February 23, 1910

LIB

Joseph Alfred Ernest Roy (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. E. ROY.

I asked what was the wrong, because I have read that book. The true meaning of that book is not that which is given to it by the 'Telegram'.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Will the hon. gentleman rise in his place in this House and tell us that that book does not advocate the establishment of a French republic in Quebec?

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LIB

Joseph Alfred Ernest Roy (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. E. ROY.

Not at all. That is only the workings of the hon. gentleman's imagination.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I assert that $300 of the public money of the province of Quebec was voted for that purpose, and the proof of my assertion will be found in the Votes and Proceedings of the legislature of Quebec for December 3, 1896. Nor is that the only instance. Mr. Tardival's idea has been elaborated by Rev. Father Hamon who advocates the formation of a federation of the French Canadian societies of Canada and the United States. Father Hamon's work received the approval of Archbishop Taschereau. At chapter 18 of the book you will find these words:

See what will happen when the French 'Canadian race shall have completely occupied the space relatively restricted and found between the north shore of the St. Lawrence and the American boundary, that which we call the eastern townships. It will not probably take more than another generation to accomplish this work. Then the grand invasion (of the republic), will commence. When the French Canadians shall have ar-Mr. EDWARDS.

rived in mass at the American boundary line they will find more than half a million of their compatriots awaiting them who have the Canadian parish organized as absolutely as in Quebec, and are very decided, while discharging their duties loyally as citizens, to remain everywhere French. The French Canadians in the United States will soon be too numerous and influential for any political party, whatever it might wish to do, to dare to dispute their privileges. The American union is too big to be managed successfully. It is within the range of the possible that there will be a break-up when Quebec, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and, possibly, eastern Ontario, will constitute a distinct republic, French and Roman Catholic, Quebec giving a spirit and character to the new republic. Thus it may be, in the order of Providence, that there will be regained, by the observance of nature's laws of increase, and religious fidelity and love of country that which, in September, 1759, the sword wrested from the French Canadians on the Heights of Abraham.

I have not one word to say against the aspirations of Father Hamon to extend his religion as far as he possibly can. That is a worthy aspiration from h'is standpoint. But I do object to the preaching of any doctrine in any part of Canada which means the disintegration of this country and the separation of it from the British empire.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

Will my hon. friend allow me one question. Will he tell me in what year the book he refers to was published by the Quebec government?

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I have already stated it was in 1896.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

I may say that in the year 1896, in the province of Quebec, the party in power was the Conservative party; the party which is to-day led in the province of Quebec by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is just about what I expected. I stand here to say that I do not care whether it was done by the Conservative party in Quebec, or by the Liberal party in Quebec, I object to this as un-Canadian.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

My hon. friend will not find that in the Liberal ranks.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I was just as well aware as the hon. member was, what party was in power in Quebec when that book was prepared. This seems so interesting to hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House that I want to give them a little more of it. Let us see what some of their great politicians and statesmen have done; let us see the stand that the Hon. Mr. Mercier took in that province. I might remind the hon. gentleman (Mr. Beland)

that, Mr. Mercier was one of the lights of the Liberal party. He was premier of Quebec from 1887 to 1891, and he was an advocate of cutting the tie with Britain and of declaring Quebec a great French Canadian nation, to which the Canadians who had gone to the New England states would return. Let me give you a quotation or two from his great Sohmer Park speech. On that occasion Mr. Mercier said:

Taking everything into account French Canadians owe nothing to England. If they had prospered, it was in spite of England, not because of her, and if England had done them any good, it had also done them still greater harm. On the whole we owe nothing to England, and we may separate ourselves from her when the majority constitutionally decides to do so without any pangs of conscience and without any shedding of tears. I advise my compatriots to ask for independence for four leading reasons. From necessity, from patriotism, from the natural advantages of independence, because we are capable of existing as an independent people. As a free man, on this free soil of Canada, I defend The sacred cause of my compatriots, whatever may be their race or their religious belief, and I demand for all, men, women, and children, colonial emanciption and liberty. You have colonial dependence; I offer you independence. You have ruin and misery; I offer you fortune and prosperity. You are now only a colony, ignored by the entire world; I offer you the opportunity of becoming a great people, respected and known by all free nations. Men, women and children, it is for you to choose. You may remain slaves in the colonial state, or become independent and free, in the midst of other peoples, who, by their all-powerful voices, are inviting you to the banquet of the nations.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

Mr. Mercier was not Prime Minister of Quebec in that year.

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LIB
CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

He was turned down by his province for that language.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I said that Mr. Mercier was a very prominent Canadian.

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CON
LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Oh, yes, he was prominent even at that time. I say he was sufficiently prominent that he in the course of time occupied the position of premier _ of the province of Quebec from which position he was turned out by the people of Quebec in 1891. Later on, when addressing a meeting of the French Canadians of New England, at Fall River, he said:

You who were driven out of the province of Quebec by the constitution and non-progressive policy of that country, as she is ruled by the English, have been more than able to hold your own in another country which is a free republic. I appeal to you to always be ready ' to assist your

compatriots in Canada who are struggling for liberty; and the only thing wanted to release them from their present bondage is independence.'

Now, it has been objected that Mr. Mercier was not at that time a very prominent man. Well, Mr. Speaker, this is the same gentleman of whom the right hon. the Prime Minister of Canada said:

Mr. Mercier is the greatest Canadian since the time of Papineau. I believe with Mr. Mercier, and I am here to make him prevail.

And Mr. Speaker this is the same man, Hon. Mr. Mercier, to whose memory the legislature of Quebec voted $10,000 to erect a statue. '

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

Will my hon. friend allow me to say that he should add to that statement this: Mr. Mercier is the same man who obtained from the legislature of the province of Quebec

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Order. The hon. member for Frontenac, having the floor, cannot be interrupted without his permission.

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February 23, 1910