800 there was a school system established for which the French Canadians were taxed; the Royal Institution.'in which the money was given to the Protestant schools and to them only. Again the French Canadians refused to attend those schools, because it was against their conscience to do so, and they remained in their glorious ignorance. In 1824 we had the first schools worthy of the name, but as there was no public mouey given them, they could not work very well. In 1837 our rights were still not recognized and the Protestant minority had still control of the public funds. In 1841 the first move was made towards giving our people a schools system which they could support, and in 1846 we had our separate school system established, and our French Canadian people could go to schools where their rights were recognized and which they could attend without a blush of shame. Considering that we started our school only in 1846, we have made marvellous progress and to-day our system is at the head of the whole confederation.