Henri Sévérin BÉLAND

BÉLAND, The Hon. Henri Sévérin, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Beauce (Quebec)
Birth Date
October 11, 1869
Deceased Date
April 22, 1935
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Sévérin_Béland
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=50634114-351e-4c08-8b61-8698a41f8814&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
physician

Parliamentary Career

January 8, 1902 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (August 19, 1911 - October 6, 1911)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - December 29, 1921
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
January 19, 1922 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
  • Minister presiding over the Department of Health (December 29, 1921 - April 14, 1926)
  • Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (December 29, 1921 - April 14, 1926)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 626 of 629)


April 5, 1905

Mr. BELAND.

I am not concerned with . that at all. They may vote as they please, and I am sure the French Canadian people will never go back on them on that account. Out. of the twelve counties in the province of Quebec which are represented in this House by Protestants, there is only one county where the majority is Protestant, and that is the county of Brome, represented here by my hon. friend, the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher).

Now, this may not he exactly fair; it may indicate that we are more tolerant than we are in reality. I will take another point of view-that of the whole population of the province. According to the whole population of the province of Quebec, the Protestants would be entitled in this parliament to eight representatives ; but they have twelve. What does my hon. frie'nd from East Grey think of that ? The ' Evening Telegram,' of Toronto, which makes a specialty of dealing with the question of the tolerance of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, has the following :

Ontario's tolerance is illustrated in the tendency of every Roman Catholic who represents a Protestant constituency to vote as a liegeman of his church rather than as the citizen of his - country, upon questions affecting the aims of the church.

The intolerance of Quebec is illustrated in the spectacle of every ProtestaDt representative voting with an eye to the race and creed prejudices of Quebec, and with vision blinded to the principles of his own race and creed.

Ontario's treatment of the minority that is over-represented in the government, over-represented in the legislature, is not equalled by the treatment which the minority receives in auy other commonwealth on earth.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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April 5, 1905

Mr. BELAND.

It did settle it to a certain extent which appears to be satisfactory to the minority. It may not be satisfactory to my hon. friend, who is known to be an ardent and devoted supporter of the Catholic church. But to my mind, and as a means establishing peace and harmony in this country between the different elements, it is satisfactory.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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April 5, 1905

Mr. BELAND.

Yes, Represented by Mr. Ames, and I can still call him my good friend 1 hope. In Montreal, St. Antoine, the Protestant population is 22,000 and the Catholic population is 24,000. The county of Chateauguay, represented here by my good friend Mr. Brown, has a Rro-testant population of 3,000 and a Catholic population of 12,500. The county of Compton, represented here by my good

friend Mr. Hunt, has a Protestant population of 10.500 and a Catholic population of 15,000. The county of Huntingdon, the very county iu which that newspaper which has been quoted by my hon. friend from East Grey is published, has a Protestant population of 6,620. and a Catholic population of 7,200. and the Catholic majority sends a Protestant representative to this House in the person of my hon. friend Mr. Walsh. But this is not all. I want to make the proof of our toleration so convincing that my hon. friend will feel obliged to stand up and admit it if he wants to be fair. The county of Miss-isquoi, with a Protestant population of 8,000 and a Catholic population of 10,000, sends

as its representative to this House, our good friend Mr. Meigs. Montreal, St. Lawrence division, which is represented by my good friend Mr. Bickerdike, has a Protestant population of 10,000 and a Catholic population of 30,000. The county of Pontiac, which is represented by Mr. Brabazon, has a Protestant population of 6,400 and a Catholic population of 16,000. Sherbrooke, which is represented here by my good friend Dr. Worthington, has a Protestant population of

7,000 and a Catholic populaton of 11,000. Stanstead, which is represented by Mr. Lovell, has a Protestant population of 9,000 and a Catholic population of 9,500. Shef-ford, which is represented by our eminent friend Mr. Parmelee, has a Protestant population of 5,000 and a Catholic population of IS,000, and I do not blame them at all for electing that gentleman.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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April 5, 1905

Mr. BELAND.

I am very glad to hear it. Coming to what is known in the country as the educational clause of this Bill, it is a ' very burning question and a question of very great importance. The agitation which has been aroused over that clause is immense, and we all regret it. That agitation is so intense that we are told that the provincial government of Manitoba, now on its last legs, is seeking to get a new lease of office out of it. Well, the educational clauses of this measure have already been discussed a good deal in this country. They have encountered very bitter opposition from the newspapers, especially in that enlightened city of Toronto, where even men who used to be ranked amongst the foremost Liberals have been outspoken in their opposition to those clauses, and they have also enjoyed the distinction of being made the subject of the censorious tongues of those who adorn the pulpits of this country. There are many points of view from which this important question may be considered. There is the constitutional point of view, there is the provincial autonomy point of view ; but whatever may be the reasons invoked in this debate, the main object of those who are making to-day a solid opposition to these educational clauses is nothing else but political capital. Before proceeding further, I must say that I was very much surprised the other night when I heard the eloquent member for West As-

siniboia (Mr. Scott) state in this House that amongst the Protestant population of this [DOT]country the opinion prevailed that the privileges of the Catholic minority had been called for by them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The educational privileges of the minorities in this country were called for, not by Catholics, but by Protestants. They were called for by Mr. Galt, and I will go further. 1 will say that the man who had every authority to represent the Catholic population of this countiy, John Sandfield Macdonald, moved a resolution in the parliament of United Canada asking that the Catholic minority be left in the hands of the Protestants of this country, as they could rely on the good faith of the Protestants-and what was the fate of that motion ? It was defeated by a vote of 95 to S.

You have heard, Sir, on this question constitutional authorities ; you have heard men of great legal training ; you have had the opportunity of hearing men who are professors in our most reputable universities ; and you have also heard men whose profession it is to read themselves in national and international problems. We have had in this House on the constitutional question the spectacle of the right bon. gentleman who leads the government differing with one or two of his ministers, while they all adopted the same course. We have had on the other side oif the House the spectacle of the leader of the opposition differing in toto from his first lieutenant, the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). I will refrain from going any further into the divergencies we have witnessed in this House regarding the constitutional aspects of the question, and will present on that aspect the point of view of a layman. There are two alternatives, I believe, which confront every member of parliament on this matter. Axe these Territories entering confederation today or did they enter the union in the year 1S70 ? You may take whichever view you prefer, but you must adopt the one or the other. Either they entered the union in 1S70 or they are going into it to-day. If they are going into it to-day, article 93 is very plain :

Nothing ill any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational Schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.

Well, if we take the alternative that the Northwest Territories are going into the union to-day, it seems to me that this clause should apply, but some hou. gentlemen, I fliiuk among them the leader of the opposition, contend that the Territories entered the union in 1870. If they did, what is our position to-day ? Legislation was passed by this parliament in 1S75, in the full exercise of its powers, creating in the Northwest Teritories a system of separate

schools by which the minorities were to enjoy certain privileges. In pursuance of that law, ordinances were passed in the Territories by which this system of schools: was amended over and over again. What then is our position to-day ? Are we going to adopt the views of those who enacted that law of 1875 or are we going to repudiate them ? I think that when we know that this parliament in 1875 passed a law conferring upon the Catholic minority certain privileges, and that that law has been amended by the legislature of the Territories in the exercise of its power-and we must admit that it was in the exei'cise of its power so long as these ordinances have not been repealed by this parliament -I submit that when we know that, our paramount duty is to confirm the legislation passed both by this parliament and the legislature of the Northwest Territories. This is the layman's point of view. By adopting this course we put an end to interminable judicial disputes ; and if only the hou. leader of the opposition had adopted that view, as he seemed to be about to adopt it when the Bill was first introduced into this House, if he had left aside those elements of his party who are opposed to any privilege being given the Catholic minority, if he had said : I will stand with the

right hon. gentleman in upholding legislation that this parliament has passed, that men like Sir Alexander McKenzie, Sir John Macdonald, Sir Alexander Campbell, have supported-had he adopted the view of! those eminent statesmen, what would be the position to-day ? There would have been no agitation of any importance in this country, we would have buried for ever the old feuds which I say have been a curse to the nation in the past.

There are three systems of schools; first there is the system of separate schools with two boards, each board having the supervision of its schools, the qualification of teachers, text books, inspection and so on. The type of these schools is to be found in the province of Quebec. There is a second system of schools which you call neutral or godless schools. The best illustration of that system of schools is, I believe, to be found in the United States of America. There is a third system of schools which may be called either separate or public schools, which are under one single hoard, and in which religious instruction is allowed, according to the wishes of the parents. This system, I believe, is the one which is in force in the Northwest at the present moment. The argument of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) the other day was fairly conducted all along the lines that church influence in the schools was prejudicial to their efficiency. He went so far as to say that information which he has gathered permitted him to state that church influence, clerical

schools, in France, for instance, had produced a people of illiterates and atheists. He will likely be disposed to recognize that he has been led into error. In France there are very few atheists ; there are a good many free-thinkers

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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August 31, 1903

Mr. BELAND.

(Translation.) No, Beauce county is not to be crossed by that line, and if I am in favour of the government scheme, it is not for motives of sectional interest, but because I am satisfied that it will further the progress of industry, commerce and colonization throughout Canada. That is the broad view I take. I support tbe measure because it is bound to open up and develop an immense and exceedingly fertile territory, well adapted to colonization and agriculture, abounding, besides, in resources of all kinds : pulp wood, minerals and so forth. From Quebec to Winnipeg, that line will go through a magnificent country, a region which, as regards natural wealth, stands second to no other in Canada, to no other south of James bay and Lake Nepigon. It contains minerals and pnlp wood in almost limitless quantities. and these resources will be turned to usefulness by the building of the national transcontinental.

As regards the section from Winnipeg to Edmonton, is it necessary that I should take up the time of the House to show how extremely- fertile and suitable to the growing of wheat, are the prairies which this road will cross ?

The Rocky Mountains sections is not a very advantageous one ; but to reach the Pacific it is necessary to cross it.

Topic:   BEVISED EDITIQV
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