boundaries of the province should be extended westward, northward and eastward-westward, that it should have a part of the new province of Saskatchewan, a part of the districts of Assiniboia and Saskatchewan ; northward, that they should have the territory towards the north, and eastward towards Hudson bay. I may say at once that we discussed this at some length, in fact at considerable length. When Mr. Rogers advanced the claim on behalf of Manitoba, that its boundaries should be extended westward and include part of the present districts of Assiniboia and Saskatchewan, we presented to Mr. Rogers what seemed to be a very strong objection to that. We told Mr. Rogers in fact : that this claim had been considered by the government of Sir John Macdonald in 1884 and had not been granted ; that the reasons which existed in 1884 for refusing the prayer of Manitoba were far stronger to-day than they were then : that at that time
that part of the Territories was in its infancy, but that at present it had a considerable population, as advanced as the population of Manitoba. That there was the objection further: that the elegislature of the Territories had protested against its being annexed to Manitoba, and therefore we did not see how it was possible to grant that part of the prayer of the province of Manitoba. With regard to the northern portion of the district of Saskatchewan, we said to Mr. Rogers and to his colleague, Mr. Campbell : we do not know that there is
any objection to granting you the upper portion of the district of Saskatchewan ; it is true that we understand there is an objection raised, but it is a question which can be discussed later on ; at all events, we do not intend to introduce this part of the territory of Saskatchewan into the new provinces and we had better leave it for further discussion.
When it came to a discussion on the extension of the boundary eastward, towards Hudson bay, my colleague the Postmaster General, who was with me then, at once took strong objections to that claim of Manitoba. He stated that in his opinion it would not be fair to the province of Ontario that that claim should be considered unless the province of Ontario had an opportunity to discuss it with the province of Manitoba. That was on the 17th of February. I do not remember that I said to Mr. Rogers and Mr. Campbell that if they were to wait for some days we would again send for them and be in a position to give them an answer. What I distinctly remember stating, as it was my duty to do, was that their representations would be brought to the attention of the Council, and that probably they would get an answer at an early date. More than this I do not remember stating, and I do not think I did. The two Bills for the creation of the provinces of Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
Saskatchewan and Alberta were introduced on ithe following Tuesday, the 21sf of February-. Both Mr. Rogers and Mr. Campbell were present on the floor of this House and heard the statement I then made. That statement was that I had the authority of my colleagues to say that we could not see our way to extend the boundaries of the province of Manitoba westward, for the reasons which I have just given, that we had reserved the northern portion of the district of Saskatchewan for future action, and that with regard to extending the boundaries of Manitoba to Hudson bay we were of opinion that the province of Ontario and the province of Quebec should be consulted. Mr. Rogers heard this statement, and, therefore, knew what was the policy of the government on that question.
This shows one thing, that this policy of ours was settled then and there, without interference from anybody-, without participation by anybody-. We settled our own business according to our lights. We told the province of Manitoba that we could not extend its boundaries westward for the reasons we gave, and on that decision we took our stand before this House and maintained it. But we stated we were prepared to consider the claim of the province of Manitoba for extension northward towards Hudson bay in connection with the claims of the new province of Saskatchewan and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Since that time we have embodied these views in a Minute of Council, which has been communicated to the Manitoba government. There is no difference between the .Minute of Council and the statement I made on the floor of this House on the 21st of February except this, that in the Minute of Council, after having given the matter due consideration, we take the view that there is no reason for calling the province of Quebec to that conference, because it is not sufficiently interested in the matter; but we declare our readiness, immediately after the creation of the new provinces, to have a conference, in which the provinces of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Manitoba will be represented. That is the position in which the matter now stands.
My hon. friend the leader of the opposition has called my attention to a letter of Mr. Rogers of the 23rd of February. That letter is not in the interview as reported in the 'Citizen,' but I found it in another paper, the Toronto 'Star' of yesterday, and is as follows:
Russell House, Ottawa, February 23, 1905.
Sir,-As we find it necessary to leave Ottawa to-morrow, we desire to refer to our iuterview of Friday, the 17th, respecting Manitoba's claim for extension of her boundaries westward and northward, when you were good enough to suggest that if we would come here for two or three days you would be iu a position to give us an answer respecting same. Up to the present, however, we have heard nothing further from you, excepting your statement in parlia-
ment on Tuesday last, when introducing your Autonomy Bills, which we presume represents your fixed and final decision as to westward boundary.
In view of Manitoba's very strong claims, as presented to you in the memorial unanimously passed by our legislature, and supported and supplemented in our interview, we must enter, on behalf of the province, our firm protest against your decision in refusing to grant the prayer of our request, extension of our boundaries westward, and exceedingly regret that apparently local considerations have deprived Manitoba of what she rightfully regards as a most just claim.
Respecting extension northward, we most respectfully urge it on you that this should engage your consideration and attention during the present session.
We, of course, most emphatically deny the right of Quebec and Ontario having further to say in respect to the extension of our boundaries north to James bay, or that they could advance any claim worthy of consideration that would necessitate delay in attaching this territory immediately to Manitoba.
We regard this as exclusively a matter for settlement between our government and Manitoba. We sincerely trust that upon further consideration you may see your way clear to grant the request we make on behalf of a united province.
(Sgd.) R. ROGERS.
My hon. friend the leader of the opposition asked me a moment ago why this letter was not included in the correspondence that has been brought down. The answer is, that I have not received that letter. It is not of very great consequence in view of the facts. It is simply a letter of protest; it adds nothing at all to the facts; but I did not receive it. This morning I asked my secretary to search and see whether or not it had been received. I have no remembrance of having received it and it is not on file. I have brought everything that there is on file on this question. Moreover, I do not think it matters very much whether Mr. Rogers wrote or did not write that letter, in view of the interview he gave and which was published in the 'Citizen' of the 20fh of February last upon this very point. In that interview Mr. Rogers stated to the reporter:
Mr. Campbell and myself have been appointed to come ihere to plead for what is considered by Manitoba to be ber just claims, before the government who are the tribunal in the case, and whose decision must be final.
When do you expect a decision ?
I presume that when the Bill which is promised. for Tuesday next is brought down, it will represent the government's decision in the matter.
Mr. Rogers was present on the floor of this House on the 21st of February and heard me state the decision of the government, and therefore there w\as not much occasion for him to write two days later asking for a decision. But this point is of no consequence. I mention it simply as a
reason why the letter was not included in the correspondence.
I have only one word more to say about the extraordinary interview of Mr. Rogers.
I will read again a statement of Mr. Rogers which appears in the 'Citizen' under the heading 'Laurier's Double Dealing.' Mr. Rogers says:
We have no desire in Manitoba for double dealing about this or any other question. This, however, appears to be a favourite course of Sir Wilfrid. For example, in 1896 he signed an official statement declaring himself to be entitled to credit for the final settlement of the Manitoba school question, while immediately following we find from the correspondence brought down in the parliament of Canada the following extract from a letter to Cardinal Rampolla, which he has never denied.
I have only two observations to make on this. I do not know to what Mr. Rogers refers when he says that I signed an official statement declaring myself to he entitled to credit for the final settlement of the Manitoba school question. It is not of any consequence, but I do not know what Mr. Rogers means when he says that. In the statement immediately following, the impression is conveyed that the Canadian government brought down correspondence, between the government of Canada and Cardinal Rampolla. There is no such thing in faet. The government of Canada never had any correspondence with Cardinal Rampolla and never brought down any correspondence, because there was none to bring down. What is true is that iu 1896 my self and several of my co-religionists, having some difficulties in our own church, appealed to the authorities of our owu church to settle them. There was nothing more than that. We did it, not as a government, but simply as men belonging to the Roman Catholic church. We bad trouble over matters of ecclesiastical policy, and we appealed to the supreme arbiter in our church to determine these matters. There was nothing more or less. On this occasion I have nothing more to say, but I thought that under the circumstances I owed it to myself and tiie House simply to make a statement of the facts as they are.