April 26, 1905

LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN.

Quite right, and I should be glad that my hon. friend would take heed of what it says and govern himself accordingly. He read very largely from the ' Globe ' newspaper. Well, the ' Globe ' does not control this parliament or the people of this Dominion. True, it is a power in the country, but the gentleman who writes the articles in the ' Globe ' is just as likely to be mistaken as I am ; and I venture" to say that he would give me, as I give him, credit for sincerity and for expressing the views I honestly entertain and believe to be right and proper.

I do not intend to occupy at any length the time of this House. We have had innumerable speeches. We have had this matter discussed thoroughly and intelligently. and I believe that the people have fairly made up their minds as to what should be done. At any rate I believe that parliament has made up its mind as to what it will do. We have had hon. gentlemen op-157*

posite contending that the Liberal party is inconsistent on this question, that formerly we stood for provincial rights and inscribed that principle on our banner, and that we are now dragging that banner in the dust and going back on all our past records. Well, Mr. Speaker. I venture to deny that assertion. I say that the Liberal party today is acting consistenly with its past history, and that it is the Conservative party which is a sinner in this respect. It was the Conservative party who established separate schools in this country assisted by the people in the province of Quebec. That party is now going back on its record. What was formerly the position of the Liberal party in regard to this matter ? We know that the Hon. Geo. Brown, iu the old legislative assembly of Canada, opposed the system of separate schools with all his force. That principle, however, was adopted by the Canadian legislature and became law. When confederation was brought about, Mr. Brown joined the coalition government, which adopted the principle of separate schools as a part and parcel of the Confederation Act. To that principle Mr. Brown gave his adhesion because it had been adopted in Canada and he felt it would be a wrench to do away with it. The Liberal party have lived up to that doctrine ever since. In 1896 when the Conservative party endeavoured to force separate schools on the unwilling province of Manitoba, the Liberal party objected. Why did they object ? Because they stood for provincial rights. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had decided that the Roman Catholic minority in Manitoba did not have the right to separate schools, but the Conservative party endeavoured to force these schools upon that province. The Liberal party, standing by its record, declared against that invasion of provincial rights and it went to the country and was successful.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Why do you not stand up for provincial rights now ?

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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN.

So we do, and it is because we are standing by the principle of provincial rights that we are supporting this Bill.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The people out there do not think so.

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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN.

The people in Edmonton think so. They say that we are standing by the principle of provincial rights. The Conservative government endeavoured to force separate schools on the province of Manitoba and we opposed it, because we were opposed to having a system forced on a province which the people there were not bound to accept. A true regard for provincial rights consists in safeguarding the rights, not only of the majority, but likewise of the minority. One mdivi-is equally entitled to have his legal

1 dual

rights respected as a hundred thousand. It is the duty of this parliament to protect the legal rights of one man just as well as those of a thousand or ten thousand men. In 189G the Liberals stood by the principle of provincial rights in supporting the majority of the province of Manitoba, and today we are standing by that same principle in protecting the minority of the Territories. That minority is entitled to separate schools. I venture to say that there is not a lawyer, including Mr. Christopher Robinson, who will say that the Roman Catholics of the Territories have not the right to-day to separate schools. If they have that right, then this parliament is bound to safeguard it ; and it is because we are standing by the principle of provincial rights that this Bill will pass the parliament of Canada by the largest majority that any contentious measure ever received. It is because we are standing by the principle of provincial rights that this Bill will receive the approval of the province of Ontario, notwithstanding the attempts of hon. gentlemen opposite to set the heather afire. It will receive the approval of the people of Ontario just so soon as they thoroughly understand the principles of the Bill. There has been considerable agitation created and every attempt possible has been made to obscure the issue, and I doubt very much whether until very lately the great bulk of Ontario fully understood this measure. But as soon as they do understand it it will receive their support as it will receive the support of this House, and the name of Laurier will again go down in the pages of history as that of a broadminded, far-seeifng statesman and -true patriot who knew what was best calculated to promote union and progress and prosperity among all sections of this Dominion and had the energy and ability to do it.

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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. WARD (Durham).

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend from Welland (Mr. German) said that after listening to the arguments of my hon. friend from East Toronto (Mr. Kemp) he was more determined than ever to vote for the Bill brought down by the Prime Minister. I echo that sentiment with regard to the hon. gentleman's (Mr. German's) own speech. After listening to him I am more determined than ever to vote against the Bill. But I go further and tell that hon. gentleman that if he follows out his own reasoning he will be compelled to vote against the Bill also. He dealt with the legal aspect of the case, and I am bound to say that he differed entirely with every legal gentleman on his own side who has discussed the subject. He does not agree with clause 16 of these Autonomy Bills. He declares that this clause is not necessary, because the British North America Act applies. This being his contention, surely he should vote against the Bill along with hon. members on this side of the House. The hon. gentleman (Mr. German) Mr. GERMAN.

referred twice in the course of his brief remarks to the election of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) in Edmonton. Does he understand the complexion of the constituency ? If he does not, I will enlighten him.

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LIB
CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Well. I have the figures here and about sixty per cent of the voters of that constituency are Roman Catholics- that is, French Roman Catholics, Irish Roman Catholics and adherents of the Greek church.

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LIB
CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

The hon. gentleman says that adherents of the Greek church are not Roman Catholics, but they amount to the same thing,-they vote solidly for the government in any event. I would ask my hon. friend (Mr. German) to explain why the hon. gentleman who was at first spoken of as Minister of the Interior, the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott), did not accept the position and go before his constituents. It is a well known fact that hon. gentleman had the first call for the position which the hon. member for Edmonton now holds.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Who knows that to be a fact ?

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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Well, it was strongly rumoured in any event. And the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) declined that position, as I understand

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Who says so ?

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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

because he dare not go

back to his constituency.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Who says he declined ?

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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fielding) deny it ?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Ward) is making the statement. He says it is well known.

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

By whom is it known ?

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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Why, you cannot go through these corridors without

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April 26, 1905