Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 6 April 1899, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.



Bennett of West Calgary "Shoots His Bolt" Against the Administration—The Life of the Government not Seriously Endangered—The Aspiring Leader of the Opposition Preaches the Doctrine that the "End Justifies the Means" and Wants to Se a Government With a Policy to "Make Things Happen"— Serious Charges Against the Executive Freely Made, but Easily Disposed of by Mr. Bulyea, Commissioner of Agriculture, Who Replied for the Government—very Effective Reply Made by Dr. Patrick to a Portion of the Theories and Fancies of Mr. Bennett—Condensed Summaries of the Speeches of the Mover and Seconder of the Address in Reply, and the Other Members Who Joined in the Debate.


Thursday, April 6, 1899
Speaker took the chair at 2:45.
At 8 o'clock Mr. Speaker resumed the chair. It had been rumored and expected that Mr. Bennett of West Calgary intended entering the debate with an onslaught against Government. When the sitting opened Mr. Bennett was not in the House and
Mr. HAULTAIN arose to close the debate. He explained his somewhat unusual position in the debate as leader of the Government. Under an ordinary and well defined party system there would be a regularly appointed leader of the Opposition. In the absence of any regularly formed Opposition or recognized leader of the Opposition, and as there was possibility of hearing from members or leaders of an Opposition or Oppositions, he had postponed his remarks, it being generally understood that the leader of the government had a right to reply to the chief criticism levelled against the administration. He presumed that the House had now heard the principal critician, and he would make his own remarks brief. The Premier heartly complimented the mover and seconder of the address, and agreed with Mr. Lake that if any apology were called for it was the old members who should apologise for their continued existence. (Laughter.) The seconder also laid down the proper position as regarded the occasion of the address, that it was better to leave the controversies to a later stage. While there was perhaps controversial matter in the address, it was not placed in a controversial way. In fact the Address in Reply was framed, as far as possible, to avoid controversy, and a member voting for its adoption was mot committing himself on any important question one way or the other. The Premier alluded to Mr. McKay's statement regarding his (Mr. McKay's) attitude and wrong classification by a newspaper characterised as a Government organ. He said if it was a question between the statement of Mr. McKay and a statement appearing in any newspaper whether an organ of the Government or not he could assure the House that he was perfectly ready in the latter event to disown the organ and accept Mr. McKay's frank and fair statement. In his opinion Mr. McKay's position fittingly belonged to every member of the House, and was a creditable and proper position. It was right that members should deal with the propositions of the Government on their merits; and he was glad to hear that that was Mr. McKay's attitude. The hon. member for Banff had referred to the speeches of Mr. Villeneuve and Mr. Lake as being unique because of their independent expressions. If the hon. member was referring to things within that Assembly, then he ( Mr. Haultain ) could say the statement was very wide of the mark. There was nothing unique about the independence of the hon. mover and seconder. There had never been any servile following in that House. If their tone was independent, it was simply characteristic of the North-West Legislature as it always had been found. The member for Banff's
reference to prosperity had created apprehension in Mr. Haultain's mind—it had a familiar ring, and seemed like an echo from another arena. If he were not introducing a foreign subject, he might say that, belonging to the political party to which like himself Dr. Brett owed allegiance—a party which at least was accused of claiming that good harvests and the conditions of prosperity were managed by Acts of Parliament and affected by governmental interventions:—belonging to that party the member for Banff might consistently give the North-West Government a measure of credit for the favorable conditions which are found to exist throughout the country to-day— some little measure, after thanking Providence and the weather and other toward conditions. (Laughter.) The Speech, continued the Premier, in one respect was like the speech of the member for Banff,—it contained both hopes and regrets. The first part dealt with some causes of congratulation, and unfortunately some regrets were expressed. He desired simply to re-echo all that had been said respecting Lt.-Governor Forget. It would not be fitting in his position to attempt any eulogy. He endorsed Mr. Lake's remark that in that case the proper course had been followed in appointing a North-West man and thus giving recognition to home industry. In their choice the Dominion Government had made no mistake. The appointment had been favorably received throughout the whole Territories. Any eulogy from him respecting the late Lieut.-Governor Cameron, too, would be unbecoming at that time, Hon. Mr. Cameron had made his reputation in the larger field of Dominion politics, and of any man in the sphere in which Mr. Cameron had moved and been an influence, there was bound to be very marked differences of opinion. But no one could say that from the very moment of his entrance upon the duties of the office of Lieut.-Governor he had not shown a keen interest in this country-shown that he was resolved to devote his time and the strength of his high position to promote the interests of the country. (Applause.) The Premier repeated that the Speech should be dealt with in a non-controversial spirit, particularly the first Speech given by His Honor. It seemed to him that the reply should be made as unanimous and as counteous as possible. Of course he did not wish to deprecate critician or stop debate, but upon the subjects of the Speech criticism could be made much more effectively later on in the session. The foreshadowed subjects of legislation,—on each one of them a bill would be brought in. On other matters— matters of administration—well, the Supply Bill had to be introduced, and when it came down there was opportunity to discuss all such matters. Every subject would come up later in more definite and practical form. In other legislature, it was true, very extended debates on the address seemed to be the rule, but judging by what we heard of the debates themselves and their effect, it would certainly seem that a different course would cause no loss. The Saturday Review, he thought it was, which said that the debate on the Address in the Imperial Parliament was a "rambling discussion upon things in general," and suggested that if those who participated had written an article or hired a hall on equally good result would have been accomplished. The member of Banff made the usual critician in perhaps different words that the Speech was remarkable for what it failed to contain—that it was barren or at least meager—that no useful legistlation was promised, etc. Whether the criticism was merited or not it was certain that the Speech seemed to contain nothing upon which the hon. member could declare his own position, and it was fair to ask if the remark should be taken as coming from one who was
anxious to be making himself useful, or was it simply the commonplace remark of an Oppositionist who flet a compulsion to criticise. As the House had no recognised Opposition, the Premier supposed they would have to assume that it was the remark of one who disappointed that he could not at once roll into hard work. Leaving aside that question, however, Mr. Haultain challenged comparison with Speeches made to any other Assembly or to Parliament. He said the statement could not be contradicted that none of them contained mention of anything like the variety of important subjects contained in the Speech for which he and his collegues were responsible, and this notwithstanding the more extended work and greater organization of provincial assemblies or the federal Parliament, with their well developed parties and greater scope. The statement that work of the country had increased so as to necessitate a third member of the Executive Council was important, and would come before the House again in a practical way. Unless the House saw fit to vote Supply and provide for that third member, his services could not be continued. The matter of the Consolidation of the Ordinances was by no means unimportant. The remarks of the hon. member for Banff on that subject, coming from an old member, were not very appropriate. That hon. member had been in the House and knew perfectly well what had caused the delay. The dela was made at the request of the Commission, and this Dr. Brett knew or should have known. The Commission was first appointed in 1897, and in 1989 after they had done through the work, they advised various changes before the Consolidation should be completed and adopted. Mr. Haultain thought it was desirable that the delay should have occurred. The Consolidation now contained the whole of the work of the last Assembly, and was certainly much more complete that if it had been issued earlier. In any event the delay was not caused by the Government, the country had not suffered but benefitted, and to-day the whole law was to be found in one volume. Dr. Brett spoke of amendments he had proposed to the local improvement law in former years; he advised that those amendments ought to be made now, and at the same time protested against the Consolidated Ordinances being amended. That was a lesson to the House in consistency. Dr. Brett had much fault to find with the local improvement Ordinance. At an elelction meeting in Banff district (at Jumping Pound) the hon. member had referred to the Ordinance in very different terms. Mr. Haultain quoted from a report of Dr. Brett's speech at the meeting, highly commedning the Ordinance. The report went on to say that Dr. Brett declared he "had always taken an active part in the business of the House, that he had always held at the Statute Labor law was good, and that the people would like it when they got a proper understanding of it." This was the way, said Mr. Haultain, that the member for Banff expressed himself when he was not filling in the time alloted to the gentleman who assumes to lead Her Majesty's loyal Opposition.
Dr. Brett—If you will permit me, I will say that I always approved the principle of the law, and said nothing this afternoon inconsistent with that approval.
Mr. Haultain—The explanation does not meet the point. To-day the hon. gentleman criticised the law as it stands. At his election meeting he approved the law entirely and completely. The Premier, continuing, said that another very important subject mentioned was that of water supply. He was sorry that it was so important, and that its importance had to be admitted in the Speech, and in speeches in the chamber. He felt very much disinclined to include reference to it in the Speech and to so advertise the fact of its importance to the world. But it was one of the conditions the Government was compelled to deal with, and which had to be considered. If it were not in the speech, the bill of fare would be lacking still more and the hon. gentleman from Banff would have still greater reason to complain. Then there were the subjects of stock inspection and farming experiments, both highly important. Another subject was that respecting elections. The hon. member was very free in criticisms after the event. The Speech accurately indicated the position. It was the test made by the general elections which showed the weak points in the law. The involved questions arising in the Banff election, for instance, called for remedy. He would not say it absolutely, but believed that the imperfections of the law influenced
On that score the Premier was not complaining. On the contrary he welcomed Dr. Brett back to the House. But Dr. Brett was as much a party to the law as anyone else. Had he not always "taken an active part in the business of the House?" He had always been a critic. The assembly surely could complain that the hon. gentleman had not given the advantage of his knowledge and prescience regarding the election law in 1897 or 1898, so that the Chapter of the Consolidated Ordinances would not be demanding amendment. References to the law of partnership, winding up joint stock companies, villages, swelled the list of important subjects embodied in the Speech. The bill dealing with the law of Partnership would be found very important. The Speech itself refuted the statement that it contained reference to no useful legislation. Of course whether the legislation as finally adopted would prove useful or not would depend on the consideration given by the House. On the other hand, continued the Premier, the Government purposely refrained as much as possible from preparing any legislation not urgently required. The Consolidation was just out. Of course some amendment was necessary, but especially at this time no changes should be made but just for the sake of doing something. It was Sir Geo. Cartier who said he would never be satisfied until a session could be met with only one Bill—the Supply Bill. Certainly at this stage the fewer bills the better, especially of the tinkering sort. Dr. Brett's references to the incompleteness of the statute law did not fall with good grace from one who sat through three legislatures and always "taken that active interest in the business of the House." It was late in the day to find the existence of this incompleteness. Mr. Haultain thought that no one who would read the titles of the various Ordinances and look even casually into them—many of them embodying the results of the experiences of older countries adapted to our special conditions-would find any warrant for the comtemptous declaration made with a wave of the hand that the statute law of the Territories was so incomplete. The Assembly of the Territories had been in particularly good circumstances, free from the drawbacks and sidepullings of other Aseemblies, for exercising the function of the legislation. They had not had the sometimes necessary but in many respects undesirable features of party strife to contend against, and had been able to devote an unusual degree of single mindedness to the work of legislation. The Premier declared he was ready to stand on the declaration that the North-West statute law was in a high degree complete and useful in comparison with other countries. It was not perfect. The House was but human, as Mr. Villeneuve had truly said. The member for Banff seemed to think there something needed to be done, but was at a loss to know just what was required. He reminded the Premier of that curate out of employment who in the disputations anent the claims of the high churchmen, low churchment, and so forth, took his stand on the declaration of "No Views," and immediately gained employment. Mr. Haultain hoped that the criticisms would take more definite and practical form when the questions come before the House. After all, however, Dr. Brett had always been a friendly critic, and Mr. Haultain only wished his Government might always meet with criticisms as friendly and fair as his had been in the past. (Applause.)
MR. BENNETT (West Calgary) had come into the chamber near the close of the Premier's speech. When the latter sat down the former arose. Mr. Bennett's opening sentences proclaimed him a voluble, eloquent and pleasing speaker. He commenced by saying that while he was probably the youngest man in the House, yet he represented a most important constituency, upon which fact he would rest his justification for joining in the debate. With this brief preliminary he plunged into his topics. After the speeches made last fall at Calgary by the hon. the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Works, the House might have expected on this occasion the presentation of a programme meriting their consideration. Every man who realised the great problems treated,—was looking to see some indication that the problems presenting for solution by the administration of these Territories would be grappled with by the Government. He would say nothing in a spirit of captions criticism: his remarks would be offered rather in the spirit of determination to aid to the full extent of his poor powers the promotion of the welfare of the country. The Speech, in its reference to the Lieut.-Governor, noted the fact that it was twenty-five years ago that the North-west Territories began to be organized. Twenty-five years, thundered Mr. Bennett, was a long time. Twenty-five years was a
Almost twenty-five years ago Hon. David Mills, then Minister of the Interior, now Minister of Justice for Canada, in a speech referring to the North- West alluded to the Territories as being then in the minority, and declared that they would be expected to do the work of a grown-up country,—act the part of a grown-up man. On this day, twenty-five years later, it was surely not too early to ask if the time had not come for the people of these Territories to assume the status contemplated by Hon. Mr. Mills. Continuing, Mr. Bennett declared that problems momentous, gigantic, of the utmost seriousness, confronted the country, and with which it behooved the Assembly to deal. In the light of this declaration Mr. Bennett ridiculed an address given by the hon. the Attorney General in October last at Calgary. Mr. Haultain had professed the Government's inability to deal with the large questions of competitive freight rates, elevator monopolies, or the matter of arranging for the people of Calgary a schooner of beer for five cents. Laughter.) Mr. Haultain had accentuated the need of the cultivation of the philosophy of dullness. Mr. Bennett said that while the Attorney General had not mentioned his name everybody knew that the remarks had sarcastic reference to his (Mr. Bennett's) election address. The speaker thought the framers of His Honor's Speech must have spent a great deal of time in the study of the philosophy of dullness, for if ever there was a document distinctly the evolution of such study that the document was the speech. But if the Government were unable to cope with the momentous questions, he ( Mr. Bennett ) had a mandate from the people of West Calgary to endeavor to have them dealt with. Were not the people of these Territories interested in the question of competitive freight rates, the putting an end to railway monopoly, the question of the elevator monopoly? Would not effective dealing with those questions benefit every man in the country? He said that Mr. Haultain's remarks at Calgary were an insult to the intelligence and knowledge of the people who suffered from elevator and railway monopolies-people who are hampered and oppressed at every turn by monopolies, and who intend to remain no longer content to helplessly bear the drawbacks and burdens imposed by the monopolies. The majority of the members of the present Assembly were new men: they had come in with no set ideas of Opposition,— had come in open-minded, ready and anxious to support every step in the line of progress. But if they found the Government pursuing its old policy of "drift" instead of seeking to grapple with the problems of the hour, then it was the duty of the members to oppose that Government no matter by what or whom it was composed and without regard to any services the members of it may have rendered to the state in days gone by. If the Government failed in the duty of the hour it was entitled to Opposition. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Bennett declared that no man had more unbounded confidence in this country than himself. Looking back over the twenty-five years' history of the North-West, it was fair to ask whether this Government had done aught to facilitate progress or bring about the prosperity which was being felt in some measure by the people to- day. This Government had done to Ottawa year after year asking this thing and that thing. Whatever was 20 THE LEADER, THURSDAY EVENING, APRIL 13, 1899. possessed had come in driblets. Had all been got that might have been got? As far back as 1890 Mr. Laurier asked in Parliament why self-government was not conferred on the Territories, yet year after year the Attorney General had been at Ottawa on bended knee asking driblets. When members of Parliament enquired why so little was granted, ministers time and again answered that all was being given that was asked, that Mr. Haultain said the people of the Territories were not fit for self-government and did not want it. Was the proposition true? dramatically demanded Mr. Bennett. Was it so that the people here were unfit for self-government? Did or did not the people desire the powers to improve their condition? Did Eastern Assiniboia, for instance, care whether or not they were monopoly ridden?
Mr. Bennett made a comparison of the progress of certain States with that of the North-West to show, as he said, how much this North-West Territories Government was to be credited with. In 1861 Dakota was a Territory with a population of 4,837. In 1864, Montana was a Territory with population of 20,595. In 1870, Wyoming, a ranching Territory, had a population of 9,000. Montana in 1880 had increased to 39,159, in 1890 to 132,000, and in 1898 to 240,000. The North-West had just as wide and as good resources as Montana. North Dakota—a part of the original Territory of Dakota—had increased in 1880 to 36,000, in 1890 to 182,000 and in 1898 to 225,000. South Dakota in 1880 had 98,000, in 1890 328,000, and in 1898 410,000. Wyoming, still a Territory in 1880, had risen to 20,000, and in 1898 to 85,000. Bring the comparison nearer home. Take Manitoba, the population of which province is to-day computed at 300,000, with facilities of transportation second to those of no province in Canada, and all obtained practically without cost to the people, largely so at any rate, as the Dauphin line and other lines constructed on similar arrangement, are being obtained without the cost of a single cent to the people of Manitoba. He referred to this because the Executive Council had attempted to draw the red herring of taxation into the question of provincial establishment. On his responsibility as a member he desired to declare that neither the people of Manitoba or any other province were taxed a single cent by reason of being a province, and he charged that the Attorney General knew this fact perfectly well. Then why did he continually seek to drag in the bugbear of taxation? Simply because he feared that his pet projects, his leisure and his luxury would be interfered with if his Government undertook to grapple with the gigantic problems that awaited solution. Proceeding, Mr. Bennett declared that municipal organisation was the free act of a free people. Before any municipality could be formed two-thirds of the people must agree to formation. Even without provincial powers these Territories found themselves obliged to undertake municipal duties. Had we not organised local improvement districts, villages and cities—all established on the municipal principle? The assertion that provincial establishment necessarily meant the introduction of direct taxation, he characterised as "mere rot;" and declared it a deliberate insult to every man who possessed a soul to say that this country was unfit and unable to deal with the problems to be created by provincial establishment or to use to good advantage the powers of chartering railways and raising money upon the public credit. He claimed no magic for the name of Province, but did claim that the name "Territories " was a detriment and prevented capital from coming into the country.
After making the above very direct pleas for provincial establishment, Mr. Bennett begged the House not to misunderstand him. He was not seeking to precipitate on the House the question of provincial autonomy. Just two things these Territories lacked, namely, the power to pledge the public credit and the power to charter railways. Mr. Bennett charged that five years ago the Attorney General advised the Government at Ottawa that the people here did not wish the power of incorporating railway companies.
Mr. Haultain asked the authority for the statement.
Mr. Bennett modified his assertion. In 1893 or 1894, he thought it was, Sir John Thompson, upon a bill granting certain powers to the Territories, stated that all was being granted that Mr. Haultain had asked. Mr. Bennett then proceeded to state the reson why the people should have power to pledge the public credit. He laid down the proposition that the measure of a country's prosperity was the measure of its power to borrow money. The gist of the argument appeared to be that with borrowed money prosperity could be enhanced and the ability to borrow more thus created. Mr. Haultain had answered at Calgary that the chartering of railways was a federal matter. He ( Mr. Bennett ) joined issue on that question. Manitoba had tapped the Northern Pacific at the point of the bayonet, with incalculable benefit to herself. He said he was aware that even now the President of the Northern Pacific was prepared to tap the boundary line of the Territories, if connection could be made from this side. To show the adverse condition under which the people of the North-West labored as regarded transportation, Mr. Bennett stated that a single firm, a saddlery firm in Calgary, last year paid $7,000 upon their freighted material in excess of what they should have paid had their place of business been located in Vancouver. That was a single instance. The  same condition affected everybody and almost everything. People in Calgary and Regina pay higher rates on sugar from Vancouver than do the people of Portage la Prairie. These were the conditions which made every man in the Territories interested in the question of comparative freight rates. The elevator monopoly was another burden, felt more severely in the eastern sections than in Southern Alberta. Mr. Bennett promised that he would not be afraid to grapple with and overcome these monopolies. Were we less active, less enterprising, less courageous than the people of Manitoba or the people of the States on our southern border? Caution was a good thing, but overcaution might be carried too far. He was in favor of daring something, and declared himself a believer in the proposition that
He believed that it was possible to accelerate the motion of the machine.
At Calgary last fall the Attorney General had said that the time for provincial establishment had "just about come." It had not come last year, but last year the time had almost arrived. Upon that statement Mr. Bennett had based his expectation that the step would be foreshadowed this year, only to be disappointed. The Speech was barren of mention of any great project or problem. The elections were over. The Government could rest for another four years, pursue the old policy of "drift," and contemplate the philosophy of dullness. The twenty-one new faces appearing in the chamber should warn the Government that the policy of "drift" could no longer prevail. Mr. Bennett criticised Mr. Haultain for the departure from precedent made that afternoon. Never before had Mr. Haultain failed to
follow Dr. Brett in the debate on the address. In the light of precedent there was something peculiar in the reason offered by Mr. Haultain respecting the absence of a recognised Opposition. If nothing else, sympathy for his colleague (Mr. Ross) who was quite ill, should have prevented Mr. Haultain's departure from the custom of former years.
Mr. Bennett further criticised the proposal in point of the money consideration involved. He was charged with a mandate to offer the Government land for nothing. Lots of men would be glad of the opportunity to carry on the experiments without charge. Indeed one man was ready to offer $500 for the privilege of securing the proposed arrangement. The land which the Government were taking was the poorest kind of land. He knew this because he had himself sold the land last year for $5.00 an acre, and now the Government proposed to pay $2 an acre yearly rental. It was a good bargain for the Irrigation Company. The land had been cropped for fourteen years; all the soil was blown off it, and there was nothing left but gravel. Representing the people of Calgary West, he was interested in securing the greatest amount of benefit from the experimental system. He only asked fair play for his constituents and for himself; and although the station was being established in his district he declared that for the reasons stated his constituents were opposed to the project. Reverting to his allegation that an untrue statement had been placed in the mouth of the Lieut.-Governor, Mr. Bennett claimed that the annals of history would be searched in vain for any similar instance. He next took up a sometime statement made by the Premier that the policy of the Government was to be found in the statute book, and said he would accept the statement and prove by it that the policy had been one of consistent wobble. The Attorney General had also claimed that no other legislature could show the same record of original legislation. Mr. Bennett ridiculed the claim. New Zealand with its advanced laws was of course not to be compared with this wonderful legislature! Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Salisbury, the Duke of Devonshire and all the Imperial legislators as well as the veteran statesmen of the Canadian provinces were of course but children compared with the original legislators with which these Territories were blessed! Mr. Bennett took up the record. In 1889, 31 Ordinances were passed—7 public, 6 private and 18 amending; 1890—4 public, 3 private and 17 amending; 1891-92—12, 11 and 15 (an election coming on; pretty steady); 1892,—10, 7 and 21; 1893—9, 4 and 20 (wobbly again); 1894—10, 6 and 25; 1895—11, 7 and 18; 1896—6, 2 and 23; 1897—29, 3 and 8; 1898—6, 4 and 33. There was the policy of the past—continual wobble. The Government had no policy for the future,—no policy dealing with the actualities of life. That was the reason there were twenty-one new men in the House. The people were looking to men who would attempt to advantage the country by the tremendous opportunities at hand. In ten years the old regime had witnessed the passage of 355 Bills—198 amending, 53 private and only 104 public measures including the annual Supply Bills. The claim of originality must be based on the boast of the boy who disclaimed anything original excepting original sin. (Laughter.) The policy had been largely one of neglect. If instead of incorporating useless Sales of Goods laws, they had cut the legal fees in two, some benefit would have resulted. The legal fees in this country were a by-word. Business firms in the east preferred to lose their accounts rather than become liable to the fees. The clerks' fees should be cut in two and the advocates' fees split. Executions ought to be made easy. Instead of some such useful measure, we were to have a law relating to partnership. Possibly it was fitting when they recollected the case of the hon. Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Works, yet he thought, looking over the twenty-one new faces, Mr. Haultain might see something even more appropriate in the proposal for a winding-up Ordinance. Notwithstanding the recent Consolidation he saw the Judicature Ordinance was to be again amended. If anything should remain constant, it should be the form of procedure in the courts.
Mr. Bennett regretted that he had consumed so much of the time of the House. Had the speech been different he should not have spoken at all. But he could not refrain from voicing his opinion that that Assembly was past the stage for dealing with small matters. Twenty-five years had gone by. Nothing had been done making for the prosperity of the country. Nothing was being done calculated to satisfy the ambitions of young men. The potentialities of these Territories no man could measure. When we saw the success which he had shown was crowning the efforts of other countries, the young man was bound to feel that those efforts should be emulated. What the North-West wanted now was men who would
and not sit down and be content to drift. The country was on the flood tide of prosperity, but so far as this Government was concerned no one who looked at their policy could fail to see that they were entitled to no credit and were in no wise responsible for any progress being made. (Warm applause.)
Dr. Patrick moved the adjournment of the debate, and the House adjourned.
One of the first men to congraulate Mr. Bennett upon his speech was Mr. Haultain.
DR. PATRICK resumed the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply. He heartily congratulated the mover and seconder upon the happy and efficient manner in which both had performed difficult duties, and recalled that the hon. member for North Qu'Appelle (Mr. McDonald) and himself were the only ones in that Assembly who had undertaken like duties in circumstances of any similarity. Mr. McDonald's and his own case had been even more difficult as they had to speak as entirely new and inexperienced members before a House of old members, whereas Mr. Villeneuve and Mr. Lake had a majority of members new like themselves to address. With recollection of his own task in 1897 fresh in his memory he quite knew how to sympathise with the mover and seconder, who had performed the task in a highly creditable manner. He considered the mover as especially entitled to credit, inasmuch as he addressed the House not in his mother- tongue. He was entitled to the thanks of the House for waiving his right, out of respect for their feelings, to speak in the language of which he had best command,—a polite consideration characteristic of the French Canadian race. (Applause.) Dr. Patrick regretted that there were not more people in Canada capable of using the two languages with equal facility as Mr. Villeneuve had shown. He congratulated also the hon. member from Grenfell, who began his speech with some natural trepidation, but soon warmed up to the topics and delivered an admirable address marked by sound sense and devoid of flourish. The speaker said he wished to be brief, and asked the House to consider him as concurring fully with all the regrets and congratulations which were expressed in the Speech and which had been so eloquently expressed by other speakers. He wished to take opportunity of explaining his own position in the debate. He had not intended to join in. He believed with Mr. Lake that a brief and harmonious debate was better and more appropriate. He said that when he sought re-election in Yorkton he made it a condition that he should come trammelled only by his responsibility to himself and his constituents. He was thus perfectly independent. The position of a representative in the Assembly was fraught with weighty responsibility. The memer's conduct should be guided by more than personal considerations and motives. Public not private reasons should determine his course. He (Dr. Patrick) was perfectly independent, but he would not think it right, simply because of some lack of consideration shown to himself by the Government or for any other personal reason, to seek to obstruct the business of the House or to upset the Government. He wished to say at the outset that he held no brief for the Government. The Executive Councillors were quite capable of taking care of themselves, if given the ordinary chance. It was the custom in that House as well as in other legislatures to give the leader of the government a chance to answer the chief critic of the administration. It was unfair of the member for West Calgary that on this occasion the leader had been deprived of this chance. Certainly had Mr. Haultain known that Mr. Bennett would speak, the former would have deferred his remarks. But when the House resumed last evening Mr. Bennett was not in his place, and he (Dr. Patrick) was himself advised that Mr. Bennett was ill in bed. That Assembly had been used to fair and honorable dealing and he did not think any member would improve his standing there by resorting to tricks. Give the de'il his due, said Dr. Patrick, and likewise give the leader of the Government his due. (Laughter.) He  characterised Mr. Bennett's criticism of the Speech as an insult to the intelligence of the House. He would not take up time comparing the Speech with those given in other Houses. The members all knew what was the result of such comparison. The Speech under consideration was more definite and specific than any speech delievered at any recent session of any Canadian legislature. It might, however, be worth while to compare the Speech with the election address of the member who had declared that the Speech was indefinite and unsatisfactory. There might be need of definiteness in a Speech, but surely there was far more need in the election address of one who sought to be made representative of a constituency for a term of four years. Of course the candidate might contend that he would have opportunity to declare himself specifically on the hustings; and so a Government could contend that they would be specific on the floor of the House when their Bills and Estimates came down. Those who heard Mr. Bennett's speech last night would certainly expect that in his address to the electors he would specifically state his position on the great and momentous questions of comparative freight rates, provincial establishment and elevator monopolies. They would be surprised to learn that no reference to these gigantic problems could be found in the card of this candidate before the electors of West Calgary. The election address rather than the Speech could be proved to consist of glittering generalities. The hon. member stated to the people of West Calgary that adequate reference to the important subjects could not be put into the space of an election card. Now he seemed to think that the space of an opening speech should contain everything. Ah, but in the election card there was
that did not escape mention. "The energy and the enterprise of the people of Calgary should be recognised by the establishment of that place as the provincial capital!" Mark the great public reason! Not because Calgary was geographically convenient for the capital. Not because there was any good sound reason why Calgary should be made the capital, but for a demagogic reason, and for a reason that only a demagogue would use. (Cheers.) The energy and enterprise of the people should be recognised forsooth! Were there no other members with constituents possessing energy and enterprise deserving recognition? What scale of expenditure was going to be entailed when the only due recognition of energy and enterprise took the form of establishing capitals. (Cheers.) He ( Dr. Patrick ) himself represented constituents with energy and enterprise sufficient to guarantee prosperity without having to lean on C.P.R. car shops. (Cheers.) The people of   Yorkton raised and exported cereals and cattle and worked out their own prosperity. The speech of the hon. member for West Calgary had two notable characteristics. There was on the one hand propounded two extraordinary doctrines, and on the other there was captious criticism. The hon. member argued that we needed provincial establishment because the elevator monopoly was bad. It had surprised Dr. Patrick to learn that provincial establishment would free us from elevator monopoly. He had believed that the question was a federal matter and embraced in the subject of Trade and Commerce. If his recollection was not wholly bad the provinces no more than the Territories were free from elevator monopolies. It was not a happy compliment Mr. Bennett paid the members of the Assembly to show he thought he could bamboozle them with the notion that provincial establishment would give the power to deal with the question of grain trade.
Mr. Bennett—On my responsibility as a lawyer I state that a province would have such power.
Dr. Parick—Not being a lawyer I will not challenge the statement of the hon. member, but I venture to say at all events that the question of elevator monopoly will have passed into history before negotiations could possibly be completed to admit the Territories into confederation as a province. Dr. Patrick next referred to Mr. Bennett's second argument for establishment, namely, that by it railway competiton could be secured. He said the best thought of the country was now unanimously of opinion that competiton was not an effectual remedy against high freight rates. The best thought of the country was against the construction of railways for the sole purpose of securing competition. Unless there was need of a railway to serve the uses of a people or a district, no railway should be constructed. Dr. Patrick in a clear manner presented the argument that if a district had one railway and the one road could handle the trade and freight of the district, it was very unlikely that the construction of a second line would permanently reduce rates, because the people of that district would have to meet the running expenses account and the interest account of two lines instead of one. The result might be competition for awhile, but was most likely to be combination eventually. Public control of railways rather than competiton was now recognised as the solution of the freight rates problem. The power to bonus railways was a power, and the business of bonusing railways was a business, which might be advantageous and justifiable, but demanded extreme care and caution. A great many people in this country would fail to agree with Mr. Bennett that the bonusing power was altogether desirable. Dr. Patrick read a trenchant comment on the subject from "Events," an Ottawa publication, claiming that the people of Canada had been "bonus-mad." He averred that sounder reasons than that advanced on the railway question would have to be adduced to warrant provincial establishment. At least it would have to be shown that there was no other way to obtain freight rates relief, which would mean final admission that the railway company power was supreme in Canada, that the creature was greater than the creator, and that the Government—the public—was not supreme in its own affairs. Mr. Bennett argued that provincial establishment would not lead to direct taxation. If they took Manitoba's case, Dr. Patrick failed to see how the argument could be sustained. Manitoba was paying $100,000 yearly in interest. Some of the municipalities in Manitoba had bankrupted themselves by borrowing to bonus railways. If the province did not now need to pay the large amounts in interest, the revenue devoted to that purpose could be devoted to municipal purposes, which certainly would lessen the taxation that municipalities had to impose on themselves. So Dr. Patrick thought the matter was as broad as it was long. The system in Manitoba had resulted in taxation. Pledging the public credit to create prosperity was a doubtful or at least serious proceeding, and the last state of a community entering upon such a course was often worse than the first.
Mr. Bennett desired the Government of this country to "make things happen." His argument seemed to be that borrowing power was a necessary antecedent to the power to make things happen. Judging from his statistics referring to Dakota, Montana, etc., making things happen consisted chiefly in procuring population. Dr. Patrick recalled that the province from which Mr. Bennett came (New Brunswick) had had the borrowing power, the power to make things happen, for fifty years. Why, he asked, did not Mr. Bennett remain where there was such power ready to be exercised? Well, what had been made to happen in New Brunswick? In the decade ending 1891, the census showed that the population of that province increased by the magnificent number of eleven souls. Things happend with a vengeance. (Applause.) With Mr.  Bennett's departure the number was cut down to ten. Dr. Patrick had read just a day or two ago of a woman in the immigration sheds at Calgary surrounded by a family of eleven children all under the age of seven years. This would seem to show that New Brunswick with the borrowing power was not to be compared with the Territories lacking such power as a place where things might happen. (Pro longed laughter and cheers.) Mr. Bennett had quoted many United States statistics. He neglected to quote the experience of Kansas, which State with the power to make things happen had loaded itself with a burden of $800,000,000 debt, counting State, municipal and farm mortgages, and from which State men were now fleeing and flocking to this country in scores and hundreds to escape the results of the power to make things happen. (Cheers.) That was  an example which the people of these Territories would do well to avoid. The speaker would not argue that the public credit should never be pledged, but the proceeding was one demanding the utmost consideration and caution. He admitted that municipalities should be the free act of a free people, as Mr. Bennett stated, but found that it had not always been so in Manitoba. When the public revenues were mortgaged, and large sums had to go out in interest, the government was deprived of ability to meet certain services throughout the country, the result being that the people were obliged to undertake those services themselves,—were compelled by circumstances to undertake municipal organisation.
Dr. Patrick took direct issue with Mr. Bennett on his statement of doctrine that the end justifies the means. It was so far as he knew the first time the doctrine had ever been openly propounded in a public assembly. There had been men willing to adopt and practise the doctrine, but not before had there been a man unscrupulous enough to boldly announce his belief in such a pernicious doctrine. Dr. Patrick had been sorry to hear the announcement. Alluding to the rusty well borer at Olds, the speaker reminded the House that it was less than two years since the Government became responsible for public works and public property. Formerly individual members had the direction and responsibility, and the Government should not be held chargeable for the mis-direction or neglect of members under the discarded system. On the irrigation experiment matter, Dr. Patrick thought Mr. Bennett would have acted more appropriately had he abstained from boring the House with the reading of long correspondence; he could have had the correspondence laid on the Table. There was a principle enunciated by Mr. Bennett with which the speaker took issue, namely, that the Government was amenable to the individual member in respect of works undertaken in his district. That was wrong. The Government was amenable to the House for every expenditure. Personally he was not ready to accept as proper, expenditures in West Calgary district or in any other district merely because the member representing the district approved the expenditure. There had to be for every expenditure a public reason to justify it with the House and the country as a whole. The speaker deprecated contentious debates on the address, and read another comment from "Events" on that subject, condemning the wasting of time in discussions which resulted in nothing. Mr. Bennett's remarks against existing legislation were a reflection upon the old members. Territorial legislation could well bear comparison. In Manitoba in 1898, 90 per cent. of the legislation consisted of amending bills. A similar percentage would be found in all legislatures. At any rate before 1897 the Government here were not responsible for the legislation more than other members. In conclusion the speaker exhorted Mr. Bennett to retract his declaration of belief in the doctrine as to the end justifying the means. He asked Mr. Bennett if he would retract it and remove the stigma from the House.
Mr. Bennett said he would reiterate the doctrine.
Dr. Patrick regretted the reiteration. Such doctrine might lead to anything. If Calgary were made a capital and the hon. member accepted a portfolio in a cabinet;—he believed Mr. Bennett not only thought he was capable of managing a portfolio, but of distributing such as well;—and if he succeeded in borrowing that $2,000,000 (the speaker said he was only following Mr. Bennett's example in referring to things transpiring outside the House);—if the hon. member in capacity of minister of Public Works or Treasurer were approached by men seeking railway charters and bonuses, and leaned too heavily on that doctrine of the end justifying the means,—well such men were believed to be capable of suggestions and who could say to what the doctrine might lead?
Mr. Bennett—Order. I propose to let pass no insinuations against my honesty, integrity or honor.
Dr. Patrick said nothing was farther from his mind than to insinuate anything improper. He was merely drawing the logical deduction of the course of the man who believed in the doctrine. He was sorry that the deduction led to extreme and deplorable lengths. The hon. member should retract it and express regret that he had dared to say that the end justifies the means. It was due to the House, to his constituents and to himself that he retract.
Mr. Bennett—Conclude.
Dr. Patrick—He does not retract, Mr. Speaker. He adheres to his view. At any rate, continued Dr. Patrick, when he gets the $2,000,000, he will have to provide for repayment and payment of interest. At 4 per cent. that would mean $80,000 in interest yearly, and $40,000 would have to go yearly into sinking fund. The revenues would be charged with those amounts at once, and complex municipal organisation would be an immediate necessity. The people of Eastern Assiniboia want no two millions borrowed just yet. (Applause.)
Mr. BENNETT moved the adjournment of the House to make an explanation. He had been stating the policies of the States to the south and showing the results, and his argument was that the ends they attained justified the means they adopted, and would justify us in adopting the same means. He believed their example was our warrant to dare something, to speculate a little. They believed the end justified the means. "I believe so, too," said Mr. Bennet, "in matters of that kind." He would fling back any insinuation that he could be bought by charter mongers. Because he had hope and  enthusiasm, because he could see great possibilities for this country, he did not think justified any such insinuation. The man who would insinuate that another man could be bought,— "well, the House knows the proverb," concluded Mr. Bennett.
MR. BULYEA said that partly for the reason that the third member of the Executive Council was a subject of the Speech he had not intended joining in the debate, and would not have done so had not certain remarks made by the hon. member for West Calgary demanded reply. The hon. member had made a violent attack upon an act of administration of the department over which he had the honor to preside. First Mr. Bulyea desired to concur in expressions already made respecting Lieut.-Governor Forget, the late Lieut.- Governor Cameron, the Aberdeens and the new Governor General, Earl Minto. He further was highly pleased to see in the chamber the man who had been the first lieut.-governor of these Territories, Hon. David Laird. (Applause.) Mr. Bulyea was sure that Mr. Laird could not fail to note wonderful progress since he came into the country twenty-five years ago, despite Mr. Bennett's complaint that things had not been made to happen. In reality the progress made could well bear comparison with any portion of Canada or even of America. (Applause.) Mr.  Bennett had not come to the House without reputation. His fame as a speaker had preceded him, and his speech on the address had been looked forward to with great interest. As a display of volubility, a flow of words, the speech was no disappointment, but in other respects Mr. Bulyea placed himself in the judgement of the House in saying the speech was a great disappointment. They had expected the hon. member to treat the public questions on a proper and sensible basis, but they found that he permitted no illogical argument, no stretch of imagination, no contention however ridiculous to stand in his way in his attempts to score a point. He would even set his opinion above that of the Minister of Justice, for instance on the question of power to control the grain trade. The province of Manitoba had no more power to overcome elevator monopolies than the Territories possessed, and it ill became the hon. member to seek to support the case for provincial establishment by such mistaken pleas. Such methods of argument could only find warrant in the doctrine that the end justified the means. (Cheers.) The  hon. member apparently went on the principle that any port was good in a storm. Another rash allegation of the hon. member was the one in which the Government was accused of putting an untrue statement in the mouth of the lieut.-governor. Mr. Bennett went the extraordinary length of
a statement presented to the House by His Honor. The fact that Mr. Bennett was a young member and a new member, and possibly not quite acquainted with what was proper in an assembly of that kind, not quite cognisant of the decencies of debate, had saved him from being called to order. The covert attack made by the hon. member on the Attorney-General he (Mr. Bulyea) need not refer to. It was quite unnecessary for anyone to defend Mr. Haultain in that House. The House would recognise the unfairness of the hon. member in taking a couple of opening sentences,—the preliminary joke by which most good speakers get on good terms with their audience— upon which to base criticism and ridicule of Mr. Haultain's Calgary speech. If he had wished to citicise it would have been becoming in him to take the lines and arguments of the speech as his text.
Mr. Bulyea had not before that day seen Mr. Bennett's election address. From one who was such a stickler for definiteness he would have expected some definiteness. But in that address the House would find little in line with the stand Mr. Bennett had taken in the House. The address made no attack on the policy of the Government; it even pointed out no fault in the Election Ordinance. If that law was bad now, it was surely as bad four months ago and Mr. Bennett as a candidate failed to point to its badness. Mr. Bulyea was pained at the recklessness of Mr. Bennett's wanton charge that the Ordinance was maintained for a corrupt purpose. That was a kind of statement which the House as a whole would resent. The hon. member had more to retract than was asked by the member for Yorkton. The complete answer to the charge was that the Ordinance had been revised and consolidated by a commission upon which sat two Supreme Court judges, and that afterwards it was entirely recast by one of those judges, an ornament of the Territorial Bench against whom no man would dare to cast an insinuation. (Applause.) The  Government was accused of dilly-dallying with the
Mr. Bulyea dealt somewhat gingerly with this accusation. He said that it might be that the time has arrived for establishment. It was time to consider the financial position, and he admitted that if no other way could be found of betterment, then the problem of establishment must needs be faced. The step could not be taken in a day. The Territories must first decide what terms were wanted, and then the negotiations would be entered upon. The terms were the chief matter of moment. Manitoba had gone into confederation upon terms which soon proved inadequate and unsatisfactory. Mr. Bulyea thought Mr. Bennett's speech indicated that he had forgotten that the election was ended. The speech was of a campaign character compiled for local application; it was entirely unsuited to Eastern Assinisoia. Like many campaign speeches it was full of inaccuracies, as for instance the statement that Manitoba's population was 300,000. Mr. Bulyea showed that the Manitoba Government's own computation in an application to Ottawa for increased subsidy, wherein they would surely not underestimate, was in 1898, 193,425. The hon. member was not far out,—just a little more than 33 per cent. Mr. Bennett charged the Government for the fact that the Territories had not grown faster. Why did he not hold them guilty for the slow growth of the Dominion? He had quoted United States statistics. The comparison would apply equally to any province in Canada. In all the States population had increased far faster than in any part of Canada. Manitoba would naturally fill up faster, or at least earlier, than the Territories on account of its position between us and the sources of immigration. Now, however, things are changing, and population is flowing into the Territories. He was unable to express his conviction in such glowing and enthusiastic terms as those used by Mr. Bennett, but he hoped within the next four years to see the population of the Territories increase two fold if not three fold. (Applause.) Mr. Bulyea  had thought that the criticism anent the proportionate number of original and amending bills had been killed last fall. Some candidates had then made use of the criticism, and it had been conclusively proved that any comparison with any other legislature showed in favor of the North-West Assembly. The Lieut.-Governor of Ontario assented to 91 Bills in 1897, three months after a volume of Consolidation was promulgated, and of the 91 no less than 86 were amending Acts. The experience of Manitoba would lead the Territories to be very cautious with borrowing powers and chartering railways. The total revenue of the province is $683,705.67, and of this amount $251,944.49 is needed to pay interest on borrowed money. The Territories so far are in the fortunate position of having no interest to pay. The speaker emphasized the arguments used by Dr. Patrick on this subject, and instanced the experience of the only rural municipalities in the country—those in his own riding, whose residents had made a mistake by too soon adopting the system. One result in one of the municipalities was a debt of $20,000, the proceeds of the bonds going as a bonus to a mill which has not turned a wheel in ten years.


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[?] the debt remains as a memento. [?] districts have now reached a [?] where municipal organisation is [?], but they are hampered by the [?] of the mistake of organising too [?]. The discussion taking place two years ago when an idea was mooted to [?] Manitoba have a slice off the Territories, had served to show that the people here very well understood the ef[?] of the system prevailing in Manitoba. Each school department in the Territories , and there were 700 or 800 of them in the 450 school districts organisation, recieve $300 yearly from the Government; whereas the average in Manitoba is only $130. The people aprehend the importance of this [?] and understand the reason of it. (Applause.)
Mr. Bulyea next took the States, [?] of which Mr. Bennett had [?], and showed the disheartening burden bearing on the people in every [?]of them—state and county taxes [?] in the aggregate from 19 to 34 [?] on the dollar. He related a story [?] American visitor at Olds, Alberta, [?] commented upon the number of people congregating at [?] stations in this country to meet [?]. In the States when a train reached a station scarce a man was to [?], the reason being that any train [?] bear the sheriff and in consequence people "kept dark" until the [?] disappeared. In this country the Sheriff was a terror to but few, a fact [?] to most of our people being filled [?] less optimism and more business [?] than the hon. gentleman from Wesy Calgary. (Applause). Mr.Bennett was distroting the position when [?] said that the presence of twenty [?] members was condemnation of [?] Government. It was true that [?] had in only a few cases been [?], and the members came un[?] either in support or opposition, [?] throughout the country during the campaign wherever the policy and enact[?]. As a lawyer, said Mr.Bulyea, [?] hon. member should have escaped [?] mistake of alleging that because [?] was not actually signed and arrangement could not be termed commented. But as a lawyer he seemed to [?] to understand some simple constitutional points. An agreement might [?] binding in law before any lease was [?]. The statement in the Speech [?] at the [...] Mr. CROSS (East Calgary) spoke very briefly. In his judgement on the general lines of policy the Government had been pursuing a course in the best interests of the country. There might be items deserving criticism but as a whole the policy up to the present time had been such as to give satisfaction. The Speech promised a good deal of useful legislation—legislation characteristic of the, good and thoughtful policy of the Government. Our present institutions were built on a safe, solid foundation, upon which would be reared the provincial structure. And in his opinion the time had come when we should step ahead a little faster; take a step which of course might to a certain extent be termed speculative, and aspire to what was no doubt a more dangerous pinnacle. The prospects warranted the step. There was no such thing as standing still. We must either progress or retrograde. If the railway rates question could be solved by other means, well and good, but so far it had been proved impossible to control the companies. The Government of Canada would either have to show its ability to
or these Territories would have to gain power to obtain competition as a partial, if it was only a partial, remedy. If there was any one thing certain, it was that the people here could not much longer and would not much longer bear the injustices of the present position.
The Address in Reply carried without division, and the House adjourned.


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



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