FR
🔍

House of Commons, 13 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

561 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 562

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

THURSDAY, 13th February, 1890.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.
PRAYERS.

FIRST READING.

Bill (No. 78) to incorporate the Portage la Prairie and Duck Mountain Railway Company.— (Mr. Hesson.)

WHARFAGE AT BEDIQUE, P.E.I.

Mr. PERRY asked, What is the amount of wharfage collected at Hurd's Point Wharf, Bedique, P. E. I., during the year 1889?
Mr. TUPPER. $443 was derived in revenue for the year ending 30th June last. The entire receipts for the calendar year ending on the 31st December last, were $68. 36.

WHARFINGER AT TIGNISH, P.E.I.

Mr. PERRY asked, Whether the wharfinger at Tignish, P. E.I., has made a return to the Department of Marine of the money collected for wharfage during the year 1889? If so, what amount has been collected?
Mr. TUPPER. Nothing was collected by the wharfinger, but a suit has been brought for dues not paid.

STE. ANGÈLE DE MÉRICI MAIL SERVICE.

Mr. FISET asked, Whether the hon. the Postmaster General has received the petition which I forwarded him on behalf of the freeholders of the Parish of Ste. AngĂšle de MĂ©rici, asking for a daily mail service? If he has, whether he intends to acknowledge the receipt of the said petition and to grant the prayer thereof?
Mr. HAGGART. There is no trace in the Department of any such petition.

MATANE BRANCH LINE.

Mr. FISET asked, Whether it is the intention of the Government, this year, to take into their serious consideration the petitions which have been forwarded to them respecting the railway called the Matane Branch line? Whether they propose, this Session, to grant any subsidy whatever to the company regularly formed, and which has obtained a charter from the Legislature of the Province of Quebec for the construction of this branch line?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The Government will take this application and these petitions applying for subsidies, into their serious consideration during the present Session.

COLONEL WALKER POWELL.

Mr. LISTER asked, Whether Colonel Walker Powell, Adjutant General of Militia, has tendered his resignation to the Minister of Militia or the Government at any time during the past five years? If so, for what cause; and on what conditions did he agree to remain in his present official position?
Sir ADOLPHE CARON. In answer to the hon. gentleman, I beg to say that the Adjutant General presented me with a letter, which, upon opening, I found to be a proposal to resign his office. I returned it to him, not wishing to accept it, and he withdrew it without any conditions.

IMPORTATION OF MINING MACHINERY.

Mr. LISTER asked, Whether the Government has allowed any machinery used in the copper or nickel mines at Sudbury to be imported free of duty, or to be used in bond? Has the importation into Canada of any mining machinery been permitted without the payment of duty during the past five years?
Mr. BOWELL. Application was made for the admission, free of duty, of some machinery that had been used in the mines of the United States, for use in the copper and nickel mines at Sudbury, Ontario, which was conceded by Order in Council. The British Columbia Government appropriated a sum of money to purchase machinery for the purpose of erecting reducing works in the Cariboo district, British Columbia, upon which duty was paid, and application was made to the Dominion Government for a refund of said duty as such machinery was not manufactured in Canada. That application was granted. No refund has been made, for the reason that it has not yet been shown to the Department what portion of the machinery imported is not manufactured in Canada. When that is done, a refund will be made.

RAILWAY MAIL CLERKS.

Mr. BRIEN asked, Whether it is the intention of the Government to place mail clerks on the Detroit, Lake Erie and Essex Railroad; and also on the Leamington and St. Croix Railroad, this Session?
Mr. HAGGART. Mails are not yet carried on the Detroit, Lake Erie and Essex Railway. Whether they will be carried or not is at present under consideration. In answer to the second question, I beg to say that the mails are carried by the railway company, and there is no necessity for a railway mail clerk.
575 [COMMONS] 576
[...]the timber was upon that part; and if there was any timber to be found there; at their joint expense a surveyor should be sent up; and if timber was not upon the portion for which they applied, then the limit was to go to the gentleman for whom the member for Lincoln was acting. I heard nothing more of the matter until some time, I think late in August, when I was again appealed to by these gentlemen, who said that they had learned that something was being done which they did not think was fair or right by their claim. They begged of me to come down to Ottawa and see about it. I put them off; I said it was useless to go, the Ministers were away, but I promised to write, and I did write to the Department, claiming that nothing should be done until I had an opportunity of coming to the Capital. When I came here afterwards, in the month of September, I found the limit was granted to the applicant, Mr. Adams, for whom the member for Lincoln was acting. I reported that to my constituents, or rather to their solicitor, Mr. William Laidlaw, and my connection in the matter practically then ceased. They were very much dissatisfied. I need not go into that now, because I had no connection with that. They were very much dissatisfied indeed, and I think they appealed subsequently to the Department with reference to it; but, practically, from that time out, I had nothing more to do with it. I had no interest, direct or indirect, with Messrs. Shortreed & Laidlaw; my whole concern was in forwarding the application of my constituents, this lumbering firm that I have spoken of.
Mr. MITCHELL. I think, before we depart from this very interesting subject, it is desirable to say something more about it. I feel it to be due to the Minister of Customs to say that, whatever other people may think of his conduct in this matter, his explanation entirely removes any doubt that might have existed in the minds of any person in relation to that correspondence. I am sure that there is no gentleman in this House who read that correspondence but will pronounce it an infamous correspondence so far as it relates to the Minister of Customs. Therefore I think the House should feel that he has given a full and ample explanation, and has quite removed from himself and his reputation any suspicion that he ever received any money, or acted in any way improperly. There are other members of the Cabinet here who were in that Cabinet at that time. I must say that having been myself a member of a Cabinet for a long time, and having sat with some of those gentlemen, particularly my right hon. friend, I feel sure that not one of those gentlemen ever received, or would receive, any such means to promote an object such as referred to in that correspondence. I think it is due to those hon. gentlemen themselves, it is due to their position, it is due to the honor and the credit of Canada, that they should severally disavow, as the Minister of Customs has done, any connection with that transaction, and repudiate the idea that men occupying the high position of advisers of Her Majesty would sully their position, or tamper with their reputation and character, by being guilty of anything such as imputed in that correspondence. I do not believe that one of them would do it, and I should be happy to hears statement of that kind from them.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I have not the slightest objection to make such a statement. I thought that I had done so, the other day, when the matter was first brought up. In the beginning of this transaction I was Minister of the Interior, but before it was all finished, I think, Sir David Macpherson was Minister of the Interior. I am sure neither myself nor my successor in any way received any consideration of any kind, pecuniary or otherwise, for any of the transactions concerning this license. I almost think that the House would not even require this statement from me. The hon. member himself (Mr. Rykert) disavows any such intention, although I quite agree with the Minister of Customs that the language is singularly unfortunate—it is singularly unfortunate. As regards the solicitors who were employed by Mr. Adams, I think they were my son and the son of Sir Charles Tupper. Those are both young men, fighting their way as solicitors. I cannot speak about the wealth of my son's partner, but as far as my son is concerned, he had to fight his own battle. I gave him his education, and that is all. He is fighting his own way, and I believe he is doing it honestly and uprightly. Whatever may be his faults, I am quite sure that want of honor or honesty is not one of them. There is a remarkable discrepancy between a statement in the telegram that the Minister of Customs has read from my son, and the statement of the hon. member for Lincoln. He says that these two gentlemen were here; this telegram says they were not here; the letter which will be here, I suppose, this week, will most likely throw some light upon this discrepancy. As for myself, I can throw no light upon it, because I do not remember the persons of either of these two gentlemen. I dare say that most probably they have written—at least Mr. McArthur, who was then their partner, was looking after this matter. And whether he carried on the correspondence on behalf of the clients of those two gentlemen, I cannot say. The correspondence in the Department will, however, show who carried on the correspondence on behalf of Mr. Sands, who bought from Mr. Adams. It will be shown whether Mr. McArthur or Mr. Tupper, or the firm as a whole, carried on the correspondence. I will lay this correspondence before the House.

THE FRENCH LANGUAGE IN THE NORTH- WEST.

House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of Bill (No. 10) to further amend the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter fifty, respecting the North-West Territories; the motion of Mr. Davin in amendment thereto, and the motion of Mr. Beausoleil in amendment to the amendment.
Mr. MULOCK. Mr. Speaker, in considering the proposition embraced in the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), I feel that it is impossible to limit the discussion to the mere matter involved in that Bill. If the proposition before the House was, from beginning to end, the question whether or not the French language should be discontinued as an official language in the North-West, the discussion would be reduced to narrow limits, and I fancy a rather satisfactory conclusion would be arrived at. But when we 577 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 578 consider the utterances of the hon. mover of this Bill, both without the House and within it, I feel it is impossible to consider the question in that narrow light, but we must bear in mind the object the hon. gentleman has in view and all its consequences, far-reaching as they may be, and consider whether or not it would be wise to meet his view as presented in this Bill. I find that in a speech delivered by the hon. gentleman in the village of Stayner on 12th of July last, that the hon. gentleman, before an admiring and appreciative audience, dealt with the general question of the French language in Canada; and quoting from the Empire of 15th July, I find the following words attributed to him:
"To-day thousands of dollars worth of French literature has been printed for which there is no use; but the Lower French Canadian has got what he wants. He has got it in the law that there shall be two languages, and he has made a blow at the new Province. When the dual language is abolished in the North-West, there is plenty more to be done by-and-bye. Let us deal with the question of the dual language in the North-West, and let the people deal with French in the schools of the English Provinces; and when these two questions have been dealt with, we will have accomplished something, and paved the way for the future."
And further, in his closing peroration, in order to convince his admiring friends that he meant business on that occasion, he used this closing expression: 
"Now is the time when the ballot box will decide this great question before the people; and if that does not supply the remedy in this generation, bayonets will supply it in the next."
Again we were favored with an expression of the views of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) on 12th December last. He, on that occasion, delivered an address in Ottawa, and a printed copy of that speech has been distributed pretty generally, and I have been favored with a copy. In that address I find the hon. gentleman referred to the report of Lord Durham in 1840, and quoted from it with appreciation. Referring to Lord Durham's report, he quoted:
"First, and above all things, then, he held that the French language must be stamped out."
Then the hon. gentleman goes on to declare what the vested rights of the French Canadians are in respect to their language, and returning again to Lord Durham's report, he quotes from it, substantially as follows:—
"Lord Durham realised that so long as they were permitted to be educated in their schools in the French language, to be instructed in the literature of France instead of in the literature of England, they would remain French in feeling, and no matter what they might call themselves, they would be French to all intents and purposes."
Those words I have read are, I presume, quotations by the hon. gentleman from the report of Lord Durham, and then he goes on to comment on them himself:
"Is there any shadow of doubt that Lord Durham was right?"
He appears to take the position that the French Canadian should not be permitted to be educated in French, or indulge in French literature, or in French at all. Such was the report of Lord Durham, such was the utterance of the hon. gentleman. He proceeded to say:
"Is there any shadow of doubt that between these two races, of all races in the world, if they are ever to be united, it must be by the obliteration of one of these languages, and by the teaching in one of these tongues."
There we have the hon. gentleman for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) taking the ground, clearly and unmistakably, that there must be an obliteration of the language, either of the French Canadians or the English-speaking people of Canada. He took that ground on the 12th of December, he took it on the 12th of July, and he took it in this House in introducing this measure, comparatively harmless in itself, to deal with the question of the French language in the North-West Territories. In view, therefore, of his utterances I feel we cannot discuss this question in the limited sense of its having reference to the North-West Territories only, but in regard to the broad proposition taken by my hon. friend that, in order to secure the unity of a country and the development of a proper national spirit in our land, we must obliterate the French language and literature and all that is dear to the French Canadian people of Canada. That I understand to be the hon. gentleman's proposition; and giving him credit for honesty of purpose, which I am willing to do, the hon. gentleman endeavors to justify his position by laying down a proposition. In his address to this House, in introducing this Bill, the proposition he submitted was substantially this: that there must be unity in language in order to have unity in a nation, and that in order that a nation may realise all its possibilities there must be but one language. Let me say that the hon. gentleman rested that proposition entirely on a misapprehension, as was pointed out last night by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), of the meaning of Professor Freeman's article from which he quoted. Professor Freeman on that occasion stated most distinctly and positively that for all political purposes unity of language was not necessary. He was the only respectable authority the hon. gentleman gave; the others were anonymous, with the exception of Professor Max MĂŒller, who cannot be considered as having dealt with this subject politically. Professor Freeman, the only authority on whom the hon. gentleman depends, proves nothing at all in support of his proposition. But even if Professor Freeman did take that view, I will offer to the House some facts of history as against the opinions either of Professor Freeman or of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I will lay down a proposition and endeavor to prove it by facts, not opinions. I think the facts of history will justify one in making this assertion—that, as a rule, every nation of any note has at its earlier or later periods been composed of races speaking two or more languages. I think I can further assert with confidence that history does not disclose the case of any great nation, which has acquired enduring greatness, and in which there is but one language spoken. I will address myself to arguments in support of that first part of my proposition. Suppose we unfold before the mind's eye a map of Europe, and see what is the condition of affairs in the great nations of Europe to-day. If the object of the hon. member (Mr. McCarthy) is the development of this country, if his object is for the good of this country, if it can be made manifest that countries have been great, and can be great, and that the greatest countries on the earth to-day are those in which more than one tongue is spoken, surely there is no necessity for the advanced views of the hon. member of North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). During 579 [COMMONS] 580 the debate yesterday, there seemed to be some reference made and some distinction drawn as to whether certain languages in different countries were used officially or by toleration. Whilst there is quite a difference, yet, so far as the attitude of the member for North Simcoe is concerned, that distinction does not enter into the question, because he proposes to obliterate a language, not to have it tolerated, and his efforts seem to be directed to prevent us from even thinking in a foreign tongue. Although I think there is little difference in treating the question as a matter of philology or politics, I will mention a few of the great nations in Europe in which, as a matter of permission, various languages are freely tolerated and exist according to law. First of all, we have Spain. In Spain there are two languages tolerated, the Spanish and the Basque. In Sweden there are four languages, the Swedish, the German, the Finnick and the Latin. In Switzerland there are four languages, French, German, Italian and Roumansche. In France, the French, Italian, Breton and Basque; and in the Netherlands, Flemish, Dutch, French; and in Great Britain, although the different languages have largely disappeared, yet still there are traces of those that have been tolerated there. We have in the Channel Islands the French language, and in the Island of Man the Manx language. The remains of the Erse language, I am glad to see, is being revived in Old Ireland; and the Gaelic, in Scotland, was until recently the only language spoken in some parts of the north and north-west. We have these languages in addition to the dominant Anglo-Saxon in Great Britain. For the purposes of this illustration I think we can fairly draw on the history of our own land, and prove from our own experience that a common language is not absolutely necessary to a nation's greatness.
Mr. TROW. Do not forget the Welsh.
Mr. MULOCK. The hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Trow) reminds me not to forget the Welsh. I am glad he reminded me, for the Welsh is a language which is not only tolerated, but which is also the official language of Wales up to the present day. Then, we come to Austria. While German is the dominant tongue in Austria, she tolerates a vast number of languages other than the dominant one—for instance, the Hungarian, the Bohemian, the Czech, and others. In fact, next to Russia, there are a greater number of different languages and dialects spoken and tolerated according to law, in Austria, than in any other country in Europe. Let us take Germany, which has undergone many changes philologically. Although the dominant tongue to-day is German, there are many dialects of the old Sclavonic, the Polish and other languages. Russia permits, according to law, about 100 languages—among others, the Finnish, the Caucasian and the Sclavonic. So, we therefore see that those nations of Europe which I have mentioned are nations in which at no time has there been a common language as a matter of law or custom. If my hon. friend's proposition is right, and if he is correct in his contention, then these nations have all been failures and not one of them is working out its own destiny properly. I will now state to the House those nations of Europe which may be said to have a homogeneous language. They are but four—Italy, Portugal, Denmark and Greece. These are the only nations in Europe to-day in which we may say there is but one language. I am giving part of my case away when I admit that these four countries are homogeneous in regard to language. Whilst I may say that Italy has been homogeneous in language for 1,200 years, many tongues have come and gone, but the Italian is a sort of a compromise which has come to be the dominant tongue. But there was no Italian unity because of the uniformity of the Italian language. Italian unity is but yet in its infancy, and if the unity of language is destined to develop a nation, as my hon. friend says, how comes it that for 1,200 years unity of language in Italy entirely failed to develop such a result. I have given these facts from a philological standpoint, and now I will address myself to the subject from a political point of view. More than one official language is tolerated in the following countries: Switzerland has the French and German, and Spain the Spanish and Basque. The latter is spoken in several provinces in the north of Spain and the south of the Pyrenees. The Basques are a hardy race, and even in Spain, which is so far behind us in political advancement, they allow the Basques to maintain their own separate Parliament, and conduct their own deliberations in the Basque tongue, which is unintelligible to the ordinary Spaniard. In Austria the official language is German. In Hungary, Magyar, Bohemian and others. In Great Britain the official languages are French in the Channel Islands, and Manx in the Isle of Man,—not forgetting, of course, the dominant tongue. In the Isle of Man, to this very day, it is the law that all the official proceedings of their small Parliament, the Tynwald, shall be published in the English and Manx languages; and at the close of the Parliament, in order that the people shall know the decrees of Parliament, it is the duty of the Governor, accompanied by the high dignitaries and the people, to go out to a neighboring hill, to read the decrees in the two languages, that all men may know the laws that are to bind them. Further, in Great Britain, if we presume to be official languages those which are tolerated in the schools, we have the Welsh language recognised in the Government schools in Wales, and, recently, the Irish language taught in certain of the public schools of Ireland. So much for the history of language so far as Europe is concerned, which I think sufficiently sustains the proposition I have laid down, that unity of language is not essential to national greatness, I go a step further, and I say that unity of language does not necessarily produce national unity or national greatness. In support of that proposition I will call attention to the state of Greece. Greece is a country which, I think, will specially illustrate the proposition of my hon. friend (Mr. McCarthy), if such a proposition as his can be established at all. Greece is composed of many little provinces, but at all times the people spoke the Greek dialect, and Greek was substantially the language of Greece for all time. But yet, Sir, there was no unity of national spirit in Greece at any time. Greece from time to time was welded together by outside influences; but there was no cohesion in Greece itself by reason of language or anything else; and whenever some strong influence from without was withdrawn, the Greeks fell to destroying each other. Did you ever hear of a Greek boast 581 [February 13, 1890.] 582 ing that he was a Greek? The boast of a Greek was that he was a Thessalonian, a Spartan, or an Athenian; not a Greek; but if they had been influenced only by community of language, we should never come across the phrase in Grecian literature, I am a Greek, in preference to, I am an Athenian. Take another prominent instance: take the case of Germany at a period when she may be considered to have been homogeneous in language. Germany has undergone many philological changes; I speak of the old Roman Empire, founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century. That empire became practically German in the thirteenth century, in consequence of the influence of the Teutonic knights. For a short period they succeeded, by great force of character, in establishing the German language and displacing the Sclavonic. Thereafter, from the fourteenth century to the Peace of Westphalia, three hundred years afterwards, Germany was considered as illustrating that which my hon. friend depends on: it was a country homogeneous in language, and should have been a united and powerful land, bound together by that strong national spirit, to be developed, according to my hon. friend, only by community of language; but what does history tell us? Can my hon. friend point to a nation in ancient or modern times that, for three hundred years, was more torn by internal dissensions-by wars, rebellions and fratricidal disturbances—than that empire. Why, Sir, government became an absolute impossibility in that country. If community of language would accomplish anything, it had its community of language. But what did it accomplish. It accomplished the Treaty of Westphalia. The Germans, speaking German as they did, could not live together, and they dissolved the partnership, Prussia taking one section of the empire, and Austria taking the southern portion. If national unity of spirit or greatness were to be secured, and placed on an enduring basis by community of language, there of all cases was one, even in modern times, that should have had the result boasted of by the hon. member for North Simcoe. They have not since been able to agree, though speaking the same language, and in our own time we have found those two German - speaking peoples falling upon each other, until at last Prussia expelled Austria, her sister country, from the German Confederacy as the result of the war which ended with the battle of Sadowa, in the last third of a century. Now, suppose we adopt the policy of the hon. gentleman, and go in for an obliteration of the French language. That is the proposition we are face to face with. The hon. gentleman has thrown down the gage of battle to the French Canadian people. This Bill is but a commencement, a skirmish before the great battle that is to go on all along the line later on. But suppose that attempt, absurd as it is, should succeed, do you not think that before making it, we might well turn up the pages of history again, and See with what results such attempts have been followed? In the consideration of this question it might probably be instructive to remind the House that when the French and Anglo-Saxons first came together, and an attempt was made to make one language prevail over the other—I refer to the period succeeding the Norman Conquest—for 300 years French was the language of the royal family, the courts, the schools, and, as much as possible, the churches.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. And the nobility.
Mr. MULOCK. And the nobility. Every effort was made to impose the French language on the Anglo-Saxon people. The result at the end of 300 years, at the time of Edward the Third, was that the French and the Anglo-Saxons had become strangers to each other. The lawyers in the courts were not understood by the witnesses, the jurors drawn from the Anglo-Saxons could not understand the witnesses. At last, it became absolutely impossible to carry on business. The Anglo-Saxon language at that time was in a far greater danger of extinction than it is to-day, because at that time the subjection of the Anglo- Saxons in Great Britain was most complete. The Normans were a strong and powerful race, and, of course, the times were more barbarous than the times in which we live, although my hon. friend would have us go back to those times. The relative position of the dominant and the subject classes was far more dangerous to the predominance of Anglo-Saxon institutions than can possibly be said to be the case to-day; but under the most discouraging circumstances one force prevented the extinction of the Anglo-Saxon language. The people had that vitality in themselves that enabled them to resist the threatened danger, and at last the French language had to be withdrawn as an official language, and in less than half a century it almost ceased to be spoken-
Mr. MCCARTHY. Hear, hear.
Mr. MULOCK-and to-day we have nothing left from that invasion except some advantages to our literature and our vocabulary. My hon. friend says "hear, hear," and I suppose he would draw the conclusion that that ought to take place here if we ceased to permit the French language to be official. But that conclusion cannot be drawn, because there was no compulsion put upon the people to abandon the use of French; the matter was left to the voluntary action of the people. The only legislation on the subject was that the law was changed to the extent of making the Anglo-Saxon language the language of the courts, and shortly afterwards it was taught in the schools; and not by coercion, but by toleration, the Anglo-Saxon assumed its pre-eminent position and has maintained it ever since. Well, Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. gentleman of another case, namely, the case of Poland. Russia made every possible attempt to persecute the language of the Poles out of existence; and, without being tedious, I may say that the pages of history disclose that the persecution to which the Polish language was subjected made that language more dear to the Polish people and more studied, and has added more to its dissemination and permanence than anything else could have done. And the same can be said of the Bohemian language; and as a singularity of the tenacity of language under coercion, I may point to the case of a small race or tribe called the Wenders who live in the vicinity of Elbe, who are Prussians politically, surrounded on all sides by Germans. An attempt was made to obliterate their language. Their population consists of but a few villages, surrounded on all sides by people speaking the 583 [COMMONS] 584 German language, and yet the result of the attempts to destroy their language—I am speaking now of comparatively modern times—was, as set forth in a letter from their pastor to the mayor, that the pastor could no longer understand his flock, nor the flock the pastor. They did not give up their language; they simply ceased to attend the schools; they ceased to learn in German, which was an unknown tongue to them; and nothing was accomplished except to keep them in ignorance and to develop a bad feeling. Now, does the hon. gentleman suppose that by the methods he is advocating, methods of force and coercion, he can accomplish what he has in view? Let me remind him of the consequences, politically, of such attempts. Schleswig-Holstein at one time constituted two duchies of Denmark. The people spoke German. King Christian IX attempted to force upon them a change of language. What was the result? They became disaffected. They got encouragement from a foreign power, Prussia; they rose in rebellion; they were lost to Denmark and became Prussian. Such was the natural consequence of interfering with one of the institutions of the people. Let me refer to another historical case of modern times, within the political life almost of the hon. gentleman—the case of Lombardo Venetia. That was once a part of Austria, and their language Italian. Austria, not profiting by the experience of Denmark and other experiences, endeavored to destroy the Italian language of Lombardo Venetia, and to impose upon the people the German language. What was the result? The people, just as in Schleswig-Holstein, rebelled, and they found sympathisers, as all disaffected countries can, from without. Italy and France came to the rescue, and the result was, instead of Austria accomplishing what she was aiming at, destroying the Italian language, she lost both those two great Provinces, which became, in 1859, and still are, part of the empire of Italy. Now, what has happened in the case of these two great countries which, under coercion, transferred their allegiance to another flag, will happen wherever the same attempt is prosecuted. Does not the hon. gentleman see that he is proceeding in the most direct way possible, in the light of the past— which is the only guide to us to-day in these matters—to destroy this Confederation by causing our French Canadian subjects to become disaffected and to seek sympathisers outside, and to, perhaps, ultimately part company with the Canadian Confederacy. Does he desire that result? There can be nothing accomplished by force. Acts of Parliament and Orders in Council will not make men love one another. We cannot change men's nature by Acts of Parliament or Orders in Council. If we could, I should be the first to vote for an Act of Parliament to change many things in the constitution of my hon. friend, the mover of this Bill. I would with both hands go in for making him a man of different opinions. Suppose, as a matter of experiment, we were to do to him what he is seeking to do to the French Canadians, only the converse—suppose we were to pass an Act of Parliament to make him a French Canadian Catholic, would we succeed in making him one? He has gone back on his Celtic origin, and I am sure that no attempt by force would accomplish such result; and if he would be tenacious then of his own views, can he not picture to himself the effect of repression and coercion upon those to whom he seeks to have applied that treatment? Let me refer to a case briefly touched upon by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) last night, the case of Alsace. Alsace, at one time, was a part of Germany, but became French, Alsace and Lorraine having been transferred to France by the Treaty of Westphalia. Alsace was German in language and race, but by being treated with kindness by the French people and not persecuted, came to love France which had conquered her; and during the Franco-Prussian war, when attempts were made to recover Alsace, as was stated eloquently last night, she was one of the most loyal supporters of France which had conquered her two centuries before; and to-day the Germans, in endeavoring to do what my hon. friend is seeking to accomplish—to repress the use of the French language in Alsace—have eliminated the sympathies of the Alsacians, many of whom have left the country, while those who remain are so disaffected that they can be only kept in subjection by the presence of a large standing army. Such is the effect of endeavors to change the language of a people by coercion. History shows that where attempts are made to destroy a language, the people often construe those attempts as assaults upon their religion. For example, a movement is going on at present by which Canada is profiting. We have coming to Canada the Mennonites and Lutherans from the Baltic. Why are they coming here? Because Russia has been endeavoring to cause them to give up their own language, the German, and to adopt the Russian, and these Mennonites and Lutherans have conceived the idea that this is an attempt to coerce them into joining the Greek Church. They construe it as an assault upon their religion; and there are many instances in history where similar attempts have been similarly construed. We cannot, therefore, blame the French Canadians if they, too, should come to the conclusion that this movement is an assault on their religion. However much men may protest to the contrary, if the French Canadians get this idea into their heads, we cannot blame them, in the light of precedents which justified such conclusions in the past. I wonder that hon. gentleman has not discovered that he cannot rule the hearts of the people by force. If you desire them to abandon any of their institutions. you must leave it to them to do so voluntarily, Does not Æsop's fable of the traveller and his coat assist us in this question? The more violently the wind blew upon him, the more closely he wrapped his coat about him, and only threw it off under the benign, loving and beneficent rays of the sun. What are the duties of a parental Government with regard to its subjects? Is it not the duty of the Government to publish its decrees in a language known to all who may be bound by them? Clearly, there can be no more self-evident proposition than that, and this is a proposition which ought not to be required to be made good by argument in the present day. Even the barbarians admitted the soundness of it; and we have numerous instances in history where the barbarians, up to the time of the Christian era, and since, published their decrees, their laws, and their history, in the languages of all the people, in order that all the people might know them. It 585 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 586 might assist my hon. friend if I gave him a still higher authority. Even if the authority of the barbarian does not bind him, let me quote from Holy Writ one verse in reference to the history of King Ahasuerus. We find that:
"He sent letters into all the King's provinces, into every Province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their 1anguage, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people."  
I am only quoting those authorities of which there is actual evidence to-day. I am sure my hon. friend will not question the tradition of this book, but I will not quote the ordinary historians, though. I may refer him to the reign of King Ptolemy V, of Egypt, who, though a powerful Greek ruler, distributed his laws amongst his people in different languages, and had them inscribed upon stone; and these laws, which were inscribed upon stone, are in existence to-day in the various languages of the people. Tracing the practice of nations, barbarian nations and those of later date, you find an invariable practice to make known to the people in their own language the laws which were to be binding upon them. The hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy) has been born too late. He should have been born long prior to the barbarian people.
An hon. MEMBER. Before the Flood.
Mr. MULOCK. Before the Flood. What does he ask us to do now? He asks us to dispose of this question without any knowledge of the conditions of the people of the North-West. We do not know whether they will understand English or not. It may be that nine-tenths of them do understand English; but suppose there is a proportion who do not understand English, what then? The hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Denison) said last night that a great number of them speak Cree, and therefore the laws of the North-West should be printed in Cree; and the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. O'Brien) said it was only a local question which should be settled in the North- West. I ask if it ought not be settled after hearing the facts of the case, and settled by those who are most competent to judge? Should we be called upon in this court to deliver judgment before we hear the evidence? The hon. gentleman would not ask such a decision from an ordinary court of the land. Then, why should he ask it from this, the highest court and tribunal in the land? If this is to be settled according to the views of the people, the proper tribunal must be the North-West representatives or some other tribunal, after learning the facts of the case. But the hon. gentleman went further. He intimated that no man could be a loyal citizen practically unless he spoke the dominant tongue of the country. In making that statement he has, no doubt, inadvertently cast a slur upon many of the loyal citizens of the British Empire. Would he accuse of disloyalty the Highlanders of   Scotland, the Welsh, the people of the Channel Islands, and here in this country the Scotch population of Cape Breton, Cornwall and Glengarry, and other parts, and the Germans? We have found that even the Indians were to be trusted in the hour of need, that they were true to our institutions, and we can point with pride to the pages of Canadian history to obtain facts to disprove the assertion of the hon. gentleman. We have records in our history which are dear to the Canadian people. Who does not recollect Tecumseh and Tyendinaga, whose remains lie in a chapel in the constituency represented by my hon. friend from South Brant (Mr. Paterson). Those men represented the loyalty even of the savage tribes of Canada in our early troubles, and though not speaking our tongue, were loyal to Great Britain. If all the other citizens of the Empire who do not speak the Anglo-Saxon language have been true as they have been, what is there to be found in the pages of history since the French Canadian people became citizens of Canada to make my hon. friend doubt their loyalty to British institutions? Their loyalty was sorely tried. Shortly after 1759, the date so frequently referred to by my hon. friend as that of the conquest of the French Canadian people, within twenty years from that every effort was made to cause them to change their allegiance from Canada, and with what result? I cannot conceive the loyalty of a people being subjected to greater strains than that to which the French Canadian people were subjected to during the events which immediately succeeded the Treaty of Paris. What were the events which were going on across the border at that time? The thirteen colonies were in revolt, and were anxious to destroy British rule in America, and they were anxious to get the French Canadians to throw in their lot with them. At that time, General Washington issued a proclamation appealing to all the passions, the fears, the cupidity and the prejudices of the French Canadian people, to throw off their allegiance to Great Britain and to join the Union. That appeal was made accompanied by threats of invasion; the invasion followed, and the war continued for a length of time; and who were the strongest to help to sustain the British arms and British institutions during that period? Where did the French Canadians make default or prove themselves unworthy citizens of Great Britain during that time? The records of the attitude of the French Canadian people under those trials, ought to be sufficient to save them from the insults which are now heaped upon them. Let me read some of the appeals which were made by General Washington to the fears, the passions and the prejudices of the French Canadians at that time, to induce them to throw off their allegiance to Great Britain:
"We rejoice," said General Washington, "that our enemies have been deceived with regard to you; they have persuaded themselves—they have even dared to say—that the Canadians were not capable of distinguishing between the blessings of liberty and the wretchedness of slavery; that gratifying the vanity of a little circle of nobility would blind the people of Canada. By such artifices they hoped to bend you to their views, but they have been deceived. * * * * Come, then, my brethren, unite with us in an indissoluble union; let us run together to the same goal. * * * * Incited by these motives, and encouraged by the advice of many friends of liberty among you, the grand American Congress have sent an army into your Province, under the command of General Schuyler—not to plunder, but to protect you—to animate and bring forth into action those sentiments of freedom you have disclosed, and which the tools of despotism would extinguish through the whole creation. To co-operate with this design, and to frustrate those cruel and perfldious schemes, which would deluge our frontiers with the blood of women and children, I have despatched Colonel Arnold into your country, with a part of the army under my command. I have enjoined upon him, and I am certain that he wlll consider himself and act as in the country of his patrons and best friends. Necessaries and accommodations of every kind which you may furnish he will thankfully receive and render the 587 [COMMONS] 588 full value. I invite you, therefore, as friends and brethren to provide him with such supplies as your country affords, and I pledge myself not only for your safety and security but for ample compensation. Let no man desert his habitation—let no one flee as before an enemy. The cause of America and of liberty is the cause of every virtuous American citizen whatever may be his religion or descent. The united colonies know no distinction but such as slavery, corruption and arbitrary domination may create. Come, then, ye generous citizens, range yourselves under the standard of general liberty—against which all the force of artifice and tyranny will never be able to prevail."
This proclamation was circulated broadcast among the people of the Province. In every household, in every hamlet, this insidious document found its way, to induce them to throw off their allegiance. But they resisted—they resisted at the point of the bayonet, which is to be their fate in the next generation, according to the threat of the hon. member for Simcoe. As though that was not trial enough to their loyalty, we find old France itself sending out an emissary to beseech them in the name of France, in the name of the land they came from, in the name of the literature which, he says, makes them unworthy citizens, in the name of all that is dear to them; the King of France beseeches the people to throw in their allegiance to the American colonies. They did not do so, but they drove the invaders from the country, with the help of the English people. For some twenty years, until 1812, they continued quietly to enjoy the blessings of peace under the British flag; and if ever their loyalty was tested it was in 1812. On that occasion the peculiarities of the situation were marked. England was engaged in a European war and a war upon the Continent, in each case one of her opponents being France itself. There was England on the one side, and France and the United States upon the other. On which side did the Lower Canadian people range themselves at that time? Did they then prove themselves unworthy subjects of Great Britain? No, Sir; but they arrayed themselves by the side of Great Britain, and by the side of Canada, against the institutions of France itself, against their mother land; they arrayed themselves in support of British institutions in Canada. Therefore, I say it is the duty of all who are true to history, who propose to give credit where it is due; it is the duty of all who are not of French Canadian origin; it is our duty, in the name of our loyalty, to repudiate these slurs upon the nationality of French Canadians, and to say, that in their hands, as I believe, our institutions are as safe as in the hands of the hon. member for North Simcoe, or of the whole nation, if it were of his way of thinking. I find nothing in French Canadian history, since their union with Canada, to justify the charge that they cannot be considered loyal and worthy citizens of our country. On the contrary, I think their whole record is the most complete refutation that could be produced of a large part of the argument of my hon. friend. Now, Sir, languages will come and go, languages will die, and perhaps it may be, in the flight of time, that the French Canadian language will disappear from this country. But, if is to disappear, let it disappear in a way that will be a source of strength and not a source of weakness, not as the outcome of force and violence, but as other languages in the past have disappeared. If time permitted I could read from the pages of history to show how nations, in the great struggles for supremacy, according to the spirit of their times, have extended their sway, and their language has, for the time being, accompanied their influence. We remember how the Greek States extended their sway from the Mediterranean to the confines of India, and carried with them the supremacy of the Greek language. We read how Rome extended her sway throughout western Europe, and the Latin language, for the time being, became the language of the people. But as their influence decayed, so their language decayed. Sir, the fact that the growth of language, the development of language, appears to be an incident to a nation's supremacy, to a nation's energy, proves to my mind, that its existence depends upon the people themselves, it does not depend upon coercive measures. Sir, I think the very fact that there is a diversity of language is not a danger, but it is a circumstance that must give value to the language itself, as an institution prized by a people. They must consider it a prize calculated to induce them to redouble their energies and their resources in all these directions that will make their country great, and with the decline of their greatness their language must also decline. Therefore if languages have to go down, let them go down as they have done in the past—go down as nations have gone down. But let them remain as incentives to people and to races to develop their energies, and, in this light, I conceive that diversity of language, instead of being a source of weakness, may be made an occasion of great national strength, developing, to make an application of the theory, a spirit of emulation amongst our French Canadian people, amongst all our people of different nationalities, so to promote their influence that their language may maintain its permanency. Entertaining these views I am not prepared to consent, as far as my voice goes, to any violence towards any of the institutions of this country that are dear to our people, and that are not contrary to the best interests of Canada. If the hon. gentleman, in introducing this measure had limited the whole case to the question involved in the enacting clause of the Bill, I think he would have done his cause infinitely more good than by the manner he has adopted, and to a great extent he would have avoided much of the bitterness that has been imported into this country. If I may venture, even at this late hour, to read him a bit of advice, it would be that, if his motive is, as I am bound to assume that it is, the welfare of Canada, then, before this debate is closed, and before it is too late, let him make clear exactly where he stands upon this question, let him make clear any ambiguity as to his ulterior object, and deny that this is the commencement only of a war upon a race that is not entitled to be so treated; or admit that it is, as he declares, and seems to say, an attempt to obliterate the French language and the French literature from Canada? If so, Mr. Speaker, there should be but one answer from the people's representatives here. We are sent here to save the Union, not to destroy it. The hon. gentleman says—and I wish to give him credit for good faith—that he is in favor of making this a British colony. But he is adopting a course little calculated to make British institutions permanent in Canada. Such being my conclusion, I feel 589 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 590 unable to agree with the hon. gentleman in the legislation he asks, and I shall, therefore, cast my vote in the direction I have indicated—to have this matter settled by the people's representatives in the North-West, who are best able to settle it, or by such other tribunal as may be suggested after they shall have the fullest opportunity of enquiring into all the conditions of the country; believing, as I do, that neither the North-West Council nor any other tribunal to which it might be relegated by this House, will betray the trust reposed in it, but will act justly towards all the people without fear, favor or affection.
Mr. GIGAULT. Harmony prevailed in this country. French and English-speaking subjects were working hand in hand for the prosperity of this country, by that means endeavoring to strengthen and secure the safety of the British Empire. Thanks to the wisdom and prudence of Canadian and British statesmen, burning questions which had created animosity in the past, had been removed from the arena of politics. The French language and the Separate School questions had been settled by the Constitution of 1867. Every one hoped that those questions would not be agitated any longer. But a cloud, threatening our tranquility, has appeared on the horizon. The Bill presented by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), is objectionable chiefly on account of its preamble which shows the intention of the hon. gentleman. Moreover, we have his speeches outside of and inside this House, and we know what is his aim and what is the chief aim of the school of which he is the head. I believe that all persons who wish well to Canada should seek to stop the crusade which has been organised, and which is being made by the hon. member for North Simcoe. By the preamble of the Bill, that hon. gentleman says that unity of languages is absolutely necessary for national unity. Mr. Speaker, the British legislators have not been of that opinion. At the very doors of the English metropolis the French language is spoken, namely, in the Channel Islands. What do we see in India? There the English Government, so far from compelling the inhabitants of that colony to speak the English language, compels the Government officials to learn Sanscrit and the vernacular languages of India. What do we see in the Cape Colony? The Dutch language was not spoken there before 1882, but in that year a law was passed in the British Parliament allowing the debates to be made in that colony either in English or Dutch. In the Mauritius Islands the debates are conducted either in French or in English, and last year an ordinance was enacted by which the French language may be used before the courts of law in the Seychelles Islands. So, the policy which the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) is following here, is contrary to all the legislation which has been passed, and which is now being passed by the British Empire. The policy followed by the hon. gentleman is not a British but an American policy. He was not formerly an admirer of American institutions, but to-day he seems to abandon the British spirit in order to imitate American institutions. The hon. gentleman has been kind enough to remind us that the French Canadians are a conquered people, and he stated, at the same time, that the Treaty of Paris did not secure to us the use of our language. The hon. gentleman should not forget that, if the Treaty of Paris does not secure to us the use of the French language, there is the international law, a law common to all nations, which secures to us some rights and gives us some privileges, and it is such that it secures justice to the conquered as well as to the conqueror. I am not propounding a new idea. The Quebec Act was framed upon the report of the then Solicitor-General of England (Wedderburn). He made a report to King George III; and what principle does he lay down at the beginning of his report? He says:
"Canada is a conquered country. The capitulation secured the temporary enjoyment of certain rights, and the treaty of peace contained no reservation in favor of the inhabitants except a very vague one as to the exercise of their religion. Can it, therefore, be said that by right of conquest the conquerer may impose such laws as he pleases? This proposition has been maintained by some lawyers who have not distinguished between force and right."
The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) will please note these words, that "the proposition that the conquerer may impose such laws as he pleases has been maintained by lawyers who have not distinguished between force and right." Does the hon. gentleman wish only the law of force to prevail here? Further, the Solicitor General adds:
"It is certainly in the power of a conqueror to dispossess those he has subdued at discretion, and when the captivity of the vanquished was the consequence of victory, the proposition might be true; but in more civilised times, when the object of war is dominion, when subjects and not slaves are fruits of victory, I hope men are not going to be treated as slaves. No other right can be found in conquest but that of regulating the political and civil government of the country, leaving the individuals to the enjoyment of their property and all the privileges not inconsistent with the security of the conquest."
These are the principles laid down by the then Solicitor General of England, principles which have guided the British Parliament in legislating for her colonies. What has been the effect of that legislation? It has been such that England has preserved a strong hold upon her possessions, which to-day are more than 8,000,000 square miles in extent, and the population of which numbers more than 200,000,000 of loyal and devoted British subjects. Such has not been the success of other European countries in the government of their foreign possessions, for they have acquired possessions and colonies and lost them, because they were not faithful to the principles laid down by Solicitor General Wedderburn. These ideas are not only those of that English legislator, for we have some other eminent authorities which are accepted all over the world, and which endorse the proposition I uphold. Montesquieu, in his work entitled the "Spirit of the Laws," says:
"One of the great principles of the spirit of conquest ought to he to render the condition of the conquered as much better as possible: this is to fulfil at once the law of nature, and a maxim of state.
"It may sometimes be necessary to change the laws of the conquered people; it can never be so to deprive them of their manners, or even of their customs, which are often all they have for manners. But the surest way of preserving a conquest is to put, if it is possible, the conquered on a level with the conquerors, to grant them the same rights and the same principles."
So we find that the author of the "Spirit of Laws" clearly says that we ought to put the conquered on the same level as the conquerors, and grant them the same rights and the same privileges. That is the way we in this Dominion wish to be treated. 591 [COMMONS] 592 The French Canadians do not want favors; they want only the rights which are proper to every man. In the discussion of this matter we should not yield to prejudices, we should demand only the triumph of fair play, of justice, and of the principles which should guide the rulers of nations. The member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) says that he does not wish to interfere with the rights granted to the French people under the British North America Act. Can we hope that he will be faithful to this promise? That gentleman has twice approved of the North-West Territories Act, and yet to-day he disapproves of what he approved of yesterday. If he changes so often, must we not suppose that he will forget the promises he made in his speech, and that, faithful to those different speeches he has made in Ontario and elsewhere, he will continue on with his crusade against the French language, and against the Separate Schools. There is another strange accusation which has been made by the member for North Simcoe. He goes so far as to say that we should not read French literature. Does he not know that we have always had here Governors and representatives of the British Empire, who are not ashamed to read French literature? If we judge them by the manner in which they speak French, we must come to the conclusion that they have read a good deal of that French literature; and yet these gentlemen have remained loyal to the Crown, have remained true friends of the British Empire, and have always been found ready to protect the best interests of Great Britain. The member for North Simcoe has alluded chiefly to the report of Lord Durham, and he states that Lord Durham was an eminent statesman. But eminent statesmen generally make laws which remain a long time on the Statute— book. What do we see with respect to the law founded upon the report of Lord Durham on the French language? A few years after that constitution was adopted, it was found necessary to abrogate the clause which permitted only the use of the Eaglish language, and that abrogation showed that Lord Durham, far from being an eminent statesman, was a short-sighted legislator, whose views could not be accepted. I have heard, with a good deal of pleasure, the speech made by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). The remarks which he has made are certainly such as we should all take pride in, but I cannot approve of the conclusion to which he has come. It is this Parliament which has the right to frame laws and a constitution for the North-West Territories, and so long as that right rests with this Parliament we should not shrink from the duty and the responsibility which devolves upon us. We ought to frame laws which we think just and fair. We ought not to forget that the inhabitants of these Territories have their eyes upon us, and wish us to do justice to them. Some members say that the majority in this case must decide. I do not agree with that, Mr. Speaker. Justice and right are and will be justice and right, whatever may be the decision of the minority or of the majority, and there are certain rights and certain principles which cannot be set aside for the sake of the majority or for the sake of any decision which can be made by them. The legislation I advocate has already been sanctioned by our constitution. In order to protect the English minority in the Province of Quebec, we have made special provisions in the constitution to respect their feelings, and to hinder agitators from interfering with their rights. There are similar provisions in our constitution to protect the Catholic minority of Ontario, and the Fathers of our Confederation have acted wisely in putting the questions which affect these minorities in such a way that they are protected from the passions of the people which may be inflamed by agitators for sordid motives. A member of this House has rightly said that, if there had been no agitation on the Jesuit question, the dual language question would never have been agitated in the North-West. In fact, in the North-West the people were quiet until the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) thought fit to pay a visit to the inhabitants of that portion of the country. Another hon. gentleman said that if we allow foreigners to come to this country, we are not going to make laws for the purpose of rendering official the languages spoken by those foreigners. Does that hon. gentleman contend that the French Canadians are foreigners and aliens to this country? Does he forget that we are the members of a race which discovered and civilised this country? Surely that hon. member, when he made that assertion, did not reflect and did not consider the position we have occupied in Canada. Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks. The hon. member for North Simcoe says that the Treaty of Paris does not secure to us the use of our language; but there is one thing to which I can appeal for the preservation of that language: It is British fair play. We have appealed before to it, we have before laid our complaints at the foot of the Throne, and we have been successful enough to obtain justice. I hope that the same fair play will continue to be extended to us. We have not to deal with this question as the members of a certain race or class; we must consider and deal with it in a manner to promote the best interests of this country; and, according to British legislators, the best policy to be followed with respect to different creeds and races is to respect their feelings, and I hope that policy will continue to prevail.
Mr. CURRAN. (Translation) Mr. Speaker, I ask your indulgence on this occasion when a question of so much importance is engaging our attention if I make the few observations I am about to address to the House in the language attacked by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), the proposer of the Bill now under consideration. I seize this opportunity to speak in the French language as one of the representatives of the Irish Catholics of the Dominion, who have also been attacked, in an unjustifiable manner, by the member for North Simcoe. That gentleman sought to establish by some authority that the Irish Catholics in Canada are not the friends of the French Canadians, and not only are we not their friends, but that we are their bitterest enemies. I think I speak with a knowledge of the subject, when I state that if in a distant past, when our immigrants reached this country poverty-stricken, totally ignorant of the French language, unable to understand those with whom they were thrown in contact or to make themselves understood by them, certain difficulties did arise, that to-day not only as between the Irish Catholics and the Protestants, who have never had any difficulty as to 593 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 594 language, but as between the whole Canadian people whatever their origin or creed, with the exception of those who make a trade of appealing to prejudices, to the detriment of Canada's future, there never did exist in our country a stronger sentiment of unity or a stronger desire for the moral and material progress of our people, than that which exists to-day. Were a stranger to enter into our deliberative assembly now and find us occupied in the discussion of this question, what opinion must he form of us? We are here in a new country; we need to develop our immense resources, agricultural, industrial, mineral, and all the exhaustless wealth that Providence has placed at our disposal; we have a country extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and sparse as is our population, we have made such progress as to challenge the admiration of the world; and here we have this prosperity placed in peril by the discussion of questions in the Parliament of Canada utterly devoid of interest to all with the exception of the fanatics who have provoked the debate. What can be the object of these agitators? Can any patriotic motive inspire them? The march of events within the past few years is not unknown to us. We know how the question was raised and precipitated into the arena of public discussion, and I may ask, is there one worthy citizen, whatever his race may be, who will be found to state that the authors of this agitation are animated by honorable motives? The question now before us has been represented, on the one hand, as purely local, and, on the other, as one of general interest; to me it appears that had this question been raised opportunely it should have been dealt with from a purely local point of view; but when we consider not only the preamble of the Bill now before us, in which the hon. member for North Simcoe attacks all the French Canadians hold most dear, but the violent and outrageous speech in which he introduced it, it is difficult not to comprehend the motives that inspired this legislation. As has been well stated already, the people of the North-West, without distinction, the earliest settlers, and those who at the cost of great sacrifices went in there for the purpose of colonising those vast regions, were living in peace and security, building up the country by their united efforts and extending to each other a helping hand and not one word was heard concerning the abolition of the French as an official language. But for reasons best known to himself, a man who proclaims himself an apostle of equal rights for all, arouses an agitation for the purpose of depriving those who have made so many sacrifices of the right to speak their own language, or to have it officially recognised in that section of the country. Is there any justification for the hon. gentleman's conduct? Not a single individual in the region referred to has raised the question, but we have this self-constituted patriot, who declares his desire to form here one British nation by a single dash of his pen, and who appears to be an admirer of all that was odious in the penal legislation of days gone by, laws that bring a blush of shame to every Englishman's face, going into that country to arouse there passion and prejudice, and not only to disturb those who were living there in peace and harmony, but seeking to disjoint all friendly relations between the people of the older Provinces. Mr. Speaker, we cannot discuss this question in ignorance of the state of affairs that exists around us. We have to deal with things as they are. It is all very well to say, here is a local question that concerns the progress of the North- West Territories solely. That cannot hold, the position has been complicated in such a manner by its mover that we cannot avoid its determination in the broader sense, nor the inevitable conclusions to which the presentation of the question leads us. Some have said this is merely a monetary question involving the expenditure of public moneys, whilst nearly all have urged that not only are the people of the North-West interested but all Canada is involved. One thing is certain, on a subject of this kind a proud race will never allow their noblest aspirations to be interfered with by mere monetary considerations. Therefore, when we discuss this question, which, if it does not interest all Canada, at all events involves the sympathies of a million and a-half of French Canadians, we cannot do otherwise, in view of the onslaught made by the member for North Simcoe, than to respect and uphold the sentiments of a chivalrous people who have done so much for the development of our country, and we must above all be careful not to trample upon their sacred rights. What is the history of this legislation? I have no desire to prolong the discussion by reiterating what has been so eloquently said by those who have traced in glowing terms the history of our French Canadian compatriots. I shall confine myself to the amendment introduced by the Hon. Senator Girard when the Bill for the North-West Territories was discussed before the Senate. The hon. Senator caused the insertion of the French language amendment and there was not one dissentient voice. That amendment was unanimously confirmed by the House of Commons. I have carefully noted the attitude of the press on the subject in Ontario and Quebec as well, at that time. Not a single newspaper, either English or French, not a single organ of either political party published a syllable of condemnation of that legislation. On the contrary, it was everywhere conceded that not only was an act of justice being done to the French inhabitants of the North-West, but that the best means was being adopted to induce French Canadian immigration to the Territories and prevent their exodus to the United States. No doubt the strongest inducement for them to go there was to say to them: " You will enjoy there all the privileges you possess in the Province of Quebec," and that, Sir, was the motive that prompted the Girard amendment. Well, Sir, from that date until last summer no complaint was heard either in the press or on the platform or elsewhere, nothing was ever hinted that the progress of the Territories was being retarded by the official use of the French and English languages. The hon. member from Simcoe, in all his speeches, has held himself responsible for that legislation, and that he had made no move for years until he commenced his agitation in Ontario and then proceeded to disturb the minds of the people of the North-West Territories. Until the hon. gentleman's crusade, nothing was heard against the legislation that he now seeks to have repealed. Under such circumstances, we naturally ask ourselves: What is the object of this agitation? What interest can it promote? The hon. gentleman tells us in one of his speeches that the French Canadians desire to establish another Province of Quebec in the Territories. Have they ever sought, either in Parlia 595 [COMMONS] 596 ment or in the press, to discourage immigration to that region, either of British, German, Swedish, or any other worthy settlers? Have they not always sought to encourage such immigration? Have they sought, in any manner, to disturb the harmony existing heretofore in the Territories? We shall have to wait a long time for any proof of such assertions. In concluding these few observations which I make in French, so as to show that we, the Irish Catholics and the French Canadians and the Protestants of this country likewise understand each other, I beseech those hon. members who seek to agitate the people to let us wage our political warfare on the legitimate ground of politics; to let us make our endeavors so that harmony may prevail among all races; to allow us to work together for the maintenance of the bonds that unite us. Under those conditions we shall see the country neither agitated nor threatened, but united; we shall have a country where every French Canadian, every Irish Canadian or any other Canadian may live in peace. It is a fortunate thing that we should have, as leaders of the French Canadian members of this House, statesmen who shall lead their compatriots by way of a wise and conciliatory policy and establish the reign of harmony and peace, and in that path I shall always follow them.
It being six o'clock, the Speaker left the Chair.

After Recess.

Mr. ROBILLARD. Mr. Speaker, if this Bill had been moved by an ordinary member, I would have sat in my chair and given a silent vote; but as the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) is the mover of it, I beg to address a few words to the House as a Canadian from Ontario, speaking French, if you like; for I call myself a Canadian, and it is the only name by which I call myself. The hon. member has been going through the country, and has very seldom lost an occasion to throw mud at us. Sir, the very preamble of his Bill I look upon as an insult to any French Canadian in this country. The idea that the fact of my speaking French is a barrier between me and my English-speaking neighbor I deny. It is true, Sir, we speak French, but we are learning English as fast as we can, and we are proud of it. Why should we not be? I say that every sensible French Canadian would wish to have his children learn English as well as French. I would not be doing my duty to my child if I did not allow him to learn English, because if he did not he would not have a fair start in the world with the children of my English-speaking neighbors. But when I hear men like the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. O'Brien) say that they are not attacking our language, I may say to him that people do not feel the insult that is given to others. That hon. member is not so sensitive as the hon. member for North Simcoe, because he has taken up the cause of people who have never asked him, people who do not suffer; for I challenge the hon. gentleman to show that there was ever a complaint in the North-West on this subject before he went up there himself to sow the seed of dissension. As the hon. gentleman knows, the people of the North- West do not pay that paltry sum of $400 or $500 which the use of the language there costs. I do not know the amount for which the hon. gentleman is on the assessment roll, but I venture to say that his share of that cost does not amount to a mill. I say that the preamble of this Bill itself is a false pretension and a false proposition. Although I speak French and am a Roman Catholic, I can live at peace with my English and Protestant neighbor. I do not care whether he is an Orangeman, a black Presbyterian or a Methodist, I can go and walk with him arm-in-arm on Sunday morning, and he drops into his church and I into mine, and we can escort each other back to our homes afterwards in a friendly and neighborly way. The time is past when people may hate each other for God's sake. My hon. friend from North Simcoe professes to do all this for love of the poor French Canadians; he wants to get us out of the crushing power of the clergy in Lower Canada; he is sorry to see us going to the States, and he invites us to go to Ontario; but what does he say? If you come into Ontario, you must shut your month; you are not allowed to speak your language. I know something of what I am speaking about, for I had the honor to represent a county in eastern Ontario, where people often come from Lower Canada, and I have always been proud and glad to see them, because they have been peaceable and respectable and moral citizens, though they could not speak a word of English. According to the idea of the hon. member for North Simcoe, these people may send their children to school, but the school must be taught by an English teacher. The hon. member, with his great love for the French Canadians, would not allow one to teach a school in Ontario, no matter how efficient he might be. The hon. gentleman will not deny that fact, for I have his own words for it in a speech he made in December last in the city of Ottawa. You know, Sir, he is one of the fathers of this Imperial Federation scheme. I will not say much about Imperial Federation, because it has not yet assumed a practical shape, and I think it will be a long time before it does; but, Sir, he is the father of another party— a party that made a great racket in Ontario and in the capital of this Dominion—what they call the Equal Rights party, but what I call the Unequal Rights party, from the way they put it in practice. Under the wing of that Equal Rights agitation, under the pretence of British fair play to the French Canadians, he said he would not allow a French Canadian to teach in a French county, were he ever so clever a man, because, there being French blood in his veins, the tendency of this teaching would be to Frenchify and not to Anglicise the people. That is the way he shows his great liberality. I would like the hon. gentleman to show his affection and love to his wife in that way. I would like to see him come to her with sweet and warm words in contradiction with his acts. Acts are stronger than words. Let him act towards his wife as he does towards us; let him lose no opportunity to trample on her feet, to hurt her feelings, and to deprive her of her rights, and he will soon come to the conclusion, to which I and the rest of my countrymen have come, that, although his words may be sweet and warm, his heart is cold. I might give him the advice which I gave my wife when I took her. I said to her: Here I am; I wish you to try and make yourself happy with me, with all my faults, as you find 597 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 598 them out, and you will stand a better chance of correcting me, and will be happier, than if you used the broomstick. I say to the hon. gentleman that I acknowledge we have faults, but no more than other nationalities, and if he had more intercourse with us, if he would show himself more liberal and to have more heart and more love for us, and use his energy and great talents to seeing if he could not make himself happy, even if we did sometimes hurt the drum of his ears with a French word. I am not going over arguments that have been used before, and used better than I could hope to apply them. As far as community of language is concerned, that question has been discussed by men who have better command of the English than I, but I may say, en passant, that no later than last summer, when I was in Switzerland, I attended the great feast of the vine-growers, which takes place only once in every twenty- five years; and at that feast, which was held in a little town on Geneva Lake, there attended about seventy-five thousand people, speaking French, Italian and German. One would say "Good day" in German and the other would answer in French or Italian, or vice versñ, and they seemed the most happy and contented people I ever met. Therefore, it seemed to me not necessary that there should be unity of language in order that a people might be happy and contented. I do not know what the hon. gentleman is driving at. He has gone through the different Provinces exciting sectional feelings; and I am sorry to see such a course taken in a new country composed as this is of different nationalities, who have been put here to work shoulder to shoulder in the chariot of progress, instead of working against each other. It is not by raising sectional or racial feelings that we can progress and prosper; and, therefore, I look upon such proceedings, whether conducted by the hon. member for Simcoe or anybody else, as fraught with danger in a community like this. I am not a pessimist. I have faith in the future of my country.. And why? Because I believe there are enough men of good, sound sense, and broad, Christian, patriotic views, to crush out the fanatics, no matter where they come from. Were it not for that belief I would despair for my country. We can tolerate the fanaticism of ignorant people, for they know not what they do, but when we find men of education raising these issues, I cannot explain their motives. I ask myself, what does the hon. gentleman mean? Does he expect to govern by coercion? and if he could do so, would it be desirable? If he meant civil war, I could understand him; but he must remember that in that case we are 1,500,000 of French Canadians whom he will have to exterminate, for we will not run away. We are here to stay, and stay we will. Therefore he will have to exterminate us, and that will be a very big undertaking. We have stood a great deal of pressure, and I am certain we will survive the McCarthy pressure. A good deal that I had to say has been better said before, and, therefore, I intend to be short; but, before taking my seat I wish to say that the hon. gentleman's mode of showing his love to the French Canadians is a very singular one, and Mademoiselle la Canadienne will look for another beau besides the hon. gentleman. I must protest, in the name of peace, in the name of harmony, and in the name of my country, against the proposition of the hon. gentleman, and intend giving my support to the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil). The amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia advances a principle which I cannot admit, that because a majority ought to govern they can alter our constitution as well; and if this amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia were adopted, there would be nothing to prevent a majority in this House going to the foot of the Throne and saying: We have admitted the principle that the majority ought to rule, by leaving to the majority of the North-West to decide as to the abolition of the French language, and, therefore, as we are the majority in the Confederation, we can decide to abolish it in the Province of Quebec or in any other Province. I do not want the Federal Government to relinquish this power which it has. I think it was the well-considered view of the Fathers of Confederation, when they left that power to the Federal Government, and that is the only safety which the minority in any Province possesses. Therefore, I will support the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil), and will vote against the two other amendments. If another amendment were to be moved, leaving this matter over until after the election, but without divesting ourselves of the power which this Parliament possesses, I would support that, but otherwise I will support the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier.
Mr. DAWSON. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), in the preamble to his Bill, declares that:
"It is expedient in the interest of the national community of the Dominion, that there should be community of language among the people of Canada, and that the enactment in the North-West Territories' Act allowing the use of the French language should be expunged therefrom."
The hon. gentleman has made a very able speech, but I do not think he has made good his proposition. He has failed to establish that community of language is essential to the prosperity of any country. In the British Empire there are three hundred millions of people, speaking many different languages, and, certainly, not one-fifth of that number speak the English language. Yet, the British Empire on which the sun never sets,—this great empire with all its diversity of languages and of peoples is prospering. Judging from this, a community of language is not essential to the prosperity of a nation. With regard to this particular matter, I may be pardoned if I give a brief history of the settlement of the French in the North-West. It is well known that the French of Lower Canada spread themselves over the North-West Territories long before the English had come even to Hudson's Bay, that they were at Lake Winnipeg, that they were on the Red River, where Manitoba now is, and that they were on the plains of the Saskatchewan a hundred years and more before the English had even come as far west as Lake Winnipeg. In regard to the rights of those French people, who were there at that time, those rights were secured to them in the same way, by the Treaty of Paris and the capitulation of Montreal, as they were secured to the people of Lower Canada. It is expressly stated in the capitulation itself that it extended to the "countries above," meaning the settlements on the Saskatchewan and the other portions of the western country. 599 [COMMONS] 600 The French Canadians inhabiting what was then known as Canada, including that territory, were all put in the same position by the Treaty of Paris. I believe that that will not be called in question. What the French did in that country, rendered the subsequent settlement of it possible. Verandrye, who was then celebrated as much as the great African explorer, Stanley, is to-day, had as great difficulties to encounter as Stanley has had in Africa, in a country which was unknown, which was peopled by savage tribes, where his followers were on one or two occasions nearly exterminated by the natives; but he showed great fortitude and made his way through that unknown country until he planted the colors of France at the Rocky Mountains. It must be acknowledged that the French have done a great deal for the settlement of the North-West. It has been stated by an hon. member that that country was for a long time treated as a Crown colony. This was not precisely the case. It was a colony, but not a Crown colony. It was a colony under a proprietary government, the government of the Hudson's Bay Company, something like the proprietary governments that were formed at one time in the States to the south of us, in Pennsylvania for example, and in Maryland, in which latter proprietary rights were given to Lord Baltimore. That was the sort of colony it was, and that colony flourished and grew. At the time that the North-West Territories fell to Canada there was a large population of French there. In fact, I may say that the population was almost entirely French and Indian. There were a certain number of English and Scotch settlers, but the majority of the people were French, descendants of those who were engaged in the fur trade, some being descendants of the Scotch who, in the year 1780 or earlier, went in very large numbers to the North-West and spread their establishments, not only along the Saskatchewan, but to the Arctic seas and to the shores of the Pacific ocean. By whose aid did they go there? By the aid of the French. By whose assistance was British Columbia—that Province of which we are so proud— secured to England, if not by that of the French voyageurs? I think enough has been said to show that the prosperity of nations does not depend altogether on the community of language. That has been shown in the very able speech of my hon. friend the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), and also in that of my hon. friend from North York (Mr. Mulock). They have entered into that question and I think their arguments are quite enough to upset those of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), so I shall not delay the House upon that subject, except to say that, even in England itself, there were differences of language, and indeed many different languages were spoken within a comparatively short period. There were the French, the Welsh and the Gaelic besides other languages, and I think it was not much over a century ago that a number of Highlanders who could hardly speak a word of English leagued themselves together in several regiments under the name of the "Black Watch." Very little English was spoken amongst them, and yet that Black Watch fighting for England became as celebrated in European warfare in modern times as ever the Macedonian legions were in ancient history. As to the loyalty of the French, I do not think much requires to be said. They have shown their attachment to British institutions on many occasions and have been ready to shed their blood in defence of the British flag. Let me mention one case that we know, of the battle of Chateauguay: I am proud to say that the son of the hero of that battle was on my staff for many years in the North-West, De Salaberry. Sir, that De Salaberry was French essentially, and he won a great battle under the British flag. I think, Mr. Speaker, that this matter had better be left for time to settle. What necessity is there for bringing it up now? What have the people of the North-West to complain of? A few documents will be published in French in order that the French people may understand them. There is still a considerable French population there, and I think that the matter might be left to settle itself. No doubt English will largely preponderate, as English settlement flows in. Those who cannot speak English now will, in the course of time, learn to speak it, and the whole country will become English. We hear much about an exodus of French who are said to be leaving Lower Canada, and I would be very glad indeed to see them going up to the Saskatchewan and settling in that country. The French make excellent settlers; they are our best pioneers in a new country, and they get on in harmony with all people. There is no more peacable people, no better settlers, no more admirable people for settling a new country than the French Canadians. They are a moral people, a good people, and good workers. I say that time will cure all this, and, in my opinion, the matter had better be left to the people of the North-West Territories themselves. Let them work out their own destiny. Throw the country open to the French and English, but do not throw disabilities on any class of the community. Allow the French to grow and prosper. Let them use their language for a few years. It is only for a few years; in the North-West Territories it will die naturally of itself, and the whole French population will be engulfed by the larger English element. Of course, the French language will endure permanently in Lower Canada, but in that western country which is now filling up with another population, the French language cannot be expected to last a great while. In the meantime, I think it had better be left to its own course.
Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. I do not wish this debate to close without saying a few words, especially in answer to the speech of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). The hon. gentleman has taken upon himself the task of legislating by himself, alone, without being asked to interfere in any way. He wants to legislate for half the continent. There was no petition from the people of that country to interfere in their favor. They had their own representatives here, and those representatives, coming fresh from the people, were certainly the natural defenders of that population. However, the hon. gentleman being a member of Parliament, thought he had a right, and I suppose he had, to interfere and introduce the Bill now under consideration. Now, Mr. Speaker, what is the reason that the hon. gentleman brings that Bill before Parliament? It is for the purpose of preventing a portion of the population of the North-West from using what God has given them, the French language. It is their mother tongue; they know no other language than that. But the 601 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 602 hon. gentleman, with his Equal Rights principles, says: "You shall not say a word, unless you utter it in a language which you do not know. Equal Rights! my good friends." If those are the Equal Rights of the hon. gentleman, I do not think that his political career will last very long. Fanaticism has never lasted, and this is fanaticism in all its vigor, in all its force. What has that population in the North- West, that speaks French, whether they are a thousand or whether they are one hundred—what have they done to the hon. gentleman that he seeks to prevent them from using their language-more than that, knowing in their own tongue the laws that are enacted for their protection, or which they have to obey? The only thing that they have done to the hon. gentleman is this, that their blood is not his blood. It is not their fault if they have not the blue blood of the hon. gentleman. Their blood is the blood that their good mothers gave them, and that blood is French. They were born so; they had nothing to say when they were born. When Providence brought them into the world they came with French blood, and when they could   speak, they spoke French. They came from different parts of this continent, especially from Quebec. They went up there knowing that the subjects of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen had the right, under the laws of the Kingdom, to speak in French, provided they did not speak treason. These men have not spoken treason. The hon. gentleman has never stated that in his Bill, or in his speech. He dare not say so; because these men, I may tell the hon. gentleman, from first to last, up there, and in all the Provinces of the Dominion, are as loyal subjects of the Queen as the hon. gentleman is, or his children, or his ancestors. We do not boast of our loyalty as French Canadians; because it is in our hearts; it is in our veins. It is a duty on our part; because we are well governed and well protected by the laws of England, and by our Most Gracioiis Queen. It is a question of love with us, and we love our Queen, and we love our country; we are loyal to our Queen and loyal to our country. Why should we be treated differently from you, Englishmen; from you, Scotchmen; from you, Irishmen; from you, Scandinavians; from you, Germans? Is your blood better than ours? Is your birth better than ours? Were your ancestors better than ours? Mr. Speaker, I hope that the hon. gentleman will excuse me if I say, no. They are as good as ours; but ours are as good as theirs. Sir, I feel keenly on this question; because my race is a sensitive race; it is a proud race. I do not speak of the others. I have no doubt that they are as proud and as sensitive as mine. But we do not like to be attacked; we do not like to be sneered at and to be humiliated, especially by the hon. gentleman, who has no right to speak in that way, or to sneer at us. The hon. gentleman tries to find standing ground, and the position he takes is this: that the use of the two languages is expensive. That is one of the reasons he offers for his action. Expensive in what manner? At this time there is no French Canadian who speaks his language in the North-West Assembly, but a French Canadian spoke it in the last Legislative Assembly, and others will speak it in the Assembly after the next election, because there must be some, the hon. gentleman may depend on that; for although he may choke some French Canadians, he cannot choke enough to have the race disappear. French Canadians are quite able to defend their rights, and they will defend them; and to think that he will succeed in having a race numbering a million and a half or a million and three-quarters, with as many on the other side of the line, disappear and wiped from the land of their ancestors is a delusion on the part of that hon. gentleman. He had better learn a little French, which he does not know, and study our history, and he will learn from it that no attempts of that character have ever succeeded. But the hon. gentleman spoke of the expense; and what is the expense? The translation and publication of the journals and ordinances of the North-West have cost since that institution existed there $22,000.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). In thirteen years.
Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. Of that amount, the French translation and publication have cost $4,000 in thirteen years, which is equal to less than $400 a year. If that is what is on the hon. gentleman's conscience, if that is what is troubling his patriotism, let him understand this, that henceforth I will pay $400 a year out of my own pocket for the translation of the laws and journals; so that this country which the hon. gentleman loves so well, and which he is convulsing for the sake of $400 a year, need not be called upon to pay this amount, and, if the hon. gentleman is afraid it will not be paid, I am ready to enter into a contract with him or with the North-West Council that the $400 will be paid on the first of January each year. But that is all a sham. It is not for that purpose the hon. gentleman has taken action-—he has another purpose in view. He wants to tyrannise over the French Canadians of this country, he does not like them, he hates them —-he hated them from the moment he came into Parliament. He showed it once—he must remember it—in a certain place where we were all congregated, and from that moment he saw that having shown his hatred to our race he could never recover the good graces of that race, unless he made the amende honorable. He did not wish to do that, he would not apologise; but he said: "I will be an enemy to that race so long as I sit in this House." But others have adopted the same course, and they have not succeeded any more than the hon. gentleman will succeed on this occasion. The object, however, of the hon. gentleman is disclosed in the preamble of his Bill. He seeks to introduce the thin end of the wedge, and, if he succeeds in that, then he will go a little further and seek to destroy the race from the North-West to the Atlantic. I defy the hon. gentleman to do it; that is more than his strength can accomplish, and he will not succeed. He may destroy a few French Canadians in the far-away North-West, but he may be sure of this, that, if he closes the mouths of our people in the Legislative Assembly of the North-West, if he prevents French Canadians having the rules of the House, and the journals of the House, and the laws of the country in their own language, they will do as they have done elsewhere—they will do without them. One day they will be twenty times more numerous than they are to-day. They will be growing quietly, and one day justice will be done to them by the force of circumstances. That is what we have seen from one end of the country to the other. We have seen it from the time this country 603 [COMMONS] 604 came under a British rĂ©gime. After the cession of this country by the French to the English, our people had no right to use the French language in courts of justice. The position was exactly that which the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) wishes to establish in the North-West. He has gone back a century. Who would have thought that a young legislator, such as he is, would have gone backward instead of going forward and endeavoring to do some good for his country and assisting its; prosperity? The hon. gentleman has, however, gone back to that ancient time. What was the position then? The people were prevented using their language in the courts of justice, English alone being used. But French Canadians or Frenchmen at that time who had passed under the sceptre of the King of England could neither understand nor use the English language; and what did they do? They had law-suits and difficulties, as neighbors must sometimes have, and they had debts to collect. They said to themselves: "We cannot go before the judicial tribunals; we are not understood, we do not speak English but French, these judges are English and do not understand our language." What did they do? They did this: When two neighbors had a difficulty they went to their priest and asked him to hear the case and decide between them. The case would then be argued before the priest, and he would give judgment, and they submitted to that judgment. And the judicial tribunal did not see them. A little later the American revolution took place. England remembered that the French Canadians were the large majority of the people of Canada, that they were not properly treated, that it was an injustice to them to treat them as they had been treated under the English regime, and that they had shown no disposition to act disloyally, and, therefore; the British Government restored them to their rights, they gave them their liberties and all the rights they could expect until responsible government was brought about, sometime later on. That was the result. In England they did not say, that because those 60,000 or 70,000 French Canadians have not our blood and do not speak our language we will treat them as if they were pariahs, worse than the Chinese who come into the United States are treated. No. They said: We will treat them as British subjects, and restore to them their liberties, franchises and rights to which they are entitled. The hon. gentleman in order to strengthen his case, which he saw was very weak, tried to show that from the beginning we had not the legal right to use the French language in our Legislative Assembly. The hon. gentleman went as far back as the capitulation of the country to show this, but he ought to have remembered that when the capitulation took place, we had no Parliament and no Legislature, and, therefore, the question of language in the Legislature could not come to the minds of the French Generals who made these capitulations with the British Generals. It was out of the question at the time and nobody thought of it. But, let us consider what is granted in these capitulations. Among other things the French people, who had to submit to the fate of war, are guaranteed that the privileges of their race in Canada shall be preserved. Among these privileges surely their language must be one of the most sacred. The hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy) says, howover, that those men should have gone to school immediately and learned that beautiful English language which he speaks so well. Well, the people themselves did not think so, and they do not think so now. They think that the French language, which is the language of their mothers and their fathers, should be preserved intact by them, and that is what they have done, from the beginning of Canada as a British colony. That is what they have done up to this very day and that is what they intend to do for the future. We intend to keep our language sacred, and we intend speaking the French language notwithstanding all the attempts of the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I may tell him that we would speak that language even if this Parliament refused us the use of the French language in our courts or in the Legislature. We would speak it as we spoke it notwithstanding the prohibitory law which the hon. gentleman invoked in showing that up to 1841 there was no legislation on that question. He told us that in 1841 when the Union of the Canadas took place the French language was prohibited, and when he told us this he was smiling and rejoicing and would have laughed had he dared. He rejoiced to see that the Parliament of England, after the rebellion in Upper and Lower Canada, declared that English should be the only language. The hon. gentleman passed very lightly on the rebellion in Upper Canada, and he spoke only of the rebellion of the French Canadians in the Province of Quebec. I will deal with that later on. He points out to us that in the Act passed at that time we find the language mentioned, and that the Act provided that the English language only should be used in Parliament. Well, the Union of the Canadas took place. The first Parliament was called together and it met under that law which said that the English language was the only language to be used. What was the first Act of that Parliament? It was to elect a French Canadian, the Hon. Mr. Cuvillier, as Speaker of that House, and why did they elect a French Canadian to be the Speaker? It was because they saw on the benches all around a large number of French Canadians returned as their representatives by the people of Lower Canada- French Canadians, some of them not speaking a word of English, elected by the people, although the people knew that that law was on the statute book stating that not a word of French should be spoken in the Parliament under the Union. Mr. Cuvillier was elected, the members began to speak, and strange to say (to the horror of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), no doubt) French speeches were delivered in that Parliament. The French Canadians used their own language as was their birthright. There was a law of the Imperial Parliament telling them that the English language only was to be used, but there was a law above all that, the law of nature, which told them that the French language should be used, and they used it. In a very short while after the Parliament of the United Provinces of Canada met, it passed a law on the 18th September, 1841 (5 Victoria, chapter 11, which was entitled "An Act to provide for the translation into the French language of the laws of this Province, and for other objects relative to them." We, there- fore, see that although the Parliament of Eng   605 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 606 land said that English alone should be used, the then Parliament of Canada passed a law to say that everything connected with the laws of the country would be translated into French. We see, therefore, that notwithstanding the English law, the French language was used in Parliament by the members, was used in the translation of the laws of the country, and in 1844, or a few years afterwards, a petition was sent to the Queen in England, praying that that portion of the Union Act, which prevented the French language being used legally in Parliament, should be abrogated. That petition was granted, and the men of that day were patriotic enough, were just enough, and were liberal enough to pass a law unanimously giving that right to their fellow-subjects, the French Canadians. The hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy) goes on and says that the only time when the Parliament of England permitted or allowed the use of both languages was in the Confederation Act of 1867. I am proud, Mr. Speaker, to think and to know that I was one of the Fathers of that Confederation Act, and that I used the little influence I had with my colleagues and with the Government of England, when we were sent there as the representatives of Canada, to secure that that clause should be inserted in the Act of Confederation. It was inserted so that we, the French Canadians of this country, should have the same rights in that respect as our friends and fellow-countrymen, and that we could use the French language in Parliament, as you, the English speaking members, can use your own language. Does not the hon. gentleman now see that I, a French Canadian, having every drop of blood in my veins French, am, notwithstanding, trying to speak his language, and trying to be understood by members of this House. I could make my speech in French, but I know that I would not be understood by all members of this House, and I wish to be understood by them all. I wish them to understand that I am speaking this evening on behalf of my countrymen of French origin. These are not the only countrymen I have, for I consider that all the members of this House, whether they belong to one race or to another, are my countrymen as well. If we wish to be one people, if we wish to be a nation, we should do what has been done in the three kingdoms. You find a number of languages, a number of dialects in the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; but how many languages are spoken under the shadow of the great and noble flag of England? It is the glory and the joy of the British Empire that all nationalities are welcome under that glorious flag, and that it covers and protects them all. I remember reading in the history of my family of one of my ancestors who fought in Canada for the French while they were the possessors and rulers of this country, and who afterwards fought for the Kingdom of France in Virginia. He had been sent there with others, and was made a prisoner by Colonel (afterwards General) Washington, and was kept there chained within his cell. But he escaped and came back to Canada. The war in this country having resulted in bringing down the flag of France and bringing up the flag of England, what did he do? Did he conspire against the flag and the King of England? No; he had loyal blood and a loyal heart; he had principles, and his principles and convictions told him that now that this country was under a new flag he should fight for his new Sovereign as he had fought for his old Sovereign the King of France; and, as my hon. friend from North York (Mr. Mulock) said, he fought against the thirteen colonies which rose in revolt against England. Although a Frenchman, speaking French, and having only French blood in his veins, he fought against the French army on the frontier commanded by Lafayette, and in the face of proclamations from the King of France, and appeals from Bishop Carroll to the religion of the French Canadians. The French Canadians had hardly seen the French flag depart across the frontier or taken down from the Quebec fortress, when they recognised their duty to fight for their new Sovereign. They did not love their new Sovereign then; they had not time to know him or to love him; but they fought like good and loyal men, and they carried the day, and this country has remained to this day one of the brightest gems of the Crown of England through the arms and the blood of my ancestors and the French Canadians generally. If those French Canadians, so much despised by the hon. member for North Simcoe, had not been there to defend this country and to keep it as a portion of the British Empire, where would the hon. gentleman be to-day? He would not be here to fight us and despise us and try to put us under his feet. No. I do not know where he would be; but at all events he would not be here to fight that battle that will end in his defeat, he may be sure of that. I cannot imagine that the hon. gentleman has not some other idea than fanaticism in a movement of this kind. He would have us believe that his object is to make this country a happy country, a country where the people from one ocean to the other, and from the North Pole to the American frontier, will speak English. Well, the hon. gentleman will have gone to his grave, and all his children, and all his grandchildren, and all his great grandchildren will have gone there too, and even after that there will be three or four million French Canadians speaking French. He need not try that; he will not succeed. It was tried before when we were a great deal fewer in number than we are now, and it did not succeed. The hon. gentleman spoke of the report of Lord Durham. Well, Lord Durham was a very able man, but we know how he went out of this country. He had not finished his work of examining the state of the country, and he left it in a huff because he was not sustained in England in the disposition he had made of certain political prisoners whom he had exiled to Bermuda against all law, the same thing as the hon. gentleman is trying to do. The hon. gentleman says that in that report the reasons given by Lord Durham were these:
"I expected to find a contest between a Government and a people; I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single State; I found a struggle, not of principle, but of race; and I perceived that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration of laws or institutions until we could first succeed in terminating the deadly animosity that now separates the inhabitants of Lower Canada into the hostile divisions of French and English."
 
The hon. gentleman read that, but he took great care not to speak at all of the struggle that was going on at the same time in the Province of Upper Canada, now the Province of Ontario. He knew perfectly well that the cause of the struggle in Upper Canada was that the people were not 607 [COMMONS] 608 allowed to govern themselves, but that there were a certain few called the Family Compact, who had all the places, all the power, and who ruled the country as they pleased, and the people had no voice or power. That was the cause of the trouble in Upper Canada, and the hon. gentleman did not say a word about it. But the state of affairs was exactly the same in Lower Canada. There was no fight between the races. The immense majority of the people were French, but men were sent from England to govern us, and our people had no right to have a voice in their own government. They had to submit to having all their judges and executive councillors and legislative councillors of one stripe; Legislative Assembly, they could not even do what they thought proper with their own money. That brought about a struggle. The cause of that struggle was a good one; but, according to the authorities on matters of that kind, a people has no right to rise in rebellion unless they have the strength and the means to enforce a recognition of their rights. Our people had not that strength. In Upper Canada as well as in Lower Canada they rose and fought, and were defeated; and they should have expected defeat, because they had neither the money, the ammunition, nor the guns. Well, in England our people were not heard. The constitution of Lower Canada was suspended, but not that of Upper Canada. The Upper Canadians were treated better than we, because, I suppose, we were nearer the sea and could be got at better; but that would have been a strong reason to have done the contrary, and have left us our constitution and taken it from those who were further away from the reach of England. But that was not done. We did not complain: we are a race which has suffered a long time, and we have been in the habit of suffering, but we never lose heart. We always cling to our principles and our ideas, we know what are our rights, and when the time comes to assert them, we assert them. To-day is the time when we must assert them against the hon. gentleman who seeks to have the majority of the House set them aside. I hope this House will not consent to that, but will show the hon. gentleman that his ideas of persecution and fanaticism are not those of the majority of the people, and will show that the majority speaking the English language are not disposed to do us—who are in the minority, but a large minority—an injustice. We have confidence in the majority; we are not beggars here, we are not asking favors, but what we ask is the continued enjoyment of the right we possess by nature and as British subjects. We have the right to speak our own language. What harm would it do the North-West for the thousand or so—-—I do not know how many French Canadians there are in the North-West—to be allowed to speak their own language. How much would the North-West be depreciated, how much would it lose, by allowing those French Canadians who have gone there confiding in the law of Parliament, confiding in the protection given them by the British laws, to speak their own language. Supposing two or three of them should be elected at the next elections to sit in the Legislative Assembly there, these men will not speak in both languages. After I have spoken in English, I do not intend repeating my remarks in French, though I have the right to do so. I would never think of doing that, because I know that the great majority of members understand the broken English I am speaking now. These two or three men will not prolong the sittings of that House, and if they have anything to say, they will say it in their own language, and that is all. Then, what harm can be done to that country? In what way will that country suffer by allowing that right? But the hon. gentleman says: "There will be so many French Canadians there, and I do not like that. I do not want French Canadians to be there." But he cannot help himself. The law may be passed, but the French Canadians will go there. They are in the habit of going everywhere. They went there long before the English people did, and when that country was purchased by us from the Hudson Bay Company, we found a large majority of French Canadians there. But nobody complained of that and we took them in. Now the majority is English speaking. Why, then, should you maltreat the French Canadians? Why should you not treat them as friends and brothers? I think you should treat them as you would wish to be treated if you were in the minority. Supposing the majority here were French and that instead of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), a French member would get up and say that in the North-West there were only a thousand or five hundred English speaking men, and that the others were all French, and ask that these Englishmen be forbidden to speak their own language, would you find that just? Would you agree to that? Would you say that was proper treatment? No. You would say it was oppression, you would speak of rebellion and of the rising of thousands of men from other Provinces to protect these five hundred.
Mr. BERGERON. Bayonets.
Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. And I would say that you were right, in claiming justice for your compatriots as we do for ours. The people in the North-West, never thought of this question until the hon. gentleman, after his fiasco here last Session, thought that as he had had very little success then, he would try something bigger, in order that his name should continue to be before the public, and that he might have the chance of doing something. Well, the hon. gentleman went up there as a missionary. He said to the people of Manitoba, that they were oppressed, that the French language should disappear, that those Frenchmen were a nuisance, and that they should abolish the French language. More than that, he said that the separate schools should disappear. Then he went on to the North-West, and tried to impress the same views upon the people there, and I have no doubt that if the two languages had been used in British Columbia, the hon. gentleman would have exercised his efforts on these people too. But he was saved of the trouble, as the two languages do not exist there. The Province was settled, and had its constitution before it entered Confederation. But the hon. gentleman, nevertheless, wishes to impress upon this Parliament the necessity of interfering in this matter. Well, that is a most dangerous proceeding on his part. The weapons he uses can be used by two and not only by one, and if injustice is done anywhere, that is generally followed by injustice elsewhere. I hope there will be no such injustice done. I would be the last man to retaliate; and if injustice should 609 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 610 be done to my countrymen in the North-West, I would prefer to suffer a thousand years, than to retaliate by doing injustice to others. I want to be well understood. The minority in the Province of Quebec speak the English language. The minority speaking the English language are divided into two sections, the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. The French are there in a large majority. Well, for nothing in the world would I consent, with any influence I might have on my   French Canadian countrymen, that they would do the smallest injustice to the other races in my Province. I know that, though there may be one or two men who, at the moment when they are excited and are in all their glory or in all their glorification, may make threats of that kind, hon. gentlemen need not attend to these threats or these amplifications, but may be assured that the people of the Province of Quebec, as a whole, the masses of the people, would never consent to anything of that kind. If there were any chance of that being done, I would, even during the Session of Parliament, leave my seat here and go down into the Province and call meetings, and say: Do not commit an injustice, though injustices were committed towards you at the beginning of the colony, that has gone by; we are treated properly, our institutions are protected, our language is protected, and notwithstanding what the hon. gentleman wishes, it will be protected and will continue to be used, our religion is safe, we may pray and adore God as we please; but we wish our neighbors to have the same freedom to speak their own language, the English language; we wish to have their institutions protected as ours are; we wish them to have their own temples and to adore God as they please, and they must be protected accordingly in doing so. If occasional exceptions to that occur, they occur not only in our Province but in other Provinces. They are momentary ebullitions which are to be deplored not only in our Province but in the other Provinces; but the sense of justice always takes the lead, and soon the remedy comes and the protection is extended as it was before. I do not wish to delay the House too long, but, as I do not intend to make several speeches on this question, no matter what the number of amendments may be, I wish to say a few words further. The hon. gentleman in order to show how kind he is to our race, how kind he is to his neighbors, what good-will he has towards us, what a great heart he has towards his French Canadian friends, subjects of the same power, says:
"Let hon. gentlemen remember that when this country was ceded to the British Crown there were not more than 60,000 or 65,000 French Canadians"—
He is sorry to see that we are now a million and a half,—
"I think that number includes, though I am not quite certain those who dwelt on the banks of the Illinois, and who did not become a part of the Dominion of Canada."
Here comes the beauty of his speech:
"However that may be, instead of encouraging them in the use of their language, had a policy being pursued of inducing them-not by any harsh means at all, not by any aggravating measures—to speak the English tongue, I want to know whether to-day, instead of the difference, the cleavage of race which we see going on, and which is becoming more and more pronounced, and which is calculated to rend this Dominion in twain, if some stop is not put to it—I would like to know whether we would see the spectacle that we see to-day? I think it is perfectly plain that we would not see it. I think no injustice would have been done"—
Of course not.—
—"and that in one generation, or in two at most my hon. friends that now represent the Province of Quebec, or their ancestbrs, would have been speaking English "—
What do I speak to-day?
—"and would have been English in deed, English in sentiment, just as much as those who have gone to the other side of the line, no matter what country they come from, whether from Austria, from Italy, from Germany, or any other country in Europe, who have now become assimilated and form part of the American people, not merely in name, but in truth and in fact."
Well, Mr. Speaker, the kindness of the hon. gentleman surpasses anything I could have imagined. He is so good; he is so kind; he would have wished to choke us, not by any harsh means, not by any aggravating measures, but only by a choking process. That is all. The hon. gentleman must know that the French Canadians have contributed, and do contribute, largely, and within their means, and according to their numbers, to the prosperity of this country. They do it in their own way. They do not do it in English; they do it in French. I wonder if an act done in French is not as good as if it were done in English. I wonder if the hon. gentleman, when he gives something to charity, or puts some money on the plate on Sunday, for the poor, does not as good an act as my hon. friend, on the other side, who speaks French. The hon. gentleman may be sure that the day will come, when he speaks French, when he will see that I am right. I am convinced that he is learning French now. He is now against us because he does not know French, because he does not understand the acts of our people; he does not know what literature we have; he cannot read it, he cannot appreciate it, he cannot understand it, and, therefore, we must forgive him a great deal on account of that ignorance, a word which I do not use in any bad sense, but in reference to his ignorance of that language. The hon. gentleman says that, if such a policy had been pursued as he indicates, it would have made the French Canadians speak English. That is what he wants to do now, but this we will not allow him to do, to adopt a principle that may be used afterwards from one end of the Confederacy to the other. That will not be allowed. I am sure the large majority of this House do not intend to break this Confederation into two or three parts. They do not intend to destroy this country. This hon. gentleman speaks of uniting the country; he says he wants a united people all speaking the same language; and yet he is doing his best to divide this country, to divide us as to races, to put the French and Catholics on one side, and the Protestants on the other side. He will not succeed in that attempt. I know a great many Protestants who will not agree to that, and I know many Catholics who will not allow it. If we intend to prosper in this country, and to see our institutions succeed, we must be united, and we must not be quarrelling as we have been for the last few days, and must not divide our people by races. The hon. gentleman thinks that by his Bill he is destroying us. He will see, before many days or many hours are over, that his little scheme has the contrar effect, that it is uniting us on both sides of the case against him, that it is uniting us as one man. And what good will that do? that 611 [COMMONS] 612 what the hon. gentleman wants? He never thought of it. He thought we would be divided in politics. There is no politics in this. It is a question of race and nationality. It is a question of self-preservation, and if he thinks that we are to allow the hon. gentlemen on the other side, who have the same sentiments, the same aspirations and the same blood as we have, to be choked, he will find himself mistaken. We will go together to preserve our autonomy, our language, our institutions—everything which is sacred to a nation. Our forefathers have been buried in the Province of Quebec. There are the very grounds where we go and pray for their souls, as good Catholics, and does he think that we will abandon that country, that he is going to chase us away without a struggle? We would be untrue to our blood. The hon. gentleman wants us to abandon our language, he wants us to change our names as well, because our names cannot remain as they are. My name, Langevin, is a French name. I do not know how he would call me in English. But he may be sure that we will not repudiate our names, we will not repudiate our blood, we will not repudiate our ancestors. We do not want the hon. gentleman to despise us. We would deserve to be despised, we would be unworthy of our blood, if we allowed him to do so. Mr. Speaker, I wish to mention another point, but I will do so briefly, because my hon. friend from Montreal Centre (Mr. Curran) has alluded to it in a very eloquent way, and in French, this afternooon. French is not his own tongue, but he wished to show that he, of another race, he, an Irishman, had the same feelings that we had, and that he would not allow us to be trampled upon, as the hon. gentleman wishes. The hon. member from North Simcoe quoted The Month, as follows :—
"While freely admitting that the French Canadian is behind his English speaking neighbor, not only in farming, but in commerce, trade"—
What did the writer in The Month know about that? He never saw it.—  
"trade, and all kindred branches, we must not take for granted everything that this same English speaking neighbor says of him. One of the most striking and curious things in the social life of Lower Canada is the latent hate which the French and English speaking races have for each other. It is a sad thing to say, but truth requires that it should be said, that English speaking people, no matter whether they are English, Irish or Scotch, have rarely a good word for their French neighbors; and it is still sadder and more unaccountable that of all of those English speaking people, the Irish are those between whom and the French there seems to be the least rapport, and the greatest enmity."
Well, Mr. Speaker, there is not a word of truth in that. This is as false as a place that I will not name.
Mr. BERGERON. That is where Mc. will go.
Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. I have lived all my life in the Province of Quebec, except, of course, during the time that I have lived in Ottawa, and enjoyed the confidence the majority of this House and the people have had in me and in my colleagues. I know that the two races —when I say the two races, I mean not only the Irish, but the Scotch and the English in the Province of Quebec, as well as the French—agree very well; they live alongside each other, and the hatred that is mentioned in this magazine, and that the hon. member for North Simcoe brings up here as evidence of a necessity of changing our language, does not at all exist—far from it. The hon. gentleman from Montreal Centre gave some examples, and I will give some more. When Irish immigrants were coming into this country, and when a ship fever broke out among them, and they were detained at the quarantine station at Grosse Isle, and the living cargoes of these ships were landed, what did the clergy of the Province of Quebec do? We saw that Cardinal Taschereau, then only a priest, went to their assistance. He had no business to go, because he was then at the Seminary at Quebec, but he offered his services, and a number of others along with him, to rescue these poor Irishmen. A number of Sisters of Charity, also speaking French, went to Grosse Isle to attend to the wants of these poor, sick people, and a number of them lost their lives while caring for these poor Irishmen, women and children. And when these men and women, the fathers and mothers of poor orphans, were gone, what became of these children? Were they left there on the island to die? No. French Canadian families adopted them, they were well taken care of, and they became French Canadians. The hon. gentleman calls that absorption of race. I wish we could see more of such an absorption of races, not only among the French, but among the other races. I believe if a thing of this kind occurred in Ontario, and that French Canadians were the sufferers, I am sure that their orphans would be well taken care of and adopted into English-speaking families. So much to show the hatred of the races. We adopted their children when they were orphans; we came to their rescue when they were suffering. More than that, when our people suffer, when French Canadian families are in want, and there are any Irish families in the neighborhood, the hearts of the Irish people beat with sympathy for our people, and the Irishman and his wife come to the relief of the French Canadian families. That is the hatred that exists in the Province of Quebec. I hope that before this debate is through we will hear a few words from the members of the Province of Quebec who speak the English language, and who are Protestants. I hope that they will come out and express their opinions and say how we treat them, and how we treat the English, Irish and the Scotch in our Province. Let them come out. I do not know how many of them will speak, or whether any of them will do so, but I hope they will speak in order to repel that assertion of the hon. member for Simcoe. The hon. gentleman, at the end of his long speech, asked:
"Now, are we going to perpetuate this system of things? Are we going to permit it to grow into what might be called a vested right: so that by-and-bye a French Canadian can urge, and with some degree of truth: 'I have left my own home in the Province of Quebec and have gone and settled in the North-West Territories relying on the faith of an Act of Parliament, by which it was said I should be allowed to have my language.'"
Vested rights by law! As if a man had not a right to speak his own language. Who gave the hon. gentleman a better right to speak English than a French Canadian to speak French? The French were here long before the ancestors of the hon. gentleman. They all spoke French, and they increased largely in numbers. I suppose it was the design of Providence that it should be so, and they have multiplied to such an extent that the hon. gentleman is frightened, and they con 613 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 614 tinue to speak French, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. The hon. gentleman makes his speeches in English, but he does not want to allow another member to speak in French. Why does he not try to prevent the German from speaking German, and see how that will be received. The hon. gentleman said this:
"I will only say, in conclusion, that while I have thought it right at this early stage to make a statement of the reasons which have actuated the course I am taking, I desire here, as I have done elsewhere, to disclaim any feeling of hostility of any kind against the French Canadian race or the representatives in this House. I desire to say that I have no such feelings.
"Mr. BERGERON. Thank you.
"Mr. MCCARTHY. My only desire is to promote the welfare of us all, and I think our truest interest will be found in trying to create and build up in this country one race with one national life, and with a language common to us all."
How can he create one race, how can he make of the French race, to which I belong, an English race? These are only words which sound well; but, if the hon. gentleman will allow me to say it, there is no truth in them. They are verily only catch-words. I hope the hon. gentleman will not succeed in his motion. I hope there will be sufficient justice in this House to prevent such an event, and that hon. members will be far-seeing enough to discern that this measure is only calculated to divide this country, to create disunion, and that if it is persisted in, events may occur which may cause this House to regret its action for many years. We have created this Confederation; we have prospered under it. We may have disagreed as to the methods of raising money—that is a matter of opinion; nevertheless we have prospered under this Constitution. We have large prospects. We have become an united people from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Up to the time of Confederation we did not even know the leading men of other Provinces, and they hardly knew more than two or three men from our Province. We had no intercourse with them; there were barriers between them and us. All these have disappeared. Now, men in Halifax call themselves Canadians as do the men in British Columbia. I went to British Columbia when they were just getting the political machine into operation. They were uncertain as to the future, and did not know what was coming. I went there for the purpose of assuring them; I went there for the purpose of knowing the people in the country. I succeeded to this extent, that they accepted the new Government with pleasure; they knew there must be something good in it for them when they became a member of this great Confederation. I hope we will show that good feeling among ourselves, that union and harmony which will induce our neighbors in Newfoundland to unite their fortunes with ours. I hope the time will come when they will do so, and then this great Confederation will comprise all British soil from the Atlantic to the Pacific. But in order to accomplish this result we must not tyrannise over one race or another. Let our neighbors speak the language they think proper. We are all subjects of the Queen, and we are equally loyal whether we speak one language or another. We do not want to change our relations, but we desire to maintain British institutions. Our constitution is modelled on the constitution of Great Britain. We have the same Queen, the same flag, the same aspirations. Why, then, should we make a large portion of our     population unhappy, and create dissensions in our midst? I apologise to the House for occupying so much time, but I feel keenly on this matter, and I thought, under the circumstances, I should express my opinion, and having said so much I resume my seat.
Mr. LAVERGNE. This question is of so much interest to the French Canadian people that I feel it to be my duty to take part in this debate. I do not wish to occupy much of the time of the House, but I feel I would not be doing my duty if I gave a silent vote on this matter. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) in introducing this Bill, gave a history of the establishment of the French language in this country. He quoted from old documents, and went as far back as the time of the cession of this country to England. He might have completed his history by saying that this language, which he seeks to wipe out, was established here two centuries before the time of the cession. This language was the language of the country in the 16th century. The hon. gentleman, in speaking of the Treaty of Paris of 1763, told the House that this treaty did not contain any provision which guaranteed us the use of our language. But he has told us that since the cession, we have practically enjoyed the use of that language, and that finally, in 1844, the right to its use was embodied in our legislation. What was the conclusion at which the hon. gentleman arrived on these facts? His conclusion was, that we were not entitled to use it. I must say I was rather surprised knowing the hon. gentleman's ability, to find him arrive at such a conclusion from such premises. I draw an entirely different conclusion from them. If we have enjoyed those rights for a century, if they have been embodied in our legislation since 1844, I think we have a perfect title. I know the hon. gentleman does not profess a great deal of love for us. He admits that being bound by the treaty we should enjoy the rights which were guaranteed to us by Great Britain and no more. Very likely if the hon. gentleman had been employed to assist in making the treaty, he would not have granted the rights we obtained. He would rather have favored deportation, and our fate would have been the one allotted to the Acadians. Fortunately for us the hon. gentleman came too late into this world. The British Crown thought it their bounden duty to deal fairly with us and treat us generously, and it was part of their policy to give us the rights to which we were fully entitled, for they well knew that if they wished to form a nation here, the people must be allowed to use their own language. In fact, Sir, although the French people were not very numerous and were scattered over the country it was impossible to govern them without allowing them their own language. It is very sure that if these rights had been refused to them, the Union Jack which now floats on the Citadel of Quebec would have been removed not very long after the cession and the Stars and Stripes would have replaced it. I say, Sir, that although the hon. gentleman, Mr. McCarthy, said it was a big mistake on their part to grant those privileges, yet I maintain that from a. British standpoint it was an act of wisdom that the British should have done what they did. We have enjoyed these rights for over a century, we have grown to be a people of over 615 [COMMONS] 616 a million living in this country, and our existence is very evident, although it may not please the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I may say that I feel quite at home in this country; I believe that I am entitled to feel at home in this country, and I will add to this assertion a French phrase which no Englishman can disclaim: Honi soit qui mal y pense. The hon. gentleman in order to show the disadvantage of the dual language has quoted to us part of the report of Lord Durham or of Mr. Buller as we may choose. It has already been read by the hon. the Minister of Public Works and I will not cite it, but it was quoted by the hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy), to show that there was a struggle between the two races at that time. I say, Sir, that it is not a fair argument, and that it does not give a fair idea of the actual situation in this country. But if we go back to this time, what do we see that the French people were fighting for? They were fighting for their love of British institutions. They were fighting to obtain their rights, and as a result of that fight, they finally succeeded in obtaining responsible Government. It was no wonder that Lord Durham found the people a little excited at that time, but the quotation does not represent the situation of the country either then or at the present time. To show the inconvenience of the dual language, the hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy), has cited certain extracts from the newspapers or magazines. I may say that I believe the hon. gentleman in his researches for the truth, was sincere, but I also say, that if he had the intention of misleading this House, he could not have sought information from better sources to attain this object. One of his quotations was the following, which I will read with your permission:—
"'We are Englishmen speaking the French language,' said the late Sir George Cartier, the colleague and close personal friend of Sir John A. Macdonald. Before this he was the undisputed leader of the French Canadian element in Canada; three years later he was unmercifully beaten at the polls for Montreal East by an obscure young lawyer by the name of Jetté. The crushing defeat was the French Canadian way of punishing Sir George for his ultra-loyal speech and the misrepresentation it embodied. Not that French Canadians are not well affected to the Empire as things go; only it must be understood they are well affected as French Canadians."
I say, Sir, that this extract, as well as the other which has been cited by the hon. gentleman, is a tissue of falsehoods. We all know very well—and it does not take a very long memory to recall the facts of the election between Sir George Cartier and the Hon. Mr. JettĂ©. I may say, by the way, that Mr. JettĂ© was not an obscure lawyer and this is one of the first falsehoods in the quotations. Mr. JettĂ© was one of the leading barristers of the Province of Quebec and very shortly after he was made a judge of the Superior Court and he has added honor to the bench in the administration of justice. This, however, only shows the sources from which the hon. gentleman has taken his information. The defeat of Sir George Cartier cannot in any way be assigned to the reasons which are mentioned in that article. Gentlemen from Montreal know exactly the cause of that defeat, and if I recollect well the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway had something to do with it,and Sir George Cartier had, besides, perhaps, a little quarrel with some high dignitaries of the church, which helped to bring about that result. His defeat was in no way connected with the reasons which are given by that writer. Again, Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman made the following quotation from the Month:
"While freely admitting that the French Canadian is behind his English-speaking neighbor, not only in farming, but in commerce, trade and all kindred branches, we must not take for granted everything that this same English-speaking neighbor says of him. One of the most striking and curious things in the social life of Lower Canada is the latent hate which the French and English-speaking races have for each other. It is a sad thing to say, but truth requires that it should be said, that English-speaking people, no matter whether they are English, Irish or Scotch, have rarely a good word for their French neighbors; and it is still sadder and more unaccountable that of all those English-speaking people, the Irish are those between whom and the French there seems to be the least rapport and the greatest enmity."
This was written in 1885, and although I am not an old man, I can give evidence upon this point, and I can, from my own knowledge, declare that this statement is a complete falsehood; I live in Arthabaska, surrounded by the Counties of Megantic, Drummond and Richmond, where there is a mixed population, and which counties are fair sample of the condition of things existing in counties inhabited by people of different races. I speak from experience, when I say that there are no better friends than the English and the French in my section of the country. I know as a practicing lawyer that when there are discussions or quarrels, they are not between English-speaking and French-speaking people, but between English among themselves and French among themselves; and that statement will be corroborated by every member who resides in those sections of the country. It will be corroborated by the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Colby), the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Pope), and the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Ives); in fact, Sir, by all the members who represent what are called English counties, in which there is a mixed population. This was given as an argument to show the great inconvenience of the dual languages, and when we come to examine the facts, we find that they turn the hon. gentleman's argument against himself. The hon. gentleman has spoken of the Hon. Mr. Mercier, and he has told us that he represented the opinions and feelings of his countrymen. I presume, Sir, that is not altogether admitted by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. However, I say that the hon. gentleman could not find any argument there; what he brought as an argument would, in that instance, turn against him also. Mr. Mercier did not receive a very strong support in the English counties in the general election of 1886; but since that time the Protestant and English minority in the Province have manifested their approval of the course of Mr. Mercier on more than one occasion; and if Mr. Mercier, under provocation, has not always measured his words, in his legislation he has given entire satisfaction to the English minority. I go further, and I say that he has given them their full share of the patronage and favors, and I am glad he has done so, and I think that in every Province the minority should be treated in a particularly considerate manner. Now, when Mr. Mercier came before the people in 1886 what was the result in the County of Megantic, for instance? He was in Opposition at that time, and the candidate opposing his policy, Mr. Johnson, was returned by a majority of 280. The 617 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 618 election was annulled, and another election took place, when Mr. Mercier put another candidate in the field, and that majority of 280 against him was turned into a minority of about 150. Take the County of Ottawa, which may surely be considered an English county. Mr. Cormier, in the general election, was returned by a fair majority, but the election was annulled, and in the election that followed Mr. Mercier's candidate was returned by a majority of 1,200. In Brome, the Hon. Mr. Lynch, in the general election, was returned by a majority of about 300. Mr. Lynch was appointed a judge, and an election was held last fall. Mr. Mercier put into the field a candidate who had many disadvantages. He was not a resident of the county while his opponent was; he had also the disadvantage that, although a prohibitionist, he had against him the Dominion Alliance, who chose to support the other candidate, in which, I may say by the way, I think they acted very unfairly. What was the result of that election? Notwithstanding those disadvantages, the majority of 300 against Mr. Mercier was reduced to 116. I will take a still more recent election to show that the policy of Mr. Mercier has been supported by the English minority of the Province of Quebec— the election in Quebec West. Mr. Murphy was elected in the general election of 1886 by a majority of 5, and this winter he came before the people once more, when he was returned by a majority of nearly 200; and if we consult the returns we shall find that in the three English polling sub-divisions he polled a very much larger majority than he had done in 1886. Now, Sir, that is the expression of the sentiment of the English minority in the Province of Quebec, and it is no argument to say that Mr. Mercier has been aggressive towards the English people; but we have a right to deduce from these facts the conclusion that once more the argument of the hon. member turns against himself. Now, Sir, I will not enter into a discussion of the arguments based on phrenology or on the formation of the French skull or the Saxon skull; I think the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) did entire justice to that part of the subject. I must say that I regret very much that this question has come before the House, for two reasons: As was said by the hon. member from the North-West, who spoke yesterday , this measure should not have come from the quarter from which it has come. It comes before us under bad auspices. We know, Sir, what are the aims of the hon. gentleman who has brought it forward, and if I may judge from the facts and the arguments brought before us, I do not think he ever expected to carry the legislation he is presenting to this Parliament. We know that he has been more cautious in his expressions in this House than he has been elsewhere, but we have a right to go beyond this House. The speech which he has made in this House is very different from what he said in this city before the Equal Rights Association. Let me read a few lines from that speech. In the beginning he says:
"I have to thank you most cordially for approving of my course in Parliament, on the question of the Jesuits' Estates Act, and still more for your endorsement, if I may consider you have endorsed it, of the policy I am now promoting, and which I shall continue to promote, viz., the abolition of the dual language system and of Separate Schools in Manitoba and the North-West Territories."
I will read another short extract from that speech:
"We have no hostility to Quebec; their good is our good. They are being extirpated from the land—are being driven away in hundreds of thousands by the iniquitous tithe law imposed by the Act of 1774—consecrated by the Act of 1867. What does history teach us? It is a poor farming country in Quebec or possibly it is farmed by a poor class of farmers. The people are already overburdened, and they are fleeing by hundreds of thousands from these burdens. I saw a statement the other day that two hundred heads of families in Rimouski have disappeared across the borders within a few months. Is it to be wondered at? Do you think that people will continue for centuries to be tied down by tithe, fabrique assessments, &c., when there is a land of freedom for them across the border? If it is an object to us to keep our people here, I want to see the French Canadians kept here so long as their interests are not antagonistic to the rest of the Dominion, and this can only be obtained by doing away with laws of this kind."
And the hon. gentleman obtained loud cheers at this moment. If this is meant for provocation, it does not reach us, we would simply despise it; but if it is meant as an argument in favor of the legislation the hon. gentleman is calling for now it is very unskilful. It has been pretended that the use of the French language in the North-West Territories practically is of no consequence; but if it is of no importance, I should say, why do they not leave it alone? I should say that it would die out of itself through not being used; and later on, if the proportion of French in the population of the Territories goes on decreasing, and the French language is practically of no use, it might then be the time to ask for legislation; there would then be no protest from any quarter against it, and these disagreeable discussions and fictions would be avoided. We are now asked to pass this legislation. I am convinced now, after hearing the hon. gentleman's speech on that question, that to do so is perfectly impossible. It might, and I do not say that it will not, ultimately result in becoming a question of provincial rights or a question of autonomy; but I say for the present, although I am not quite ready to view the question as my hon. friend for Berthier does, although I am not quite ready to say that I am going to support his amendment, this question is now premature, and for this reason I shall certainly oppose the Bill.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). We have heard so many criticisms on the Bill and the speech of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), that I confess I feel some reluctance in rising to discuss or criticise the speech which that hon. gentleman addressed to the House. I may say at the outset that the preamble to the Bill and the speech which was delivered in its support are of far greater consequence than the Bill itself. I regret the speech of the hon. member in introducing the Bill which we are now called upon to consider. That speech points, not simply to the disuse of the French language in the North-West Territories, but to its total disuse throughout the Dominion for social and literary as well as for official purposes. The hon. gentleman declared that we can only become politically united in one State by having but one language. The Bill of the hon. member, though but of little practical importance, is accompanied by a speech that the House cannot at all ignore. The hon. gentleman has evinced the most bitter hostility to all his fellow-countrymen who speak the French language, and who are of French origin. He, it seemed to me, in that speech, was far more anxious to wound the susceptibilities of his friends and 619 [COMMONS] 620 fellow-countrymen who speak the French language than he was to secure a more permanent union of the various Provinces that are united in one Federal State. The hon. gentleman said, in addressing himself not only to the French members in this House, but to the French people throughout the country: You are a conquered race; you have no right to aspire to equality, and at best you are but Gibeonites in the midst of Israel. The hon. gentleman quoted the observations which I made some thirteen years ago on this particular clause which he proposes to strike out from the North- West Territories Act, and I supposed the hon. gentleman had quoted those observations with approval. I said then that the question was one that the Government thought it was better should be left to the Council that was about to be established. Why? Because we thought then that it was not necessary that we should decide in advance of actual settlement whether there should be two languages or one used. We did not think it was wise to propose the use of both French and English in those Territories until we were quite sure that there would be both French and English colonists found there. When that Bill went to the Senate an hon. Senator, representing, I think, the Province of Manitoba, proposed this particular amendment, and I will say now that if that amendment served to conciliate any section of the half-breed population, if it prevented those people from being misled by mischievous persons, then it was a prudent provision, and it has proved infinitely cheaper than gunpowder and police. I say that at this day, after that clause has been thirteen years upon the statute book, it is not possible for our French countrymen to complain that any impediment has been put in their way in emigrating to or in settling in the North-West Territory; and if to-day there are but few French people colonising the North-West Territories, it is not because they have been put in an inferior position by the legislation on the statute book. Thirteen years have gone by since that provision first became a part of the law. During that period racial jealousies have been kept dormant. There has been little expense to the country in consequence, and the statement made by the hon. Minister of Public Works this evening shows that the cost of public printing in both English and French in the North-West Territories has been something less than the cost of maintaining three policemen during the same period of time, and the cost of furnishing those who speak the French language with official documents in their own tongue has been less than the maintenance of a single policeman. I venture to say that, so far as any burden upon the public treasury is concerned, this House cannot for a moment attach any serious importance to the question the hon. gentleman has raised. There has been no murmuring of Grecians against Hebrews, there has been no complaint that there has been partiality shown or wrong done or negligence exhibited towards any portion of the population. The sources of discontent in this particular were cut off, at the very beginning, and what we proposed at the start might now perhaps be carried out without fear of injustice and without any serious objection. In fact, I have heard no objection stated, unless it be in the speech which the hon. gentleman who moved this Bill addressed to the House. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) spoke as if it were an offence against British institutions that any of Her Majesty's subjects should speak French. He assumed that the speaking of French was at variance with allegiance to the British Crown. He reminded the French Canadians that this is a Britich colony, that they are a conquered race, and cannot thefore stand on a footing of equality with Her Majesty's subjects who speak the English language. That it was an unwarrantable presumption on their part to aspire to the rights of freemen, unless they were willing to lay aside their mother tongue. He said the use of the French language was not guaranteed by the Treaty of Paris, that it was not mentioned in the Act of 1774, or in the Constitutional Act of 1791; that, in fact, there was no authority to use the French language in Canada until the year 1848, and that the calamity which was then inflicted upon the country was repeated in the Confederation Act of 1867, and care must now be taken that the evil then introduced should not be further extended. It seemed to me that the hon. gentleman forgot that we have no Act of Parliament authorising us to stand upon our feet instead of upon our heads, and yet the great majority of the people of this country have the ill-manners to do so without the authority of an Act of Parliament, and they manage to get along with a considerable degree of comfort. I would like to know what constitutional rule the hon. gentleman has in view when he comes to the conclusion that French could not be lawfully spoken in a Colonial Legislature without the express permission of an Act of the Imperial Parliament. Why, Mr. Speaker, the great majority of Her Majesty's subjects do not speak English—they cannot speak English. A law requiring them to speak English would doom them to silence. When a Legislative Assembly was granted to the people of Lower Canada, it was granted to people who spoke only French. The vast majority of those who were elected to the Local Legislature to represent those people knew only French. French was the only means of communication between the representatives and the represented, and it would have been a mockery on the part of the Crown to have issued letters patent authorising some one on its behalf to call a Legislative Assembly and to doom that Assembly to silence after it was called together, because no member might have been capable of speaking the English tongue. It is clear that that Assembly did not understand that any such permission from the Imperial authorities was necessary to authorise the use of the French language. It was the only language they knew. The people of the Province spoke French at home; they heard French spoken at church; they used the French language in the market; and I do not know why the rule of convenience should be abrogated in the Legislature or by the Government, when it is followed in every other sphere of life. I might remind the hon. gentleman, that the most influential oration that any man ever made, on the most splendid theme which could inspire oratory, was delivered to Jews and Greeks, Parthians and Medes, Elamites and dwellers in Messopotamia, and they all managed to hear him in their own tongue. There was no violation of the principle of nationality; but, although it was then proposed to establish a common brotherhood between men of altogether 621 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 622 different races, it was never suggested that they should undo the mischief which had been done in the reign of Peleg. To secure the desired union they were to bring men together on a common platform although the relation proposed was much closer than that of common citizens of the same State. The hon. gentleman assumes that, when Canada became a British Province, its people lost the right to use the only language they knew, because its use was not guaranteed to them by the articles of capitulation or the treaty of peace. He assumed that it was an unwarrantable presumption for the people of Canada, without such authority, to use that language. Well, I have always understood, that the subjects of Her Majesty are sworn to bear true and faithful allegiance to Her Majesty, but I have never heard that they were sworn to speak the English language. I do not know, if we were put to the test, how many of us who can speak no other language would be able to pass the ordeal, if we were put on trial for an improper use of the Queen's English. There is no constitutional rule of which I am aware making the use of English an indispensable accompaniment of Parliamentary Government or of allegiance to the British Crown. A man may be a British subject put on trial for treason and convicted without knowing a word of English. He may talk Italian in Malta, French in the Province of Quebec, Dutch at the Cape, Hindoo at Calcutta, and Chinese at Hong- Kong, without in any degree sacrificing his rights or lessening his obligations as a British subject. The law does not extend his responsibilities beyond his powers. The hon. gentleman himself had no voice in saying who his parents should be, or in determining the place or time of his birth or the language of his childhood and education. All these matters were determined for him by the supreme authority of Providence, and thisis his vindication in regard to his nationality and the use of the language which he employs. There are upon the Royal Arms certain mottoes, and it happens that they are all in French. One of them means in English "God and my right." That traces the rights of men to their original source. That source, high above every human authority to the contrary, is the one to which every free man traces his right to resist wrong and oppression. It is from that source that the French Canadian derives his right to speak the language of his fathers, and any law which attempts to deprive him of those high rights which belong to him, in the manner in which the hon. gentleman proposes to wipe out and obliterate the use of the French language, would be a law doing violence to those very objects for the maintenance of which a Government exists. The hon. gentleman speaks of the conquest of Canada as something which made the French Canadians less than ordinary British subjects. He spoke as if they were Helots among Spartan freeman. He says practically to them: How dare you talk about your rights? Do you not know that you are a conquered race? This matter is very important because the notion has gone abroad that, in consequence of Canada having been a conquered country, the same right does not exist to use the French language in the Province of Quebec that exists to use English in the Province of Ontario. There can be no difference in that respect. The views with regard to conquest and the rights acquired by con quest that have been sedulously propagated of late are altogether erroneous. It is true, as Lord Mansfield has said, in a very important judgment, that you may put your enemy to the sword and confiscate his property as an act of war and during war. This in theory was the law. This may be theoretically the law still, although Turkey, sixty years ago, in making war upon Greece, acted upon practices that fell far short of this absolute rule, and humanity, it was held, justified the interference of the great powers of Europe. Now, what may be done as an act of war and during war is a wholly different thing from what may be done after the war is consummated. If the country surrenders, if articles of capitulation are signed, those parties who were enemies and aliens before, at once become subjects, and their persons and property is entitled to protection at the hands of the new sovereign. The person and the property of the new subjects do not stand in any different position from the property and the person of those who were subjects by birth. The Sovereign succeeds to public property. The ancient law continues until he expressly changes it. For as long as the conqueror fails to create a legislative assembly he has a right of government, subordinate, of course, to his right as an integral part of Parliament. But if the sovereign chooses, by letters patent, to authorise the calling of a legislative assembly, the moment those letters patent are signed, and before that legislative assembly is called, he has exhausted his power. The subjects of the country he has acquired by conquest then have the right of representation, and after the right of representation is given, they stand in no different position from the subjects of the same sovereign in a colony formed by occupation and settlement of those from the parent country. And when that assembly is established, without any Act of Parliament, without any expressed power being given by the Imperial authorities to do so, its members may speak English or French, Dutch or Italian, just as the assembly itself sees proper. It is for that assembly to determine what shall be the language employed. In this regard the Crown has no power except as a part of that assembly or as a part of the Imperial Parliament. Thus, in the Ionian Islands, English, Greek and Italian were in use as long as the islands were under the British protection. The Island of Corfu is largely settled by Italians; other islands were mainly peopled by Greeks. English merchants were found in all of them and when a Government was given them, all three languages were used, and they were used because it was convenient. The public authorities, did not feel that it was necessary, to deny to these people, the rights or practices which were felt to be necessary to every section of the community. Unless, then, for the purpose of giving offence, the hon. member's reference to the French of Canada being a conquered race is wholly without relevancy. Language, under our constitutional system, in legislation, in the courts, and in the admimstration of Government, is regarded as a vehicle of thought, as an instrument for conveying intelligence. It is used as a means to an end, and it is never regarded as a symbol of sovereignty, or of subjection. That is true in every colony where representative Government has been established. I would like to know what the hon. member for Simcoe hopes to gain by insulting two-fifths of the population of this country. Is it to the 623 [COMMONS] 624 advantage of this country that one race should be arrayed against another? Can it promote the well-being of the country in any sense, that Frenchmen should find it impossible to live with those speaking English? Will it be easier for this House to follow the only rational common sense rule in this matter, the rule of convenience, if once the passions of the population are excited, and men are disqualified thereby to reason? Does he think Frenchmen will remain unmoved by his insults? If the hon. gentleman insists upon treating the French population of this country as the Jews were formerly treated, he must expect that they will act as the Jews are said to have acted. And then what Shakespeare has put in the mouth of Shylock might be used by the French Canadians in this country. The French Canadians may say:
"I will take this course, for if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge.
"He has scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated my enemies, and what is his reason?
"I am a French Canadian. Hath not a French Canadian eyes? Hath not a French Canadian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as an English-speaking Canadian is? If you prick him will he not bleed? If you tickle him will he not laugh? If you poison him will he not die? If you wrong him shall he not have revenge? The villiany you teach him he will execute, and it shall go hard, but he will better the instruction."
Such, to my mind, is the state of feeling which the hon. gentleman, by his speech, and by the preamble to his Bill, is doing his best to awaken. Lord Macaulay said on one occasion, that whenever he had mastered a new language he always felt as if he had acquired a new sense. The hon. gentleman proposes to act towards the French population of this country in much the same way that the brother of Robert, Duke of Normandy, acted towards him. He proposes to put out their eyes. He says: Forget your mother tongue, forget the orators and statesmen, the novelists and historians, the poets and philosophers of France. and then you will begin to qualify yourselves for becoming good British subjects. If you understand the language, in which they spoke or wrote, if you appreciate its beauties, if you admire its expression or its wisdom, or its elasticity, then it is impossible that you can be a loyal subject, it is impossible that you can be devoted to the maintenance of the federal union. That is the position that the hon. gentleman has taken. I cannot help asking myself: Does the hon. gentleman understand the character and bearings of the demands that he is making on behalf of the State? Does he know that he is demanding of the French Canadians sacrifices that are dearer than life itself? Does he not know that he is asking for the destruction of one of the most important rights for the existence of which governments are maintained? The state is not an end, the state is the means to an end. Part of the duties of a state is to protect life, liberty and intellectual freedom, not less than the general public welfare. It has not right to undertake to destroy the mental vision of one section of a population with the design of creating it anew. It is no part of the duty of the state to destroy the capacity for studying one field of literature, nor to attempt to create the capacity for studying another field of literature. There may be forces at work in a state—social and intellectual-which operate to create one nation out of two or more older ones. History, however, is plain that when these changes are brought about and a new order of things is created out of old conditions, there are many forces and factors which work in the direction of resisting and transforming old nationalities into new ones, but these forces operate slowly. The circumstances under which they operate are wholly different from anything we have in modern civilised society, and that result was not to absorb one race by another, and to perpetuate one of two races, or one of three, but to form a new race, a new nationality, out of the materials which these old races furnished. It can be shown that the factor of the hon. gentleman is the very weakest of all the influences or forces that might be employed for the purpose of accomplishing the end which he has in view. Look at the condition of things in this country. You have three great sources from which intellectual life is drawn, the United Kingdom, the United States and France. Our English speaking population receive their inspiration largely from the literature of the mother country and of the adjoining republic. Our French fellow-countrymen rely more largely upon French sources of culture, literature and information. The time may come when one of these sources of inspiration may be dried up; I will not undertake to speculate upon it, or to say that such will be the case; but this I do say, that no Legislature in the British Empire has any right to undertake such a task on behalf of any portion of the population. If such a state of things does come about, it certainly will come about from a condition of things wholly different from that which the hon. gentleman proposes to establish. It will arise from causes very different from those which the hon. member asks us to put in operation. The proposition of the hon. gentleman to convert all the people of this country into English by simply terminating the official use of French in the first instance and its use for every other purpose hereafter, reminds me of an incident related in one of Captain Marryat's novels. I remember the case of old Mr. Simple who invented a machine for the reformation of character.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. It was old Mr. Easy.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Forty years have elapsed since I read the book. The old gentleman invented a machine which acted upon the principle of suction and pressure. It was applied to the heads of reprobates and was designed to make them men of exemplary lives. He was a great believer in phrenology, and by the application of the machine to conscientiousness, veneration and benevolence, applying the principle of suction, he drew out those organs to their proper dimensions, and then by applying pressure to bibativeness, destructiveness and other carnal propensities, he pressed them down and diminished their size to such an extent that he made every person to whom he applied his machine a perfectly model character. So complete was this machine in his estimation that he hoped practically to put an end to the controversy about the relative merits of faith and works. The hon. gentleman proposes something like that in his Bill. The process is equally summary and simple, by which he hopes to make a 625 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 626     single race into a single state. The speech of the hon. gentleman, shows how very general and sweeping is the revolution he proposes to accomplish, and yet there can be no doubt whatever about the very humble beginning of this new policy that is suggested in the Bill which the hon. gentleman has submitted to the House. Where a people are without education, literature or history, the experiment of doing away with a language might be made with more success, and I tell the hon. gentleman he had better begin his experiment with the aborigines of this country, rather than with our French population. He will have no literature to contend against, and, if the hon. gentleman's view is correct, he should make it a crime to publish a book, newspaper, or periodical, in, say, the Algonquin language. The hon. gentleman might insist that all the Indian children should learn English instead of Cree or Ojibbeway or some other Indian tongue. He might make it a crime to give them instruction in any language except English. But if the hon. gentleman is going to succeed even with the Indian population he would require to make it a criminal offence for a missionary to undertake to learn the Indian language with a view to speaking it. He ought to insist on his speaking English and nothing else to the Indians. What does the hon. gentleman propose? If he applies the same principle to the Indian population as he proposes to apply to the French population, he will have missionaries, traders and schoolmasters speaking to Indians only English. And by that process he would expect to make Indians Englishmen. I think the hon. gentleman might discover some impediment in the way. I know no reason why the schoolmaster and missionary should be allowed to talk Algonquin and state officials should be denied that privilege. I do not know why men should learn their duty to their Creator in Algonquin and be compelled to learn their duty to the State only in the English. It would indeed be a mockery to pretend you were going to convert the Indian into an Englishman by providing that the magistrate who tries him for some petty crime shall conduct the proceedings in English. It seems to me that if the hon. gentleman is to succeed he must adopt a policy more thorough than that marked out in his Bill. I do not know, but I am inclined to think, that the hon. gentleman will scarcely be able to get all his ordinary supporters to sustain him in adopting such a policy as I have indicated, and yet it is not an unreasonable one, if the experiment is to be tried at all with any hope of success. If the hon. gentleman cannot succeed where there is no history, no press, no literature, no philosophy, daily read and studied to be overcome, how can he hope to succeed when these subjects fill the minds of old and young, delighting the one and affording solace to the other? The hon. gentleman says that language makes the nation. I do not agree with him. The hon. gentleman confuses cause and effect. The same forces which operate through a long period of years, which serve to change people of different races or tribes into one nation, also serve to modify their language in the same way. The two things have a common origin and are operated upon by the common cause, so that which makes a new nation also, at the same time, makes a new language. I should like to know whether the hon. gentleman supposes that he could bring about the fusion of the English and French in Canada, looking at the number of each and the comparative vitality of the language of each, without producing a language very different from either. I do not know if the hon. gentleman undertakes to prove that two millions of French and three millions of English could make one people with one language, the English, at the end. I am perfectly satisfied it would be neither English nor French, though it might be a blending of both. The hon. gentleman has but to look at the Latin races of Europe to see what the effect of fusion is. If such could be accomplished the language would be a wider departure from English than the modern Italian is from its Latin parent. There is a principle known in mechanics illustrated by the parallelogram of forces. You have various forces acting upon a body at the same moment of time from different directions. It obeys them all, but it does not take the direction from any one of them, the direction taken is the combined action all of those forces acting upon it; and, if you undertake to bring about fusion of races, you will simply apply that law to a condition of things in the intellectual and mental world. You have a new condition of things if you succeed, and it is one wholly different from that which existed in the one case or the other. There is an illustration of this in Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Sir Walter tells us of the influence of Norman and Saxon upon each other, and how out of their fusion modern English came forth. He shows that certain Norman words take the place of certain Saxon words and the reverse; and how the names of animals used for the purposes of food repeat the history of the early relation of the two races. They are in the care of the Saxon when they are in the field and receive Saxon names. When they are slaughtered and brought to market and find a Norman consumer they have Norman names. And so the pig becomes pork, the ox becomes beef, the calf veal, and the sheep mutton, and these words repeat the history of the relation of these two races quite as well as the ordinary history of these races. The hon. gentleman forgets that it was a whale and not a cod that swallowed Jonah, and so if he will insist upon three millions of people in this country, swallowing two I am afraid that the individual who attempts that feat would be a different looking personage afterwards from what he was before. Now the inadequacy of the means that are employed, and that the hon. gentleman's Bill suggests, becomes perfectly obvious. The official use of a language is limited and that official use cannot secure that unity of races which the hon. gentleman seeks and without which he says there cannot be political cohesion. The business of the modern state is so restricted that the official use or disuse of a language can have no appreciable effect upon its general vitality. Suppose the hon. gentleman were entrusted with the power to do what he thinks ought to be done, suppose he goes into a French settlement for the purpose of administering justice; he sends a judge who knows only English, he is among a people who speak and know only French; the causes are heard, witnesses are called who know only French, lawyers are employed who know only English, if a jury is summoned it must be a jury who would know only French; how is the hon. gentleman going to carry on the administration of justice? Is be going to employ any 627 [COMMONS] 628 number of interpreters? If the hon. gentleman were to adopt such a policy I may say the people would not have a very great deal of confidence in the administration of justice. It would be made very cumbrous, much more costly, much more distrusted. Then these people amongst whom he establishes this English institution, this official use of the language, go to church on Sunday and hear a sermon in French, they read newspapers that are printed in French, they read French authors, Lafontaine's fables, Béranger's poems, Lamartine's history or St. Simon's memoirs, Victor Hugo or Prevost-Paradol; all these and hundred others are daily read and studied. I would like to know what chance there is for success when those mighty dead are encamped around the people for their protection and for the perpetuation of their language as the Angels of the Lord are encamped around those who fear Him. It is true that there have been many tribes scattered throughout Europe of one race, settling within the territories of other tribes and absorbed by them. It is said the Ostrogoths and the Lombards became Italians, the Franks and Burgundians became French; certain Slavs and Wends who settled in Prussia became Germans, but in every case the absorption of these made the race by whom they were absorbed different in language from what it was before. But these tribes were without a history and without a literature. They had no past unceasingly influencing the present, and projecting itself into the future, They were subject to new environing influences. They were cut off from their kindred and entered upon the heritage of a new world of thought and feeling, of hopes and desires, as completely as if the world in which their primitive character had been formed no longer existed. M. Bluntchli in writing on this subject says, with reference to the action of the Roman Government in undertaking to denationalise tribes within the provinces of the Empire:
"Language is the most peculiar possession of a people. It is the strongest bond which unites its members and the chief means by which it reveals its character. For these reasons, a state cannot deny to a nationality its language nor prohibit its literature. It is, on the contrary, the duty of the state to give free play to a language, and to promote it, and the general interests of civilisation are not injured thereby. The supression of the native languages of the provincials by the Roman authorities, was a fearful abuse of power of the Government."
And in reference to that abuse, the hon. gentleman asks us, perhaps not in his Bill, but certainly by the preamble of his Bill, and by the speech by which it was supported—to do the same thing. The same writer says, with reference to the English Government in the last century in India:
"The English Government made one of the most serious mistakes, when in 1773, it wished to force the forms of English law and judicial procedure in Bengal on the Hindoos, who were unprepared for it."
From that policy the Imperial Government has long since withdrawn. It has for years regarded language as a mere instrument of the state and not a badge of either sovereignty or humiliation. There can be no doubt which is the wiser, the more magnanimous course to adopt. There can be no doubt whatever which policy will most largely contribute to the contentment of the people. The ties of family are stronger than the ties of nationality, the ties of nationality are, for the most art, stronger than the ties of state. This is a condition of things that is ordained by Providence. The hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy) may complain of it, but he cannot alter it, and it is as true in this country as it is true in Switzerland, Austria or Russia. Let me invite the House to two or three sentences from Bluntchli and also from Niebhur. Bluntchli says:
"If the moral or intellectual life of a people is attacked by the power of the state, its members are driven to the most determined resistance. Men can have no juster cause for resistance to tyranny than the defence of nationality. Legality may suffer in the struggle, but law is not injured."
And Niebhur has not hesitated to maintain:
"Common nationality has higher claims than political relations which unite the different nations of one state."
The speech of the hon. gentleman had but little relevancy to his Bill. He quoted authorities to show that by one language the people were made one nation. I am not going to contest the soundness of the doctrines he read from Freeman and from Muller. There is a very ancient authority, however, which says that at one time the people were of one language and one speech, not in a very advanced condition of society, that they deliberately abused their advantage, that the unity of the race was broken, and that language was diversified by Divine interference. The race was broken up into classes, and they were scattered over the world, and sent to school. The currents of that division have flown into a great many channels,and men have gained more advantages from the divison, than they have endured misfortunes. The limitless capabilities of the human intellect have been shown; through many vicissitudes, the race has, in each class, learned much, and all have been advanced to a higher elevation, to a purer atmosphere, and a wider field of vision. Those differences in language and nationality have frequently prevented combinations which, if accomplished, could only have resulted in working folly and mischief. The hon. member wants a united Empire; he insists that the whole British Empire should be united in one confederation. Well, if the doctrine he has laid down, with regard to Canada, is sound, it is equally sound when applied to the whole Empire; and so we must have three hundred millions of people speaking the same language. I am inclined to think, if it were a question to be determined by a majority, that the Hindoos would have their way, and instead of all of us abandoning French and learning English, we should have to give up both French and English, and learn Hindoo. We have, according to this view, not simply to undertake to establish English at the foot of the Rockies, but a common language at the foot of the Himalayas as well. The hon. gentleman insists on a unity and cohesion which is denied by Providence to modern states. Ancient governments were united; ancient governments counted men as nothing; the individual had no rights as against the state; but in every modern state there is an element of clay as well as of iron; there is an element of dissolution as well as of strength, and that element is the individuality of men. You recognise the individual as having rights distinct, and separate, from the state; you recognise his right, when those rights are encroached upon, to stand up in their defence, and you put in jeopardy the existence of the state itself for the purpose of maintaining them; and without respecting those rights the state itself cannot endure. Why should we unite for the purpose of maintaining a government unless it is going to serve some purpose 629 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 630 that will contribute to our progress, material, intellectual or moral, or in some way promote our happiness? If we unite for the purpose of government, it is in order that we may, through the agency and instrumentality of government, accomplish something for ourselves. Now, does the Bill give effect in any way to the doctrine which the hon. gentleman says is necessary for the establishment of a united state? The hon. gentleman says that unity is vital. Unity is well nigh vital to the existence of a nationality, but all experience shows that unity is not absolutely necessary to the maintenance of a state. The hon. gentleman, by his policy, proposes to confine his efforts at reform to remote regions where few men dwell, and he allows the barrier which he says threatens the permanence of the state to exist here at the capital. Let us go far away from the seat of war, in order to conquer. Could there be greater infatuation? The hon gentleman, when he was speaking, heard cries of "ecoutez," on this side of the House, and he thought this a word of treasonable import, a word that endangered the unity of the state. If hon. gentlemen on that side and on this had said "hear, hear," we should have been in no danger; the permanency of the union would have been in no way threatened; but to say "ecoutez" was a very different thing, and calls for the serious consideration of every member of the House. Now, the hon. gentleman has quoted paragraphs from Freeman and Muller, but those quotations do not sustain the argument of the hon. gentleman. His contention is not theirs. The hon. gentleman confounds nation with state. Professor Freeman and Professor Muller do not do so. They could not say what the hon. gentleman says without being contradicted by the condition of things existing in almost every country in Europe. The Gypsies are a nation; the Jews are a nation; the Poles are a nation, but neither Gypsies, Jews nor Poles are a state. The United Kingdom is composed of English, Irish, Scotch and Welsh; there is one state, but there are four nationalities. England has an immense predominence in wealth, numbers in literary and legal force over Wales; the Union has existed for eight hundred years, and there is no probability of Wales being absorbed as a part of the English nation and losing its national identity, Welshmen are still Welshmen and not Englishmen; they are still two nationalities in one state, not less united politically because they are still two nations. The political bonds between Ireland and England are exactly or very nearly the same as thosebetween Wales and England. Ireland perhaps is not so well united as Wales, but the line of cleavage is not between those who speak Erse and those who speak English. Mr. Parnell reckons a much larger number of English-speaking Irishmen among his followers than those who only speak Erse. The truth is that the line of cleavage is through the English-speaking population, and it is due to other causes than difference in language. The Crofter and the Cockney, though not able to understand each other, may nevertheless entirely agree in political sentiment. The hon. gentleman quotes this sentence from Max Miiller:
"A common language is a common bond of intellectual brotherhood, far stronger than any supposed or real community of blood. Common blood without a common language leaves us perfect strangers. A common language, even without common blood, makes the whole world feel akin."
Now, I do not question that, as Professor Muller uses the expression; but I altogether dissent from the use the hon. gentleman has made of it. Professor Muller is considering man as a social being, not as a member of that highly official organisation known as a Federal State. Why, Sir, the English people and the people of the United States speak the same language. Are they politically united? Are they drawn together, or have they, for the past century, been drawn together in the way the hon. gentleman has spoken? Are England and the United States more inclined to unite politically than England and Wales, than England and the Highlands of Scotland? The hon. member cannot answer without destroying his argument. We in Ontario speak English, and so do the people of New York and the people of Virginia; but is the hon. gentleman more inclined to a union on the banks of the Potomac than on the banks of the Ottawa? If the hon. gentleman's argument has any value, the hon. gentleman himself would prefer a union with the United States to a union with the people of the Province of Quebec. Switzerland has, as several hon. gentlemen have stated during this debate, three nationalities—the German, the French, and the Italian, who are all loyal to the republic. Many centuries ago these different nationalities found their way through the glens and valleys of the Alps, and if race and language were the strongest considerations they would have formed parts of Italy, France and Germany. But for four centuries they have been a united country. The French population of Switzerland have not been less loyal to that government because they have on the western border a people speaking the same language; the Italian population of the south have not been less loyal to that country because they have on the southern border a people speaking the same language and of the same race. If you had to apply the hon. gentleman's doctrine to Switzerland, how long, I ask, would that union last? Suppose the German population were to insist that the union has no value because the people do not all speak the one language? I would like to know whether the French, sooner than be denationalised, would not seek a union with France and the Italian population a union with Italy? There can be no doubt: whatever of what would be the result in this respect. The hon. gentleman read from Professor Freeman the statement:
"As in the teeth of community of language there may be what, for all political purposes, are separate nations, so without community of language there may be an artificial nationality, a nationality which may be good for all political purposes, and which may engender a common national policy."
That is precisely what we have here. Such, too, is the position of Austria, of Switzerland, and of the United Kingdom. The hon. gentleman will see that in the very quotation which he makes from Professor Freeman the fact is stated—and it would be impossible that he could say otherwise—that it is possible for people of different nationalities to combine together and to form one state. It is true that where there is but one language there is less friction than where there are several. It is true that there may be less danger of division and of certain forms of party strife where all the people are of one nationality than where they are of several. But that is not the question which is presented for our solution. The question 631 [COMMONS] 632 is not whether Sweden is in a better position politically than Switzerland, whether Italy is in a better position than Austria. We may all admit that a state whose people are all of one nationality has less difficulty in Government than where they are of different nationalities; but the question is, having different nationalities, whether it is a wise thing to undertake to enter upon a policy of changing their nationality and of remodelling many nationalities into one? Suppose Austria, which is composed of many nationalities, which has Poles, and Czechs, Hungarians, Bosnians, Tyrolese, Dalmatians and Germans—suppose Austria were to undertake to convert all these different nationalities into Germans, I would like to know how long the Austrian Empire would be likely to endure? In my opinion it would not last a year. There can be no doubt whatever that the result would be the very reverse of establishing a united population. Instead of having an empire federated together of different nationalities, you would have that empire broken into fragments and several independent states springing out of its remains. Governments are dear to men in proportion as they preserve to them what they most dearly prize, and a man must be so environed that he must feel that he has laid his nationality aside before it case become to him a matter of indifference. There have been periods in the history of Europe when other grounds of union were sought than those of nationality, when religion was made the basis of political unity and when every man, who in faith, differed from the established religion, was held to be an alien and treated as such, and was denied the ordinary rights of a subject or a citizen. Now, that is true in Mahomedan countries to-day. James I and Charles I regarded unity of religion as necessary to the existence of a state, just as the hon. member for North Simcoe regards language, and they tried to mould the people of England into their way of thinking. They were resolved to treat those who dissented from the state religion as aliens and foreigners having no claims to the rights and privileges of subjects. Did this policy crush out dissent? Did it secure that unity of opinion deemed essential to the unity of the State? Not at all. The result was that the prisons and the fleets were filled with some of the most exemplary, industrious and intelligent portion of the population; hundreds were driven to Holland and thousands to the wilds of North America. The Kingdoms was rent by civil war, the king was executed, and a new order of things established. There are claims on men stronger than the claims of the state. There are rights which the state has no right to invade, and which, if it attempts to invade, it is a man's right to defend. It is not often that a man comes to the point in his relation to the State where the roads part, but when he does, if he is a man of high character, he takes a counsel of conscience and his self-respect and obeys his Maker rather than the law which would degrade him. In the hours of trial he finds a higher law written upon his heart, obedience to which makes him the more a man, and the cause of justice and freedom are promoted by his triumphs if he succeeds, by his misfortunes, if he fails. What the hon. gentleman proposes to-day to do away with here is permitted elsewhere. What the hon. gentleman thinks is a bad thing here, English ministers and statesmen of all parties have for many of years taught was necessary elsewhere. I need but refer to a few instances. At the Cape Colony there are two races: the Dutch and the English. Both languages are used in the legislature as both are used here. In the courts, the law provides that the superior court judges may permit the use of both languages and that the judges and magistrates of inferior courts must, that the barristers and attorneys have the right to use both languages; and it also provides that if one-third of the electors in any judicial district ask for the conduct of the judicial business of the district in both languages, their request must be granted. Then, if you look at the Island of Mauritius, that island was without a representative government of any sort until 1885. The Governor then was authorised by letters patent to provide for the election of a council. The voters' list was prepared and the Governor, in sending home to the Colonial Secretary a copy of that list, tells him that 3,300 on the list are Roman Catholics, 450 Protestants, 295 Hindoos and Mahometans, and 15 Chinamen. The Colonial at Secretary that time, our present Governor General, when he received that report from Governor Henessey, wrote him a despatch which contains this paragraph. He asks:
"Whether the notices regarding the registration of voters were published in any language besides English and French? If not I should fear that many of the Indian population, who are entitled to be registered, may have been altogether unacquainted with their privileges."
Showing that the Colonial Office not only encouraged publication in English and French, but also suggested the propriety of publishing in all the languages spoken by those who would be entitled to vote, and the Governor replying to that in a despatch written some two or three months later, said that the notices with regard to the voters' lists had been published not only in English and French, but in Tamul-Urdu and Chinese. So that the House will see that no party in the United Kingdom takes the view of the hon. member for Simcoe. Public men have long ago recognised that differences of language are not incompatible with the Union of the State and that any attempt to fuse different races by such heroic measures as the hon. member for Simcoe advocates would have the very opposites effect. The rule of convenience is the rule which governs. It is held that every man who is a British subject, and entitled to be a voter is entitled to know in the only language he understands what his rights are. That is a question of convenience and it is treated in every instance as a question of convenience. The English language is not regarded as the mark of a British subject par excellence. A foreign tongue is not regarded as a mark of inferiority, but as an instrument of communication which the Government have a right to use when they can best promote their relations with the people by using that language, whether It be Dutch, German or French, or any other tongue. The hon. gentleman always forgets how very slowly a language dies. If you have a large settlement where marriages may take place, where public worship may be carried on, a century may go by without absorption taking place. A few years ago, I visited a German settlement north of the city of Philadelphia, a German settlement which had been established over a hundred years ago. Those people have learned English in the schools, they talk English, you do not distinguish 633 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 634 them from the rest of the population, but in their own intercourse they still speak German. A fragment from that settlement came into the county of Waterloo, I think more than sixty years ago, and I believe they still speak German. It is therefore a mistake to suppose that a language dies readily because it is not officially used. The fact is that the official use of a language makes very little impression upon its vitality. The interference of the state in the direction of repression and discouragement will make no difference. If you have a poor population coming amongst you, and they are compelled to go into families where they have to speak English, in time they may abandon their own language and speak yours, but it is a very different thing when you have a colony of a number of people speaking their own language in that place. The 19th article of the constitution of the Austrian Empire provides that:
"All tribes in the state have equal rights, and each has an inviolable rights to maintain its nationality and language."
It is clear from that that the Austrian Empire is not organised politically on the unitary principle advocated by the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. O'Brien) and the hon. membr for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). Even in the despotic government of Russia, there is no attempt to denationalise the various populations in the great majority of instances, except for political offences. The people of Finland, who were for 500 years under the government of Sweden, where Swedish was the official language, when that became a Russian province after the Treaty of Tilsit, not more than one in ten spoke Swedish, have not been interfered with in the use of the Finnish language by the Government of Russia. Justice is administered and the government is carried on in that language. There is no attempt to impose the Russian language upon that people. The education of the people and the schools and all their affairs are carried on in their own language. The Russian Government has fostered the national tendencies, and Finland is loyal to Russia, because Russia has encouraged her to be Finnish, and has not insisted upon her becoming Russian. She has been weaned from any desire to reunite with Sweden, by giving full play to her national instincts and her national aspirations. In regard to this a modern Russian author, Tikhomirov, says:
"It is difficult to picture two social types so unlike as Russia and Finland. Finland is an honest hardworking citizen, whose life is lucrative, based on reason, but always monotonous and sometimes sad. Russia is a reckless student, sometimes, drunk, sometimes starving, capable of every folly, but capable also of sublime things, and always more concerned with great problems of humanity, than with paying his landlady. These two characters so wide asunder harmonise the better the less Russians and Finlanders meddle with one another's affairs; this is in fact the modus vivendi of the two peoples. We may lay it down that as long as Russia does not prevent Finland from living according to her own taste, that country will remain her faithful ally. In the Crimean war Finland fought bravely for Russia; in the last war against Turkey the Finlanders fought valiantly for Russia upon the far off plains of Bulgaria."
The satisfactory result that this Russian writer represents as having been accomplished in Finland by which its loyalty has been secured to the Russian Government, has been attained by means the very opposite to those which the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) proposes to apply to the French population in Can ada, for I have not been discussing so much the particular provision of the hon. gentleman's Bill, as the matter of his speech and the preamble to his Bill. There is one instance in modern Europe where the views of the hon. gentleman have been applied; I refer to the case of the United Netherlands between 1816 and 1830. It is well known that, after the fall of Napoleon and his exile to Elba, the members of the Congress of Vienna came to the conclusion that it was desirable to establish a somewhat strong state on the north-eastern borders of France, and they consequently made a provision to unite Belgium and Holland. At that time Holland had a population of 2,280,000, and Belgium a population of 3,380,000. They were given equal representation, and provision was made for a government in most respects was satisfactory to the population of each country. When Napoleon escaped from Elba, it was thought desirable in the emergency to confer special powers upon the king, but he continued to exercise those powers for many years after the emergency had passed. During the period in which he exercised that power, the king forbade the use of the French language. Half the population knew nothing else. The king insisted that justice should be administered in all the courts in Dutch, and the result was that all the judges in the Belgian section were compelled to resign, and nearly all the lawyers had to abandon their profession. The king also provided that no one should be licensed to teach in a public school unless he could speak Dutch, and consequently half the teachers in his kingdom had to resign. Private schools were then established in the Belgian section of the kingdom, and then the king issued a new decree forbidding private schools to be established without the king's license and so they were shut up. Then the king thought it necessary not only that the people should speak one language in order to have united government, but that they should have only one faith, and so German and Protestant professors were appointed in Roman Catholic colleges which had been established for the education of Roman Catholic students. The King of the Netherlands had, at all events, the courage of his convictions. He did not try to enforce these provisions in a far off corner of the country where there were few Belgians, but he made these regulations in a country where there were 400 Belgians to the square mile. The result was to establish two geographical parties. One-half of his kingdom was arrayed against the other half; and in one-half 60,000 men were soon under arms fighting for the rights which the king had disregarded. The result was that two states were established where there was one before. The English Government which was at first anxious for this union, exhibited an equal anxiety for its abolition, because if Belgium had not received the active support of England, it would assuredly have become a Province of France. The condition of affairs which existed there is well shown in the life of Lord Palmerston by Sir Henry Bulwer, who was the British Minister at the time. He says:
"The language of society, language of the bar, the language of the great portion of the people of all ranks, was French; but this did not signify. It was in vain that a lawyer had consumed the best years of his life in the study of his profession. He was to teach himself a new tongue, or the capital of his labors was to be wrested from him. Some quitted the bar, others, induced by long habit, still continued at it, but prepared themselves to see the honors, 635 [COMMONS] 636 the applause and the practice they had been accustomed to receive, transferred to others who had been so fortunate as to be born on the north side of the Mordyke. The loss of these persons was not merely that of an honorable livelihood; it is necessary to penetrate our own minds with a sense of those high feelings of pride and ambition which animate men who have reached the head of their profession, in order to appreciate the extent of that injustice which this foolish and tyrannical ordinance inflicted."
Now, the hon. gentleman proposes a half century later to try the same experiment in a British colony. I do not believe, if his experiment could be carried out, that it would be a whit more successful than the experiment of the Dutch King in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. I may say that the revocation of 1848 made a great change in the treatment of nationalities. They then came to the front. States were based on dynastic and class interests and paid no regard to race in fixing territorial boundaries. But since 1848, no attempt has been made to mould different races into one except in Austria, and she fell into line after disasters of Sadowa. About thirteen years ago this clause of the Bill which the hon. gentleman proposes to repeal, was introduced for the first time. The opinion I then expressed, I think, is an opinion that ought to have some force to-day. Of course, it is only a question of time with regard to the matter, because it is one about which the people of the North-West Territories must legislate when they become a Province. The present assembly of the North-West is not a constituent assembly, it is simply a legislative assembly. It has no power to alter the constitution under which it carries on the limited amount of legislation that it may at present accomplish. But I could not help observing that the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. O'Brien), instead of referring to the members from that territory in this House to ascertain the opinion of the country upon this subject, refers to the opinion of a Legislative Assembly in the North-West Territories who have no power to deal with the question at all. Now I think that in many of these things the people must be assumed to be qualified to exercise the powers of self-government. They may go astray. I do not always approve what has been done in this House. I do not often agree with the policy of the hon. gentlemen on the Treasury benches, but I do not on that account deny the right of the people of this country to self-government. My own opinion is that if we regar this question as a matter of convenience, there ought to be no great difficulty in dealing with it. We are seeking to settle that country, we are seeking to secure immigration into that country. Hon. gentlemen on the Treasury benches occasionally issue pamphlets printed in Scandinavian, in German, in French, for circulation upon the continent of Europe to invite people to settle there. The hon. member for Muskoka and the hon. member for Simcoe vote an appropriation for the purpose of bearing the expense of printing, translating and publishing these pamphlets. I would like to know whether those hon. gentlemen say that you have a right to publish a pamphlet in Scandinavian and send it to the other side of the Atlantic for those people to read to induce them to come here, but that you have no right whatever to give them anything Scandinavian to read after they arrive in this country. Now, let me suppose that to-day there are 20,000 Norwegians coming out and forming a settlement in the North-West Territories. You have provided municipal institutions there. They elect a council. If they do, they must select some of their own people, or they must go outside and invite somebody to come in and represent them. How are they going to carry on their business when they do not know a word of English? Are they going to meet and keep quiet, or are they going to speak privately to some one who understands English and have their words translated into English, and published when none of them understand a word of it? It is perfectly obvious that if you have a diffused population, if you have English and others mingled together, that the one readily absorbs the other. You may provide that there shall not be a continuous settlement of people of any nationality other than those who speak English, if you think that is the proper course to adopt. If there is a French population in the North-West diffused through the English speaking population, and they are in the minority, it is impossible but that they will learn to understand each other. If you have several thousand people from the Province of Quebec speaking French and knowing nothing else, forming distinct colonies or settlements, it would be a matter of convenience to translate your public documents, and for your public proceedings in that locality to be conducted in French, and I do not believe that you delay the general use of the English language by one hour by adopting that policy. I do not see how you can, for it is the private and unofficial use that determines the general use of the language. Now, the hon. gentleman knows that he has not taken even the first step towards the unity of the population of the North-West from a linguistic point of view, by simply providing for the official use of the English. The hon. gentleman, if he does anything, must go further, and he must prohibit the introduction of French books, and the circulation of French newspapers, the use in the schools public and private, he must prohibit the use in the pulpit, he must prohibit the use everywhere, of the French language, or his interference is an ineffective and an impertinent interference. If the hon. gentleman is not prepared for that, then he had better leave the laws of society— those forces of which I have spoken—which, after all govern these things, to operate freely in the way in which they operate most effectively. In my opinion, the question of the use of a language, or of more than one language, in a territory, depends entirely upon whether you have a mixed population or whether you have settlements separate and distinct from each other, and it seems to me that you have in the North-West Territories, no expression of opinion upon that question which would warrant legislation such as the hon. member for North Simcoe proposes. I think the question should be determined on the lines and according to the principles which I have mentioned. Now, Sir, I may say this: The hon. gentleman has delivered several speeches on this subject outside the House, and one in it. It seems to me that his labors have produced conflict of race, and I may go further and say, conflict of religion as well. It is possible that a section of the population sympathises with the hon. gentleman in the object with which he has set out; it is possible to break up the union, to repel immigration, to delay settement. It is possible to make here geographical parties and so prevent the people of this country from acting in political unison; 637 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890] 638 but, unless the hon. gentleman goes so far as to regulate the domestic use, the use in business, the use on the public platform, the use in the pulpit, the use in the press of the language, it seems to me that he has not taken the first step to carry out that policy which he marked out in his speech and in the preamble to the Bill he submitted to this House; unless he is prepared to undertake this formidable responsibility and carries it to a victorious conclusion, he will not have hastened the general use of English by a single hour. The hon. member and they who support him have made their new departure for the more perfect union of our people, filled with envy, hatred and bitterness towards two-fifths of the population.
Mr. CHARLTON moved the adjournment of the debate.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. It is twelve o'clock, and the hon. gentleman for Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) has just risen to speak. I am quite sure he will make a speech of considerable length, and it will most likely be replied to, and as there is not the slightest chance of our having a division to-night, I will agree at once to the suggestion that the debate be adjourned. I will also suggest that it be made the first Order of the day for to-morrow.
Mr. MITCHELL. I think the hon. gentleman had better name Monday, because there are a great many members to speak yet.
Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved:
That the debate be made the first Order of the day for to-morrow. I will simply say, in reply to the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell) that if a great many members are going to speak we shall require Friday and Monday, too.
Motion agreed to.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to; and House adjourned at 11.50 p.m.

Source:

Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.

Credits:

.

Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Isabelle Carré-Hudson.

Participating Individuals: