April 4, 1905

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

I composed that myself after observing the exhibition made by the ministers. I may say, Sir, that I got it in a reflective mood, and after the beautiful exhibition of Christian spirit and brotherly love displayed here one evening by the Minister of Justice, I went home and reflected and this is the result.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

You should reflect often er.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Perhaps so. The Minister of Justice on that occasion displayed on the floor of parliament all the old time characteristics of the Champlain street youngster, and he displayed them to the great edification of the people of this country. Nor, Sir, can I bring to bear on this question the speculative opinions of the Postmaster General, who has had such an ample training working hand in hand with the Protestant Protective Association organization of the province of Ontario throughout the length and breadth of many constituencies. Nor can I bring to bear on this subject the illogical fanticism or the sparkling distortion of established facts displayed by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). I shall endeavour to discuss these questions 120*

without any appeal to prejudice, but simply on the basis of what are the facts, and what is for the best interests of the people of the Territories which are being erected into two provinces, and for the best interests of the people of the whole Dominion of Canada.

Now, I trust that the Prime Minister will excuse me for bringing to his mind some of his old speeches. In this connection, I may say that the young gentleman from Mont-magny (Mr. Lavergne) struck the Prime Minister a very heavy blow beneath the belt when, in referring to the hon. member for North Toronto, he said that a man of principles always stuck to his principles, and never wavered. While saying that, he looked across to this side of the House, but I am satisfied that the Prime Minister, in his heart of hearts, felt that the reflection was upon himself and his friends on that side of the House, who have been 'everything by turns and nothing long,' and who have never kDown where they stood on questions of principle. On March 3, 1896, the right hon. Prime Minister, as reported in ' Hansard ' at page 2737-8 addressing the leader of the government of that day said :

The hon. gentleman is aware-more than anybody else, perhaps, he ought to be aware-that in a community with a free government, in a free country like this, upon any question involving different conceptions of what is right or wrong, different standards of what is just or unjust, it is the part of statesmanship not to force the views of any section, but to endeavour to bring them ail to a uniform standard and a uniform conception of what is right.

I heartily commend these words to the Prime Minister to-day. What are the facts in regard to this question ? The Hudson Bay Territory was taken over by the imperial authorities and transferred by them to the Canadian authorities. I shall not enter into a description of those vast territories and their latent resources, and the great wealth that lies there to be developed. These are all well known to

all the members of this House. Those territories were united with the Dominion of Canada, and in that Act of union, although it was known and intended that they were sooner or later to be erected into provinces, there was no mention of separate schools. They were given a constitution by the Dominion parliament, and, inasmuch as the few people living in the territories spoke the French language, the people of Canada allowed them to have their own schools. That, and that alone, was the reason why those schools were given to thos? people without any serious opposition. My hon. friend from Montmagny is in error in saying that it was thought at that time that those territories were going to become French and Roman Catholic. It was understood that there would be a large French settlement in the province of Manitoba ; but with regard to the territories, the understanding from one end of the Dominion to

tlie other,-and our friends in Quebec knew it, and they know it to-day,-was that they would become settled by a large Englishspeaking population. That was one reason why our French friends at that time claimed that the boundaries of Manitoba should be enlarged, so that it, being regarded to a large extent as a French province, would have more room for development ; but the expectation was that the new territories would become English. They were given separate schools more on the ground of language than of creed. The teachers in those schools were principally the priests of the various localities. There were only five or six hundred families in all the territories.

A comparison has been drawn between the separate schools of the province of Quebec and those of the province of Ontario. We are told that the English minority in the province of Quebec were granted certain privileges. Let me tell the hon. member for Labelle and the hon. member for Mont-magny that the concession in the province of Quebec was not to the English minority, but to the French Roman Catholic majority. At the time of the conquest they were granted the rights and liberties that had been won under the auspices of the gentleman under whom my good friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) gets the credit of serving, whose memory he reveres-William Prince of Orange. It was William Prince of Orange who gave to the British nation the liberties they enjoy to-day ; and when Quebec capitulated, the liberties which had been guaranteed to humanity of all creeds and all races were given to the people of the province of Quebec, and have been religiously observed from that day to the present time. And let me tell the hon. member for Labelle and the hon. member for Mont-magny that if any one undertakes to deprive our French Canadian fellow countrymen in the province of Quebec, of the slightest liberty that has been granted to them under the British constitution, my good friend the member for East Grey is sworn to marshall his boys and go down to their relief, not to their injury.

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LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

So that my good friend from Three Rivers (Mr. Bureau) need not have any nightmares about the orangemen from the province of Ontario. When Ontario and Quebec became parts of the Dominion of Canada, each had its own separate school system established by law. *When New Brunswick became part of the Dominion of Canada, it had its own school system established by the votes of its own people. When Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island came in, each had its own school system established by the votes of its own people. The Northwest Territories occupy an entirely different position. They came into the Dominion away back in 1870. They had no school system anterior to the Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

union. The school system that was given to them, was given without a vote by a human being in those territories, and that system has been continued ever since ; the only difference being that when they became organized and were represented in this parliament, their representatives had a voice in the making of the laws which applied to them. At the present time we are not uniting those territories to the Dominion of Canada ; we are only transforming them into provinces, and the people of the whole of Canada have the making of their charter, not the people of the territories themselves. What we contend is that in granting them their charter, we must apply the British North America Act, so far as it relates to the establishment of provinces.

That is the point of difference we make between the union of the Territories as such with confederation and their entry into it as provinces. There is no union of the Territories, as provinces, with confederation. They came into confederation as Territories, and their creation as provinces is merely a development. I chanced to be in the Northwest during the months of December and November when the question of the new autonomy Bills was being discussed. As I passed along, I heard mention of mysterious trips taken by the First Minister here and there throughout the country, but not taken where he could consult his Finance Minister or his Minister of the Interior or his following in the House or Mr. Haultain and his cabinet in the Territories. It was understood then that there was question of a clause being put into the measure creating the new provinces, fastening ut>on. these provinces separate schools. Last December, when that probability was mentioned to the followers of the right hon. gentleman in this House, they scoffed at the idea. They said that he who had been the champion of provincial autonomy in 1896, who had declaimed then against the coercion of Manitoba, who had advocated the policy of hands off Manitoba, was not likely to consent to anything which would fetter these new provinces and prevent them from working out freely their own destinies along the lines be had laid down with regard to Manitoba in 1896. In that year of 1896, I considered it my duty to oppose the Bill of my own leader (Sir Charles Tupper) just as I opposed the resolution of the right hon. gentleman, and I opposed both on the ground that I would vote against any attempt to coerce Manitoba. On that occasion I took a unique position and have seen no ground for changing any of the sentiments I then uttered. I took the ground then that the province of Manitoba should be free, that the people there were eminently well fitted to work out their own destiny, and should not be fettered or hampered by the federal power in that work ; and I would have supported the right hon. gentleman on that occasion, had his resolution tallied with his professions in the country. But his declaration to the

province of Quebec then was : Put me in :

power ancl I will give tlie minority in Manitoba greater privileges than they can possibly secure from a Tory government. I will give them a Bill that will be of some service ; while in the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, the cry of himself and his colleagues was : Hands off Manitoba ; no

coercion of free men in the west ; we must never bow to the Roman Catholic bishops of the province of Quebec ; but must show ourselves free men. Much as I wished to follow my right lion, friend on that occasion, there was such great divergence between the position he took in Quebec and that which he took elsewhere that I was pot prepared to give him the opportunity of coercing Manitoba and consequently . voted against his resolution as I did against the Bill of my own leader. The stand 1 then took was that if the people of that province wanted separate schools, let them establish that system themselves ; but if they did not. I was determined to defeat any attempt to place upon that province the burden of separate schools against its will.

We may very well ask whence comes this demand for this clause in the Bill. X have pointed out that the moment those Territories become provinces, they have the Act of 1875 on their statutes. Supposing the educational clauses should be withdrawn entirely from this measure, the Act of 1875 will still remain. Therefore if the contention of the First Minister be right, if the Act of 1875 is the constitution in those Territories to-day and will be the constitution of those provinces when created, what has he to fear ? If on the other hand, the contention of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is correct and it will be within the powers of those provinces to abrogate that law if they choose, why insist upon embodying it in this Bill. The Act of the First Minister is, I submit, irritating, illegal and unconstitutional.

The right hon. gentleman did not consult his Finance Minister in relation to the financial clauses nor did he consult his Minister of the Interior with regard to the educational clause. He did not consult the men behind him with regard to this measure. I am told that he did not dare to call his party together in caucus and consult them. Whom then did he consult? Is there any truth in the rumour that my right hon. friend had for his adviser a gentleman who does not owe allegiance to the Dominion and that he takes trips to the shores of the Itideau and there receives his inspiration ? I have not the slightest fault to find with any church-either the Church of Rome or the Methodist church which is my own or any other-for taking all it can get from weak-packed politicians. Any church will do that. We have seen in the province of Ontario, Protestant churches taking sops from the provincial government and giving in return their support to the government. We have

seen the hierarchy of Rome do the same thing-and I make use of that word in the same sense as hon. gentlemen in that church use it. The churches are just the same as electric companies and railway companies and other corporations. They will take all they can get and ask for more. It is not the hierarchy of Rome but the leader of the government and his colleagues whom the people will hold responsible, and it is they who wall have to stand the consequences. For my part I do not blame the churches for taking all they can get from weak-backed and weak-kneed politicians.

In his speech introducing the Bill now before the House, the right hon. gentleman alluded to the separate schools in the United States, and I must say that, as an old public school teacher, my blood boiled when he referred to that system iu the United States in the way he did, and incidentally condemned public schools the world over. In the past the right hon. gentleman was more less inclined to look to American institutions. In the old days we had him and his followers looking to Washington until they got turned down, and I am satisfied that whatever may be or may have been his Views with regard to that great nation in the past, he will not dispute one word I am about to quote from a well knowm authority regarding the value of the public schools of tliat country. But before doing that, I may take the liberty of quoting what Mr. Morley, a friend of the right hon. gentleman, says in tlie 19tli Century of the great American republic. In a recent issue of that review, Mr. Morley says :

Of a democracy originally British, the most astonishing and triumphant achievement so far has been the persevering absorption and incorporation across the Atlantic of a ceaseless torrent of heterogeneous elements from every point of the compass into one united, stable, industrious and pacific state with eighty millions of population, combining the centralized concert of a federal system with local independence, and uniting collective energy with the encouragement of individual freedom. How does this stand in comparison with the Roman empire, or Romanish church, or the Bysantine empire, or Russia, or Charles the Great, or Napoleon ?

These are the words of Mr. Morley about the great republic to the south of us-a republic which has taught the world how to mould together the different elements of various nationalities. In that country are to be found nationalities from Europe, who have been under the rule of parochial schools as well as those who have not been brought up under that System, and by means of the welding influence of the American public school system all these various peoples have become consolidated into one compact nation.

These are the people that have been made by the public schools of the United States. Now I will take the liberty of giving : from the addresses of some of the presidents

of the United (States certain brief quotations to show what the chief magistrates of that republic have thought of public schools. I do this not to attack the religion of any body of people, for the question of dogma has nothing to do with religion. If any man is interfered with in the free exercise of his religion, that interference should not for a moment be permitted. If in a matter of conscience any one were to attempt to interfere with the right hon. Prime Minister, I would be ready to resent that interference and to put the one interfering in his proper place. But,, if the Prime Minister says : This is my dogma and you

must bow to it, and if we do bow to it, what limit can we place upon demands of this kind ? Why, we should see repeated over and over the humiliating spectacle of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) who says: we must yield because forty-one per cent of the people demand it. And next month they may demand something else, and so on ; we must yield again and again upon the plea that it is a question of dogma, until the liberties which our ancestors suffered so much to gain for us are taken from us at the behest of men who are more anxious to hang on to office than they are to stand by a principle. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States-1837-1841-said :

The national will is the supreme law of the republic. In no country has education been so widely diffused. All forms of religion have united for the first time to diffuse charity and piety, because for the first time in the history of nations all have been totally untrammelled and absolutely free.

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And James K.

Polk, eleventh president- 1845-1849-said :

No union exists between church and state, and perfect freedom of opinion is guaranteed to all sects and creeds. Who shall assign limits to the achievements of free minds and free hands under the protection of this glorious union ? No treason to mankind since the organization of society would be equal in atrocity to that of him who would lift his hand to destroy it.

'These are the sentiments of that president oi the United States in relation to the great public school system that, even at that time, half 'a century ago had raised the downtrodden and disinherited people of Europe who were flocking to the shores of the United States and made them what the 'Almighty intended they should be, not slaves, but creatures made iu the image of God and ready to take a part in the upbuilding of a great nation.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mi. LEMIEUX.

Does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) believe that Salisbury and Gladstone were wrong and these presidents of the United States right ?

Mr. 'SAM. HUGHES. I am readv to discuss Salisbury and Gladstone, and Balfour Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

and Chamberlain too. These men take conditions as they exist. But Great Britain is developing. Besides, Britain is a more densely settled country than Canada. The circumstances are entirely different

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Why should that make a difference ?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

The Liberals of England do not like religious schools.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I would like to ask the hon-. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) if he thinks that England is behind the United States ?

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

England is behind the United States in the matter of education, undoubtedly. England is the mother of nations ; it is to her we owe the great federations of the world, the application of the principle of central control in common matters with local control in local matters. The United States is the next nation, and, in spite of great drawbacks

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

England is the greatest nation in the world in spite of what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) says.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

That is an entirely different sentiment from the one which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux) expressed in Quebec in 1896, when he stood before the French Canauians and said : Are you going to vote for Tapper and the Tories, who spent $3,000,000 for guns, and who are ready to send your sous to fight Britain's battles abroad ? That is what the hon. gentleman said, and it was proven in this House.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I do not know what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) refers to, but if he speaks of the Transvaal War

Mr* SAM. HUGHES. No, I speak of what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux) said-in the election campaign of 1896. Let me recall to his mind what he said-I know it almost sounds as if he were irresponsible at the time. The then member for Sher-luooke standing in this House, pointing his finger at the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux) said : Instead of being here preaching loyalty you ought to be behind the prison bars for treason. This he said to the Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux) in my own hearing, and in that of many members now in this House. And what was the reason ? Because the hon. gentleman had appealed to the prejudices of the people of Quebec saying : Will you vote for Tupper and Tories,

who spent $.3,000,000 of the people's money to buy rifles, and who will send your sons to fight Britain's battles ?

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

My hon. friend (Mr. Sam. Hughes) is wholly astray. I never held any such language. I never met the hon. member for "Sherbrooke (Mr. Worth-

ington) in that campaign. But I did meet the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster)

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

I refer to Mr. McIntosh, who formerly represented Sherbrooke in this House.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I never met Mr. McIntosh on the platform. I spoke once in the county cf Sherbrooke

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CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Yes, I spoke once in the county of Sherbrooke. And if the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) then, I think, the member for King's, New Brunswick, were here, I would ask him to corroborate what I say. I spoke in English, but I never used such language as the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) attributes to me. 1 would not dare to speak in that way in the province of Quebec-I should be afraid of being stoned by my fellow-countrymen if I did so. But I am sorry to see an ultra loyalist placing Great Britain behind the United States. It is the first time I have heard the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) say such a thing.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM HUGHES.

I was not stating what I heard myself. I said that the former hon. member for Sherbrooke, Mr. McIntosh had pointed his finger at the present Solicitor General and told him from his place in this House that, instead of being here and preaching loyalty he should be behind the bars of a jail for treason. These are matters for them to settle among themselves. I will proceed with the quotations I was giving from the presidents of the United States on the subject of common schools and public education. Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth president-1850-1853- said :

Our common schools are diffusing intelligence among the people and our industry is fast accumulating the comforts and luxuries of life.

And Andrew Johnston the seventeenth president-1805-1860-said :

Here more and more care is given to provide education for every one born on our soil. Here religion, released from political connection with the civil government, refuses to subserve the craft of statesmen, and becomes in its independence the spiritual life of the people. Here toleration is extended to every opinion, in the quiet certainty that truth needs only a fair field to secure the victory.

Let me commend the words of this distinguished president to the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). These words of the different presidents show that, step by step, as tbe great republic advanced, as it became broader, stronger and more inclusive, it was able to assimilate more of the disinherited masses of Europe, even in their ignorance and tilth. And there is one cause for this regenerative power of the United

States, a power that no other nation has been able to show. That power was due to tbe public school system of the United (States. Ulysses S. Grant, the eighteenth president-1S69-1877-said :

We are blessed with peace at home, with facilities for every mortal to acquire an education ; with institutions closing to none the avenues to fame, or any blessing to fortune that may he coveted ; with freedom of the pulpit, the press, and the school.

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April 4, 1905