Mun and the Right Reverend Bishop Ireland 1 have set forth, in fine language, the reasons « which compel us morally to give religious J instructions to our children in the schools.
It is suggested that in the province of Quebec, the schools are inferior to those of other provinces in Canada. It has been es- ; tablished that our system of education is highly considered abroad. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) and the hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. A. Lavergne) have shown in this House that our schools in the province of Quebec are equal, if not superior, to those of any other province, and that they are a credit to us.
And I believe that we can, without shame, teach French to French Canadians, seeing that the French tongue is that of the elite, of the courts, of diplomacy, of scientific and literary societies.
In order to thoroughly appreciate our system of education, it will suffice to recall the awards we have obtained at the great expositions of Paris and Chicago.
Referring to our success at the Chicago exposition, the ' Courrier du Canada ' made the following statement :
It is the general opinion here that the province of Quebec has made an exoellent showing. especially as regards the daily practical work of the scholars. The exhibits of work sent by the brothers' schools, especially in handwriting, drawing, and commercial instruction, show great progress.
The ' True Witness ' has a statement to the same effect. Mr. Serrurier, an eminent French specialist, expressed the following opinion :
Hgd it been in France what immense success your schools would have had. I hope you will be represented there.
Let me quote again an ojiinion of Mr. Morton, the gentleman who had been put in charge of the whole department of education for Canada, byr the Dominion government :
It is the general opinion here that the province of Quebec has made an excellent showing.
What then have the French Canadians done to call on themselves the torrent of abuse which the Ontario press are directing against them. Our people are reviled by writers, by cartoonists, by public speakers. To avenge them, I may be permitted to quote the testimony of an ex-prime minister of Canada, Sir John Thompson. Speaking at a banquet given at Ottawa, in honour of the delegates from Great Britain and the various colonies at the time of the Intercolonial conference, Sir John Thompson, said :
I would he amiss to my duty if I did not take this occasion to pay a public homage to the loyalty of the French Canadians. Had it not been for the devotedness, the heroism and the loyalty of the French race in this
country, there would not be any Canada today. Faithful to their creed, faithful to their principles, they have laid the foundation of civilization in al parts of America. From the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific, civilization in all parts of America. From the deeds, and no race in the world can boast of a nobler or more glorious past than theirs.
The finest pages in the history of the country are those which tell of the patriotism and loyalty of the French Canadians.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I strongly resent the attacks directed against our clergy for the last three months ; against that clergy who, at eventful periods of our history, in 1774, 1812 and 1837 constituted themselves the bulwarks of British institutions. Nay more, even the representative of the Papal court in Canada is jeered at by cartoonists, who represent him as an Italian constable, keeping watch over the clergy of the province of Quebec. I protest energetically against these mischievous attacks. I protest also against a newspaper article which I have read a few days ago, in which the archbishop of the diocese, my old-time professor, His Grace Archbishop Begin, is insulted, he, one of the most worthy and of our Canadian bishops, and who, Mr. Speaker, may soon be elevated to the dignity of Cardinal in the Catholic Church. I deplore these malignant attacks, more especially coming from the Toronto papers. This afternoon, when I heard one of my friends, the member 'for Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) state that the people of Toronto were highly cultured, I could not help wondering whether the papers to which I refer really voiced the opinions held by these people. I rather believe that they do not. .
On March 20th, 1905, at Massey Hall, in Toronto, before a large audience, the editor of the * News ' said :
We are here to tell the Ottawa politicians and the clergy of Quebec to mind their own business.
Our clergy in the midst of the storm of abuse, had remained calm, dignified. In view of the harmony which should exist between the various nationalities in this country, I admire the noble stand taken by the Catholic clergy on such a delicate question which affects our innermost thoughts and beliefs. I might apply to Canada these fine utterances of the Count De Mun :
Canada cannot stand it, and will not stand it.
' Already you may see the people rising and, feeling" on their shoulders the heavy hand of the would-be oppressor, courageously standing up draping themselves in their honour, and crying out like that Roman orator to the . threatening tryant : Even though you should tear off my tongue, my soul, still free, would, with its breath, scorn thy violence.
. Is it then the irretrievable fate of our tor>
mented age that we should never, even as re* ; gards that sacred question of the formation l of souls and minds, find a common ground >
wherein people of various creeds and conflict-