Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 5 November 1896, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.



The Assembly's Constitutional Memorial.

Reasons Given for an Increase of Constitutional Powers—An Executive Council vs. Executive Committee—Statement of Present Shortage of Moneys.

The following is the Memorial to the Governor-General in Council, adopted by the Assembly, and which gave rise to the "secession" debate which will be published later:
The Legislature Assembly begs leave to present to Your Excellency a statement of their constitutional and financial position, and to suggest such amendments in the North-West Territorial Act and other Acts affecting the Territories and such increase in their grant or subsidy, as will enable them to fulfil the duties they are called upon to perform for the proper government of the North-West Territories in local matters.
They beg to remind you that at various times petitions and memorials on these and kindred subjects have been sent down to Your Excellency, or to one or more of your advisers.
They are glad to say that the Parliament of Canada has been willing partly to accede from time to time to some of their just requests, so that at present they exercise control over certain funds put at the disposal of the Lieutenant Governor of the Territories, and have larger powers of legislation; but they find that they are not in a position to use the limited powers they do possess to the best advantage, and that their legislation on subjects coming strictly within the duties of the Territorial Assembly has not the necessary quality of security or completeness. As, besides the right of dissallowance which Your Excellency in Council possesses over their legislation as well as over that of provinces, the legislation of the Assembly is also "subject to any Act of Parliament at any time in force in the Territories." Parliament, consequently, often passes Acts diminishing the legislative powers of the Assembly over parts of subjects ostensibly reserved for their control, and at other times over-riding Ordinances passed by them and approved of by Your Excellency in Council. It is unnecessary to point out how such concurrent powers will lead to insecurity and conflict.
The Assembly is of opinion that to remedy this undesirable state of affairs it is not necessary to have recourse to the granting of a full provincial status. They believe that till the time arrives, which may be at a not distant day, when the Territories should be taken into Confederation (as one or more provinces) the passing of a few amendments to the NorthWest Territories Act will allow them, subject to disallowances of their Ordinances, "to exclusively make laws in relation to matters" already within their legislative jurisdiction.
They believe that such amendments should be supplemented by a few further changes. While they do not ask for some rights inherent to provinces, notably the rights to raise money on the public credit, the chartering of railways, and the administration of justice with relation to criminal matters, they can see no good reason why other privileges of a territorial or provincial nature should be withheld from their administration. They may point out that during the last five years they have exercised most of the rights of provincial assemblies, and, in their opinion, have proven themselves equal to the task.
They further are of opinion that the time has come that their executive government should be put on a firmer basis by substituting for the Executive Committee an Executive Council.
The North-West Territories Act makes provision for a Committee of the Assembly "to advise the Lieutenant Governor in "relation to the expenditure of Territorial "funds, and of such portion of any mon"eys appropriated by Parliament for the "Territories, as the Lieutenant Governor "is authorised to expend by and with the "advice of the Legislative Assembly, or of "any Committee thereof." But it does not provide for any responsible body whose business it should be to advise the Lieutenant-Governor in Executive matters.
It is evident that the Assembly having the power to vote money for distinct services should have the right to control the proper carrying out of its intentions.
As in the present more developed state of the country, which has as much or more need for an intelligent administration and supervision of its sources and requirements as any other part of Canada, it is impossible for the Assembly to act as an executive council; they have been obliged to make provision in their several ordinances to entrust the duty of administering their laws to the Lieutenant-Governor, acting by and with the advice and consent of the committee, created by federal law for the purpose of advising with relation to expenditure only. They cannot, however, be sure that in taking the only possible steps within their power to meet the necessity, they have not exceeded their powers. Besides, the present machinery does not admit of development, as for instance in the direction of division into departments with responsible heads. The Executive Committee also has not the right to advise the Lieutenant-Governor in matters not contained in the Ordinances, notably the appointment of Justices of the Peace, and the convening and dissolving of an Assembly, &c., &c. And in general, the Assembly is of opinion that for purposes of government a permanent committee of the House has no advantage over an Executive Council. The first is a creation without precedent to guide it and lacks the well-defined constitutional status which political development during a long course of time in Great Britain and her colonies has given to Executive Councils.
In view of the foregoing the Legislative Assembly would, therefore, respectfully recommend the following amendments to be submitted to the Parliament of Canada at its next sitting:
1. Amend the section of the N.W.T. Act of 1891 (54 55 Vict) which is substited for sec. 13 of the N.W.T. Act, Chapter 50 R.S.C., so as to read:—
"The Legislative Assembly shall exclu"sively have power to make Ordinances "for the government of the organised "Territories in relation to the classes of "subjects next hereinafter mentioned, "that is to say."
Note—While Parliament cannot divest itself of its paramount right of legislation in the Territories, it is desirable that it should not, as it has often done unintentionally, perhaps, by legislation partly or wholly affecting the Territories, conflict with existing Ordinances, unless such is their distinct intention.
2. Add a clause to the N.W.T. Act giving power to the Assembly notwithstanding anything in this Act, or any other Act of the Parliament of Canada, to repeal the "Territories Real Property Act," so far as it applies to the organised Territories, and also to re-enact the said Act or any part of it, or substitute other provisions in lieu thereof.
Note—Though it is within the competence of the Assembly to legislate with regard to property and civil rights and they necessarily passed Ordinances affecting real property, as among others, relating to Mechanics' Liens, Expropriation of Lands, Tax Sales, and other official sales, the question must frequently arise in how far such ordinances are in harmony with the Territories Real Property Act or can be enforced with due reference thereto.
3. Repeal section 17 of the N.W.T. Act of 1894 and insert instead:
"There shall be a Council to aid and "advise in the Government of the Terri"tories, to be styled 'The Executive "Council of the Territories,' and such "Council shall be composed of such per"sons and under such designations as the "Lieutenant-Governor shall from time to "time think fit."
4. Repeal sub-clause (c) of subsection (7) of said section 13 re "Insurance Companies."
Note—There is no reason why the Assembly should not have power to incorporate insurance companies with Territorial objects, notably, hail-insurance companies, stock insurance companies, &c.
5. Insert a clause in the N.W.T. Act giving to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council the power to appoint Sheriffs, Clerks of the Court, Deputy Sheriffs, and Deputy Clerks of the Court, anything contained in the Act notwithstanding.
Note—The N.W.T. Act states that the Assembly may define by Ordinance the powers, duties and obligations of Sheriffs and Clerks, and their respective Deputies (subsection 4 of section 8 of 1891) and may determine the places where such Sheriffs and Clerks shall appoint Deputies. The Assembly also prescribes the fees which are allowed these officers in civil matters which constitute nearly all their emoluments. Notwithstanding the fact that the Assembly makes provision for both the duties and the payment of these officers their appointment remains in the hands of the Federal Government.
6. Insert, subject to conditions herein after explained, the following sub-section:
"The establishment, maintenance and "management of hospitals, asylums, "charities and eleemosynary institutions "in and for the Territories"; and
Repeal sections 103, 104 and 105 of chapter 50 R.S.C., in so far as they are inconsistent with the powers asked for.
Note—Lunatics from the Territories are sent under an agreement expiring in 1898, between the federal authorities and the Province of Manitoba, to the asylums of the province. At present there are in such asylums 74 persons, costing one dollar per day.
The Assembly is of opinion that they could perform such service as well and more cheaply. On account of the extra distances travelled by transport to Manitoba the expenses are increased. The Assembly, however, would only desire to undertake the care of lunatics if the federal authorities would provide the necessary buildings, and make such increase in the grant or subsidy as would pay for the maintenance of patients and staff.
As regards hospitals the Assembly do already provide, as far as their insufficient means allow, for the assistance of hospitals built and kept by private charity.
7. Repeal section 21 of the N.W.T. Act of 1894 and introduce an Act respecting "Roads and Road Allowances in the North-West Territories," with similar provisions to those contained in chapter 49 R.S.C., respecting Roads and Road Allowances in Manitoba.
Note—This would do away with the uncertainties and difficulties now connected with the laying out and improving roads and acquiring road by expropriation and it would give to the Assembly the right to delegate such power to municipalities.
8. Add a clause giving to the Assembly the power to repeal, alter, vary or reenact the provisions for appointment of Justices of the Peace and their qualifications.
Note—Only an Executive belonging to and being in touch with the Assembly has the facilities for judging the necessity of appointments to the commission of the Peace and the eligibility of the persons to be appointed. Section 7 of the N.W.T. Act of 1894 provides a property qualification for Justices of the Peace consisting in the ownership in fee simple of land of a certain value. In new settlements where few or not patents for homesteads have been issued it is impossible to find suitable persons who can be appointed.
9. Repeal section 16 of the N.W.T. Act of 1888 and enact a clause giving the Assembly complete control as regard to appointment, duties and salary of the Clerk of the Assembly.
Regarding the financial position of the Territories the Assembly must reiterate in part their memorial of January 1892:—
"That the necessities of local govern"ment in the North-West Territories de"mand that instead of the annual vote by "the Parliament of Canada of an indefin"ite sum for expenses of government, a "fixed amount in the nature of a subsidy "should be granted to the Territories," and "owing to the rapid increase of the "population in the North-West the "amount of subsidy should be fixed for a "term of not more than four years."
The revenues of the Assembly are obtained from local sources and the grant from the Parliament of Canada. As regards the local revenues they are and always will be very slight as they are made up of amounts received for granting licenses for such occupations as the Assembly is allowed to regulate by legislation. These revenues amounted in 1895 to 30,000 dollars. All the assets which the Provinces [except Manitoba, which has been compensated for the lack of them] possess, are retained by the Parliament of Canada, who own and administer, with power to roll, or grant to railway companies, their public lands, their hay lands, their timber and their minerals. The Assembly, however, is expected to provide for educating the young, caring for the sick and destitute, rendering the country habitable by improving roads, bridging rivers, protecting against prairie fires, increasing the water suppply, etc., etc.
Owing to the vast area of the Territories and the widely scattered nature of the settlement all the business of the local government is rendered more expensive proportionately to population than in any province. As regards roads this is apparent, but with respect to schools it will be found equally true. By considering that under the most favorable circumstances less than half the area in each township is available for homesteading and that as a rule only a small amount is taken up, it will not create surprise to see that in 1895 it took 341 schools with 401 teachers to educate 11,972 enrolled pupils, with a daily average attendance of 6,600, and that out of these schools 223 were only open during the summer months with a daily average attendance of 11.
The most cursory review of the increase of population and the very small increase during the same period of the grant from Parliament for the government of the Territories (which stands in the same position as the subsidies allowed to the provinces), will afford a convincing proof of the utter inadequacy of their resources.
In 1891 the population was 66 799, the number of schools in operation was 224 (for that year no separate amount was out at the disposal of the Assembly.
In 1892 the number of schools in operation was 237, and the Parliamentary grant for government was $208,700 ($193,200 and $15,500).
In 1895 the number of schools was 34.1 being an increase in four years of over 52 per cent.
In 1896 the population is 104,331 (10 per cent. per year added to census of 1894 being the ratio of increase between 1891 and 1894) and the grant from Parliament is $242,879 (not including $25,000, supplementary vote to recoup the Assembly for relief expenditure undertaken for and on account of the Dominion Government), being an increase in five years in population of 56 per cent, and in annual grant during last four years of 16 per cent.
As the conditions of Government in the Territories are somewhat analagous to those in the Province of Manitoba, a comparison between the amount voted to the Territories, and the amount, calculated on the same items, on which the subsidy to Manitoba is based, would be fair and just. Such an amount would be determined on the following considerations:
1. That the population of the Territories, according to the census of 1891, was 66,799 ; according to the census taken by the North-West Mounted Police in 1894 it was 86,851, and that, according to that ratio of increase, viz., thirty per cent., it will be, in 1897, 112,906. That if treated on the same basis as Manitoba, according to sub-section (b) of section 5 of chapter 46 R.S.C., the per capita grant would be calculated on an approximate estimate of the population two and a half years from 1897, which at the known rate of increase (of ten per cent every year) would be 141,132.
2. That on capita grant, therefore, the amount would be at 80 cents a head on 141,132 the sum of $112,905.
3. That on debt account on a presumably actual population in 1897 of 112,906 the amount would be five per cent. on $32 44 per head, making the sum of $183,133.
4. That a grant for the support of the Governmetn and Legislature in Manitoba of $50,000 is allowed, and that such a grant for the Territories should at least be as liberal, making the sum $50,000.
5. That as Manitoba has been held to be entitled to an indemnity for the want of public lands of $100,000, and as the Territories have a stronger claim for compensation is as much as besides the land grants to railways in and for the Territories, a great part of their public lands have been given to railway companies in aid of construction, not for the benefit of the Territories, but
(a) For the general benefit of Canada, and for the special benefit of the Eastern Provinces and British Columbia.
(b) For railways constructed for and in Manitoba for which no sufficient land grant could be found within that province; and
Inasmuch as a very much larger total amount of land is retained in the Territories for the benefit of the whole Dominion of Canada than the amount of land retained in the much smaller province of Manitoba ; and
As the province of Manitoba has been given all lands designated as swamp lands,
They feel they are entitled to a compaaratively larger amount than was allowed to Manitoba, the exact figure of which they, however, are not prepared to estimate until such time as they enter confederation.
If treated as regards a subsidy on a similar system as Manitoba the Assembly recognize that it would be just to deduct from such calculated amount such sums as would defray the expenses which they, as a Territorial Government, are not called upon to pay, notably the expense of the administration of the criminal law:
On the other hand, they find that it has been the practice of Palriament to charge votes for Lieutenant-Governor's Office, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Legal Adviser, Registrars of Land Titles Offices, the up to the Territories without giving them the control over such moneys. They believe that they could perform the services for which such votes were given as well and better, and that such service and votes should be put under their control. They also find that votes for services in unorganized territory (as for instance $5,000 for schools in such unorganized territory) appear among votes for the North-West Territories, increasing thereby the apparent liberality of Parliament towards them.
The Legislative Assembly believes that with the foregoing requests for legislation and for subsidy they have given good and sufficient ground for your Excellency's advisers to recommend to the Parliament of Canada ot deal in a liberal spirit with their just complaints:
And they will ever pray &c, &c.


Shall the Territories Be Divided?

The Debate in the Assembly on the Constitutional Memorial — Dr. Brett Proposes the Principle of Secession of Alberta — Insinger's Reply — Magrath for Secession — Fearon Champions Unity.

The Memorial to the Governor-General in Council endorsed by the Assembly, setting forth the position of the Territories and our immediate requirements, was published in full in THE LEADER last week. This week we commence the report of the debate on the question. THE LEADER possesses the only accurate and complete report of this debate that exists or was taken. It was probably the most important debate that has taken place in the Assembly for years, and, as such, is deserving of the space which will be devoted to it:—
in moving that the House go into committee of the whole to consider the drafted memorial from the special committee, setting forth the legislate and financial position of the Assembly, suggested that if discussion were to take place on the contents of the memorial, asking for Territorial autonomy as against provincial autonomy, it would be better for it to take place at once rather than in committee where questions of principle ought not to be dealt with. Having already made a lengthy speech regarding the subject, he need say nothing now, except to express his pleasure that the memorial practially was along lines he had suggested.
(Banff) said he agreed the time for presenting the memorial had arrived. The present question was probably the most important the House had before it for consideration. While, however, it was only a temporary measure the memorial asked for, he was onle of those who believed the time had come when they should with no uncertain sound tell the Dominion Government, or indicate to them in what position they would like the Territories placed. He was not going to state that the memorial should indicate that a more radical change than was asked for therein should take place at once. It was a serious thing to too rapidly get to an advanced condition if the conditions of the country would not warrent it; still at the same time it was equally bad that they should linger along and not do that which they considered was for the best advancement of the country. In considering that question they were called upon to consider two great principles. In the first place should they ask for responsible government, and if they did hould they ask it for the Territories as a whole? He did not think that was somehting they could arrive at very suddenly, nor did he think it was probably wise to take his ideas or opinions on the matter, for everyone should be prepared to give his own views, and have good reasons for these views. There was no use disguising the fact that if the people of the Territories as a whole were asked "Do you want the Territories errected into a privince such as Ontario, or any other province in the Dominion?" he believed a large majority would at once exclaim "No!" (Hear, hear.) That answer would be very largely due to the fact that many people were not sufficiently educated on what it was really meant to get provincial powers and to be established into a province. Many people were laboring under mistaken ideas with reference to the expenses that would naturally attach to the erection of a province. Some had the idea that immediately on the erection of a province they would be forced to form municipalities. That would not be necessary. It was true that in Manitoba and other provinces municipalities had been formed. British Columbia, however, was an exception. The Territories had just as much power to-day in forming municipalities as they would have, had they full responsible government. In British Columbia they had a less number of municipalities than there were in the Territories.
Mr. Haultain: they have direct taxation.
Mr. Brett: So far as direct taxation is concerned we possess all the powers to- day of direct taxation of any province of the dominion. The direct taxation in British Columbia was poll tax, and the Territories could have the same thing. But it did not follow that if the Territories were formed into a province, these powers would be exercised any more than now. He thought that would dispose of that objection. There were sufficient other considerations for them to think of in debating their present conditions. Was it going to be any advantage to them? If it was going to cost more than now, if they were going to have less money to expend on the industries of the country, and on improvements in the country, under provincial formation of government, that would probably be one of the strongest reasons that iw was not advisable. If they were going to undertake a responsibility they did not think they could carry out, that was probably another reason why they should give it due consideration. As the memorial sets out, they are not now receiving as much money as they are entitled to. It was fair to assume, then, that so far as their financial position was concerned they would be better off were they in the form of a province, than they are now. The next thing for consideration was, were they prepared to undertake the responsibilities? He claimed that the Territories, with the present population, were as well qualified to assume responsibility as was the province of Manitoba, when she undertook full provincial government — as was the province of British Columbia (hear, hear). Another point was in what position would it place the Territories with reference to the making of laws? He believed in a better. Another question was, had the time arrived when they should take this step? Some whould say the time had not arrived because they were not strong enough to assume the responsibilities. They were not strong enough to go to the Dominion Government and make a contract with them. He was not unmindful of the fact that there was a great deal in being strong. The stronger they were the better bargain they could make. But as he understood the matter in which portion of the Domion had been taken into confederation and established as provinces, they entered in on a basis which was stated in the British North America Act and which no government could go behind. If the Territories were taken into confederation to-day they would only received the same amount pre capita as they would were they ten times stronger. They would certainly receive more as population grew for the expenses of government. That amount was regulated according to population. Manitoba received $35,000 for expenses of government, while latterly a better arrange ment was made them, and now they get $50,000. The same thing would attach to the Territories. Another question to consider was, — as to the amount of money that should be claimed in lieu of lands over which they had no control. That resolved itself into the quesiton of making a bargain. They could state an amount they were willing to begin with, and the bargain ned not be made in a manner that finally settled it, so that later they could go to the Dominion Government and ask for a greater amount in lieu of their lands. Another objection, to undertake great responsibilities now, was that business was depressed, and we had hard times; wait until there was a revival of trade, and so on. Times had been bad all over the world, and the sooner they could help themselves, all the sooner they would relieve themselves of the depressed conditions. They would not, of course, interfere with the cause that had made the depression so general, but they could during depressed times, — if they had it within their power, — go on with public works, do things that in other provinces were doing good for the people. Thus, he said, they would be hastening the time when they would not be suffering from the effects of these hard times. The question of the Territories remaining as they are must come to an end sometime, and it was for the House very largely to determine whether it should come now or be deferred. He believed that so long as they curtailed their demands simply to a portion of what they were entitled to, they would receive less and less every year. The time had come when they should tell the Dominion Government in unmistakable terms that at the expiration of this Assembly, — two years hence, — they would expect full provincial powers would be given to the Territories, either as a whole or divided. He had state there were no provincial taxes in Manitoba, nor would it be necessary to have them here. He might be asked,— In what way are you going to raise the revenue to carry on the Government? In the first place they would get a grant of money sufficient for the expenses of Government as they do in British Columbia. then they would have in their power the collection of other taxes, license fees, and so forth, as in British Columbia. He would now refer more particularly to Alberta. If provincial government would be a good thing for the whole of the Territories, he claimed it would not be unfair for a portion of the Territories to ask for it. The time had come not only for the Territories as a whole to ask for provincial powers, but is was high time something should be done in the direction of giving to the western portion of the Territories full provincial powers. The conditions of the eastern and western portions of the Territories were quite different in many respects. In the west there were resources which would greatly assist the country generally if properly developed. They had ranching, grain growing, minerals, coal, industries in coal oil and so on, which under proper conditions would make that protion of the country one of the richest, if not the richest part of the whole of the Territories. With proper railway facilities those cola fields would immediately be go into active operation. That would largely incrase the population in those parts. Those people would furnish a local market for those who raised cattle, grain and vegatables to the north of them. They had diversified interests there but that made them stronger because they could deal with each other. The benefits they would obtain from having a provincial form of government would be that they would have power to to do as they thought best for the development of the country. Nearly every member of that Assembly must have a feeling of disappointment with reference to the North-West Territories. They had been standing still — marking time. He did not think the best efforts had been made in their behalf. The powers of the province would make them progress much more rapidly than it had. British Columbia to-day was attracting the attention of the world. They had not got the rich mines in the western part of the Territories as in British Columbia, but they had mines which if developed, they did not know but what they might be as valuable as those in British Columbia. The mines being developed in British Columbia would not be developed were it not that the B.C. government had made good roads, and so made it possible for the people to get into the mountainous districts. Had British Columbia been dependent year after year as the Territories were, and asking for somehting and only getting a small amount, that province would not have progressed as it had done. There was another thing which might be an argument in support of his contention for provincial powers for Alberta. There was a good deal in a name. The name "The Territories," had an altogether different sone to intending immigrants than that of a "province." They did not dissociate in their minds the United States territories from the North-West Territories. It was a cold, inhospitable name. The Territories was thought ot be a land of cold and snow for about two-thirds of the year. He had heard many people say the name was bad, and retarded immigration. People said they would try "a province." It was a more civilized name, — a more congenial name. Were they a province, the name of "The province" would enhance their chances of getting immigrants above what they were now. He hoped the House would amend the terms of the memorial by recommending to the Dominion Govenrment, that at the expiration of thta Assembly the time would have arrived when Alberta and Athabasca should be erected into a province. he hoped the House would remember he was speaking for Alberta.
Mr. Haultain: What part of Alberta?
Mr. Brett: I am speaking for that portion as I understand it, and for that portion where my interests lie. Some might say, Why ask for Alberta to be set apart? The eastern and western parts of Assiniboia had not such a large population as Alberta.
Mr. Insinger: No, no; the hon. gentleman is very much out there.
Mr. Brett thought if the hon. member would carry out the figures as they wre in the memorial he would find that Albert ta had a larger population that the Assiniboias. No, (continued Mr. Brett, looking at a paper crowded with figures) the two Assiniboias hat a pupulation of about 10 per cent. more than Alberta, carrying out the figures on the same lines as was done in the memorial. Some might say, why have not Assiniboia and Saskatchewan asked to be made into a province? He had never seen a stronger appeal made than Saskatchewan was making some time ago for some form of provincial government. He would now speak for Alberta as he understood it; not for the whole of Alberta but a portion of it.
Mr. Haultain: Hear, hear.
Mr. Brett, continuing, said if they would look at the increase of population as figured out in the memorial they would find out that in the years 1891-94 it was 57 per cent., much larger than in Assiniboia.
Mr. Page: Does the hon. member contend that the increase has been the same during the last two years, that it was during the three preceding years?
Dr. Brett replied that the was discussing a memorial which had been placed before the House, and he dared say it had been prepared very carefully and with due regard to absolute correctness.
Mr. Haultain: But that is Territorial increase.
Mr. Brett: Yes, that is certainly Territorial increase, but if in 1891-94 Alberta increased 57 per cent. there was no reason to his mind, why that incrase had not gone on since then. The increase of 40 per cent. claimed for the whole of the Territories in the memorial was based on the figures that Alberta had increased 57 per cent., Eastern Assiniboia 35 per cent., Western Assiniboia 24 per cent., Saskatchewan 33 per cent Taking that as a basis the increase during 1891-97 would be Alberta 90 per cent., the two Assiniboias 92 per cent., and Saskatchewan 110 per cent.
Mr. Insinger: How does the hon. member compute these calculations out of the memorial? I know a little about the figures there, and I don't see how under any cicrumstances the deductions can be drawn from the memorial. The increases in the memorial are based on the whole population, but to jump from that to the incrase that happened in different parts is something a little absurd.
Mr. Brett answred that he would stand accused of being absurd, — but the figures showed a general increase in 1892-95 of 57 per cent., and in the Territories of 40 per cent., and there was no reason to show that Alberta had not increased as much since. He obtained his figures in the office, and he believed they were absolutely correct. They were from the census returns taken by the N.W.M. Police. If the hon gentleman who composed the committee to draft the memorial were warranted in saying that the whole of the Territories had increased at the rate of 40, that was ten per cent a year, it was fair to assume, in the absence of anything to the contrary, that Alberta had increased in the same rate since 1894 (Hear, hear) That was a fair thing. He might appear ridiculous, but he certainly didn't realized to a very large extent that he was ridiculous in make a computation of that kind. He was simply giving a reason, why, as a representative of Alberta, he was justified in asking the House to indicate to the Dominion Government that the time had arrived when it and Athabasca should be set apart as a province by itself. While the population was increasing, and they had been getting an increased grant year by year, it was found that Alberta had been contributing much more to the local revenues than other parts of the Territories. Of the total revenue contributed by the Territories (30,040) Alberta contributed 56 per cent, and eastern and western Assiniboia 37 per cent. that made only 93 per cent. The other portions was made up of moneys he could not compute. Alberta contributed a good deal more than all the rest of the Territories. He would give a few items. The liquor license was $24,907. Of that, Alberta contributed $25,178; the balance of the Territories showed $9,729. that showed Alberta contributed the most, (Laughter, and an hon. member: "And it is a sign of progress!") The cost of collecting that $9,729 in the two Assiniboias and Saskatchewan was $4,076, so that the new amount contributed by those portions was $5,652; while to collect $15,178 in Alberta it only cost $1,849, so in that respect Alberta's net contribution was $13,329. Looking at it in that way Alberta contributed 78 per cent. of the net revenues of the Territories. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) He knew those figures were rather startling. (Renewed laughter.)
Mr. Haultain: What is the magnificent total of the revenue?
Mr. Brett; The magnificent total of the revenue is $30,040.
Mr. Haultain; What is this net revenue?
Mr. Brett: For licenses under the Liquor Ordinance, the only item I can give the hon. gentleman, the gross revenue is $24,908. The expenditure attending the collection of that is $5,926, leaving a net revenue of $18,982. That is outside the expenses of the chief license inspector and so on. In it were not included the meetings of the commissioners, and so on. Proceeding, the hon. gentleman remareked, some might say the magnificent sum, as the hon. member for Macleod called it, was only $30,040, but even in that small amount if there was a very large disparity between the amount contributed by one partner in the firm with the amount he got out of it, he was justified in looking around for some remedy. Someone might ask, what if Alberta did contribute 78 per cent of the net revenue, what had that to do with it? Noting, if 78 per cent. was spent in Alberta of the firm's money. But they found that Alberta came out at the wrong end there. Last year Alberta received about 30 per cent. of the full amount paid for schools in the Territories. It might be said, whose fault was that? If Alberta had had a greater number of schools established she would have had a larger proportion of the money. He presumed that as many schools were required were established there; he did not know anything to the contrary. then the expense of spending that money was five times greater in Assiniboia and Saskatchewan than in Alberta. Then on roads and bridges Alberta had had a little over one-third the total money, having contributed over three-fourths of the net revenues from local sources.
Mr. Haultain: The net revenue expended upon roads and bridges?
Mr. Brett: No. While Alberta had contributed over three-fourths of the new local revenue, they had received less than one-third in schools and only a trifle over a third in the full amount expended for roads and bridges. that condition of affairs justified him, as one representative of Alberta, to ask that Alberta should be relieved, and placed in a position of collecting its own revenues and doing as it liked. In conclusion the hon. member further argued that Alberta was entitled to provincial status on the ground of excess in increase of population, and also of extent of acreage. He could understand it was not going to be an easy matter to get the sanction of the House. It was not anything the House would voluntarily tender to Alberta. He did not think the Territories were sufficiently tired of Alberta, or sufficiently discontented with the part Alberta played with reference to the contributions to the general fund and so on. He could not readily understand, as was always the case in secession, or one part seeking to be relieved from another portion, there always would be some objection taken. But he thought the time would soon come when there would be unanimity of feeling that the course he proposed was the best thing not only for Alberta but also for several portions of the Territories to be constructed into a province. (Hear, hear.)
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(Yorkton) remarked that certain reasons were given a week or more ago by the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) why it was necessary to reconsider their position with regard to their constitutional status. It was stated that their powers were not sufficient, and that the powers they had been ostensibly given were incomplete. The hon. member further brought on the point which whould appeal more strongly to the House, perhaps, than anything else, that they should ask for more money. That was a very tangible question, and appealed not only to members of that House but to every man in this country. If they could in justice put in a claim for more funds from the Dominion Parliament, if they could show that the Territories were entitled to receive more from the Dominion treasury, they would be remiss in their duty if they did not make some kind of a claim. He believed the present to be a favorable time to reconsider their position. As early as 1885 they made a similar petition, but then they hadn't the same knowledge no r the same experiences of legislation. The requests they then made were premature. When they asked for responsibility in 1885 and 1888 they asked for something that probably had they get it they would not have been in a position to use. But they had now been administering the affairs of this country nearly as much as any of the provinces, and he thought they could claim to have administered those affairs, with no discredit to themselves, and quite as well as the affairs of any province were administered. He therefore thought they could put in a good claim, with a good conscience, to the Dominion Government for more powers and for more funds. There was another reason why to-day they were in a better position than formerly. There had been a change of Government on a certain date in June. He did not want to say for a moment that one side of the House was more favorable to the Territories than the other side, and it was well known that many members of the present Government, when in opposition, made propositions to give the Territories more powers than had been given them. Mr. Davies, now a member of the Government at Ottawa in 1893 declared that it was the duty of the Government in amending the North-West Territories Act to give them certain rights wholesale,—not to quibble about and take back with one hand what they give with the other. He (Mr. Insinger) — thought they could now go to the Cabinet and remind its members of certain statements made by them when in opposition. They had now a member in the House at Ottawa, who was more able than any member they had had there be fore, to present the claims of the Territories before Parliament. He referred to Mr. Oliver. It was not only his ability, but by his long experience he was better posted on the requirements of this country, on their laws and general constitutional standing, than perhaps any other member of that House. Then, too, he was with the Territories on the present question. But to proceed. A certain day was appointed to draft a memorial to consider the matter and to bring in a report accordingly. The mover of the motion (Mr. Ross) made a speech in which he laid down the lines in which he thought the House should restrict itself in asking for Territorial autonomy, and he gave his reasons therefor. Every one in the House thought they were in unison with the expressions of the hon. member for Moose Jaw. These members who it now seemed were not kept silent and by their silence assented in the expressions of the hon. member for Moose Jaw. But as soon as the committee met it was found that that unanimity did not remain, and from many parts came different opinions upon the subject. He was not sorry that that was so. It was made apparent there were three possible propositions that could be laid before the House. One was to make one province of the whole of the Territories and ask for full provincial rights. Another proposition was to divide the country into more than one province, and make one province of Alberta; the third proposition was to ask that the powers they already had should be completed and put beyond doubt, and ask for more money, — or Territorial autonomy. He did not intend to follow the hon. member and calculations, because he simply couldn't. He did not think it possible to follow the hon. gentleman into anything that went to the bottom of his heart, and that touched his sensibilities keenly, because then his imagination ran a little wild. The hon. gentleman at first seemed to be under the impression that I was rather premature to ask provincial rights, but he blossomed slowly out into a champion for provincial rights of the Territories, and then he bloomed right out into a champion for Alberta being made into a province. He based his claim on the consideration of the local revenues; that a very large part came from Alberta, and a very small part went to Alberta. He showed that they had more liquor drunk in Alberta, and that there were more criminals in Alberta, and that there were more people contributing to the local revenue in Alberta by means of fines.
Mr. Brett: What I did point out was this, that the greater amount contributed by fines came from the rest of the Territories. Out of about $400, only $40 came from Alberta.
Mr. Insinger was very glad to hear the disclaimer by the hon. gentleman. There was more hope for Alberta than the hon. member had given hope for. It struck him (Mr. Insinger) as a very peculiar claim that Alberta should be held out by one of its representatives as being a place where more liquor was drunk than anywhere else. Then the hon. member pointed to the schools. Certainly it was a very strange claim to put forward that Alberta was a more ignorant place than any other part of the Territories. (Laughter.) The hon. gentleman had shown that population had it creased in Alberta, and he must know that the establishment of schools would always be a few years behind the incoming of the population. So if the hon. member would only rest his soul in patience, say for a year or so, he (Mr. Insinger) had sufficient confidence in the intelligence of the people of Alberta to believe they would have the full number of schools, and that they would before long make a full drain upon the Territorial resources for payment of schools. Another claim for the autonomy of Alberta was made on the ground of population. The hon. member went into points which he clearly did not understand, and the parts he did understand he clearly did not comprehend. (Laughter.) Any body who knew Alberta knew what the hon. member for Banff ought to know, but did not seem to know, namely, that in Alberta, they had special immigration in the years 1891-94, and that that special immigration there is not going on now.
Mr. Brett: It is going on yet.
Mr. Insinger: It may be going on, but if so, it is a very silent trend. What we hear is only the rumbling of the wheels, as it were, of the people who are going out. (Laughter.) Still he believed there always would be a certain number of people going into Alberta, but the calculation made by the hon. member was utterly wrong, and he knew it, or he ought to know it. He must know that on the building of the colonization railroad there was a large influx of population, and that that influx had stopped. So the large increase shown to have taken place then had not continued. Then the hon. member ought to know, and he did know, that of the increase of population that went in during those few years quite a number had gone out, and the hon. member did know that the population of Alberta had not increased in the same ratio in the last few years as it had increased before. He (Mr. Insinger) must therefore refuse to believe any conclusions based on the hon. member ought not to make claims for rights from the Dominion Parliament based on figures which he knew were belied by facts. Were the Assembly to allow that to be done, it would make them the laughing stock of the whole country. When the hon. member speaks about the development of industries, he must know that in one large Territory they had more industries, and of course larger chances of development and would have more power of development, and would have more credit for their developments than any particular portion of it would have. He did not want to create an impression in the mind of the hon. member that he (the speaker) did not fully realize the great importance and richness of Alberta. There was no doubt that it was one of the fairest parts they had, but that was not a sufficient reason why it should be separat ed from the rest of the Territories. Indeed it was a very good reason it should stay in with the rest. But really the point upon which the hon. member put the most stress was because of his, well, call it sentimental reason; — the sentimental reason that the idea in the minds of intending immigrants was that the Territories was a country of continual snow. How a territory should create an impression of snow he could not see, but he did know that Alberta would create an impression of snow upon the mountains in the mind of anyone who knew anything about it. Why did not the territories in the United States create an impression of snow in the United States? There was this difference between the territories, and it was to our advantage, that this side the border the Territories had the rights of provinces, and on the other side the Territories had not the rights of the states. But if there really was anything in the sentimental, and the main, reason of the hon. gentleman, and if it would act as a balm to soothe the wounds of his bleeding heart, he (Mr. Insinger) saw no reason why the conceding so small a thing as the change of a name should not be granted. He did not object to have the name "Territories" taken away, and to calling the whole of this country Alberta. If any little thing like that would satisfy the hon. gentleman he would have no more objection to the Territories being tacked on to Alberta than he would to Alberta being tacked on to the Territories. (Hear, hear.) By that, sentiment might be appeased and the hon. gentleman's heart by at rest for a little time. He (Mr. Insinger) had never yet met the immigrant who was scared from coming into this country because it was a Territory. He found as a rule that when people came to this country they knew very little about it at all. They knew that they came to America, and if they were very clever they knew they were coming to Canada, and that was about the extent of their knowledge. He was sorry the hon. member stated an amendment might be brought in, but that he was not going to bring it in now. This was the proper time to bring in any amendment if the amendment was drafted, for really, to give "home rule" to Alberta was an amendment which attacked the principle of the memorial. The memorial was drafted for the distinct purpose of obtaining Territorial autonomy and would not fit on to a province of Alberta. It would certainly expedite matters if the hon. member for Banff would bring on his amendment in the full House. It showed a certain amount of want of courage in not bringing his amendment down to the full House when particularly asked by the mover of the memorial to do so. If it was meant that by becoming a province they should have the right of chartering railways, that was a matter for serious consideration. The hon. member for Banff had spoken about making a contract, or bargain, with the Dominion Government. On going to the Dominion Government, say they made a contract, and a contract was supposed to be binding. For the hon. member to say they could enter into a contract and consider the contract would only bind the other side simply showed that the hon. member did not know what the word "contract" meant. The question was, were they sufficiently strong to go into the position to make a full contract, and if they had the full power to make these demands? Unless they had sufficient interest at Ottawa to enforce their side of the question they would, to use a vernacular expression, "get left" on the contract. They had only four members at present, although they might have five in a short time. Were the Territories in a position to fight all the other parts of Canada, because fight they must. Would the Parliament at Ottawa give them full consideration for the large amount of public lands which had been taken from them for the general benefit of Canada? The Parliament at Ottawa would simply give what they thought proper, and not what the Territories wanted. More than 30 millions of acres had been taken away from the Territories for the C.P.R. Could they put a price on that land? A great part of that land at present had no value. If this country developed, — as it had, slowly it was true, but it had developed, — surely that land would get a larger value, and the Territories would be in a better position a few years hence to make a demand for compensation better than they were now; and if they did make a demand now they would get left. Rather than that he would possess his soul in patience a few years longer. Reference had been made to the position of Manitoba at the time it entered into confederation. The Territories were not in the same position as was Manitoba. Manitoba was not made a province be cause the people there wanted or liked it. They were simply made a province because they were compelled to; it was through necessity. And when they wanted to make a change in a few years they found it would cost them a rebellion nearly to shake off their contract and make a new one. The Territories were not forced by force of circumstances. When they went into a province they would do it with a free will, and with power to make contracts which would be binding upon their heirs forever. Considering the lands here would have an enormous value in a few years, and considering that if they were to put a price upon those lands now they would be doing a great injustice to the people who are to come after; when they considered their position, that they were not able to force their claims, he thought they should halt before entering into a binding contract. The hon. member seemed to think — and perhaps many people had expressed similar opinions — that as soon as a province was formed the revenue at once fell in, be he (Mr. Insinger) did not know from where. Probably from the sky, or some other place equally remote. The estimated revenue for the province of Manitoba last year was $800,000. The idea of having a province was to develop. If they wanted to go into the developing business they had to get the money, and the whole thing hinged upon the fact that when they became a province it would give them more money. He did not think that was the fact. If the hon. member would look up the revenues of Manitoba he would find that the estimated revenue consisted in the first place of a Dominion grant of $50,000. So far as the Dominion grant was concerned the Territories were making a claim for some similar consideration. On that ground, therefore, the province was in no better position than the Territories. In the next place the Manitoba revenue consisted of the magnificent sum of $6,000 local revenues. These were the the same local revenues as the Territories could levy with the exception of a law stamp levy, which brought in $12,000. The Territories however, could bring in similar legislation to provide for the same purposes, but up to the present they had not thought fit to do so. The balance of those revenues was made up of fees which were not of particular benefit to a province. They found that Manitoba as a province — and the Territories would be in the same position — did not increase their revenue by one single cent on the amount they would get as a territory. Therefore the province had no advantage over a territory. The hon. member for Banff had stated that in British Columbia they had local taxation, but they had no municipal taxation ; and in Manitoba they had municipal taxation but no provincial taxation. From that he seemed to infer that they would be the same as British Columbia. Surely the hon. member must see that because Manitoba did not raise its money by provincial taxation, and British Columbia raises its money by a local taxation, that we could do without either of them. But if the Territories, as a province, went in for large plans surely they must go in for some taxation. Where was money to come from? Was it to come from heaven, or from England, or where, and bring in capital and they never pay interest on it? In Manitoba they had a local taxation for the maintenance and building of their Court houses, only they did not raise it for the province, but divided it amongst the municipalities, but after all it was exactly the same thing as provincial taxation. It was not necessary for the Territories to go in for being made a province in order to get what they were seeking; the same object could be obtained by go ing in for territorial autonomy, and with the distinct advantage that the demand for larger Territorial powers was on the face of it, not a contract, but only an arrangement that would hold good for a few years, or until such time as they might want something else. Another great advantage the asking for Territorial autonomy would have over asking the erection of a province, was that they had a great deal more chance of getting it. The hon. member for Banff seemed to think that in politics by asking for a great deal more than you expect you would get a little. A mistake of that kind was worse than a mistake. It was simply prejudicing the whole case. If they went to Ottawa and showed that they asked for more than they expected, that they were asking for what they did not want; if they went and asked for things in the lump and did not know that they had a distinct knowledge of the items, he thought they ran a great chance of getting nothing at all. Their principle should be to go and ask for those things in detail;— show why they wanted those things, and prove that they really wanted them. If they showed that they understood what they wanted, and that they knew how to handle it, they stood a very good chance of getting it. He did not believe in asking for a whole lot of things in the chance of getting a little. He believed they should follow the lines laid down in the memorial. In asking for Territorial autonomy they did not ask for the power to charter railways. The power of chartering railways was absolutely useless to them unless they were in a position to go and grant them the credit of a country, and that they could not do. Another power they did not ask for in the memorial was the administration of justice in criminal matters. That was a point upon which a certain amount of difference of opinion should be allowed. He was inclined to ask that administration of justice be given them, but it was found there were certain very heavy charges against the administration of justice, and it would be foolish to take upon their shoulders such a very large debt unless there was a very good reason shown in favor of it. In the memorial they asked for certain amendments. First they asked that the powers which were given under the North-West Territories Act, and which were now subject to any Act of the Parliament of Canada, should be secured to the Assembly. That means that the moment the Assembly had passed a law in any subject some member of Parliament might turn round and make some bill in which one clause perhaps affected the Territories, and therefore put aside their ordinance. They had been in such danger several times. For instance there was the Animals Infections Acts. They had the same danger when they brought into that House a bill regarding the inspection of coal mines. When they brought in a bill respecting irrigation they did not know whether they had power or not to deal with the subject. The memorial asked that the powers they had, and such other powers as they asked for, should be given to them the same as to any province in Canada. It was also asked that the Executive Committee should be changed for an Executive Council. An Executive Council had all the political precedents of England and Canada to show it its way. An Executive Committee never knew what it was at. The memorial also asked that the Assembly should have powers to incorporate insurance companies; that the appointments of sheriffs and clerks should be put in their hands; and they asked for other powers which would not be of any great value to them, but it certainly would be policy to have them. They made a claim for more funds for the reasons that they stood greatly in need of more money, and that the Parliament of Canada was responsible for the due administration of education in this country; as long as they were a territory and not a province the Parliament of Canada was responsible for the full government of affairs in this country. They had also shown that if they be allowed to make an analogy of what was due to them, and what to the province, they could show a very great claim for a greater amount of money, but they did not in the memorial want to base their claim on that, and they did not want to put a distinct figure on the subsidy they might claim for compensation for lands. He thought there were few occasions when they, as a House, had to state their position as a House, and when those occasions did arise it was their duty to give unreservedly expression to their opinions, so that not only the House but the country should know exactly where they were. He did not think it was their duty to slowly follow public opinion, but to lead public opinion. The Territories needed more funds, and they had a right to more funds. They contributed as much as any province in Canada, and there was no reason why other men in Canada should be given fifty cents back out of every dollar they contributed, while they of the Territories should be sent back only ten or fifteen cents of the dollar they contributed. (Applause.)
(Lethbridge) stated that as the hon. gentleman who had just sat down had suggested there should be an amendment before the House on the lines the hon. member for Banff had spoken, he rose to propose such an amendment, which was seconded by the hon. member for Banff (Mr. Brett.)
It was in connection with the following clause of the memorial:— "The Assembly is of opinion that to remedy this undesirable state of affairs it is not necessary to have recourse to the granting of a full provincial status. They believe that till the time arrives, which may be at a not distant day, when the Territories should be taken into Confederation (as one or more provinces) the passing of a few amendments to the North-West Territories Act will allow them, subject to disallowance of their ordinances, to exclusively make laws in relation to matters already within their legislative jurisdiction."
Mr. Magrath said that according to that clause they did not appear to have fully made up their minds as to whether that day was at an early period or not. The next point was as to whether they felt they "should be taken into Confederation as one or more provinces." The amendment he would move simply meant that they should more forcibly point out that it was the opinion of the House that this country should be taken into Confederation as two provinces at a very early period, otherwise it did not disturb the memorial in any matter whatever. He did not follow the hon. gentleman from Banff, but he did hear the levity with which the hon. member from Yorkton referred to Alberta.
Mr. Insinger: I didn't refer to Alberta with any levity at all.
Mr. Magrath: I certainly accept the hon. gentleman's view of the matter, but it appeared to me in his referring to Alberta that he did do so, and that, subsequently, he made amends by asserting that Alberta was after all one of the fairest provinces.
Mr. Insinger: I might have referred to the views expressed by the hon. member for Banff, but there is a difference between the views expressed by the hon. member for Banff respecting Alberta, and Alberta itself.
Mr. Magrath: I am glad to hear the explanation. I feel the time will come when we must enter Confederation as a province.
Mr. Page (Cannington): As a province?
Mr. Magrath: I say as a province. He considered the interests in the Territories were entirely different. In the west they had to look to the west for their trade, while in the east the trade was largely diverted, or largely flowed towards the east, and in that it appeared to him there was a wide difference. As to being created into a full province at the present time he did not think it was desirable or necessary. It was an unfortunate thing in Canada to day, that they were overgoverned. (Hear, hear.) There were too many institutions in Canada, but he felt, if they thought their interests were going to be different in this country, that they should emphasize their views in re lation to that so far as the creation of more than one province was concerned.
Half past five having arrived Mr. Speaker left the chair, leaving the hon. gentleman in possession of the floor.
The House re-assembled at eight o'clock. In the greater part of the evening the chair was occupied by Mr. Deputy Speaker Page, in the absence of the Speaker.
Mr. Magrath, resuming, said the question for consideration was not a question as to the importance of the memorial at large; it was merely a question as to the expression of opinion contained in one clause of that memorial. He, and those who held the same views as he did, wished to go further than the memorial. There was the difference. They all agreed that the time would come when the Territories would be taken into Confederation (hear, hear.) They were a unit on that. (Hear, hear.) But it had occurred to those who held the same opinions as himself that the memorial did not emphasize that fact strongly enough. They had never approached the Federal Government on matters pertaining to the welfare of this country that were conceded to them when asked for. Were they going to wait until the time had arrived when they considered the time was ripe for the entering of the Territories into Confederation before they brought the matter strongly to the attention of the Federal Government as they should? He did not think that was desirable. There had been a good deal of talk about educating the country. He thought they had some education to do in reference to this matter. It was their duty to commence the education, and commence it on vigorous lines. He did not for a moment imagine if they presented the memorial to the Federal Government that it would be received, and that they would be received with open arms. He also thought that they should bring the matter very forcibly before the Government, not that he thought they were going to have it granted, but that they might keep pressing it from time to time. If they were satisfied that the Federal Government would take the memorial into consideration and act upon it then he and his friends would sit down. But their experience had been otherwise, and for that reason they had considered it necessary to draw attention to that portion in one clause of it. There was no diversity of opinion as to the main point in that part of the amendment. The next point he understood was they considered that when the time did arrive for the Territories to be taken into Confederation, that the section of the country from which he and his friends came should be set apart as a province. They did not presume to try to educate the House as to what should be done with the rest of the Territories. That remained for the representatives of the people of the balance of the Territories. He thought he could state confidently, that when the time had arrived, the larger portion of Alberta would be found a unit on that question. (Hear, hear.) They had to bear in mind that a portion of Alberta had already discussed this matter. It had not been discussed in his section. From the discussions that took place there was no question in his mind that the people of that section of country had stated positively and emphatically that they wished to be set apart as a province. As to the other sections it was a matter of question. He believed if Alberta was canvassed to-day that they would vote against provincial institutions. (Mr. Haultain: "Hear, hear.") — because they were frightened, he thought, largely from the fact that there was no question but there was too much government in Canada. (Hear, hear.) It was hardly possible to walk down any by alley without meeting someone who was in the business. So people for that reason, he considered, had just cause to feel alarmed. But that did not alter the fact that they were coming to it, that they had got to come to it, and the question then would be with the people of Alberta, whether they wanted one or two provinces. When that time came, he was positive that 90 per cent of the people of Alberta would ask for Alberta being set apart as one province. (Hear, hear.) It might be argued that the Territories are not as large as some of the provinces in Canada. He was reminded the other day that what was good for Ontario and elsewhere, it did not necessarily follow it was good for this country, and he concurred with that statement, although it did not possibly suit his views at that time. But the cases were not parallel. Ontario was very large, probably much larger in extent than were the Territories, — at least much longer. But the populated portion of Ontario was not, nor ever would be, as large as the portions of the Territories that were capable of population, and that would be populated in due time. There were good reasons that could be advanced on the part of the people of Alberta which it might not be desirable to advance, as he might be accused of being narrow in his views, but they all looked after their own interests first, and although he belonged to Alberta he was a Canadian, and if he thought the portion of the country to which he belonged, by having provincial rights of its own would be of, advantage not only to itself but to Canada, he thought no one should blame him for having that wish. (Hear, hear.) The hon. member from Banff had made quite a lengthy speech in which he brought down some figures. He (Mr. Magrath) did not say he endorsed the ideas the hon. member advanced. He had no doubt the figures were correct, but the hon. member for Yorkton, in referring to them, stated the figures were not fact, but he did not try to dispute them, and he did not add that figures don't lie. He (Mr. Magrath) did not think the criticism of the hon. member for Yorkton had the force he would like the House to believe. There were other matters referred to by the hon. members which he (Mr. Magrath) need not reply to because he was good enough to withdraw—
Mr. Insinger: I beg your pardon; I didn't withdraw a single statement I made.
Mr. Magrath: I certainly understood you to withdraw—
The Speaker: He withdrew nothing.
Mr. Magrath: I accept the hon. gentleman's correction.
Mr. Insinger: I accept the hon. gentleman's apology.
Mr. Magrath: I have a distinct recollection that the hon. gentleman referred to several matters in Alberta deduced from figures the hon. member for Banff adduced. The deductions he drew were that the tippling proclivities of the people of Alberta were noted, and he made other statements in reference to the Albertan's ability for consuming liquor. (Laughter.) As a representative from Alberta, of course I don't like that. (Hear, hear) I presume there are other representatives from Alberta who are going to speak tonight, who are more capable of looking after Albertan interest than I am, and I leave it to them to either endure, if they see fit, the expressions that the hon. gentleman chose to make in reference to that matter, or refute them if they think it desirable. I therefore beg to move, seconded by the hon. member for Banff, "That the report be referred back to the select committee with instructions to strike out the first clause of the section referred to, and insert in lieu thereof the following: The Assembly is of the opinion that until the Territories are admitted into Confederation as two or more provinces which they consider is necessary at an early date for the compact government on local lines of such a vast country, that the passage of a few amendments at the first session of the Parliament of Canada to the North-West Territories Act will allow them, subject to disallowance of their ordinances, to exclusively make laws in relation to matters already within their legislative jurisdiction." (Applause.)
(Medicine Hat) said he was in the embarassing position of agreeing in part with promoters of the memorial and in part with the framers of the amendment. He agreed with the first part of the question as to whether the time had arrived that steps should be taken towards admitting the Territories into the Confederation as a province. The framers of the memorial as interpreted by the hon. member from Yorkton seemed to infer that the time had not yet arrived. The position they took was that they would leave matters as they are,—in the same indefinite manner as now exists. It was there that he differed from them. He considered the time had arrived that at least steps should be taken to frame events which would speedily allow the Territories to be taken into Confederation as a province. The hon. member from Yorkton, in giving his reasons why he considered it premature that such a step should be taken gave as one, that even with an increased subsidy the difference between the amount of money coming to them as a province and now, would not be sufficient to more than bear the expenses of the Territories, and that it would be absolutely necessary to carry on the government,—that was on the lines that a province should be carried on to develop the resources of the country,—that means would be taken to borrow money. Mr. Insinger considered it would be premature to do so. The point then to be considered was, if, with a population of 112,000 in the Territories, that was not sufficient, when would they arrive at that point? If with a membership in the Dominion Parliament of four members they were not sufficient, how many should they have before they would be in a position to compel the Dominion Government to grant the Territories terms as favorable as they could desire? It was constantly brought forward that admission into Confederation as a province would necessitate the borrowing of money. He believed it would, but he did not consider it so much of a bugbear as it was popularly supposed to be. They were in the position of a business house, or a farmer, who by cultivating part of his farm was able to pay expenses. He had natural resources in a large area, but he did not attempt to cultivate simply because he had not the means to do so. Was it better for him to continue indefinitely only paying expenses, or to borrow money, develop his farm and make it a dividend paying concern? That was the position they were in regarding the Territories. Whether would it be better for them to go on for an indefinite period simply paying expenses, allowing their natural resources to remain dormant, or whether it would be better to borrow money and develop the resources? The hon. member from Yorkton, in speaking of British Columbia and Manitoba, as the different systems of carrying on municipal or provincial government, showed it was absolutely necessary that some taxes had to be levied in British Columbia, but he said the taxes were levied by a provincial tax. That was correct. But that tax in rural districts, other than municipalities, this year was only 10 mills on the dollar. There was a poll tax of $3 per head for all who were not otherwise assessed. As he said, the tax was only 10 mills on the dollar, but they should bear in mind the provincial government paid all the expenses of the scholl system,—that it included what in the Territories was their school tax,he asked did they consider that a very high tax? How many school districts were there in the Territories whose assessment was lower than 10 mills on the dollar? So that to-day they were assessing themselves nearly as high as British Columbia assessed itself. British Columbia had developed from a population of 20,000 to a population of 80,000 during the last 15 years. British Columbia came into confederation as a crown colony. But supposing B.C. had been an undeveloped portion of the North-West Territories, and instead of going into confederation as a province had simply been formed into a local government on the lines of the North-West Territories, what would have been her position to-day? The amount of money she would have had to expend would only have been sufficient to pay expenses, consequently they would have had no money to make their roads and to make the necessary improvements that had produced that increase. British Columbia not being an agricultural country, it might be said the N.W.T had increased in the same ratio, but with this difference,—the Territories had an asset that could be realized, upon agricultural lands ; British Columbia had none. So if British Columbia had been in the position of a Territoryshe would have been to-day with very few more in population than she was then. It was only by borrowing money she was able to develop her natural resources that made it possible for a population of 8,000 or 9,000 to exist at Cariboo, 300 miles from the railroad, and made it possible for millions of money to be invested there. It was not a danger to have the power vested in a provincial government to borrow money; it was only by that means that it was possible to develop the uatural resources of the country. He hoped he hd made himself clear on that point. The first part of the question was that he was distinctly in favor in the near future of the best efforts being made to admit the Territories into confederation as a province.
Mr.Insinger: One province?
Mr. Fearon: That was where he agreed with the framers of the memorial, and where he differed with them in not going far enough. Where he differed from the framers of the amendments was where they laid down that the Territories should be admitted as two or more provinces. If they entered as two provinces they would enter as three. Was it desirable that the Territories should be divided into three provinces? He thought not. That would be a state of affairs only parallel to the Maritime provinces to-day, where there was a movement to consolidate the three provinces into one. The hon. member from Banff spoke of the amount of money paid into the local revenue fund from Alberta. The amounts were small and unimportant for the very reason that they might from year to year alter the amount of money obtained from licenses, registration of companies; and other sources of revenue were such that at any time the case might be reversed. There was no argument advanced why Alberta should be separated from the Territories and formed into a province that could not be advanced in favor of any other part of the Territories. In fact it was disintegration, a principle opposed to the spirit of the age. He was opposed to any division of the Territories. There were many arguments why they should remain united. First, that as a whole they certainly would be of more importance than they would be divided. The hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Magrath) thought the Territories would be too large, and as evidence advanced that the territories to the south had recognized the principle and divided as small as possible. It would be found, however, that the territories, which are now States, like Dakota, Texas and others were as large or larger than the NorthWest Territories. It had not been shown that there had ever been any difficulty about the machinery of the Territories. If it was possible for the Executive Committee in a sparsely populated country, now to manage the machinery of Government in the North-West Territories under present conditions he did not see how but a provincial cabinet ought to be able to do it with increased facilities. He would have preferred seeing an amendment brought in which would more clearly have answered his position, but as it remained at present between voting for the memorial as it stood, which left it in doubt, and the amendment proposed, which distinctly stated that two or more provinces should be formed, he must vote against the amendment and in favor of the memorial. (Hear, hear.)
The debate will be continued in next issue.


Shall the Territories Be Divided?

Mr. Haultain Emphatically Says, No! and Gives Good Reasons for His Answer — The Secessionists Admit Their Defeat, and Shirk a Vote.

In the "Memorial" debate in the Assembly, Messrs Brett and Insinger spoke in the afternoon. At half-past five Mr. Magrath had the floor. He continued speaking half an hour after recess, and was followed by Mr. Fearon, whose speech was printed last week. It was about nine o'clock when the leader of the House rose to combat the plea of the secessionists.
said that after the debate which took place in the afternoon he ha not thought of taking up any of the time of the House, but it had taken a peculiar turn by reason of the amendment which had been put in, — a turn which had a particular personal application to several members of the House on account of their coming from Alberta, and considering the importance of the question at issue. He would refer to the amendment first and then proceed to make a few remarks with regard to the general line of debate which had been taken. The amendment was to the effect that the Assembly was of the opinion that until the Territories were admit ed into confederation as two or more provinces, which they considered was necessary at an early date for the compact government on local lines of such a vast country, that the passage of a few amendments at the first session of the Parliament of CAnada to the N.W.T. Act would allow them, subject to disallowance of their ordinances to exclusively make laws in relation to matters already within their legislative jurisdiction. The amendment involved two questions. IN the first place was the statement that the Territories should be divided into two provinces at an early date not particularly certain, — almost as vague as the words of the memorial; and in the second place that until that event became a fact, — until the Territories were divided into two provinces, they should practically remain as they were. He did not know whether the hon. gentleman who had framed the amendment had altogether followed out exactly what he meant. The memorial asked that they should remain as they were with regard to their legislative jurisdiction, but that they should have that jurisdiction considerably extended in many important matters. So that the amendment, in its prophetic allusion, was progress so far as the practical question with which the House was concerned; but in the other part the amendment was a stand still, if not retrograde, and for that reason he would have to oppose the amendment. They had a large number of powers which at present were not complete, and in which, so far as those powers were concerned, and so far as other things which at present generally came with their legislative jurisdiction, they must look for an immediate extension, — not for a remote extension at the time when a province or provinces may be established. The memorial was the practical suggestion of a practical body with regard to the actual present needs of the Territories. The amendment said they wanted a certain number of provinces at an indefinite period, and then proceeds to state they really did not want anything more in the way of extension to their legislative jurisdiction, but were perfectly satisfied to remain as they were in that respect, except that present jurisdiction should be rounded out as far as it stands at present and be made complete. To his mind the amendment nullified one fo the most important parts of the memorial, — that part which asked for the extension of their legislation jurisdiction, and for that reason could not commend itself to the House. No matter what the hon. member, the mover of the amendment, might believe with regard to what number of provinces they should have at a future day; no matter what any hon. member might believe to be the proper way of stating their position with regard to the legislative rights and financial claims, he could not accept the position of the amendment which said they did not want anything more than they had now. The amendment was not practical, it did not settle anything, but it left everything for the considereation of the future. The whole subject connected with the memorial had been very sufficiently and very fully discussed during the afternoon — so far as the speech of the hon. gentleman from Yorkton was concerned, more fully and more ably discussed than any question he ever heard debated in that House. Therefore he (Mr. Haultain) would not attempt to take up the time of the House in dealing with the details of the memorial, or in dealing with their financial position. Those were fully set out in the memorial, and with which they all pretty well agreed. The question so far as the amendment was concerned, so far as any differenece of opinion with the memorial was concerned, was a question of what should their institutions be? He went further and said it was a question of what should their institutions be now? not what they should be at some future date. That involved the questin of whether they should have a single province, or whether they should debate the system proposed in the memorial of a gradual development of the present Territorial system until they arrived at such a point that they would be albe to slide into confederation almost without knowing it. That question had been complicated by the amendment which meant that Alberta should be established into a province itself. As a member representing an Albertan constituency, he must take exception to the position assumed by the hon. member for Banff in undertaking to represent the views of Alberta. He (Mr. Haultain) denied any right on the part of the hon. gentleman to attempt to represent what the opinions of the pepole of Alberta were except so far as those people were confined to the limits of his own electoral district. He might tell him, and other hon. gentlemen from Alberta, that he did not believe Alberta wished to be made a province. He did not believe there had been a proper statement of the feeling of Alberta to-day. He agreed with what the hon. gentleman from Lethbridge (Mr. Magrath) said, that if a poll were taken to-day in Alberta on the question of whether Alberta should be set aside as a province there would be a very large majority against it in spite of the efforts of the Alberta autonomy movement in Calgary. That movement originated in the town of Calgary in one sense. It was a very praiseworthy movement in so far as it called attention to certain important public matters and gave opportunity to consider the larger question of the form of government in the Territories. But on the other side, if he might judge from the propaganda of the movement in the shape of pamphlets, and from the speeches he had heard from prominent advocates of the movement, after all the movement was largely a very local one. They appealed largely to the desparate condition into which certain portions of Alberta had unfortunately fallen. He heard of large and visionary schemes on provincial lines by which millions of dolars were going to be raised in the money markets of the world, by which large public works were going to be undertaken, and in fact, under the expenditure of which sums everyone was going to get work to be rich; to say nothing of the incidental fact that Calgary was going to be established as the capital of the future province, that public buildings were going to be built there; that the Assembly, or something like the present one, or better, was going to be established there; that there would be a completely planned civil service, and that Calgary should blossom out from its present condition into a full blown capital. That was the most practical argument he heard, but it was not a practical argument that appealed to him, or that should appeal to the members of the House, or to the people of Alberta when asked to take such an important step as to separate from the Territories. As a member from Alberta he was not prepared to advocaate any scheme which meant the division of Alberta from the rest of the Territories and making it into a province. Considering the practical interests of the country, considering the practical work they had to do, he did not feel disposed to be asked to express an opinion upon the subject. The gentlemen who had advocated Alberta autonomy that day in the House did not go any nearer than saying it was something to be hoped for in the near future, whatever that might be. Why, therefore, should the House be asked to spoil a memorial which dealt with their present needs; which dealt with their undoubted rights and the righteous demands they wished to make with regard to their immediate surroundings and their everyday institutions? Why should he be called upon to express an opinion with regard to something which was simply anticipatory of a movment which might take place at some future date, as the hon. gentleman put it in his amendment. The hon. gentleman from Banff referred to the present connection of Alberta as a partnership in a firm, and said that member of the firm wished to withdraw. He (Mr. Haultain) did not know exactly what the hon. member meant when he spoke of a partnership existing between what was one single united country, and he believed it would remain so. The diversity of interests which existed between various parts of the Territories had been spoken of as giving a good and strong ground for dividing the Territories up. What sort of a province did the hon. gentleman wish it to be? Did they want to have one sheep farm, or one wheat field, or one sort of a field devoted to some other sort of industry which their own insignificance would allow them to describe? If they wished to have a good strong province, strong in its own resources, they should have a diversity of resources (hear, hear.) Much better than having a comparatively small amount of land devoted to one or two interests would it be if they could have a very large area such as the organized Territories were to-day with their diversity of interests, but not conflict of interests. They should look forward to having a very much stronger and better province than there would be if they ha to be divided up. Was there as much diversity of interest or conflict of interest, if they liked to use the expression, between the most remote portions of the Territoreis as there was between any sections of the older provinces? There was no conflict. He did not think any member of the House could state that at any time in the history of the House there was any conflict of interest between those portions of the Territories known as Alberta, Assiniboia and Saskatchewan. He believed there was a Saskatchewan question at one time, but that lost a large amount of its significance in the comprehesive term "in other respects," so he was safe in saying there was no conflict of interest, at least very apparent. Hon. gentlemen who had argued with regard to the establishment of a small and weak province such as ALberta would be, look at the analogous case of Manitoba, Bri tish Columbia and other provinces. In the first place they were not analogous. Manitoba was not taken into confederation under the same circumstances as the Territories would be taken into confederation. Manitoba was taken in as a political necessity. In one sense they hoped the Territories to be taken in as a political necessity, but not in the same sense. In talking of two sides to a bargain, British Columbia when taken into confederation had a distinct say as to the terms upon which they would enter. On the other hand when they of the Territories were talking about two sides to a bargain, their position now and for a long time to come would be that, although they were in one sense one of the contracting parties, in reality the other contracting party had all the say, because it had all the power; so that the analogy between the terms of entrance into confederation either between British Columbia or Manitoba did not hold good. The hon. gentleman had referred to direct taxation. If they did not have direct taxation they certainly could not have enough money for carrying on their business. They either had to have direct taxation or they mjust hae a municipal form of government under which people would levy the burdens upon themselves, if they would be a successful province. It was very easy to take, as the hon. gentleman from Banff did, a sheet of paper and with a few figures make a fortune out of them. The figures did not lie, but the average man who relied on the figures was very apt to find he was very much mistaken. The figures did not lie, but all the practical questions involved in those figures had to be taken into consideration. Upon the credit of what, would any large sums of money be raised in the proposed province of Alberta? Not upon lands, because there were not going to be any lands; not upon minerals, because the mineral went with the lands and were already taken up by Federal authorities; so that when the hon. gentlemen indulged in fanciful figures in regard to large loans of money they should take one step further and explain exactly how they expected to raise those large sums of money. He did not think practical men living in Alberta had had any large opportunity of seeing that capital was particularly anxious to flow into the Territories. When hon. gentlemen talked about borrowing large sums of money they were simply begging the question and ignoring the practical side which precluded the possibility of any such loads being raised for a very long time to come. The hon. gentleman's argument with regard to the compactness of the province or provinces, and with regard to the desirability of having comparatively small areas formed into provinces, might e considered. The reference to the policy of the United States with regard to their Territories, was not a reference which should have great weight in that House. So far as they knew anything about American in situations, he (Mr. Haultain) thought that was not exactly the part of the world to which they were going to look for precedents. If the States like to cut up their country into comparatively small territories, presumably they did so for some reason, but not, he thought, for the reason advanced by the hon. member for Lethbridge. At what points were they going to draw an arbitrary line and say "at this point facility for governing this country ceases?" There were no great natural obstacles to communication in this country. They could communicate with the most remote parts in a rapid manner either by railroad or telegraph, so at what points would they draw that imaginary line? for after all it was a geographical line drawn arbitrarily without any reference to any known number at all, and no position involving such a division could commend itself to that House as being based upon any sound principle, or even on good common sense. The argument with regard to those narrow limits, and the special rights which exist within those norrow limits, seemed to be a decidedly provincial argument. He used the expression advisedly. He was not opposed to the formation of a province, but he hoped hon. gentlemen who went in for the formation of a province would not take the other meaning of the term and indulge in arguments which could only be called both narrow and provincial. If they were going to confine themselves at once to the particular rights or particular claims of smaller portions of this country they might take the position proposed by the hon. members from Banff and Lethbridge, and cut the whole country into small plots so that every man might be a province unto himself with three acres and a cow. But it seemed to him they should take the larger point of view, and not be bound by the narrow selfish interests and claims, so-called, of any particular portions of the Territories. The hon. member from Lethbridge referred repeatedly to the fact that they were over-governed. He (Mr. Haultain) believed the hon. gentleman was perfectly right. (Laughter.) They had heard about the movement going on now in the maritime provinces. He had not heard that it had taken any very definite shape, but he believed there was a feeling in the maritime provinces at least that they were over- governed; that having three small provincial governments instead of one strong government weakened their influence. But the hon. member from Lethbridge, when telling them about that state of being over-governed in the Dominion, proceeded, not in the most logical way, to recommend that they should follow the analogy of other parts of the Dominion by cutting up these Territories necessarily into a large number of small areas for the purposes of government. It would simply mean duplication, or triplication, or some other quantity of governments, or legislatures, of institutions of all sorts. In fact all of the larger institutions of the machine would simply be increased just so many times as the number of provinces it was decided there should be, without, so far as had been shown, any benefit being derived from it. For that reason, then, why should they have two or more small provinces when one good strong province would do for all the Territories when the time for a province had come? He believed they should have one province, but that they need not have it yet. He believed they should go on, as they had been going on, with the gradual development of their present institutions, here and there gaining a little more power, here and their extending their jurisdiction, here and there getting more money. There were the practical questions for consideration, and that very discussion showed that they were not prepared to make any definite claim with regard to provincial questions. The very fact that there were three sets of opinions expressed in the House showed they were not prepared to discuss the provincial question with a view to its immediate institution. They had very difficult questions to be settled when formed into a province, questions with regard to their lands and many other matters. The hon. gentleman from Banff, the other day, in addressing the House referred to the undignified position the Territories occupied through the annual pilgrimages which had to be made to Ottawa to ask for more money. If such an attitude was an undignified attitude for them in their present undeveloped position, what word should he use to describe a similar proceeding on the part of the representatives of a full blown province, because that was what the hon. gentleman admitted must be done? If they were going to have a province established at once they were not going to get what they thought they ought to get, and they would be obliged to do exactly what Manitoba had been obliged to do, and would be obliged to do, — to make those annual pilgrimages, only it would be very much more undignified to go down to Ottawa on behalf of the province and make those annual claims than it was merely for a member of that House, who happened to be a member of the Executive Committee, to go down to Ottawa from year to year, simply to say, "we have no agreement with you, we do not want to ake any agreement with you, but we want to get better terms, and we consider we are entitled to better terms?" So far as the argument of the annual pilgrimages was concerned the hon. gentleman had better not have made reference to it. The Territories had gradually demanded and had gradually taken quietly, it was true, but not the less effectually, larger powers into their own hands. They had developed the Executive Committee, an institution which was their own creation, and had practically put into the hands of men responsible to the House almost all the administrative business of the Territories. They had been going on gradually until they had at least arrived to-day very nearly the position of a province so far as administrative business was concerned. The memorial stated very clearly the difference between their present position and that of a province. It went on to say they wanted further powers with the one exception that they did not want to be al lowed to assume a debt which might complicate the provincial question later on, and they did not want to be admitted into confederation simply becausse they did not feel prepared to discuss the terms of being admitted into confederation. The memorial enabled them to go on gradually developing their institutions, bradually practising self government until they had arrived at the time when they were fully enabled to negotiate with the stronger body at Ottawa in regard to the important questions he had mentioned. He did not think he need wast time in arguing upon the House that they were not ready to go into negotiations. There were questions which demanded a large amount of negotiation and which unfortunately were settled not so much on principles of right and justice, but more with respect to the amount of political pressure which could be brought to bear upon the Ottawa authorities. He defied any hon. member to say they were prepared by virtue of their representations at Ottawa, or by virtue of the strength of the Territories in population, or in any other respect, to go to Ottawa and negotiate with the authorities there for entrance into confederation. What they wanted was autonomy. Autonomy meant power to govern themselves. Their jurisdiction was subject to continual incursions of Federal legislation. They made a useful law, and sometimes an Act was passed at Ottawa which rendered useless their own legislation. They wanted to be put in the position of a province of passing laws coming within their own jurisdictions, but wished to defer the settlement of the very difficult and complicated question as to the terms upon which they should enter into confederation. To go further than that, they were met with this fact staring them in the face, that they were not agreed upon what they wanted to be in the future. Some wanted one province, some wanted two provinces, and possibly before they had gone much further they might find a claim for a province somewhere on the banks of the Saskatchewan. In view of the fact that the most ardent advocate of provincial autonomy was not prepared to show what he really wished to do, why should they complicate the consideration of practical questions which concerned their everyday needs, which come up every day, and concerned them to-day, and would continually, until that province or those provinces had been established, — why should they complicate their position in the discussion of something upon which there were so many differences of opinion, and in the discussion of a question which could not be practially settle that night? They might as well drop that subject and get down to business. Their business was, What did they want for the present time, both with regard to their constitution and with regard to their finances, not what they wanted for the future with regard to their constitution, and upon which they were not agreed. Let the reference in the memorial as to what they wanted be as explicit and as implicit as possible, but let them be unanimous as to what they want just now. The hon. gentleman from Lethbridge said in his amendment that they should stand still until the change was made.
Mr. Magrath: I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon, I say nothing of the kind.
Mr. Haultain (reading the amendment): Waht I say is, the amendment as it reads is subject to only one construction, and that is that it proposes that we should stand still until two or more provinces are established. Of course, continued Mr. Haultain, if the hon. gentleman did not intend that, he (Mr. Haultain) was very glad, but that was the only meaning he could give the amendment if it meant anything at all. If it meant something else—
Mr. Magrath: I certainly cannot see it.
Mr. Haultain proceeded that if the amendment did not mean that, he did not see what it did mean. He thought if they could be unanimous upon what they wanted, and upon what they ahd a right to have, they could agree to disagree with regard to what their future was going to be. Their present position demanded a remedy at once. The memorial set that out much more eloquently than anything he could say. Therefore let them set aside the larger question which was for the future, and turn their attention to the practical needs of the present moment. He thought he need not address an argument to the Houe to be unanimous. If they were not unanimous they need not hope for anything from Ottawa. If the hon. member for Banff between now and next session advocated the Alberta autonomy movement he would at least do a great deal of good in calling attention to the system under which the Territories were not working. It might be a very good educative movement, and he (Mr. Haultain) certainly would not object to it, but if dreams were to be dreamed, and if visions were to be seen, they had better be dreamed and better be seen outside of that House, which after all had only to do with practical work. If however they were going to consider the larger subject it should be a little larger that the comparatively small area of Alberta and Saskatchewan for after all those names were only applied for post office purposes. Their consideration of their needs on that question should be just as broad as the whole of the Territories. And if they were gong to dream a dream, the dream he would like to dream would be the dream of one large province with all its varied resources; a dream of one large province with a united population, and not a divided population; and if that dream could come true he believed it would be a much better dream, and a much more desirable dream than the dream which was dreamed by the hon. member for Banff. A dream of one large province holding its own in confederation, the most powerful province in confederation, would be a much more desirable thing to think about, and to speculate about, than a number of small areas confined in their own powers and in their influence. The dream he would like to dream would be the dream of the largest province and the most powerful province in the greatest and most glorious country attached to the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. (Applause.)
(Battleford) said the committee in considering the report as contained in the memorial, had decided that there were three possible propositions to bring up in the matter. One was the consideration of bringing the whole of the Territories into one province; or two or more provinces, and the third was the consideration of an enlargement of their powers as they were at present. In regard to the idea of asking for provincial rights the committee were not in a position very well to understand what was meant by the expression "provincial autonomy," as it had been used by some members of the House. The committee endeavored to find out their views, but were unable to find any union amongst them as to what they really wanted. Some did not want a province at all, they had no idea of provincial rights; some would be willing to take a province provided they took in half of Assiniboia and half of Saskatchewan, and made them a province; others would be willing to go int as a province provided Athabasca was taken in. But the committee could not come to any conclusion as to whether those hon. members were able to agree as to what they meant by provincial autonomy. Under the circumstances the committee agreed that the best thing they could do would be to embody their ideas which would be makeing a step forward in the position in which they now were. Regarding the powers which it would be for their advantage to have. Powers they did not wish to have they had not embodied in the report. He would refer especially to the point of borrowing money and the administration of criminal jurisdiction. As far as the arguments of the hon. member for Banff were concerned he did not think they moved in the right direction to convince that they had necessity to consider the question of asking for full provincial rights yet. That must come some day they were all agreed. The amendment proposed did not find fault with any of the propositions embodied in the memorial, it was not finding fault with any of the powers asked for, it was simply brought up on a few words contained in one of the clauses, which was brought in in parenthesis, the printing of which would indicate that it was simply a reference to a condition which they would be in at some future date, when they would be in a position to ask for provincial powers for one, two, or more provinces. The fact of those words being in did not bind that it should be one province, or two, or any number at all. In the N.W.T. they had been for some time gradually moving towards increased powers. The powers that had been granted to them had been exercised with judgment and with good results. The argument had been brought forward that they should ask for a great deal more than they expected. He took issue with that. If they put forward claims on just principles and gave good sound reasons in support of them, they would be more likely to get what they wanted than if they asked for something which they could not justify. It had been said they had made progress slowly. He admitted they had not got the powers they asked for immediately, but they had had a change of administration at Ottawa, whether Conservative or Liberal, there was always a thing hanging over those Governments, and that was shortness of money, and they would doubtless find that it did not matter what administration it was, they would always be inclined to keep as much of the money in their own hands as possible. That was to say, they would not be willing to give the Territories any more money than they were entitled to, and it was necessary for them all the more decidedly to show what they actually required and they were not asking more than they could make use of. As to the development of the coal fields in Alberta, that would be very largely dependent upon the population of the Territories. It was all very well to say they could get a large market in the south, but there was be tween them and the south a wall of tariffs, and there was every prospect that that wall would be built higher every day, so that it would be a handicap upon the Alberta coal fields as regards markets. It would be better for Alberta to aid in getting the population into the Territories which would give a market for the minerals of Alberta and which would result in getting the population into Alberta, and that again result in consuming the productions of the Territories. As regards the borrowing of money on public credit, he might say that in order to do that, they must have good security. He could not see where the money was to come from, if they had a province such as Alberta, except from direct taxation, and direct taxation was always a cry which tended to keep population from going into the country. The freer they could make a country as far as direct taxation was concerned, the more likely they would be to get population. The hon. member for Banff instanced a cry that came from Saskatchewan for provincial autonomy. He (Mr. Clinkskill) did not know that the hon. member was referring to anything except that once upon a time a very slight wail was heard to come from that vast territory, but it was of such a very weak nature that it never reached very far, and they had heard nothing of it since that one time it was given expression to. He could not talk for the people of Saskatchewan in the same way the hon. member talked for the people of Alberta, but he did know that he was in favor of one province and not of two, and he was in favor of a gradual development of the powers they had until the arrival of the time when the step into a province would be a very short step to take. He could not follow the hon. gentleman's figures. He showed that 78 per cent of the revenue was got from Alberta and 30 per cent. was spent on schools. He (Mr. Clinkskill) was very sorry to hear the hon. member from Yorkton accused of levity in speaking of that matter. The charge of levity should have been raised against the hon. member for Banff for raising the argument that the country used so much on the one hand, and on the other hand spent so little in a proper direction. Certainly he (Mr. Clinkskill) did not think that was an argument in favor of a people being allowed full provincial powers. He was sorry the hon. member for Banff had not by this time come to reason, and was not assisting them in that progress which was desirable. At one time the hon. gentleman's career in that House was directly opposed to the progress of the House, and the move he was making now was nothing different from the stand he took at that time. The development that had taken place in their powers in the Territories, they had not to thank they the hon. member for Banff for. In conclusion he (Mr. Clinkskill) said he was in favor of all the claims laid down in the memorial. He would like to have those granted, and he would like to say that if they be not granted, or were not granted at an early day, he would be in favor of one province but not of two provinces. (Hear, hear).
By permission of the House
was allowed to speak. He said it would occur from the remarks just made by the hon. gentleman from Battleford that it was heresy, or taknig a stand against everything that was good and right in the direction of the progress of this country, to bring up a question that he (Mr. Brett) thought was an important one. However, the point of view raised by the amendment was not one that was not without suggestion. If hon. gentlemen would read the paragraph in the memorial upon which the amendment was based, they would see there was practical invitation to the House to discuss one or more vital questions. There was an invitation there to discuss distinctly they principle involved in the amendment. It distinctly stated "one or more." If there happened to be a number of gentlemen in the House who conscientiously believed that when the time does come for the division of the Territories, and that it should not be a question of, one but of two, it was a proper thing and a proper time to discuss that in the frankest and fullest manner. That was the reason the amendment had been presented. So far as being unanimous, he dared say the House could be made perfectly unanimous. He did not think there was a dissenting voice in the House with reference to the memorial generally speaking, but there was a difference of opinion with reference to whether there should be one or two provinces. The hon. member for Macleod Mr. Haultain) wished the House to understand that if the amendment was accepted it would practically nullify the whole of the memorial. If the amendment did that then most undoubtedly the clause as it appeared in the memorial nullified the balance of it. The amendment anticipated going on for some time at least on the lines indicated by the memorial, only that it asked that amendments be passed at next session of Parliament at Ottawa. So that the amendment aimed at really being immediately progressive in that direction while the memorial did not. It had been asked, on what credit would the province of Alberta borrow money? He answered, on precisely the same kind of credit as Manitoba borrowed money. Manitoba had no lands to pledge any more than they had; she pledged the credit of the province in its future on the public buildings already existing and hereafter to be built, and Alberta could take the same basis of credit, only with this difference, that Alberta would have a very much larger country, if the extent of country was to be taken into consideration.
in speaking to the amendment, said he did at one time suggest to the hon. member for Banff that the amendment would better have come up as an amendment to the memorial as a whole. If it was not opposed to the memorial, then the hon. member must take the horn of the alternative and profess that it did not mean anything at all. The amendment should have been brought in either as an amendment to the whole memorial, or as a separate resolution.
(Red Deer) said he thought the member of the House had no differences of opinion as to the memorial, and as to the difference between the memorial and the amendment, for his part he would be in favor of the memorial as it stood.
(Edmonton) said he had received a good deal of information from listening to the debate. While he was very sorry to find out that Alberta had been charged with being so — intemperate, he might say [?] (laughter) he had often heard it said that the people in the N.W.T., and especially in Alberta, were cheerful drinkers, yet he did not know they could be charged with so much in that line. But with regard to educational matters he thought they were up with the times, that they kept pace with the other parts of the Territories, and he was sorry to hear the insulting remarks of the hon. member for Yorkton respecting that matter.
Mr. Insinger: I simply tied to explain away certain things which the hon. member for Banff had said; but the charge me with having insulted Alberta because I tried to explain away certain insulting references by the hon. member for Banff is wrong. I accepted the actual statement of the hon. member for Banff, and any reflections upon that statement should not be made towards me, but to the hon. member who made the statement.
Mr. McCaulay: I will then charge the hon. member with repeating waht the hon. member for Banff did say. (Roars of laughter.) While I accpet that with a good grace and think any hon. member in this House should accept any statement there is one thing: when it comes down to charging Alberta with committing three-quarters of the crime committed in the Territories, I draw the line there (Hear, hear.) Continuing Mr. McCaulay said that while there was very little difference, as far as he could see, in the amendment and the memorial, he thought that they all agreed that the time had now arrived for provincial autonomy. What then should they quarrel of differ over [?] section where it said "one, two or more?" When the time came it would be time enough to decide whether it should be "one or two or more." Therefore he could not agree with the amendment. He would rather see one good province than two poor ones. He had made up his mind to support the memorial as it stood (Applause.)
(Prince Albert) said that after the expression made use of by the hon. member for Macleod that he expected to hear an expression from the borders of Saskatchewan as to provincial rights, he might said that they hards nothing of provincial rights from there. There had been, some time ago, a wail from there, as the hon. member for Battleford had said, but it was buried in the back woods. He thought they were going on satisfactorily in the Territories and that the memorial was in the right direction. It had taken the Territories 20 years to reach the present stage and he thought it would, at the present rate of progress, be 20 years more before they were ready for provincial autonomy.
Mr. Magrath: For fear of losing the little support I had in connection with this amendment, I will, with the permission of the House, withdraw it.
Leave was given, and the amendment was withdrawn.
The House then went into committee of the whole at 10:45. Progress was immediately reported. The memorial passed a second and third time, was [[?] curred in, and a resolution adopted to the effect that His Honor the Lieut. Governor be asked to forward the memorial to the Governor-General-in-Council.
Adjournment of the House took place at 10:50.


Regina Leader, 1896-1904. Digitized by Google Books.



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