Frederick Debartzch MONK

MONK, The Hon. Frederick Debartzch, P.C., Q.C., D.C.L.

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
Birth Date
April 6, 1856
Deceased Date
May 15, 1914
lawyer, professor

Parliamentary Career

June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
  • Minister of Public Works (October 10, 1911 - October 28, 1912)
October 27, 1911 - March 2, 1914
  Jacques Cartier (Quebec)
  • Minister of Public Works (October 10, 1911 - October 28, 1912)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 920)

March 14, 1912

1. Yes, on 27th December, 1911.

2. Political partisanship, on advice of Mr. W. S. Montgomery.

3. Not considered necessary.

4. Mr. Thomas Downes was appointed on 27th December, 1911, but wounl not accept; on 24th February, 1912. Mr. Charles Watson was appointed and has accepted the position.

5. The Minister of Public Workis authorized the change of caretakers to be made. The letters were written by_ the chief architect in accordance with instructions.

Subtopic:   DISMISSAL.
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March 14, 1912

1. Mr. Andrew McGillvray from 18th August to 19th August, 1911. Mr. Ernest McPhie from 21st August to 29th September, 1911.

2. Yes; Mr. McPhie had to leave for

college at the end of September, and Mr. McGillvray replaced him from 2nd to 30th October. .

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March 14, 1912


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March 13, 1912


No. There is nothing in departmental records.

Subtopic:   MR. G. N. DUCHARME.
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March 12, 1912


I am certainly of opinion, and have endeavoured to show, that there are no rights of any kind existing.

At last, page 4637:

Then, there were no vested rights of any kind in Keewatin territory, and there are at present no vested rights, nothing substantial in the way of legal or acquired rights in the territory with which we are dealing.

At all events, in the course of his remarks, the hon. Minister of Public Works intimates that the minority would have a shadow of vested rights had ordinances been passed with respect to education. It is true that no ordinance was passed by the commissioned: in council, and on the ground that if there is a commissioner, there is no council.

But the hon. minister informs us that an application from a Catholic bishop had been forwarded to this government with a view to obtaining the appointment of a council which would be authorized, with the commissioner, to pass the ordinances asked for by that bishop and his flock. That demand was not granted and the consequence was that, in the opinion of the hon. minister, the minority has no vested rights.

But who is responsible for this application being denied? The hon. Minister of Public Works, the hon, Postmaster General and the government. It would be of no avail to plead extenuating circumstances.

In this connection the hon. Postmaster General has taken a stand for which he will be severely blamed. He said :

As far as we are concerned I may say that we received a similar request sometime in December last. Those who made that demand were not desirous enough that it should he granted to take the trouble of speaking about it for even five minutes with any of the four Catholic members of this government.

Now, Mr. Speaker, how can the hon. the Postmaster General reasonably expect that Mgr. Charlebois or the petitioners will travel 1,600 miles to confer with him? The venerable, bishop sent in his petition -or that of his flock and I am convinced that he did not consider it necessary to undertake a 1,600 mile journey to make the acquaintance of the Postmaster General (Mr. Pelletier) however interesting he may be.

The main point is that the Catholics' petition was ignored.

Whatever may be the opinion expressed by Catholic ministers in the cabinet, whether or not a study of the statutes reveals the clear and undeniable rights of minorities in Keewatin to separate schools, whether or not ordinances were enacted, it none the less remains to be considered whether or not it is opportunte to insert in this Bill a clause defining the status of minorities in annexed territories in educational matters.

In my humble opinion, any provision of that nature, if not accepted beforehand by the government of Manitoba, will be of no effect.

We would probably in any case obtain no better result than that of 1896, at which time the minority obtained recognition of their grievances as against the spoliation measure of 1890, at which time Sir Wilfrid Laurier solved the Manitoba schools difficulty in the only possible and reasonable manner, as admitted by Mr. Bourassa himself.

Have we not in this incident of 1870 the absolute proof that a federal statute however clear may be set at nought by a province? The Manitoba Act (art. 22) secured to Catholics the right to separate schools. The provincial government utterly neglecting this explicit provision, enacted legislation abolishing the separate school system in Manitoba and that law was declared to be constitutional by the highest court of the empire.

Of what value, therefore, is the contention that the only way of securing the school privileges of the minority is to in-Mr. BELAND

sert in the Bill an imperative provision to that effect. For my part, I can perceive but one way of meeting the difficulty now facing us. That means is entirely at the disposal of the government.

Let us first of all take up the British North America Act of 1871, section 3, and then place face to face the two governments concerned in the annexation of Keewatin to Manitoba, and it will be possible to settle the difficulty without firing the train. Let us first of all read clause 3 of the Constitutional Act of 1871:

3. The parliament of Canada may from time to time, with the consent of the legislature of any province of the said Dominion, increase, diminish, or otherwise alter the limits of such province, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the said legislature, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any such increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any province affected thereby.

The annexation of any territory to a province is the result of an agreement between the federal government and that of the province interested.

In that agreement are to be found the terms and conditions as finally accepted and stipulated by both parties.

On examining the conditions of the agreement between the governments of Canada and Manitoba with respect to the annexation of Keewatin, I find that the limits of the territory have been defined and that this definition has apparently been accepted by both parties.

It has, I see, been stipulated that certain sums of money shall be paid as arrears and afterwards annually by the federal government to Manitoba, which arrangement also seems to have been agreeable to both parties.

I note also that the vested rights of the Hudson's Bay Company are to be respected, and many other things besides. All of these matters have been arranged by means of conferences.

The Roblin government is friendly towards the Borden government. Would it not have been possible had they taken the trouble for the Catholic ministers in the cabinet to obtain by agreement and with the consent of both parties, the insertion of a clause securing the privileges required by the minority?

This has been done, and I submit to the House that it is the great mistake made by the government. Every attempt to insert any such clause against the will of Manitoba must fail.

The other day my hon. friend from Pie-tou (Mr. Macdonald) put the following question to the Minister of Public Works:

' Has the hon. Minister (Mr. Monk) any

assurance or promise that anything will be done?'

This was with reference to school privileges.

And the minister answered: ' Absolutely none.'

It was clearly the duty of the ministers to insist upon the acceptance of such conditions as appeared essential to the protection of minorities. It [DOT] is not yet too late to do so. Delay the third reading of the Bill and re-open negotiations with Manitoba. You will secure these conditions, you will insert them in the Bill and we shall enact the law containing them. This difficult question can be settled by conciliation only. It may be settled in a satisfactory manner if the Catholic ministers will but display the courage, energy and determination which the people have a right to expect from them.

The Liberal party has always favoured methods of conciliation. Liberals have always refused to resort to coercion measures, because although these may appear more brilliant and in some cases appeal to certain classes, they cannot fail in the end to lead to serious difficulties and even to disastrous results.

But extremists of all shades, who in the absence of a text in support of their contentions, never fail to appeal to the constitution; what are these men doing with the constitution to-day?

They set it aside and they remain in hiding behind a rampart of some twenty statutes; a very fragile one for ail are more or less contradictory, and the fabric, therefore, may easily be overthrown by the slightest wind of public indignation.

In the name of the Catholic population of Keewatin, of Manitoba, and of other provinces of the Canadian confederation; in the interest of peace and harmony between the citizens of this country, I call upon the government not to insist to-day upon the third reading of the Bill. I call upon them to delay it for some time, for one month perhaps, to take up once more negotiations with the government of Manitoba for the purpose of prevailing upon that province to accept of their own volition, as a condition of the annexation of Keewatin, such educational privileges as shall be acceptable to the minorities and concerning which the effect of existing laws may be doubtful.

I have no doubt whatever that such a move would give excellent results, nay I will go further and say that by a step of this kind alone can minority privileges be recognized and protected, because their recognition will be based upon conciliation and an agreement freely consented to by both parties.

Should the government refuse to meet this just demand, should they persist in 157

using their majority to force through the third reading, then they implicitly admit that they hold as of no account the wishes of the majority of citizens in this great country and that they are ready to trample under foot the solemn promises made before the electoral body.

I have the honour to propose that this Bill be not now read a third time, but that it be resolved:

' That this House is of opinion that negotiations should be re-opened with the government of Manitoba in order to define by amicable conferences the status of minorities, either Protestant or Catholic, with regard io education in the light of existing laws in the annexed territory.'

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