House of Commons, 24 July 1903, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

7295 COMMONS 7296


The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton). Referring to the request made by the leader of the opposition for a further return in reference to cpies of correspondence with the North-west government and the members thereof, on the question of provincial autonomy, I beg now to present a supplementary return to the Order which was passed, and in compliance with which a return was presented to this House some time ago. I may say to my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) that there are some of the letters which were mentioned in the list which he read to the House which cannot be found. There were letters which passed between A. L. Sifton and myself, which were upon the file that I had in the council chamber and which have been mislaid. As soon as that was ascertained, I telegraphed to the Northwest government to send down copies of the letters from their files. They will be here probably in a day or two.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax). I may say that I have a print of some correspondence from the North-west Territories' legislative assembly which contains copies of these letters, and I can furnish it to the hon. gentleman if it is desired that they should be printed at once.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR. Then there are the following letters : one dated March 15th, 1902, from Mr. Haultain to Sir Wilfrid Laurier : one dated March 18th, 1902, from Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Mr. Haultain, which cannot be found at the present time. Sir Wilfrid informs me that he thinks these can be got, but the result of an inquiry from his secretary brought the reply that they could not be found.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax). I have copies of all these that are mentioned on the list that I read to the House, and which can be furnished for the purpose of being printed. I think they are probably correct as they were printed by command of the territorial legislature.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR. I wish to mention the letters that are not in the list as presented so that there can be no mistake. There was a further letter from Mr. Haultain to myself, dated 2nd April, 1902, and another letter dated De- center 17th, from A. L. Sifton to myself. There is a letter dated January 31st, 1903, from Mr. Haultain to myself : one dated February 9th, from Mr. McGee to Mr. Haul- tain : one dated April 15th, from Mr. Haul- tain to myself : one dated April 17th, from Mr. Haultain to Mr. Fielding, and one dated July 25th, from Mr. Pelletier to Mr. Forget. These letters have not been found up to the present time, although the clerks in charge of the files have been busily engaged searching for them. They appear to have been mislaid : possibly they may have been taken to council. There may be some mistake about the dates which were transmitted to my hon. friend, and these mistakes may result in there being letters which are actually on the file, but which are not indicated by the exact dates. For instance, there is one letter which is stated to have been by myself from Mr. Haultain, by I think there must be some mistake about that. It is supposed to have been received while I was away, but neither my private secretary nor any one else in the department has any record of it being received.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax). If the hon. gentleman would send his secretary to look over the papers I have, I think he could 7297 JULY 24, 1903 get copies of all these which are referred to in the list which I read to the House.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR. I shall do that, and if there are any that are not comprised within this return we will have them presented in the form of a supplementary return, so that it may be complete. In the meantime, I will leave this return on the Table of the House.


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



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