April 25, 1905

LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

I am not here to analyse what the ex-Minister of the Interior said, I am here to look the plain facts- in the face. I am not here to quote statements from every Tom, Dick and Harry, but to inquire into facts.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Will the hon. gentleman endorse the statement of the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) to this effect, that the people of Manitoba should have gone into rebellion at that time? And he repeated it half a dozen times in his speech.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

If the hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) says that, I shall have to accept his statement. because the rules of the House compel me to. But let me tell him that I do not sympathize with him when he says that he is going to shoulder his musket, and start out with a big drum, calling upon the people to follow him, that he will lead them to victory, as he did in South Africa.

I do not sympathize with that. I do not think that it is patriotic. I do not think that is loyalty. I think the hon. gentleman ought to sit down in the town of Lindsay and write such articles iu his paper as will bring peace and enlightenment to the people of Ontario. He ought to counteract the effect of the Toronto papers-the 'World,' the great organ of the hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean). He bows; lam glad he does. He ought to counteract the effect of the 'Mail and Empire' and those other papers published in the city of Toronto. Of course, they claim that they are right; they may be, but we claim they are wrong. We claim that you cannot, by fanning the fires of passion, bring reason and sound judgment to the people. If my hon. friend from Labelle said that, all 1 can say is that I do not believe in rebellion. I believe in peaceful rebellion, I believe in a man standing up iu this House or anywhere else and claiming his privileges, but as far as shouldering his musket is concerned I do not believe in that at all. They may blame our svstem of separate schools. IV e may lack in that respect, but that is a thing they do not teach there. Of course they may have a bad habit of going too far back as my hon. friend from Dundas (Mr. Broiler) has said, to find examples, but, when it conies to appealing to the musket, the pistol or the sword, as the hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes) does, we are not taught that.

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L-C
LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

No, the Prime Minister can only handle justice and equity. The Prime Minister can handle the minority and give them their dues. The Prime Minister I will never talk musket or rebellion to get a political advantage out of it. It has been charged in this House by the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron)-of course these remarks are a little disconnected, but when interruptions are made we have to answer them-that we are making a light one way in Quebec and the other way m Ontario. I desire to deny that entirely. The Prime Minister has always bad one line of conduct and one policy and one measure for all concerned be it In Ontario or Quebec. I deny most emphatically this double game that we are charged with, and I would say that on the contrary the statement refers to the speeches delivered and the practices followed by hon. gentlemen opposite. I win now continue my little circular. I 1ria'"ena great. Hiring for this little circular. It tells a lot when you analyse it.

I would suggest that every member of our order lend a helping hand to prevent this out-

rage by writing or wiring and getting others to do so.

And then lie qualifies this measure as 'criminal folly.' Why, Sir, if these hon. gentlemen w ere in earnest they would have addressed themselves to the task of improving that proposed clause, they would not qualify this provision of the law as criminal folly or try to raise prejudice and passion among our people. The hon. gentleman from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) said :

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

May I ask the hon. gentleman a question?

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Does he consider that the party who rings the fire alarm and rouses the public to stop the fire more criminal than the man who sets the fire?

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

The hon. gentleman lit the fire on the 16th. We never had any fire on our side until the 21st. Who Is the criminal?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I knew the fire was lit before that, but it had not extended so much that it was open to the world. I had the information before that. It was onlv smouldering then.

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Not quite correctly. X suggested that the lands should be given over to the administration of the provinces absolutely, and I said even if we could not do that, it would be wise to come to some arrangement with the people by which we would place some restriction on their method of dealing with the lands as has been suggested. That was really an alternative proposal.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

I think if you were to give the administration of the lands to the provinces and to place restrictions on them in that administration, it would be an encroachment on provincial rights. You would be establishing a condition ot things which they themselves would not enforce, that is, you would be encroaching on provincial rights, and consequently I come to the conclusion that in the opinion of hon. gentlemen opposite the principle of provincial rights is a good thing to shelter yourself behind when it suits you, but when it does not suit you, to the winds with provincial rights. I read with great interest a speech made by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). His experience, his wide knowledge of men and politics and events in

this country, have greatly interested me in this speech. In reading that speech I tried to decide whether I was not biased, whether I could not change my views. After reading it very carefully, I found that the hon. gentleman had not treated the question at all. The speech starts out by finding fault with everybody on this sale of the House-and I am surprised that the hon. gentleman did not find fault with everybody in the country. Then he is astonished at the change of front of the Prime Minister. Well, Sir, after reading and comparing the speeches of the hon. member for North Toronto in 1896 and 1905, I have come to the conclusion that all the hauling around and changing of front had been performed by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). In those days when he discussed the question of remedial legislation, he dismissed with a snap of his fingers the question of provincial rights. He said that:

The assertion was made in this House and in the country as well that for the Dominion parliament to attempt to legislate on this subject is to interfere with and invade provincial rights. I beg to state my humble opinion that it cannot be fairly maintained either in this House or in the country, looking to the distribution of powers by the Confederation Act where the jurisdiction is plain and unequivocal, that for this parliament to exercise its powers, to exercise its jurisdiction is to interfere with any rights that belong to the province in question at this time or of any other province, if this question touching any other province were to come up.

One of the questions to be put aside before you come to an honest conclusion is the question of provincial rights. He does not seem to think the same this year, and on reading his speech I find things there that have surprised me. I do not know if X may qualify portions of that speech as the most deliberate appeal to arms ever heard since the days of Patrick Henry. He says :

I want to ask in the first place why there should be any attempt to inject into the constitution of these new provinces the principle of separate schools.

Where is the Injection, and who are the Injectors ? I understand that the word ' inject ' means to force a foreign body through some mechanical force into another body. We do not inject anything ; the Injection was in 1896. The Manitoba legislature of that day had passed a law which had been declared within their powers of legislation by the highest tribunal in the land, and the Conservative government at Ottawa were endeavouring to impose on the Manitoba legislature the very contrary of that legislation. But this time the people of the Northwest, through their representatives, through their government, through their legislature, have passed a law, and of this law we have said to them : Gentlemen, this law suits you, you want the law, you made it yourselves, you can have it ; there is a minority in the two new provinces, and you

have decided in which way you wish to protect the rights of this minority and to what extent they shall have rights and privileges, and we say we shall perpetuate by your constitution what you yourselves have seen tit to do. In the same speech the hon. gentleman says :

And it we can trust aM these other provinces what reason in the world is there that we should for ever tag with a badge of inferiority these two great coming provinces of the Northwest ?

Now, Mr. Speaker, I pause here, and X want to ask the hon. gentleman where is the badge of inferiority because they have separate schools ? I wish the liou. member for North Toronto were here, because I wanted to ask him what he had in his mind when he made that statement. The only two provinces in which we have separate schools are Ontario and Quebec, and surely he would not be so ungrateful as to tax Ontario with inferiority, because he owes too much to Ontario, the province which has launched again on the political sea his political canoe after it had been wrecked at several places. What must he have had in his mind ? He is a gentleman who challenges the world with the statement that he has never in public, outside of this House or in the House, uttered a word against the Catholics or the French, but he is one of those able actors who, when you look at them as they speak, convey one impression to your mind, but if. you read their speeches without seeing them using these words, you get another and an entirely different impression. Who can tell what is in the mind of a man with that ability ? I think he had in his mind, if we can judge by the utterances of some of his friends in the House aud their press in the country, the province of Quebec, and I wish to protest against that. I want to say,. in the name of my fellow-countrymen of Quebec, and in m.v own name, that we do not admit for an instant that we are inferior to the hon. member for North Toronto (Sir. Foster) or to anybody else.

Mr. SPlROULE. That does not- needl'd with what the Minister of Justice said in the Quebec legislature.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

You cau test my statement iu any way you please and that statement is : That the members representing

Quebec constituencies in this House are not inferior to the member for North Toronto or to any other group of members from the province of Ontai'io either politically, socially or educationally. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) told us that in 1896 he was the victim of his patriotism and of his adhesion to the principles of justice, and that lie fell trying to render justice to the minority. Well, Sir, if his superiority consists in (to use his own words), having tagged upon his forehead by his leader the badge of a traitor, he can have Mr. BUREAU.

that superiority; I do not want it. If superiority consists in going around from one constituency to another and from one province to another before he eould get back (into this House, the member for North Toronto cau have that superiority. If superiority consists in the fact that his knowledge and experience as a parliamentarian for 23 years, brings no greater enthusiastic evidence from his supporters that they desire him to lead them than the hon. gentleman has experienced, then he is welcome to that kind of superiority. For my part, I prefer to have tagged upon me the badge of loyalty to my leaders aud the badge of being true to my friends. So far as I am personally concerned, I say to these gentlemen opposite who would tag me with the badge of inferiority : The book of my life is open before you, turn its pages and if one of these pages is soiled, then you can charge the offence against me. The member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has accused the Minister of Justice of stating that education in Quebec is inferior. The test can be found right in this chamber.! iLet these gentlemen opposite look around them ; let them see the representatives from Quebec in this House, let them judge of the system of education by these men, and let them not strain their necks looking abroad to find that which does not exist. We of French origin in this House, are accustomed to address you. Mr. Speaker, in the English language, and If these gentlemen from Ontario who charge us with inferiority in the matter of education wish to pay us the compliment of addressing us in French, I am sure we will all be delighted. We know that our command of the English tongue is restricted ; we know that hon. gentlemen have Jo bear with us when we speak it, but still we make the attempt as the result of the education we have received in our separate schools ; as a result of that education which we have received in our colleges which are controlled by the hierarchy aud which are taught by the priests ; these noble men who have unselfishly devoted themselves to the cause of education. The hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Broder) stated that the hon. member for Labelle had to go back 200 years to find precedents for the loyalty of the French Canadian clergy. Well, I invite him and his friends to come down to the province of Quebec, and I can tell them that in this j'ear of grace 1905 they will find in this same hierarchy and amongst these same priests, that very devotion which existed 200 years ago, and which to-day is displayed in making the people of Quebec loyal and patriotic citizens of Canada. Unlike some of the ministers of other religious beliefs, the clergy of the province of Quebec are men of peace ; they may not teach us to handle arms ; they may not teach us how to promenade throughout the country preaching rebellion and resistance

1S73

to the just demands of the people of a different faith, but, Sir, they teach us the history of our country, they' teach us toleration, and they teach us to love all our fellow-citizens. And speaking of toleration, let me tell you what toleration there is in the province of Quebec. A short time ago I was speaking with a gentleman from Ontario and I told him that in the city whence I come, we elected Protestants to public offices, and the answer I got from him was that we did that because the Protestant and the Englishman was the best man. Well, Sir, there are good Protestants and there are good French Canadians, but when it comes to a choice with us we elect a Protestant because we want him to know that we are anxious he should live in our midst and that though we are in the majority, we believe that those of his religion should know that amongst us they are trusted citizens. Let nip point out that in 1867 there was an election in the county of Beauce, a county which at that time had a population of 26,600, there being only 304 English-speaking Protestants in the county. An ^English Protestant named Pozer was elected for that county of Beauce by a majority of 530. Perhaps my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) will sav that he was the better man of the two. Well, let me tell him that Mr. Pozer's opponent at that time was a Frenchman and a Catholic who is to-day the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1872 there was another election in Beauce and Mr. Pozer, a Protestant and an Englishman v. as elected by 1,150 majority over his French and Catholic opponent. His opponent at that time was not Sir Elzear Taschereau, but Judge Blanchet of the Court of Appeals, the highest tribunal in the province of Quebec. At the next election in 1874, Mr. Pozer was elected by acclamation. That is toleration. Be it the result of separate schools or the result of anything else, it shows broad-mindedness and it shows that the French Canadian people have respect and sympathy for their fellow-citizens of the Protestant faith. Had it not been for some of the statements made by gentlemen on the other side of the House, I would not mention these things, because they are of so constant occurrence in the province of Quebec that we do not stop to notice them. In the constituency of St. Maurice and Three Rivers which I have the honour to represent, we have the reputation of being deep dyed and sincere Catholics, and out of a total population of 26,167 there are but 980 Protestants. For fifty years we had in the city of Three Rivers an Anglican and an English Canadian as Postmaster ; for fifteen years his brother was the sheriff of the district : and the jailer of the city of Three Rivers, one of the best positions in the gift of the government, is a Methodist and an Irish Canadian.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

I do not know whether he is a poor man or not, but I judge him by his worth as a citizen, and I know that he is a good man and an upright man. We have to-day as collector of customs in Three Rivers a Scotchman and a Presbyterian, and I may say he is a good man and a very good man. I mention these things merely to show that we who are accused of being priest-ridden and narrow-minded do not judge a fellow-citizen of ours by his re-l'gion or by his nationality or even by the number of dollars he may have in his pocket, but we look to his-character and to his intellect and if we find him a respectable and worthy citizen we give him the credit and respect he is entitled to.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

That proves that you know a good thing when you see it.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

Quite true, but without any disparagement to my English and Protestant friends in Three Rivers, I may say that there are French Canadians there eoully good, equally upright, and equally worthy citizens, but as a mark of deference to our Protestant fellow-countrymen we are anxious that they should realize that we place them on the same plane of equality with ourselves. I might cite another instance. The city council of Three Rivers -that city which, out of a population of 13,000 has only 300 Protestants-has alw-ays an English Protestant among its members. We never form a city council without electing-and always by acclamation-an English Protestant. Now', do not for a moment suppose that w'e do it because he happens to be the best man we have got. We clc it from another motive. We do it as a mark of deference and to show- our good feeling and sympathy tow'ards those people w'ho are living with us.

We had an appeal to arms from the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). When I heard him disclaim these words :

There is no hand which can fasten the chain and drive the rivet that will encompass and restrict the voung giants of the Northwest in years to come. You may carry your project through and ithe Finance Minister may cry peace, peace, but the moment it is cairied through and made irrevocable, that moment begins against it the warfare of an unwilling people.

When I heard those words, I really expected the hon. gentleman to thrill his audience by following them up with the wrell known appeal : ' Give me liberty or give

me death.' No doubt before the hon. member for North Toronto made that speech, he must have read Patrick Hemys allocution to his southern brothers to join the northern

forces. In fact you could liear the shackles ringing- on these little giants of the Northwest as the right hon. the First Minister was riveting upon them this chain of bondage and slavery. But why is all this bombast and extravagance, indulged in ? Simply to give food to a certain press which wants to make political capital by setting race against race and creed against creed. That is the sole basis for these frothy appeals to arms. These hon. gentlemen talk about the warfare of an unwilling people. Why, Mr. Speaker, I wish you could adjourn the House for five minutes and let us see what these people are doing with the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver). How much of the warfare of an unwilling people is going on in the constituency of Edmonton ? What opposition is being made out there to the government candidate ? We have heard men on the other side of the House-for instance my hon. friend from South York (Mr. Maclean)-plucky enough to declare their willingness to give up their seat and contest any constituency in the Territories the government would open.

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April 25, 1905