April 5, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York).

I intend for a few moments to refer to and comment upon the statement made here to-day. On February 27tli I brought to the attention of this House the very question referred to just now by the leader of the opposition, when I read a declaration of the French newspaper called ' Le Soleil,' saying it was the organ of the government, and I also read its editorial, which declared that Manitoba wes being punished by a denial of extension of her western or other boundaries because of her school laws. The right hon. gentleman repudiated all that. He said there was no intention of punishing Manitoba, and he made light of the statements I made. But since then it has come out that that newspaper was his newspaper, at least it has never been denied, and a colleague of his, according to a statement in the papers, transferred the other day a large portion of the shares he held in that paper to a senator who is a supporter of the right hon. gentleman. It has been shown by other quotations from papers supporting the government that little Manitoba was being punished for her iniquitious school legislation, there is no doubt about that. Now comes the Hon. Mr. Rogers, and his statement has been read here to-day and remains undenied in a great many respects so far as the Prime Minister is concerned. Mr. Rogers says that he received a letter from the Archbishop of Ephesus, Monseigneur Sbarretti, and there

is no denial of that ; there is no denial of the fact that he waited upon the Apostolic delegate at his residence. There is another statement that the Papal ablegate presented to him these amendments which he desired to be put in the school law of Manitoba, and that is the question before the people of Canada to-day. Did this Archbishop of Ephesus, the delegate Apostolic to Canada, this delegate of the Pope-did he present these amendments to one of the ministers of the province of Manitoba ? And what were they ? They were in the shape of a command that members of the government of Manitoba should stultify themselves by making provision in the law in Manitoba for a separate school establishment, after it had been refused by the legislature and by the people of that country, and after the right hon. gentleman had .refused to pass remedial legislation or to take any hand in securing remedial legislation for the Catholic minority of that province. Well, that much has been proved. What more has been proved ? What more has not been denied here to-day ? What is singular is that which has not been denied. Probably the right hon. gentleman is in no position to deny it. Mr. Rogers says :
This invitation was accepted and His Excellency then presented the following Jtnemo-randum, remarking that if we would place this on the statute-hook of our province it would greatly facilitate an early settlement of our mission, the fixing of our boundaries, which would he extended to the shores of Hudson hay. His Excellency further added that our failure to act in the past had prejudiced our claim for extension westward.
Now is that true or is it not ? Is it true that the delegate of the Pope told this member of the Manitoba government that their failure to act in the past had prevented an extension of their western boundary, and that if they would give him this remedial legislation now-for it is remedial legislation that he was seeking-they would get their request for an extension to the north. The people of Canada want to know to-day if that statement was really made. There has been no denial of it today. The Prime Minister says he cannot deny it, but the people of Canada want to know if it is true before any such Bill as that now before the House is passed. What more took place ? There has been no denial to another statement of Mr. Rogers, namely, that this office of Papal delegate to Canada was created by the hon. gentlemen opposite, or rather was created at their request-there is no denial of that. It is known now to all the people of this country that we have a Papal delegate here at the request of hon. gentlemen opposite and that is proved in this very document.

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