William Findlay Maclean
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.
I stand by my challenge and by every word 1 said.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.
I stand by my challenge and by every word 1 said.
Well, my hon. friend has only one thing to do and that is to give up his seat and run against the Minister of the Interior.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.
Let the right lion, gentleman make any vacancy in Ontario- Oxford, North York, South York or London
and I will resign my seat, and these are all Liberal constituencies, some of them with a thousand majority.
I might as well ask my hon. friend to come and run against me in Three Rivers on the question of separate schools. But my hon. friend is a sport, and I make him a fair proposition : If you want to wage a battle, wage it inside the'ring. Do not go outside the field. If you want to test the sentiment of the Northwest to-day, go up into the Northwest and fight inside the ring.
I am just told that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is elected by acclamation. Whether the news be true or not, I do not know ; but if it be true, certainly I rejoice. Some hon. gentlemen on the oher side are good fellows, but were carried away by their intense eagerness and ambition to get back on the treasury benches. They were carried away just as the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) was. Reading that hon. gentleman's speeches in the past. I find that he used to accuse the First Minister of not being able to Storm the treasury benches but of trying instead to sow discord inside the cabinet. What are these hon. gentlemen doing now ? Even in the face of this indignation of the whole country, which they have pictured to us so graphically, even with the support of those tens of thousands of Mr. bureau.
people who, we are told by the hon. member for Toronto, are so eager to make warfare and to wreck vengeance on this government, they do not dare to storm a cabinet position. They did storm it in 1904. In that year they had their secret funds all over the country ; they had their conspiracies ; we know what was happening in Quebec, how that province was going to sweep the whole Liberal party out of existence-but things did not turn out as anticipated. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) was carried away then, as he is to-day, by his own enthusiasm. In fact I can in no other way describe his conduct to-day than by saying he has simply been carried away by his own rhetoric. When we hear so much talk about superiority and inferiority, 1 cannot help but admit that in certain things the hon. member for North Toronto is certainly unequalled. He has, for instance, the greatest command of epithets of any man I have ever seen. We might call him indeed the king of epithets. He has besides the exclusive monopoly of insinuation and innuendo and unsupported statements; and if you do not take him up at once, he will come back the next day and repeat the statement, and say it must be true because you did not contradict it. Take, for instance, the charge he made one day that Mr. Russell was paid for going to Rome out of the money of the Canadian people. The Minister of Justice at once denied the statement, and the hon. member for North Toronto took it back. But why did he make the statement ? Simply because, if it had not been contradicted, you would have seen the Toronto press take hold of it and declare in capital letters : The
Prime Minister sent Mr. Russell to Rome and paid him for his services and his expenses out of the money of the people. The hon. member for North Toronto has a mono-ply of insinuation and innuendo, and, as far as hair splitting is concerned, I have never-found his equal from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
To my mind, Mr. Speaker, this is not simply a question of provincial rights. There are other rights involved. It is a question of individual rights, which are more sacred than provincial rights. The privilege of separate schools is now enjoyed by the minority in the Territories, they are entitled to that privilege, and those schools should be perpetuated by the legislation we are now enacting. We must not forget those men who first went into that country, those men who discovered it, those men who first planted the seeds of civilization in it and who were inspired to do this, not by motives of speculation or greed for gain, but by their love of God and great nature and the hope that others would follow. I do not care what you say about the hierarchy, they have done noble work ; they have done a lot of good in these very Territories which we are now about to erect into provinces. We must not forget that when the pioneers came in, fol-
lowing in the footsteps of those missionaries, it was to those apostles of religion that they had to turn to for consolation. It is very easy nowadays to ride in a pullman car and gaze out of its windows at the beautiful prairie, but you must not forget the hardships and the anxieties and the sacrifices which those men made who went into that country first, who went there alone, having nobody to depend upon but themselves. Those men, 1 repeat, have acquired individual rights and are entitled to the request of our legislators. And If so far the people in the Territories to-day have thought that these men were entitled to their own school systems, why should we take it upon ourselves to decide that they are not. The hon. member for North Toronto asked why did not the Prime Minister prevent in 1896 the robbery of the minorities rights ? Well, it was not for the First Minister to prevent it. That was the duty of hon. gentlemen opposite. If they thought that an injustice was being done, why did they not veto the legislation instead of throwing upon individuals the onus of pleading against the local government. If the late Conservative government had vetoed the legislation of the province of Manitoba, and the provincial legislature considered that in so doing they had exceeded their jurisdiction, then there would have been a fairer fight. It was the duty of hon. gentlemen opposite to have prevented the wrongdoing. but they did not ; and all we could do, after the harm was done, was to apply a remedy.
Let us hope this debate shall soon be at an end and that this little flurry of disagreement, this little wave which looked rather wicked at the top, will soon subside. 'The ground taken by hon. gentlemen opposite is in defence of provincial rights. And they talk much about these young provinces. Well, though the provinces are young, I think they know best what they want. And the election of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is a fair indication of the sentiment of the Northwest. The fact that the Conservative party has not offered any opposition to the return of the Minister of the Interior surely indicates that hon. gentlemen opposite have found that they have entered upon slippery ground and that the further they go in the same direction the more slippery it becomes.
It has been well said that the measure before us is a very important one. I trust that the two new provinces to which autonomy will be given on the 1st of July will develop rapidly and become great. And I trust that with their admission into the union as provinces we shall have heard the last of race and creed differences in this Dominion. I think it was wise on the part of the Prime Minister and his cabinet to take such steps as we may hope, will settle these questions once for all. The people who are flocking into these new provinces go there for business, and, under good institutions, their work in developing the natural resources of that country will materially aid in building up a grand and prosperous nation. By helping to prevent the recurrence of such questions as those before us to-day we also shall do our share, for we shall establish a basis for concord, a basis upon which we can all unite in maintaining the peace and increasing the prosperity of our Dominion.
Mr. J. HEBRON. (Alberta).
Mr. Speaker, I have listened with some interest to the remarks of the hon. member (Mr. Bureau) with reference to the Northwest Territories.
I presume he is an old resident of that country by the remarks he has made. But I may say, in beginning, that I think he is a little wide of the mark in some of the statements he has made. He may have resided in Manitoba, but I think he is not familiar with the conditions in the Northwest. He is not the only member of this House who has spoken of settlements made in the Northwest previous to the establishment of the means of law and order. He has said that the missionaries carried on a great work there and that it was followed up by the settlement of the country by those of his race and religion. To that I take a certain exception. I was in that country in the very early days, and I travelled all over the length and breadth of the Northwest Territories south of the great Saskatchewan and east of the Rocky mountains, and I think I am safe in saying that there was no such * settlement in that country, certainly none except at the present town of Morley west of Calgary and that was the settlement of a Methodist missionary. There was no French settlement in that country as has been alleged in this House from time to time. Nor, were there, I regret to say, these great establishments of the church which have been referred to. Because, while I did not claim a greater share of the spirit of tolerance than any other hon. member of this House, I may say that I helped to build the first Roman Catholic church that was built between the North Saskatchewan river and the International boundary which embraces the foothills of the Rocky mountains. This was some thirty years ago. Under the circumstances, I think I have the right to take exception to some of the statements that have been made in this House I admit that at the present time We have a number of French Canadians in the Northwest and, of course, Roman Catholics are there as in every other part of the Dominion. These French Canadians are certainly as good a class of settlers as any others we have. But, when you give them credit for beginning the settlement of the Northwest, I think you go further than is necessary, because that credit is not wholly due them.
Now, in dealing wit Ii the school question, I am brought to the same point as that I
by their brands. You can onlv approach1 them on horseback. Therefore it is a business entirely different from stock-raising in other parts of Canada. Nearly 100 miles of that stock country east of and next to the Rocky mountains has been turned into an' agricultural country during the last three years, and that throws the cattle interests further east, so that they are now confined to a belt about 170 or 200 miles in extent, east of Lethbridge, and from that down to a place called Maple Creek somewhere about GO miles below the present boundary line. Now- there are at the present time some 500,000 head of wild cattle in that district. If that line was to be put 60 miles further east it would take in practically the whole of what is known as the range country in the new province of Alberta. Here I may mention that one bon. gentleman on the other side of the House, I think the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott), stated with reference to this boundary question that the stock interests shipped more cattle at Yorkton, out of this stock country, than they did from Alberta, and that therefore Yorkton must be in a stock country also. You might just as well say that the province of Quebec is a stock country because a lot of stock is shipped from the city of Quebec, but the stock comes from the west and is shipped through Quebec. Now I wish to show the House how the proposed boundary line affects the stock business. Suppose that iu the new province of Saskatchewan a tax of five cents a head is put on cattle, and that in Alberta a tax of ten cents per head is imjiosed ; hon. gentlemen can see the difficulty stock men would be in. That is an illustration of what would be the result in only one line of business. The owners of these cattle never count them. I suppose they have not been counted for twenty years in some herds, numbering from 5,000 to 15,000. head. As I have said, they are only recognized by their owners by the different brands. If you cut square through the centre of that country where those large herds of wild stock are running, and make a boundary line dividing the stock interests of the two provinces, I think the House will understand that it is very important to the stock interest where that line is put. I hope that when this Bill gets into committee some amendment may be made to it in this direction. I do not see that there could be any objection to it from either side, or from any other province, and it would be of great advantage to the people of the two new provinces. You must remember, Mr. Speaker, that this is the . only stock country we have in the whole of Canada, indeed it is the only stock country to-day on this continent, where stock runs out the year through. It is a very large business, and will continue to grow for years to-come, and I think it would be a pity for this parliament to legislate in any way that would injure 155 that business. Several hon. members have made light of this boundary question, but we consider it a very serious one in our country. In fact there have been mass meetings in several places protesting against the boundary line running along the fourth meridian. Now, with reference to the land question. As I said at the beginning, that question has been an issue at all the elections wre have had in the Northwest Territories and I suppose that the result of those elections may be taken as a fair test of the feelings of the people. The test of the last election was that provincial autonomy be granted. The people of the Northwest Territories asked for one province, and I am of the opinion that one province W'oulil have been quite sufficient for the present needs of that country and perhaps for all time to come. The people of the Northwest Territories were unanimous, or very nearly so, that one province would be sufficient. That was a question that was left undecided in Mr. Haultain's draft Bill, but one question that they were decided upon was that they should themselves handle the lands and minerals in that country. I think there is no question as to what the decision of the people of the Northwest Territories was on that point. Mr. Haultain went to the country in 1902 ; that question was discussed on every platform, and after the elections wrere over and the returns were counted, while a few dissented from Mr. Haultain's opinions in regard to the general principles of administration, on the principle of provincial autonomy there was not one dissenting voice at the first meeting of the assembly. I think that is one of the best indications of tiie way the people in the Northwest Territories feel on this question. Hon. members have read letters from people in the Northwest Territories and, as I stated a moment ago. one hon. member read a letter from a gentleman in Alberta saying that the people desired that the Dominion government should retain control of their lands. You can only compare that with what occurred in 1002 in the elections. One of the reasons why we are so much in favour of retaining our own lands in tne Northwest Territories is this : We have laboured from the early days under the disadvantage of railway and other corporations owning a great deal of the land. It makes no differ ence what government is responsible for it, the fact exists, and we have to deal with, it as we find it. It must be recognized that it is a hardship to the people in that country to be at the trouble and expense of improving land that other people may derive the benefit from their efforts. Every dollar that we have expended in the improvement of our land has been expended to improve the land of railway and private corporations, and we have always looked forward to the time when this government would deal in some way witli these corporations, and put the
question of the exemption from taxation and all the unsettled land questions on a satisfactory basis. I may state, while I think of it at the moment, that in reference to the exemption of Canadian Pacific Railway lands, I have received' several petitions from the Northwest Territories, which I have presented to this House, asking that something should be done before we become a province by which we shall be relieved from the burden of the Canadian Pacific Railway exemption on their rolling stock, roadbed, yards and everything of that kind. I do not think that any one in the Northwest expects this government to step in and cancel the contract that exists between the Dominion government and the Canadian Pacific Railway. I do not think that is at all the idea, but I believe the people of the Northwest think-and I do not see what objection there can be to It-that this government should try to deal with this question in some way which would make the Dominion government to some extent responsible for the exemption clause in the Canadian Pacific Railway contract. I think that every hon. member in this House knows that when that railway was built across the continent it was not built expressly for the benefit of the people of the Northwest. It was built to fulfil a political compact made by the Dominion of Canada. When British Columbia came into confederation In 1871 she came in on the understanding that this railway would toe built so as to connect British Columbia with the eastern provinces in ten years. It is not necessary to go over ancient history, to recite the efforts made by different parties in the Dominion of Canada to induce the building of this road, but it is sufficient to state that in the final bargain that was made with the Canadian Pacific Railway an exemption clause was inserted in the contract. We claim that this exemption was not given to help the people of the Northwest, but to get British Columbia into the confederation, that it was given for the benefit of the whole Dominion, and we think, therefore, that this parliament should deal with the question. We do not expect this government to repudiate previous contracts with railway corporations, but I think we are justly entitled to believe that the parliament of Canada should step in and deal with that question, and that the people of the Northwest should not be further burdened. But that is not the worst feature. We have that burden on our shoulders at the present time, but now we are going further. We are going into another land deal, we are going into provincial autonomy, we are going to establish new provinces, and this Dominion parliament is going to retain the balance of the public lands in that country. I have already pointed out that by improving our lands in the Northwest Territories we are advancing the prices of lands held by private corporations, and we are going to be burdened in the same way by reason of the Dominion gov-Mr. HERRON. eminent retaining control over these lands in the Northwest. We had looked forward to the time when we should get provincial autonomy and be able to deal with our own lands, which we believe would in some way counterbalance the disadvantage we have been subjected to in reference to Canadian Pacific Railway and other railway corporation lands in that country. But what is the result ? The Dominion government is going to retain our lands in the Northwest Territories, hundreds of millions of acres in extent, that we believe rightfully belongs to the people of the Northwest. It is not only that they are going to own them, to receive the benefit of them and that the money is going to be put into the treasury of this Dominion, but we, the pioneers of the Northwest, the men who have made that country, who have been cultivating and improving their lands for the last twenty years, are the ones who, by their efforts and by their taxation, will add to the value of those lands which will be worth from $10 to $20 an acre. Yet a body entirely outside of that portion of the country is to derive the full advantage of the labours and taxation of the people who are there.
Do they pay any taxes in the meantime ?
I do not suppose the Dominion government will pay any taxes in the meantime. They never have, and I do not suppose they will be more liberal in the future than they have been in the past.
I mean the Canadian Pacific Railway.
That is one of the objections we take to the provisions of these measures in respect to the lands. We also think we are as capable of dealing with the land question in the Northwest Territories as they are here at Ottawa. I wish to state most emphatically that the Dominion lands in the Northwest Territories, in a great many instances, are not used for legitimate purposes. A great many land deals are going on as side issues for political advantage in that country. I wish to make an exception of some of the land officials in that country, who are just as good officials as there are in any country, who know their positions and who have not interfered in Dominion politics, but I wish to say, on the other hand, and I say it without fear of contradiction, that quite a number of land agents- have been nothing more nor less than common political organizers. It Is easy to prove that statement, and I think this is one reason why the Dominion government is so anxious to retain our lands.
As I said before, I am not going to take up much of the time of the House in discussing these questions as I am not a speaker, and shall not attempt to make any great speech on this subject. But I ' do think that before the government com-
I'letes this Bill they should do something to remedy some of the evils which I have mentioned. One hon. member opposite, the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) I think it was, made allusion in his speech to the settlers coming into that country as one reason why the Dominion government should retain control of the lands. He made allusion to the Americans who are coming in and stated that it was not safe, that they might come in in such numbers as to constitute a danger. He did not state what they might do, but I inferred from what he said that he thought is was possible they n ight undertake to turn the country over to the United States. I wish to state for my part that I believe to-day the American settlers are the very best settlers who are coming into the Northwest.
Sir WILFRID LAURIBR.
I do not exclude settlers irom any foreign country. I prefer, of course, our own people from our own provinces of Canada, but of the people from any foreign countries, there is no doubt in the world that the people of the United States are going to be our best settlers, and I think they are going to be as loyal citizens of this country as can be found in the Dominion of Canada. I know they have proved themselves to be that up to the present time, and I think we are quite safe in trusting them in the future. When I heard the Prime Minister introducing this Bill declare that the Dominion was simply putting the stamp of nationality on the new provinces, that that was all they required to make them full fledged provinces, I was delighted with the noble sentiments he expressed, but when I learned all the conditions to be placed on the people of the Northwest, I began to think it would be more appropriate, not so parliamentary, but more appropriate, if he had called us reserves ; if he had said that he was going to make two great reserves. We are familiar with reserves in our country, we have Indian reserves and half-breed reserves, and if he had called them reserves, it he had stated that the government were going to retain the control of the lands and minerals in those provinces and that the provinces were to have separate schools placed on them, that they were to be dictated to from Ottawa, I think it would have been more in keeping than to say that we were to have the great stamp of nationality placed on the two new provinces. If he had said that they were putting the Maverick brand on us and placing us in the Maverick herd, it would have been nearer the truth. If I was to vote alone on this question, but I am glad to see there are several members on this side at least, who have some consideration for the people of the Northwest Territories and are willing to do justice to those Territories,-but if I were to be left here alone to vote on this 1554
question, I would vote against provincial autonomy under the conditions under which we are getting it here to-day.
At six o'clock House took recess.
House resumed at eight o'clock.
Mr. C. H. PARMELEE (Shefford).
Mr. Speaker, I feel almost like apologizing for venturing to address the House in this debate which has now lasted for a great many weeks. However, I can plead the excuse that I do not often abuse the patience of the House and further, that as one of the Protestant minority of the province of Quebec I may feel that a few observations from me will not be out of place. The question we are now discussing is an important one. We have before this House of Commons measures creating two new provinces in the great west; provinces which some day we hope will become among the most populous and most prosperous in this whole Dominion, and provinces for the future welfare of which we have the greatest aspirations. It is, therefore, an act of the highest statesmanship that we should give these new provinces a constitution under which they can successfully work out their destiny. I may remark in passing that I fully endorse the proposal of the government in respect to the public lands of these provinces. In view of the vast importance to this western country that it should be peopled with an enterprising and energetic population, it is a wise provision that the Dominion government should retain the lands and continue the splendid immigration policy which for some years past has been so successful. Then, too, I am fully in accord with the very generous financial terms which the Bills accord to the new provinces. I believe we have made them financial concessions which will place them in perhaps a better position to construct bridges, to build roads, to maintain schools and to support their provincial institutions generally than if they had the management of the lands in their own hands. My remarks will be directed chiefly to the school clauses in the Bills before us, and in order that I may be brief I shall make no quotations. Although I may be a little out of the fashion in that respect I feel that I will earn the good will of my fellow members by adhering to this rule.
The great bone of contention in this debate has been the schools which are to be established in these new provinces, and on this question I fear that a great deal more than was at all necessary has been said. As a layman it would not be fitting for me to expound the constitution, but, Sir, the ordinary man reading the provisions of the British North America Act cannot help seeing that there is written in the constitution of Canada the principle of separate schools for the protection of minorities. If we go I back to the genesis of separate schools
we find that they were first demanded by the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec and that they were established principally for tlie protection and safety of that minority. Those of us who have read the pre-confederation debates must realize that Sir A. T. (hilt, who made himself the principal champion of the rights of the Protestant minority, who discussed the question on the public platform and debated it during the conferences, who went to London to argue in favour of it, every one of us, I say, must recognize that Sir A. T. Galt in demanding these privileges for the minority of the province of Quebec must have foreseen that in all decency and in all fairness similar privileges must be accorded to other minorities in other parts of the Dominion. There can be no dispute about that, and indeed ever since confederation that principle has been crystallized in the legislation of this parliament. In 1870, when Manitoba was admitted into tile confederation, the legislation enacted in this federal parliament purposed to establish a system of separate schools in the prairie province, but perhaps through bungling here and through bad faith elsewhere the intention of parliament was not carried out. But, Sir, even that lapse does not alter the fact that it is in the spirit of our constitution which this parliament has tried to live up to, that with respect to education minorities should have special protection. Let me speak of tlie conditions existing in the province of Quebec with which 1 am familiar. 1 consider myself fortunate that I was brought up in a province in which people of different races and different creeds are able to work harmoniously together for the welfare of our common country ; I consider myself fortunate in this because it has given me tlie opportunity to understand some things which men situated differently have not had the opportunity of realizing. At confederation, in 1867, the Protestant minority of Quebec were granted separate school privileges, and the carrying out of that understanding was placed largely in the hands of the Catholic majority. I am prepared to say here, Sir, that from 1867 to the present day not only has the spirit of our constitutional guarantee been faithfully adhered to by the Roman Catholic majority, but that the majority has shown itself in all respects and at all times generous in its treatment of tlie Protestants and has done everything it possibly could to promote good feeling and harmony. I am happy to be able to state in this parliament of Canada to-day that there is perhaps no country in the world where people of different origins and different creeds live together in such accord as in tlie province of Quebec. There is no country, I believe, which affords such a good example of the good that can he brought about where the majority and the minority are disposed to he fair to each other. Everybody knows that in the very nature Of things Mr. PARMELEE.
a minority is apt to be timid and suspicious, but, Sir, the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec have never had reason to complain. We have no complaints as to our treatment in the past, and in spite of many bitter things that have been sqjd in this debate ; in spite of the regrettable appeals to Protestant prejudice against the minority in the west, we, the Protestant minority of the Province of Quebec, have no apprehension in the future that the Roman Catholic majority will make this an occasion for reprisals upon us. I may, Sir, that the minority in the province of Quebec confidently believe that they will he treated just as fairly and just as generously in the future as though this debate had never taken place. The policy of the majority in the province of Quebec has ever been to treat the Protestant minority in a spirit of fair play, and I would ask if that is not a good policy; good for the majority, good for the minority and good for the welfare of our common country ? Providence has bestowed on ns the greatest among the earth's heritages; we have the freest of constitutions suitable to our necessities and desires; we are placed here in this fair land, men of different races and religions, to work together for the welfare of our country, and I appeal to my friends on both sides, of this House if the best policy for us to pursue is not that very policy of toleration, of broadmindedness and of fair play which has characterized the dealings of the 'Catholic majority in Quebec with the Protestant minority of that province.
It would seem to me, Mr. Speaker, that in starting these new provinces on their career, a constitution that is good enough for the province of Quebec, and which, by the way, is good enough for the great province of Ontario, ought to he good enough for Alberta and Saskatchewan. A few moments ago I glanced over a manifesto issued under the authority, or at any rate with the approval, of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule). The hon. gentleman starts out in this manifesto by declaring how desirable it is that in a country like Canada we should have peace, but he immediately proceeds to make for peace by a declaration of war. It is contended that the schools ill the Northwest should be national schools, and I know that the argument is often made that national schools are absolutely non-sectarian and that an adherent of any particular faith might go to a national school without doing violence to his religious convictions or his conscientious scruples in any way. Well, Mr. Speaker, we might as well discuss this question frankly, fairly and candidly. That statement is liot founded on fact. The views of Protestants and Catholics in respect to education are so radically different that there is no possibility of reconciling them, and that being so, it seems to me that we should follow the example set in the province of Que-
bee find conclude that the only policy under -which we eau have peace and a good understanding is to agree to disagree on this subject. A great deal has been said on the other side of the House about provincial rights. It is a very catchy phrase and it can be rolled under the tongue like a sweet morsel, but after all we must remember that at the very inception of our constitution provincial rights were accorded in respect to education with the restriction that the rights of minorities in respect to denominational schools must be respected.
That being our constitution, it appears to me we ought to carry it out in its entirety and in the spirit of tolerance and generosity in which it was framed. A good deal has been said regarding the efficiency of separate schools, and I know that the prevalent idea among a good many Protestants is that they are not as efficient as they ought to be. In many cases, however, those who thus criticise these schools have in their minds the poor parochial schools maintained by conscientious Catholics out of their own money after being obliged to pay their taxes for the national school system. Is it any wonder then that separate schools so handicapped should not be as efficient as they would be otherwise ? But the very fact that the minority feel compelled by their conscientious convictions and scruples to impose burdens on themselves ought to convince us that we should at least meet them half way and give them the privilege of having the money raised by their taxes devoted to the maintenance of schools to which they can send their children.
A great deal has been said about our school system in the province of Quebec. My hon. friend from Dundas (Mr. Broder) quoted a speech made by the hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) in the Quebec legislature, away back in 1893, in which the minister criticised the separate schools then in existence in . that province. But my hon. friend did not take the trouble-perhaps he did not know-to explain the circumstances surrounding the delivery of that speech. Why. down in the province of Quebec we are animated by a spirit of educational reform, and at that time the Minister of Justice was pleading for an increase in the educational grant and endeavouring to arouse a sentiment among the people in favour of a greater expenditure on education, in favour of paying the teachers higher salaries and building better school-houses. That was the object my hon. friend had in delivering that speech, and it is quite possible that his zeal in the cause of reform induced him to make the most of his case and perhaps even exaggerate the conditions. But what he was endeavouring to do was to get the Quebec government to spend more money and take every means possible to put our educational system there on the most satisfactory footing. And I have no doubt that in the superior province of
Ontario, an equally earnest advocate of reform could find plenty of grounds for making a similar plea. I have no doubt that a member of the Ontario legislature, who was endeavouring to have the educational system of that province improved and no one will deny that it is not susceptible of considerable improvement-could easily find data on which to base an argument that elementary education there was not at all that it ought to be. and make just such an appeal to the people of that province, as the Minister of Justice did to the people of the province of Quebec, to put their hands in their pockets and do more for the cause of education than they had hitherto done. But with all its defects, I venture to say that in the province of Quebec, under our system there, both Protestants and Catholics have on the whole as efficient schools as can be found in other provinces. I believe that we are doing as good work there in the cause of education ns is being done anywhere else in this broad Dominion, and I am confident that we are as ambitious to have our system made as perfect as possible and equal to, if not superior, to that of any other province as are the people in any other section of this country ; and that, Mr. Speaker, is a sort of rivalry which we can all applaud.
I find it difficult to refrain from making a contrast between the treatment accorded the minority in the province of Quebec and that accorded the minorities in the other provinces. In the province of Quebec the Protestant minority have not only been treated fairly but most generously. We are given more than our share of public money, we are perfectly free to adopt whatever system we choose, and our constitutional guarantees have been carried out to their fullest extent. My hon, friend the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher), who is connected with the system of Protestant education in that province, and my hon. friend from St. Antoine division (Mr. Ames), who also holds a high place in the educational system, both stood up a few days ago and explained how the minority have been treated in the province of Quebec ; and I appeal to any man who listened tc them if their words did not carry the conviction that nothing could have been fairer or more just than the treatment there meted out to us. The result is that everybody there is satisfied, and we never hear a word of complaint from any one. Take the Protestant press of the province of Quebec, and what has been its attitude during this debate ? Nearly all the papers have been enthusiastic supporters of the educational clause in the Bill before us, and those who have not supported it actively are giving it. their tacit approval. Even the Montreal ' Witness,' which, as far as Protestantism is concerned, is the watchman on the tower has declared that any Protestant in that province would be acting a mean and contemptible part if he should assist in any attempt to withhold from the
Catholic minority in the Northwest Territories the privileges which this Bill grants them. No Quebec Protestant, that newspaper contends, could hold up bis hands for the special protection and rights the Protestant minority now enjoy in the province of Quebec and at the same time give his countenance to any attempt to snatch from the Catholic minority in the Territories similar rights and privileges. Sir, under the system now established in the province of Quebec, we have an ideal province, in which both Catholic and Protestant live side by side in perfect peace and harmony. Side by side they work out in harmony their municipal institutions, and in none of our political movements is the question of race and religion ever made an issue. We have in this House members from that province, who are Protestants, and yet are elected by constituencies, the large majority of which is French Canadian and Roman Catholic. We see the same thing in our municipal institutions, showing the disposition on. the part of the majority there to be just and even generous and meet their fellow citizens of different races and creeds more than half way. The result is peace, harmony and a good understanding. Well, if that be good policy in the province of Quebec, why should it not be good policy in other portions of the Dominion ? But has that policy always been carried out in the other provinces ? Who does not remember that the great Conservative party in the province of Ontario fought two election campaigns on a proposal to curtail the privileges of the minority in that province and cripple their separate school system ? And if we contrast that policy with the policy which has always been pursued in the province of Quebec, all of us who wish to be at all fairminded must admit that the Protestant minority in Quebec has been given far better treatment than that given the Catholic minority in the province of Ontario. Then take the province of Manitoba. There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Dominion parliament intended to give the minority there separate schools. But one fine day these schools were abolished by provincial legislation. And even in the Territories, a good deal of the same disposition has been shown. Do you think, Mr. Speaker, that that is right ? Do you think it is fair ? Do you think that that is living up to the spirit of our constitution and giving equal rights to all ? We have men standing up in this House and telling us to trust the west. Well, after all that has happened in the great west, can anybody, can any fair minded man blame the minority if it should display a spirit of suspicion and apprehension. Why, it seems to me that nobody could argue with any fairness that the minority there have not any good ground for insisting upon this parliament seeing that the guarantees are observed which our constitution fortunately gives them.
There are some things in this debate that I deplore, and that, I hope, the great majority of the people of this country deplore. Appeals have been made calculated to stir up angry passions, to pit creed against creed, to wound the feelings of the people instead of establishing peace and promoting unity. Every man who has the welfare of Canada at heart must deplore the use of such appeals in connection with this debate. Why, the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) even dragged in here a quotation which credited the Roman Catholic church with making France a nation of atheists and illiterates. I do not suppose he did that to promote good relations between the different elements of our population ; I do not suppose he did it as holding out the olive branch to those who differ from him in religion. I fancy he did it for party purposes, that he did it with a view to making party capital. This afternoon that hon. gentleman denied the imputation that he had done anything to set the heather on fire. In accounting for his knowledge of the Bill in advance of its presentation to the House, he said that a little bird had whispered that something of this sort was likely to be introduced, that this parliament would stand by the pledges it had given the people of the Northwest and would enact legislation that would guarantee equal rights to the people of that great country. And at once he tells us, he saw that something was going to happen, that feeling was going to be stirred up, and so he sent out a warning to the people of Canada to look out, for passions were going to be stirred up. This, the hon. gentleman assures us, he was not trying to do, in fact he was trying to prevent it. But, I think, that with all the facts before us, perhaps, we should take that statement with a grain of salt. The hon. gentleman sent out a manifesto addressed to the members of this House-a manifesto in the interest of peace, as he said, to bring the people closer together, to make us better friends. And he winds up with these words-that is, the order which sent it out with his approval winds up wdth these words :
We, the members ot the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ontario West, composed of men of various nationalities and different shades of political opinion, unanimously pledge ourselves to use every legitimate means to drive from public (life any and every member of parliament who votes for this objectionable measure.
They pledge themselves to use every legitimate means to drive the hon. member for Cornwuill and Stormont (Mr. Pringle) from public life because he has dared to stand up for what he believes to be right. They pledge themselves to use every legitimate means to drive the hon. member for St. Antoine division (Mr. Ames) from public life, an hon. gentleman of the very highest standing in his own province, and, as he has shown himself, a man who is able, when
occasion requires, to rebuke some of the sentiments which have been given utterance to by the members on his own side of the House. They pledge themselves to use every legitimate means to drive the kon. member from Sherbrooke (Mr. Worthington) from public life, and my hon. friend from Argenteuil (Mr. Perley), if they venture to vote against the amendment. And this is to be the issue in this country,-creed against creed, and political parties are to divide on a cleavage of that kind. And the gentleman who must acknowledge thp paternity of this sort of thing stands up in the House and says he wants peace, and blames us for setting the heather afire, for stirring up passion and creating bad blood among the people. And then there was the appeal made by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). I was simply astonished at the audacity of his ground and lofty tumbling the other day. In 189G he was the most eloquent champion of minority rights, not merely because they were guaranteed by the constitution, but because they ware right and because majorities should be fair and just to minorities. He made one of the most moving and eloquent speeches ever delivered in this House along those lines. If those principles were sound then they are right to-day. But the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) had the audacity to rise in his place in this House and say : Well, the elections of 1896 took place and the Liberals were returned to power, so, my arguments do not seem to have had the effect they ought to have had with the people ; and the same was repeated in 1900 and again in 1904 ; and therefore I am going to swallow my principles, I am going over to the other side. Well, if that logic were sound, the hon. gentleman ought to come clean over to this side of the House and not divide opinion with us on this question alone. The hon. gentleman knew, perfectly well, when he spoke, that the elections of 1896 were not decided on the Manitoba school question. He knew, that for years the people of Canada groaned under a bad policy and a worse administration. He knew that four or five years before 1896, the people of Canada had made up their minds that at the first opportunity they would change rulers and change methods of government in this country ; had made up their minds that they would put men in office pledged to an entirely different policy in the administration of affairs. He knew that the Manitoba school question had little to do with the verdict of the people. And he ought to have known that again in 1900, after four years' experience of Liberal policy and Liberal rule, moderate protection and progressive administration, the country had gone ahead by leaps and bounds, and that the people were satisfied. Yet the hon. gentleman stands up in the House and says that in 1900 the people of Canada voted against separate schools, and therefore he hastens to abandon the defence of minority rights on the ground that they were right and to get over to what he conceives to be the strong side. Mr. Speaker, that seems to me a simply awful position for a leading public man in this country to take. I do not wish to follow the hon. gentleman or to imitate the kind of language he has -indulged in, but on two occasions in this House upon a question germane to this he made what I consider a straight appeal to the prejudices of the people. Well, speaking about prejudices it is not for me to advise the great Conservative party, though it has gone back upon every principle that its great leaders laid down
Upon every occasion in the past when this question came before parliament, every Conservative leader worthy of the name has taken much the position of the Liberal party under the leadership of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is taking to-day. Everybody who is familiar with the history of this country knows that to be the case. But, as I say, it is not for me to advise them- this is their funeral. But I do say that in a country situated as this is, no man can rise to the highest position in the councils of the nation unless he is broad enough to stand up in this House and everywhere and plead for equal rights for all the people.
Now, I promised to be brief, and I have already spoken longer than I intended. But, before I sit down, I would like to make one appeal in contrast and in contradistinction to some of the appeals that have been made. I would appeal to the sense of fairness of the Protestant people of Canada. As one of themselves and as representing an element treated most generously by a Catholic and French Canadian majority, I would like to ask them if we should be outdone in the desire to live and let live, if we should be outdone in the desire to manifest Christian charity and Christian toleration, which, after all, are the best justification for the Protestant religion. I would like to ask them, with all these facts before them, if they are going to be scared, and if they are going to have their prejudices aroused, and if they are going to refuse to do what is right simply because for partisan purposes the Conservative party chooses to make sectarian appeals and stir up sectional strife. Well, I do not know that I should say for party purposes for one can hardly know -which is the party, and which is the rump.
At any rate, what stands for the great Conservative party to-day, for the sake of making a little political capital, takes its stand against a proposition so eminently fair which is based upon the constitution and upon inherent rights. Now it seems to me that they are barking up the wrong tree. Prejudices may be aroused for a little time,
passions may bo excited temporarily, but they will soon pass away. There is a saving" remnant of common sense, a saving remnant of fairness in the hearts and minds of the people of this country ; and after this discussion is over, after these Bills have passed and have become law, after the provinces have been created and have set out for themselves, the people of Canada, Protestants as well as Catholics, will not be kept apart by reason of anything that has been said which ought not to have been said during the course of this debate. Now, Sir, if I were to attempt to give a word of advice to the people of these new provinces -and perhaps I may venture to do so with the experience we have had in the province of Quebec-it is this, that if they wish to promote the best interests of those great provinces, if they wish to have a happy, united and contented people, let them imitate the action of the people of the province of Quebec, let them be just to the minority, and give all classes reason to feel that they are safe in the enjoyment of perfect civil and religious liberty, and of equal rights for all time. If the people of these new provinces do that, they will lay the foundation of their great communities upon a solid basis, one which will ensure their lasting prosperity, and help to build up this' great Canada of ours.
Now, Sir, some things have been said, in the press perhaps more than in this House, reflecting upon the right lion, the Prime Minister. Statements have been made tending to create the impression that in this instance he has been influenced by the fact that he is a Roman Catholic In religion and a French Canadian by birth. Now surely, any one who is acquainted with the recent political history of this country, must know that attacks of that kind have no foundation in fact, that they are most unfair and unjust, and can be made with no other purpose than to destroy the splendid reputation the right lion, gentleman has made in this country, not only by his executive and administrative ability, but from the fact that no public man in this country-every one knows it, it is recognized everywhere -no public man in this country has ever done so much as he has done to make the people of this country a united people. He has consecrated his life to the great aim of dispelling prejudices which are calculated to do harm in a country with a mixed population like ours. Canada is a difficult country to govern in any case, and for Heaven's sake, don't let us make it more difficult by accentuating these differences of race and creed. Let us rather imitate the noble example of the Prime Minister who has devoted his life to the single purpose of bringing the people together and uniting them in heart and sympathy. No public man in this country, no newspaper can cite a single instance where his con-Mr. PARMELEE. *
duct has not been influenced by the highest conception of what is absolutely right and true and just. I would like to see liis course followed by other public men in this country. There is my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, who has not quite made up his mind whether he is for or against separate schools, he seems to be on the fence, so to speak ; and I am sorry to think that he has lost one of the best opportunities a public man ever had of rising above these latent prejudices, which I am happy to see, aud every man ill Canada must be happy to see, are gradually disappearing. I think after this question is once settled, after the rights of the minority are guaranteed in the Northwest provinces, we may hope to have heard the last of questions of this kind, and posterity will wonder how it was that we fought, and squabbled and assailed each other over questions of this nature.
Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR (Leeds).
The hon. member for Sbefford (Mr. Parmelee) who has just taken liis seat, opened his speech by saying that he would not make any quotations. I presume the right lion, the Prime Minister, and his leaders generally, were thankful to hear him make that promise, because if lie had undertaken to make any quotations dealing with this school question, I am quite sure that most, if not all of them, would have reflected very seriously, upon those lion, gentlemen and the party generally. Before I resume my seat I intend to quote a few of the utterances of some of those gentlemen. The hon. gentleman referred to the Montreal [DOT] Witness,' and said it was the champion of Protestantism in the province of Quebec. He might also have referred to it as being the champion of total abstinence in the province of Quebec. But true to its instincts, it is always ready to place party j before Protestantism and before temper-i since. We remember si few years ago when i this government, to satisfy the temperance | people, promised a referendum, they sub-I u-itted a bogus referendum to the people,
I and this Montreal ' Witness ' that he says is the champion of Protestantism, sold out its temperance principles, approved of the bogus referendum of the government, and to-day it is doing the same tiling with Protestantism to uphold the party that it belongs to.
Then the hon. gentleman occupied some time trying to make the people of this country believe that appeals to racial and religious questions had emanated from this side of the House. Now I will say to that lion, gentleman that he may read ' Hansard' from the time this debate began up to tlie present moment, and after my speech is concluded he may read that also, and he will not find that one word has been said by any hon. gentleman on this side of llie House calculated to excite race or religious questions in this country. Nor has
one word been said against separate schools; yet the hon. gentleman tries to make the people believe that all the noise about separate schools, that all the questions about race and creed, have emanated from this side of the House. I challenge him or any other hon. gentleman to produce one Syllable, one line or one word that has been uttered from this side, pointing in the direction he has indicated. The hon. gentleman also referred to the utterances of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule). Let him read the speech of my hon. friend from East Grey, and I defy him to find one word in it against separate schools, or one word calculated to raise race or religious feelings in this country.
' He read from a document which he said was sent out by direction of the hon. member for East Grey, and insinuated that it was the production of the hon. member for East Grey. I thought the hon. gentleman would not lower himself to anything of the kind. He read from a circular which he said emanated from my hon. friend from East Grey. But my hon. friend from East Grey did not produce any such document, on the contrary, he did not approve of the document that the member for Shefford read from.
It was a resolution passed by some lodge. My hon. friend from East Grey had nothing to do with it, and yet the hon. member for Shefford gets up and attributes it to my hon. friend. He said that some little bird had whispered into the ear of my hon. friend from East Grey that a Bill of this kind was to be introduced. Did not the hon. gentleman hear the speech from the Throne when the Governor General announced that these Autonomy Bills would be introduced this session ?' Is the Governor General of this country to be referred to by the hon. gentleman as a little bird whispering in the ears of members of this House ? He referred to the fact that ministers had stated in the campaign that autonomy would be given. Had it depended on the statement of ministers, no person, not even my hon. friend from East Grey, would have paid any atten tion to it, but when the Governor General came down and announced that these. Autonomy Bills would be introduced, my hon. friend from East Grey then had every right to say to his friends in the country that they were going to be introduced. The hon. member for Shefford. like every one who has preceded him in this debate, closed his remarks with a eulogy of the right lion. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier)-the greatest man that ever lived on earth. He would be worth millions to Barnum if he had him. That is all in line with the course pursued by other members of the party. They eulogize the minister and they take the patronage. The hon. member for Shefford did not deal very much with the Bill before the House ; therefore, X do not propose following him any further. Representing, as I do, one of the strongest Protestant constituencies in the province of Ontario, one containing, I think, more Orangemen than any other constituency in Canada, and at the same time containing a population of about 3,500 or 3,600 French and Irish Roman Catholics and having about 800 Roman Catholic voters in my constituency, I think it my duty to the people whom I represent that I should say a few words on the question before the House and explain the position that I purpose taking. I have received many letters from constituents of mine throughout the county. I will not trouble the House with more than one, which is a fair sample, to which I replied immediately, giving the position I purpose taking on this question. This letter is as follows :
Elgin, Ontario, March 15th, 1905.
Mr. George Taylor, M.P.,
Dear Sir,-Pressure of work has prevented me from writing to you earlier, but ever since the Prime Minister introduced the now famous Autonomy Bill I have felt that this is a fine opportunity for the forces in opposition and the Protestant forces in the House to serve Canada and the future. 1 do not believe any government in Canada for many years has made a proposal so unreasonable, or so opposed to the genuine unity of our country as this ultra-montaine educational policy for the two new provinces. From no point of view can I see that it is defensible as it stands. Its uncon-stitutionali'ty, its impolitic invasion ot territorial or provincial privilege, its coercive protection into the unknown future of the progressive west of a mediaeval system of schools, and its almost certain results in the way of dissension amongst the various elements of a much mixed population-all condemn this scheme as altogether bad. I sincerely hope you will advocate the elimination of the educational clauses.
(Sgd.) GEO. L. CLENDINNEN.
I seut the following reply :-
Ottawa, March 17, 1905.
Reverend and Dear Sir,-I am much pleased to receive your letter of the 15th instant, referring to the Bills now before parliament m reference to the new provinces for the Northwest. In reply I beg to say I fully agree with all you say, and am very much pleased that the Protestant clergy of all denominations are taking so much interest in the matter. I am very much pleased also with the attitude of the ' Christian Guardian.'
The position to-day is quite different from the Manitoba question. Then it was the minority appealing under the provisions of the constitution for their rights. When Manitoba was given a constitution these rights of separate schools were provided, but the Greenw'ay government abolished them. The decision of the Privy Council was that the legislature had exclusive Jurisdiction in dealing with educational matters, but the minority had a.5"e'r" ance, and under the constitution had a ngn w appeal to the Dominion parliament for remedial legislation. But it is very singular that the parties headed by Sir Wilfrid Banner were the parties who claimed provincial rights for Mam-
toba, and are now attempting to refuse it to the new provinces. These provinces are now being formed and we are giving them a constitution. If we do so and give them the right to separate schools the legislature there are powerless to abolish it except to take the same course that Greenway did. Then the minority would have the same right to appeal as the minority of Manitoba had for remedial legislation.
I therefore intend both with my voice and vote to oppose any legislation that will interfere with giving these provinces full jurisdiction in dealing with this matter themselves.
I herein inclose you copy of ' Hansard ' giving ithe debate that took place here on Wednesday last, showing the attitude of the parties on the question.
Believe me to be,