April 5, 1905

LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

It is certainly a separate school, though it is not a religious school.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

It may be in a different building, but it is the same school.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

It is the same class of school.

Now the hon. member for East Assini-boia (Mr. Turriff) spoke last night, and he said :

The only difference is that in the first and second readers the text is a little different, but even these books have to be authorized by the Minister of Education. There is no church or clerical control in any shape, form or manner over the Catholic schools in the Northwest Territories to-day.

Now we have one gentleman saying there is no difference whatever, and another gentleman admitting that there is a difference in the two first books that the children use. And there may he others. Then the hon. gentleman quoted some things, and I have not been able to understand why he quoted them, unless it was to obtain the good opinion of his leader ; because there is a vacancy in the cabinet, we have no Minister of the Interior at the present time, and as a matter of course they will have to take a man from the west. I do not object to the hon. gentleman if he can get the position, but I fear be will have a good deal of trouble in getting elected. Now he said :

I have a communication from an important body, the Baptist convention of Manitoba and the Territories, the third clause of which is as follows :

This is a scheme which will promote discord and defeat one of the main purposes of public school education, which is the unification of all classes. A confederation cannot be sound in which the elements lack the first essential of harmony.

Now, why he should quote that communication as a reason for voting for the Bill, I cannot understand, because if I had a communication like that sent to me I would think that they wanted me to vote the other way. But I noticed that after he got through his leader went up and shook hands with him, and I wondered whether it was on account of the amount of scrap book material he used, or on account of his independence of the people he represented. Again he said :

Another petition very largely signed contains the following :

We, the undersigned citizens, respectfully urge you to use all influence you may have against the separate school clause in the Bill now before parliament.

That is another reason why he should vote for that Bill.

In a petition dated March 7th, from the Ministerial Association of Winnipeg, the second clause reads as follows :

Whereas the rights of the minority are sufficiently protected by the British North America 1 Act in any particular case.

That is another reason he gave for supporting the Bill. For myself I do not see anything in any of these petitions that would induce any member of this House to support the Bill before parliament at the present time ; I think the very reverse is the case. I said in the beginning that this Bill had caused more contention than any other Bill that has been before this House since I have had the honour of a seat in it, and I think that is true. We had notice to-day from a gentleman in this House that there was going to be a large number of public meetings all over this country in the near future. There was a large public meeting in Toronto a few days ago, a good many speakers took part, and I judge from what I see reported that they were all Liberals except one, and he was an independent, I suppose, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. L. G. McCarthy). He said he was an independent, and I am bound (to take his word for it. The gentleman who occupied the chair at that meeting is a Liberal, I think no person who lives in Toronto and knows anything about the public men there will dispute that he is a Liberal of the Liberals. I refer to Mr. Stapleton *Caldecott. He said himself before the meeting was over that as Paul called himself, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, so he, Mr. Caldecott, was a Grit of the Grits. He is reported to have said :

We must make no mistake, and if we pass The clause as brought before us by Sir Wilfrid Laurier we should make a most tremendous mistake. (Hear, hear). What he proposes is open to most serious objection, and for myself, with my previous admiration for this man, giving him my hearty service as a model statesman, for the moment I have lost my respect for his judgment. (Hear, hear). He has sought, almost in an indecent manner, to thrust upon this people a piece of legislation they will never submit to. What have our Ontario cabinet ministers been doing in the meanwhile ? (Hear, hear). What is the reason for their silence 1 Are we to take it that they are in favour of the proposal ?

Well, Sir, the Minister of Customs took a fling at that gentleman, he said he did not think the First Minister would suffer much because be had lost the respect of that gentleman, but he did not respect Mr. Caldecott's judgment because, he said, a man who knew anything about parliamentary practice would know that if a minister stays in a government he must agree with the doings of that government. Well, there was another gentleman who spoke at that meeting, the hon. member for North Simcoe, (Mr. Leighton McCarthy) and let me read what he said :

. Since the date of the introduction of these Bills, there has arisen a huge wave of public opinion, and would you believe it ? It has Teaehed as far as Ottawa, it was wafted there la some particular way, it has caused much excitement-acute situations, resignations have taken place, and rumors of more.

Now, Mr. Speaker, under that state of things, Mr. Caldecott must not be blamed much if he did not know exactly where the Ontario ministers were of the opinion that they did not know themselves exactly where they were at first. After this Bill was introduced, any person looking over on to the other side of the House could see that there was pretty general confusion everywhere, and I think if a vote had been taken then, we would have had no Liberal government at the present time. But when the shepherd got back, you know, and when they changed the wording of the clause without changing the meaning, as a matter of course they hadi an excuse to come back. That is all it amounted to.

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LIB

Archibald Campbell

Liberal

Mr. CAMPBELL.

Are you not sorry that j on did not have to vote then ?

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member for Centre York will be glad at the next election i'f there are a good many men in this riding who will not have votes. You may fool them once or twice, but you cannot fool them all the time. You remember that the hon. gentleman got in once on higher duties on vegetables. Then he got out of that by saying that he could not induce the government to do what he wanted them to do. I do not know what he will do the next time.

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LIB
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

That is about as good an argument as the right hon. First Minister once gave us when be said : We are here, and you are there ; what are you going to do about it ?

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LIB

Archibald Campbell

Liberal

Mr. CAMPBELL.

What did you do about it ?

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

We ran again and got beaten. There was another gentleman at that meeting, Dr. Goggin, who made a very strong speech. Some say be is a Tory and some say he is a Liberal. I do not know what lie was or what he is, but I will read an extract from what he said, as follows :

I take it that we meet here to-night as a body of Liberals, intent upon setting before our party our views on this subject, whether they be right or wrong. This I believe is one of the qualifications of a good party man. We are not here as a body of Conservatives intent upon making capital for ourselves. We are not here as a body of Orangemen trying to arrest Romanism.

It is most unfortunate that the question was ever raised. The responsibility for the state of the public opinion now7 existing in the west does not rest upon the people of Ontario, or of any other province, but upon that fraction of the cabinet at Ottawa who manufactured those educational clauses for the people of the Dominion without the knowledge of those mem-1 bers of the cabinet most concerned therewith.

I ought to have said, perhaps, earlier in my speech that I am strongly of the opinion that had the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) been here we certainly would not 'have seen the Bill we have seen introduced into this House. I think we never would have seen these educational clauses in it. It seems to me that if the light hon. First Minister had been well advised, and I am afraid he was not, these clauses would have been left out and the constitution that the British North America Act provides for these provinces would have gone into operation without any let or hindrance from this parliament. It does seem to me that that would have been the fairest thing to do. We would have saved all this discussion and all this bad feeling. We would not have seen what we are seeing every day here-a debate on a question that we really ought to have nothing to do with because we ought to be willing to give our fellow subjects the same rights as we claim for ourselves. I notice that the hon. exMinister of the Interior, the hon. Finance Minister and even some hon. gentlemen from the Northwest have stated that if the decision were left to them whether there should be separate schools or not they would not have them, but rather than have this government go out of office, rather than have the possibility of a Liberal Conservative administration they would bury their principles, have three, or four, or five years in parliament and take the chance of the people forgetting what they have done. It seems to me from the speech made by the hon. Finance Minister in this House that those were the tactics which were pursued in the caucus. When this was brought before the members in caucus they said to them : If you vote us out there will be a general election, you will have all the odium of this Bill and the Tories will beat you ; you had better vote for it and stay in.

Now, there was a pretty strong resolution passed at this meeting. I have not heard it read in the House up to this time. It appeared in the Toronto ' News ' on the 21st March, 1905. I do not suppose I dare mention that name in this House.

At the mass meeting held in the Massey Hall last evening to protest against the school clause of the Autonomy Bill the following resolution was moved by Mr. D, E. Thomson, seconded by Rev. Dr. Milligan, and carried unanimously :

I do not suppose that any one will accuse Hr. Thomson or Dr. Milligan of being Tories. I have the pleasure of an acquaintance with Dr. Milligan and I regard him as a very fine man, but a great Liberal and I am informed that D. E. Thomson is quite as strong a Liberal as Dr. Milligan.

Whereas it is of vital importance to Canada that the new provinces about to be established shall be left free to shape their own educational policy in accordance with the needs of the future, as these shall develop ;

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

Be it therefore resolved, that this meeting emphatically protests against the enactment of section 16 of the present Autonomy Bills, or any other provisions inconsistent with their constitutional freedom in this regard ;

Be it further resolved, that, since the electors have had no opportunity to pass upon the principle embodied in the school clauses of the Bills now before parliament, the government should :

(a) Abandon the clauses, or .

(b) Appeal to the country on the measure, or

(c) Defer action entirely until after the next general election.

And be it ordered that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable the Prime Minister and to the city members of the House.

That is, in my judgment, a pretty strong resolution to be passed at a public meeting by reformers. I do not care whether they were reformers or1' not, they were citizens of this country, but the men who moved and seconded this resolution were reformers beyond ail doubt. Then, there was Mr. Willison, the editor of the ' News,' a great admirer in other days of the present Prime Minister. He wrote his life and, I have no doubt, be gave him as favourable a character as could well be given. I do not wish to detract from it but if he writes another volume it will be a very different volume from those which he has written. I have here quite a number of extracts. I have an extract from a statement of the Hon. David Mills, who was the great constitutional authority of this House at one time and who afterwards occupied a seat on the Supreme Court bench. I have another from a statement by Sir Louis Davies, once a prominent member of the Liberal party in this House, and who has also been elevated to the Supreme Court bench. Both of these gentlemen tell us that when the time comes to create provinces in our great Northwest that will be the time for them as provinces tc initiate their own school system. I will not detain the House by reading all of these quotations, but there are one or two that I cannot refrain from giving. My time is about up and I do not intend, as the speeches have generally been long, to follow the bad example that has been set on both sides of the House. This is a comment by the Toronto ' News ' of 11th March, 1905 :

The remedial legislation of 1896 had some warrant in the constitution ; the present legislation has none. It is a gratuitous seeking for trouble which could easily be avoided.

That the antagonism to forcing separate schools on the west should come from Liberal sources can easily be understood. The Liberal party is threatened with a far greater disaster than loss of power. It is threatened with the loss of the principles to which It owes its vitality.

The measures now before the people were not in issue in the general election, and parliament has no popular mandate to place them on the statute-book.

I daresay this was written by the gentler man who wrote the life of the Rt. Hon. Sir

Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada. I shall not quote extracts from papers which have been opposed to the Liberal party heretofore ; I am reading from the newspapers which have always supported the Liberal party, and if I had time I could read a) good many extracts from the ' Globe '-I was going to say I could read the whole 'Globe'-denouncing the policy of the government on this question. The ' Globe,' in its turn, has been denounced by hon. gentlemen opposite, but their denunciation is because the ' Globe ' stood by Liberal principles which the Liberal party have recanted. Take the Toronto 'Saturday Night'; Mr. Sheppard has been for many years a great admirer of the present Liberal leader, and he has said a good many kind things of that right hon. gentleman, but on the 11th of March, 1905, Mr. Sheppard wrote thus :

No legislation is too wild, unpatriotic or indefensible to be regarded as a possibility under a government which repudiates its most solemn professions, and deliberately plots to force upon the people the thing which it came into power pledged to oppose.

Any man who places the will of the priest of his church above the will of the people who made him what he is, can not be trusted. And the hierarchy demands and exacts implicit obedience from its subjects.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have placed before the House some of the view's I entertain on this subject. Personally I am strongly opposed to separate schools and have always been. I left my party in 1896, and voted with the present Prime Minister for six months hoist of the Remedial Bill, and I did that against the strong remonstrance of my leader.

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

You got Into bad company.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. URIAH WILSON.

No ; the Prime Minister w'as all right in 1896, but the trouble is that he has changed his principles since, and I can no longer follow him in endeavouring to maintain provincial rights. In 1895, I stood for provincial rights, and I stand for provincial rights to-day. Ever since I was a boy, I have heard the Liberal party fighting for provincial rights, but the Liberal party no longer has that plank in its platform. We all remember the difficulties between Upper and Lower Canada before confederation, when one province wanted representation by population, and the other did not. We remember the difficulties that arose until the crisis came that we could not govern the country properly, and a solution was sought in confederation. Was not the understanding at confederation that every province should be left to do its own business and that the federal parliament should only do the general business of the country. Why is there a change made in that compact now ? I say Sir, that as honourable men we are bound to carry out the compact of confederation and to pursue the policy which the fathers of confederation have laid down as the principles of the constitution of our country.

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?

Mr. H. S.@

BELAND iBeauce). Mr. Speaker, I feel satisfied that however long may be my public career in this parliament, I shall never be called upon to address the House of Commons of Canada on a question of greater importance than this. Let me say at the outset of my remarks, which I hope will be brief, that having but slight experience as a debater, having no legal training whatever, I being a physician, and having but a very imperfect command of the English language, I feel that I must crave the indulgence of the House. This subject is one which should be approached with a deep sentiment of patriotism, and with the spirit which animated the illustrious fathers of confederation when they met to endeavour to devise a scheme under which the people of the British possessions in North America might live together in union, happiness and prosperity. It should be gratifying to every true Canadian that in the evolution of our national history we are in this Canadian parliament to-day discussing a measure to create two new provinces in our splendid Northwest domain. The Northwest Territories were discovered long ago by French settlers and French adventurers chiefly. Thirty years ago these Territories had a population of only 500 white people, and it is claimed to-day (and the claim is well founded) that these Territories are now settled by 500,000 frugal, sturdy and industrious people, who are asking to be admitted into confederation and to enjoy the full privileges of statehood and self-government. The years of 1903 and 1905 will go down in Canadian history as memorable years, because they are identified with the introduction into the Canadian parliament of two enactments, the most important in the history of our country-I refer to the creation of provinces in the Northwest Territories with their untold and unimagined possibilities, and the measure providing for the building of the National Transcontinental Railway. When our children and our childrens' children read the his-story of these years, they will feel that the venerated statesman who leads the Liberal party, who leads this House, and I make bold to say, who leads this country, has associated his name with two epoch marking events, they will feel Sir, that these measures mark an era in the progress of our country, and that entitle the great statesman who fathered them to rank amongst the foremost patriots of this country of ours.

Now, Sir, many important questions are involved in this Autonomy Bill. And while the question as to the number of provinces to be created, the financial aid to be given them, and the location of the capital, have met with very little criticism, the land and educational clauses of the Bill have excited

much comment; although in my opinion they have received, and are receiving the warmest support of the majority of the people of Canada. Nevertheless the land clause, and especially the educational clause, have encountered very bitter opposition from some quarters.

With regard to the lands, it has been stated by the bon. leader of the opposition, in that very able statement which he presented to us the other day, that it was important and in accordance with the principles of the constitution that the lands of the Northwest Territories should be handed over tc the new provinces. Mr. Speaker, I have to take exception to that view of the question, because I believe that it is the part of wisdom for this government to retain control of the lands, apart from the consideration which was offered to us the other day by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), tliat, from the point of view of an effective immigration policy, it was not wise to have two or more governments dealing with it. There is another iconsideration, and that is the following: The moment you hand over to the new provinces the control of their lauds, you leave them face to face with two propositions, which, I believe, are contrary to each other -the creating of a revenue and the maintaining of an efficient immigration policy. The new provinces, if possessed of the lands, would naturally be deprived of the financial aid extended to them by this government in lieu of the lands. They would have to create their revenue from those lands ; and the moment you increase the price of land you hamper immigration, while if you want to promote immigration you have to de- ' crease the price of land.

I have heard some hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House say that the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have the control of their lands. Very true, Mr. Speaker ; but the provinces of Ontario and Quebec should not be considered from the same point of view as the Northwest provinces, and I will tell you why. Because there are ill those two provinces immense timber limits, from which they derive a very large revenue. In the province of Quebec, during the last year, I .think the revenue accruing from the Crown lands amounted to $000,-000-not from the sale of lands, but from the stumpage only. The situation is not the same in the Northwest Territories.

There is another point of view from which I think we should withhold the lands from the new provinces, that is the national point of view. In stating this opinion, I may be taxed by some hon. gentlemen with being a Utopist ; I may be told that I am dreaming ; but let me say frankly what I think. It is obvious to every one who observes the Northwest Territories to-day that the loyal sentiment which prevails there is pure, deep and large, as the stately rivers which inn over the endless prairies. But who knows what will be the immigration of

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

to-morrow ? There are to-day half a million people in the Northwest Territories ; how many will you find in twenty or thirty years from now ? Who can tell ? Perhaps two million, perhaps three million, perhaps five million, perhaps ten or twelve million ; and as we know that the largest foreign immigration to-day is from the United States, who can assure this House and this country that the control of the legislatures in the two new provinces thirty years from now will not be in the hands of people having a greater interest in the country to the south of the boundary line ? And, Mr. Speaker, we shall have, in the control of the lands and in the control of immigration, perhaps not a complete remedy, but certainly a palliative. Hon. gentlemen opposite say to us ; Hands off the twins ; let them enjoy the greatest liberty ; give them all their lands and the largest possible autonomy. Well, I can assure my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule), whom I am glad to see in his seat, that in that future time, if he wishes, in order to maintain a loyal sentiment in the Northwest Territories, the services of that Roman Catholic clergy, whom he does not appear to like very much, they will be found as usual ready to support, day and night, through weeks and months and years, the British flag.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I may tell my hon. friend that, contrary to his opinion or belief, I do not dislike them by any means. I have no feeling of dislike against them.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

I am very glad to hear it. Coming to what is known in the country as the educational clause of this Bill, it is a ' very burning question and a question of very great importance. The agitation which has been aroused over that clause is immense, and we all regret it. That agitation is so intense that we are told that the provincial government of Manitoba, now on its last legs, is seeking to get a new lease of office out of it. Well, the educational clauses of this measure have already been discussed a good deal in this country. They have encountered very bitter opposition from the newspapers, especially in that enlightened city of Toronto, where even men who used to be ranked amongst the foremost Liberals have been outspoken in their opposition to those clauses, and they have also enjoyed the distinction of being made the subject of the censorious tongues of those who adorn the pulpits of this country. There are many points of view from which this important question may be considered. There is the constitutional point of view, there is the provincial autonomy point of view ; but whatever may be the reasons invoked in this debate, the main object of those who are making to-day a solid opposition to these educational clauses is nothing else but political capital. Before proceeding further, I must say that I was very much surprised the other night when I heard the eloquent member for West As-

siniboia (Mr. Scott) state in this House that amongst the Protestant population of this [DOT]country the opinion prevailed that the privileges of the Catholic minority had been called for by them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The educational privileges of the minorities in this country were called for, not by Catholics, but by Protestants. They were called for by Mr. Galt, and I will go further. 1 will say that the man who had every authority to represent the Catholic population of this countiy, John Sandfield Macdonald, moved a resolution in the parliament of United Canada asking that the Catholic minority be left in the hands of the Protestants of this country, as they could rely on the good faith of the Protestants-and what was the fate of that motion ? It was defeated by a vote of 95 to S.

You have heard, Sir, on this question constitutional authorities ; you have heard men of great legal training ; you have had the opportunity of hearing men who are professors in our most reputable universities ; and you have also heard men whose profession it is to read themselves in national and international problems. We have had in this House on the constitutional question the spectacle of the right bon. gentleman who leads the government differing with one or two of his ministers, while they all adopted the same course. We have had on the other side oif the House the spectacle of the leader of the opposition differing in toto from his first lieutenant, the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). I will refrain from going any further into the divergencies we have witnessed in this House regarding the constitutional aspects of the question, and will present on that aspect the point of view of a layman. There are two alternatives, I believe, which confront every member of parliament on this matter. Axe these Territories entering confederation today or did they enter the union in the year 1S70 ? You may take whichever view you prefer, but you must adopt the one or the other. Either they entered the union in 1S70 or they are going into it to-day. If they are going into it to-day, article 93 is very plain :

Nothing ill any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational Schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.

Well, if we take the alternative that the Northwest Territories are going into the union to-day, it seems to me that this clause should apply, but some hou. gentlemen, I fliiuk among them the leader of the opposition, contend that the Territories entered the union in 1870. If they did, what is our position to-day ? Legislation was passed by this parliament in 1S75, in the full exercise of its powers, creating in the Northwest Teritories a system of separate

schools by which the minorities were to enjoy certain privileges. In pursuance of that law, ordinances were passed in the Territories by which this system of schools: was amended over and over again. What then is our position to-day ? Are we going to adopt the views of those who enacted that law of 1875 or are we going to repudiate them ? I think that when we know that this parliament in 1875 passed a law conferring upon the Catholic minority certain privileges, and that that law has been amended by the legislature of the Territories in the exercise of its power-and we must admit that it was in the exei'cise of its power so long as these ordinances have not been repealed by this parliament -I submit that when we know that, our paramount duty is to confirm the legislation passed both by this parliament and the legislature of the Northwest Territories. This is the layman's point of view. By adopting this course we put an end to interminable judicial disputes ; and if only the hou. leader of the opposition had adopted that view, as he seemed to be about to adopt it when the Bill was first introduced into this House, if he had left aside those elements of his party who are opposed to any privilege being given the Catholic minority, if he had said : I will stand with the

right hon. gentleman in upholding legislation that this parliament has passed, that men like Sir Alexander McKenzie, Sir John Macdonald, Sir Alexander Campbell, have supported-had he adopted the view of! those eminent statesmen, what would be the position to-day ? There would have been no agitation of any importance in this country, we would have buried for ever the old feuds which I say have been a curse to the nation in the past.

There are three systems of schools; first there is the system of separate schools with two boards, each board having the supervision of its schools, the qualification of teachers, text books, inspection and so on. The type of these schools is to be found in the province of Quebec. There is a second system of schools which you call neutral or godless schools. The best illustration of that system of schools is, I believe, to be found in the United States of America. There is a third system of schools which may be called either separate or public schools, which are under one single hoard, and in which religious instruction is allowed, according to the wishes of the parents. This system, I believe, is the one which is in force in the Northwest at the present moment. The argument of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) the other day was fairly conducted all along the lines that church influence in the schools was prejudicial to their efficiency. He went so far as to say that information which he has gathered permitted him to state that church influence, clerical

schools, in France, for instance, had produced a people of illiterates and atheists. He will likely be disposed to recognize that he has been led into error. In France there are very few atheists ; there are a good many free-thinkers

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I was not expressing an opinion on that, at all. I referred to what a French gentleman had told me was the result of that system. I was using his language, not my own, because I am not competent to express an opinion of that bind, never having visited the country and knowing little about it.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

That is exactly what I say, that the hon. gentleman had been led into error.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I understood the hon. gentleman to say that I had said that of France.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

No, Mr. Speaker, I said that by some information he had gathered the hon. gentleman had been led into error when he stated that in France there was a large number of atheists. For my part, Mr. Speaker, lam not discussing this question from the point of view of an advocate of separate schools, nor from the point of view of an advocate of public schools. We are not called upon in this House to say whether we favour the one or the other. We are discussing a Bill which provides for religious instruction in the schools in the Northwest, a system which has been adopted by the Northwest and which is in force now. Our country is a British country, our institutions are modelled after the institutions of Great Britain, and I am very sorry, I deeply regret-I say it sincerely-that the great lines, the illuminated paths which have been set for us in the mother country, are in this debate willingly ignored. Unshakable attachment to all things British, be they military, be they political, be they social, has been boasted of here, especially by hon. gentlemen opposite. It is but a few days since the echoes of this chamber were disturbed by the imperialistic eloquence of my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes). In his footsteps we have seen the hon. member from South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and the hon. member from East Grey (Mr. Sproule), earnestly and honestly, we believe, preaching the rapproachement, closer relations between England and Canada. It is their contention that British institutions are the climax of perfection for a constitutional country. Why in the name of common sense was the British school system not good enough for them ? The French Canadian is very devoted to British institutions, and I make bold to say here that if my countrymen, my compatriots in the province of Quebec, were offered to-day the opportunity to sever their connection Mr. BELAND.

from Great Britain, if they were offered independence, if they were offered annexation, if they were offered French allegiance, I have not the slightest hesitancy to say! they would squarely refuse and remain) faithful to Great Britain. And why, Mn Speaker ? Because as was said so elo-) quently by one of the hon. gentlemen opposite in a debate a few years ago, Great Brl-* tain has distinguished herself at home and abroad for that broad spirit of good faith and toleration, for those sacred principles of religious equality and self-government. In England an education Act was recently introduced providing for religious instruction in the schools, according to the wishes of the parents. By whom was it introduced ? By men like Chamberlain, by men like Balfour, and that legislation was assailed, and I think encountered as bitter an opposition as this legislation is encountering to-day. Ministers of the gospel went as far as to say that the state was in danger, that the primary and elementary rights were threatened, that the birth right of the British citizen was at stake, that it was a battle for life. The Solicitor General (Hon. Mr. Lemieux) the other night, in the course of a very able speech, read to this House quotations from speeches that have been delivered in England by Mr. Chamberlain and by Mr. Balfour. I shall not trouble the House by reading any more of those speeches. I think the House will permit me to make an allusion to a reverend gentleman in England, a minister of the Presbyterian denomination, Rev. Archibald La-mont, of St. Paul's Presbyterian Chapel. Here is what that gentleman said :

I have high hopes for education and for Presbyterianism and for future Christianity as the result of the advent of this imperfect, but substantially good, Education Bill, and, in spite of an unreasoning and undignified agitation against it, an agitation to which, as I deeply deplore, my own beloved church has thoughtlessly, but I hope temporarily, committed herself. I fear that in most of our Protestant churches, eloquence of speech is often more a hindrance than help to the practical solution of far-reaching and complex questions. It often puts men unwittingly in a false pre-eminence, so that the rank and file-the common people- are misled and become martyrs by mistake.

This should be read to some of the reverend gentlemen of Ottawa and Toronto who have thought it proper to speak from the pulpit against the educational clauses of this Bill. But, Mr. Speaker, this Bill has been adopted in England, and lias been in force for a couple of years, and it bas given entire satisfaction. The impression that must prevail in the end is that some people want more religious instruction and some people want less religions instruction than this Bill provides ; but, Mr. Speaker, standing here as a representative in parliament of a country of 43.005 souls, I think it is my duty to uphold the constitution, and by it to confirm the privileges, be they large or be they-

small, that the majority enjoy in the Northwest Territories. There are some hon. gentlemen on the other side of this House, the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) the hon member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and the hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) who profess to believe that religious instruction should be done away with in the schools. But, Mr. Speaker, though I have great respect for their opinions, I must say without hesitation that if those three gentlemen were put on one side, and on the other side you were to show me statesmen like Mr. Chamberlain, like Mr. Gladstone, like Mr. Balfour, like Mr. Guizot. 1 would have to throw in my lot with the great Englishmen. Now. Sir, the claim has been made in this House and out of it that the Liberal party has trampled upon provincial rights and provincial autonomy, that it has abandoned its principles of 1896, and that now the Liberal party is invading provincial rights and provincial autonomy. Well, Mr. Speaker, let me refer for a moment to what took place in 1896. What was the position of the right hon, the Prime Minister in 1896, when he moved the six months hoist of the Remedial *Bill ? He said : This parliament has a right to interfere ; the remedy lies with us, but I think that remedy should not be applied until all conciliatory methods have been exhausted. Now, Sir, in 1896 we stood for conciliation. What are we doing today ? We are still standing for conciliation, we stand for compromise on an honourabe basis.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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April 5, 1905