Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 2 May 1901, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.


N.W.T. Legislature

Third Session of the Fourth Assembly


The Governor's Seech and Address in Reply Land Grants for the South African Heros-Provincial Autonomy Hall Insurance- Speech of the Leader of the Opposition and the Premier's Reply
The third session of the fourth legislation Assembly of the North-West Territories was opened this afternoon. The bright May day induced a much larger crowd than usual to witness the proceedings. Long before the hour of the ceremony the Assembly hall was thronged with gaily clad ladies, and the other sex were also present in large numbers. At 2:40 the lowering of the flag at government house announced the departure of the Lieut.- Governor and soon a cavalcade of North-West Mounted Police, under command of Inspector McGibbon, were seen coming along, escorting his honor with Captain Gilpin-Brown as aide-de- camp. The state of Dewdney street did not permit a direct journey, and as a result picturesqueness was lent to the approach of the procession by its meanderings across the prairie. On arrival at the government bulidings the escort lined up and as soon as the Lieut.-Governor had alighted arms were presented and the trumpets sounded the royal salute. His honor was conducted by Premier Haultain and Territorial Secretary Bulyea to the Speaker's chair, whence he read the following speech:-
In welcoming you to the Third Session of the Fourth Legislative Assembly, I rejoice to record the present era of prosperity throughout these Territories and the favourable prospects to be noted everywhere for the future welfare of our people.
Since our last meeting the civilised world has joined in mourning the death of our late Sovereign, Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, under whose long, wise, and beneficient rule the British Empire hs made unprecedented advancement. Nowhere has her noble example in all the relations of life been more sincerely admired or her death more deeply re retted than in the North-West Territories.
You will, I am sure, desire to express in fitting terms at the earliest opportunity the grief of those whom you represeent at the death of the Great Queen, their deep sympathy with the Royal Family in its great afflication and their devoted loyalty to our new Soveriegn King Edward VII.
In common with the rest of Canada you must be gratified at the splendid service done on behalf of the Empire by our fellow citizens in South Africa. That some of those who volunteered their services have lost their lives must be a cause of the deepest sorrow and I am sure that you will join me in expressing the greatest sympathy for the relatives and friends of those who have fallen as well as the heartiest welcome to those who have returned.
The memorial which, at your last session, you addressed to the Governor General in Council respecting the constitutional and financial position of the Territories was duly forwarded by me to His Excellency, and I wil have such correspondence as bears upon the subject laid before you.
Representations hvae been made to the Dominion Government respecting the necessity ex- isting for further provision being made to meet the present inadequacy of the revenue. Parliament has not, as yet, given any indication as to its intentions in the matter and I am, therefore unable to inform you of the reception given to the requests of my Govenrment, the nature of which you will be made conversant with in due course.
In addressing you on the occasion of your last meeting I referred to "the great dispropor"tion existing between the means at command "and the ever growing neccessities of the rapidly "increasing population of the Territories." As those neccessities have still continued to grow with our population, and there is no substantial increase to the revenue apparently to be looked for, I feel it my duty to call your attention to the absolute impossibility of supplying the ordinary servicesof the Territories with the means at your command.
During the past few months, small pox, which has been epidemic in the States of the American Union immediately to the south of us and also in a number of the Provinces of the Dominion, made its appearance at several points in the Territories. Measures were taken to prevent the spread of the disease and I am happy to be able to inform you that it is being rapidly stamped out.
The great losses of crops annually caused by hail storms, and the hitherto unsatisfactory systems of hail insurance conducted as a private enterprise,have led my Government to consider the subject: and a measure will be submitted to you by which it is hoped an efective and economical systemof insurance against losses by hail, administered by the Government, will be offered to those wishing to take advantage of it.
You will be asked to consider a Bill to amend and consolidate the law relating to Joint Stock Companies, by which a more simple and inexpensive process of formation will be provided and a more complete and comprehensive system regulating companies and co-operative enterprises introduced.
Legislation will also be introduced having in view the simplification of the law relating to the establishment and conduct of rural school districts and the method of assessment therein.
The desirability of the readjustment of the basis upon which the Legislative grants in aid of schools are at present made will be generally recognised, and propositions relating to this subject willbe submitted to you during the Session.
Your attention will be directed to a Bill enlarging the scope of the Public Works Depart- ment by providing means whereby roads at present impassable may beimproved by a system of drainage works, as well as simplifying and cheapening the manner of dealing with the vexed question of roadways.
Mesures will be submitted for your consideration amending the law respecting Steam Boilers, Liquor Licences, the Administration of Civil Justice, Villages and Local Improvement.
A statement of the Receipts and Expenditures of the past year will be laid before you.
Estimates for the current year have been prepared with due regard to the rapid growth and increased necessities of the Territories.
Gentlement of the Legislative Assembly-
To these and all other measures which may be brought before you I woudl sk your earnest consideration, in full confidence that under the Divine guidance your labours will have beneficial results and advance the proserity of the country.
After a short sojourn in the Speaker's room the Lieut.-Governor depart­ ed, amid a flourish of trumpets. Commissioner, Perry and all time officers of the North-West Mounted Police at present in Regina were present in full uniform, and the whole scene was one of gaiety and animation.
Immediately at the close of the ceremony Speaker Eakin took the chair and business began. Mr. A. L. Sifton and Mr. R. S. Lake were introduced, having been re-elected. Mr. R. B. Bennett and the successful candidate at the Moose Jaw by-election, have not yet arrived. Premier Haultain then introduced a formal bill for expediting legal and constitutional questions. It was decided to take the speech into considera­ tion on Monday, and a select committee was appointed to prepare a list of standing committees. Hon. G. H. V Bulyea laid on the table particulars of the parliamentary appropriation for the year and also a copy of the correspondence with the Dominion government relating to the status and financial position of the Territories.
The House then adjourned and the members proceeded to Government House to call on Madam Forget.


Financial Position Of the Territories and Provincial Autonomy.


Connell's Bill on Hire Receipts Killed at the Winning Post Reform of Educational System— Foreign Languagues May be Taught in Schools — Religious Teaching — Beet Sugar Factories - Doukhobor Schools.
The following is a continuation of the debate on the Budget. It will be remembered that the last issue contained Mr. A. L. Sifton's speech in introducing the estimates, and the reply of Mr. H. McDonald, leader of the Opposition.
Dr. Elliot was the next speaker. He said that he had much pleasure in congratulating the Territorial treasurer on the excellent impression his speech had made upon the House and would no doubt make upon the country. The whole matter had been merely touched with the point of a pin by the leader of the Opposition. The criticisms had been of the two-penny- half-penny sort that did not commend themselves even to the narrowest- minded people. If the Opposition wished to gain the confidence and respect of the people of the Territories they would have to indulge in a different class of criticism. Mr. McDonald advocated decrease of salaries yet he made no attempt to show incompetency on the part of officials, or that others elsewhere were getting less. The Opposition then charged that a great deal of money was wasted on inspection, and then attempted to prove that work was being done without adequate inspection. That was not very consistent. Everything they proposed relating to public works, education, public health and asylums in Manitoba, was for an increase, at the same time they were crying out for a decrease in expenditure. He congratulated the Government on their manly stand in giving the people the benefit of public works even beyond the revenues of the year, and he defended the policy in regard to test wells, in buying machinery supposed to be adequate and afterwards obtaining machines which would go to greater distances to complete the work. He argued that the Red Deer bridge and the others had been sufficient to stand under ordinary circumstances, but had been destroyed by unprecedented floods. It was unfortunate that the bridges referred to should have been lost at the time when money was scarce; but of the 1,100 bridges existing it would be strange if some were not destroyed. Of the 300 bridges constructed since the reorganisation of the department only three had been destroyed; could anybody want a more favourable report? The C.P.R. were continually losing bridges. He believed that scarcely a year passed but some were washed away. As to works for which tenders had been asked, in almost all cases the tenders had to be refused and in a few cases there were no tenders. Work had been done much better by day labor than by contract and that was generally the case. The speeches about work done in frozen ground would not make good immigration literature. The complaints had really nothing in them. In some cases the ground was in fine condition when the instructions were sent, but was frozen afterwards. Last night certain education resolutions were proposed and the resolutions introduced a new system of distributing grants, a system of equalising burdens which endeavors to give poorer and weaker districts a little better assistance than the stronger. He supported the system, though it would probably strike his own district as severely as any in the Territories. The leader of the Opposition said that some of the wealthier classes, people who own large herds of cattle, are escaping taxation through the single tax system, but he did not tell the committee that he himself would probably, save $60 a year. The system of direct taxation of lands would not be the best system in every district of the country, but it must be considered, not from an individual point of view, but from that of the interests of the whole country. Though, it might be detrimental to a few districts, in the vast majority it would be of great benefit. The Opposition said there was no occasion to have a commissioner of agriculture, but he maintained that, there was ample work for the commissioner of agriculture and for the other commissioners also. He congratulated the treasurer on the clear and careful manner in which he had dealt with the subject of the constitutional changes, not making a bombastic statement but laying down some of the grounds on which our claims should be based. The commissioner had not expressed satisfaction with the terms given to Manitoba, as the leader of the Opposition seemed to think, but had said that even if that were the best bargain we could get it would be a great deal better than what we have to-day. The hon. gentleman had said the Government should have taken the people into their confidence and told them everything they were thinking about the question. If he might judge from the lamentable want of knowledge displayed by the leader of the Opposition it would indeed have been well that the Government should have educated him at least.
It being 5:30 o'clock the Speaker left the chair and resuming on Friday morning,
Dr. Elliott continued to deal with the question of
He referred to the railway grants given to specific railways and supported Mr. A. L. Sifton's contention that the Territories should receive compensation from such lands, given away largely, not for the special benefit of, but to the detriment of the North-West Territories; and for the benefit of the Dominion at large. Dr. Elliot concluded by ridiculing the idea that the system of taxation in the two classes of local improvement districts were drastic systems. They were such as commended themselves to the majority of the people. The large and the small local improvement districts were an excellent system. He also defended the management of the official Gazette, and the policy of the department of agriculture in securing the return of 90 per cent. of estray animals to their owners, as reflecting credit in the department.
said the speech of the Territorial Treasurer was a business-like statement and so far he could congratulate him; but after all he was only making the best he could of a very bad cause. Any differences of opinion in that House were as to the way the money was expended. They had not yet anything to do with the revenue. Very serious mistakes had been made. The Government had no familiarised themselves as they should have done with the wants of the country, particularly in regard to public works. Al thought apparently in a bankrupt state the members of the Government were not prepared to make any sacrifices, but voted themselves $2,000 for "extraordinary services." The $13,000 increase for civil service would have given a good many school grants and built a good many culverts and bridges. He condemned the increase in the number of ministers and complained that returns asked for had not been brought down. He did not approve of the voting of a bulk sum for the construction of roads as a system liable to abuse. He thought the item should have been voted in detail. The late commissioner of public works had discussed the question of a province and had shown the position the House should take ; he said there were still $5,000,000 acres of land of which the Territories should have 50,000,000 acres. That speech had the true ring and he (Mr. McKay) had been very much surprised at the speech of the commissioner yesterday. He believed the system of land grants to railways had been carried too far. The lands were not alienated from the Government, but only set aside. . The policy might be changed, as also that of free home steading. This country would never be prosperous until the Government owned the lands, and compensation should not be accepted. He thought the Government could refuse to accept the terms, but there was a disposition to compromise. If the Government should not be satisfied with the terms offered, what was to prevent them resigning. (Cheers). But leaders of both parties said lands of this country had been bought by the Dominion; people here were increasing the value of the lands for the federal authorities. We could not, he held, have control of immigration until we had control of the land. Three hundred and forty-five thousand dollars was given to govern this country; while the Dominion Government was spending a larger amount, $400,000 for immigration to bring in people, leaving us to look after them. The people should have an opportunity of pronouncing on the policy of going into a full provincial establishment before anything further was done in the matter.
In a speech that was frequently emphasized with sings of approval, joined His congratulations with those of preceding speakers, to the new Territorial treasurer for his able and lucid speech. His complimented him on the straight- forward, manly way and businesslike manner in which he had placed the financial condition before the house. The territories had reason to congratulate themselves on their prosperity, progress and growth of their institutions, political and otherwise. It had been said that the financial statement made was without precedent in anticipating revenue; but the very same thing had been done in 1894-5-6. There were public improvements which were demanded, and this House owed a duty to the people; if they did anticipate the revenue, and if it was impossible to recoup yet the people would at any rate have the improve­ ments a year sooner. He defended the course of the Government in sinking test wells after the Dominion Government and private enterprise had failed. He replied to Mr. McDonald's criticism of the system of taxation, especially in reference to school districts, which exempted personal property. He argued that if any men should go free it was those who were giving employment to others and building up the country by making the land held by others valuable. When we have the power to tax the lands we will have a big control. It did not matter much who owned the lands if we had the power to tax them. (Hear, hear.) In regard to the mandate from the people about provincial autonomy, the people of the Territories were already fully alive to the question and no appeal to them was necessary. Referring to the provincial question, he accused Mr. McKay of sealing his powder from the speeches of Government members in the past. Mr. Haulttain had explained in the House in times past what arrangements ought to be made with the federal government regarding this country. He also stated that though the Premier had shown the full and complete constitutional rights of this Government and though the late Minister of Public Works had discussed the question at the last session, the Opposition had sat dumb as lobsters. He said that the Bargain the Government expected to make was the one they were entitled To. One member of the opposition criticized the government for delaying the matter until it was too late to act this year, and another contended that the people should have an opportunity of expressing themselves. Good as the governments east and west might be the people were unanimously in favor of preserving the Territories for the Territories, and remaining the most cheaply and best governed part of the Domnion. Mr. Brown proceeded to discuss the increased necessities of the country and the greater expenditure required; and claimed that economy had been shown that could not be criticized and would bear the light of day. Speaking of the increase of salaries of the members of the executive, he said no matter how poor the country is, it does not want any individual to work for it for less than he is worth. Surely this country is as important as any wholesale house, yet wholesale houses pay larger salaries to their managers than were paid to the executive. This. House has, all the duties of an ordinary legislature and all the work of the municipalities in other provinces. These combined took all the time and services of the members of the executive, and he was quite sure the work could not be efficiently performed with less than three members.
Mr. G.M. Annable said that he was very much pleased with part of the speech of the minister of public works, He did not object to the increase of salaries of the ministers; but if his party were strong enough, perhaps he would move for a still further increase. He hoped the salaries would be so, high that the ministers would be able to stay at home and attend to business, and not have to take little jobs from the Dominion Government to live on. The majority of the House evidently thought they were worth the money. He would not say whether it was Wise or unwise to spend a Couple of hundred thousand Dollars more than the House has got ; it was characteristic of the country to be in debt. The Dominion is dumping thousands of people into the country and want us to educate them and send them to lunatic asylums, for which many of them were fit subjects before they came here. That was not fair. In regard to provincial autonomy he hoped we should get a better deal than Manitoba got ; and perhaps we should if the Territories were represented in the Dominion House by ten or twelve members. He could not agree with the Opposition in everything they had done, nor did he say they were all bad men; neither did he agree in everything with the Government or approve of all their legislation. If we could not get what we wanted when we were making a provincial deal then it would be the duty of the Government to resign and let the Dominion Government run the affairs. He believed that the Opposition had a good effect in causing the Government to bring down some good legislation. However, he thought that some of the legislation was not good. Regarding the public works department he believed that a lot of work was done. Some was done in his district but he noticed in the past that it was done chiefly every four years. Of course he would not say that it was done for elections purposes. Some of it was well done and some of it was not. Regarding his future course he said that the next session might find him on one side of the House or the other and perhaps he might be as he was at that moment—the leader of his own part. (Laughter).
joined in the unanimous concourse of congratulations to the hon, treasurer, congratulating him also on his occupy­ ing his seat as commissioner of public works. He thought it would be a good thing for the west and the north (laughter) for he had great knowledge of those parts of the country and their needs. He disagreed, however, with him as to his manner of making esti mates, voting $180,000 which they had not got and perhaps never would get unless the Government had greater success than in the past. He protested also against the voting of money in bulk for public works. Details ought to have been given. Replying to Mr. Brown, who had said the Opposition were silent as lobsters, he said a char acteristic of the lobster was to go backwards; he asked who had gone backwards except the Government. They were changing their policy all the time. Another kind of lobsters were those who only opened their mouths to cry "Agreed, agreed." The House ought to have an explanation of what was meant by provincial autonomy,— but the Government submitted no policy. He feared that Northern Alberta would not be properly represented by the Government at the conference. (Oh, oh.) That district was against centralisation and wanted two provinces, at least. Everything now had to be done by correspondence and on information and advice of men residing sometimes hundreds of miles from the work to be done. He could assure the executive that the Opposition would give all the advice and assisstance they could to have the best bargain possible made. The members of the Government should be accompanied by the members who represent the North-West Territories at Ottawa. The Government should appoint to go with them a member of the Catholic faith, and one whose language is French. The members for Wolseley and North Regina had reason to be satisfied with the Government because their districts were perfect; but Northern Alberta and St. Albert districts were badly in need of roads and other improvements.
in an effective little speech confined his remarks chiefly to provincial autonomy. He was pleased to hear the treasurer's discussion of the subject and his comparisons with Manitoba. It was for the Government not to lead the House to expect too much. The Territories should benefit by the mistakes of Manitoba. Conditions were now altogether different; the land was now more valuable, and the bargain made by Manitoba would not be acceptable to the Territories at present. At the conference in 1863, it was recognised that these Territories would cut a great figure in the development of Canada. The financial question here was the great one. The C.P.R. was a Dominion undertaking, part of the bargain by which British Columbia was brought into the Dominion. We pay our full share of the interest of the debt of Canada that built the railways. It was to be regretted that this country would not have a greater say than it has when the question of provincial autonomy comes before the Dominion parliament. He was a little disappointed with the position of the Opposition on the provincial autonomy question. The member for West Calgary had cited Manitoba and some of the States: and he thought this Territory as well able to manage its affairs as any of the provinces. The railway question was not likely to be the chief question, especially in the eastern district. He approved of the policy of voting for public works the money which was absolutely necessary, notwithstanding the money for them was not in sight. In regard to the commissioner of agriculture he thought it would be just as ridiculous to do away with the head of the agricultural department as it would be to do away with the department. In regard to the salaries it was a cheap way of getting praise for economy to vote for reduction of salaries. He had no desire to see this country, organized into municipalities, and he believed in centralization because it would prevent this.
also congratulated the treasurer on the comprehensive, manner in which he had dealt with public questions, and the manner in which he had handled the legislation. He did this all the more readily because he had not agreed with all the legislation: he attributed the "drastic legislation " to the deputy of the department. He thought if the connmissioner had had a little more time to devote to its consideration, he would not have introduced such drastic legislation. Speaking of water supply, he suggested that the failures in boring for water be paid for by the Government and the successes by the farmiers, as the uncertainty discouraged private enterprise. Theoretically, he believed the statements that the Government had nothing to do with the provincial autonomy question was correct; but practically it was not. The voice of the people would have to be respected. It was not the duty of Canada to deal with this question without giving consideration to the feelings and wishes of the people. The people who had colonized these districts had done so with the understanding that they should ultimately become provinces, and they had the right to insist upon this. He, however, thought that the three organised districts were not too large for one province. If there was one vote he had given in the House which he regretted it was that in favor of the claims made to exercise local government rights in
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the Yukon. The question of including Athabasca or portions of it might be considered in connection with the formation of a new province. But rather than have any part added to any existing province he would favor two provinces with portions of Athabasca added. Geographically the portion of the Territories north of Manitoba belongs to that province and he would be willing to see it added, as this would be a means of reopening there the question of better terms. He suggested that the Territories should make common cause with Manitoba. In reference to the conference, he asked what constitutional remedy there would be if a bill should be brought down that was not acceptable. He answered that the House should be called together, and, in order that this might be done the treasury should not be left without a dollar in its coffers. He appreciated the need of public works, but this would not be sufficient warrant for leaving an empty treasury at what would be the most critical period in the history of the country. Money enough was wanted to be left to call the House together to protest if necessary, and to appeal to the people at the polls. He wanted to hear from the leader of the Government what means he would adopt in that case, to give expression to the opinions of the people. In days gone by Premier Haultain had ever been the champion if the rights of the people ; and it was regrettable to see him this session abandoning that position, as was evident from the legislation introduced. He (Dr. Patrick) had supported the Premier because he championed those rights, but if the hon. gentleman were not willing to assert that the rights of the people must be respected, he could not continue the confidence which he had in his Government in the past.
Mr. R. B. Bennett in an address that started shortly after 4 p.m., lasted until 5:30 ; was resumed at 8 p.m. and continued to 9:30 p.m., added his congratulations to the others at the able speech of the Territorial Treasurer. The hon. gentleman was one who had has greatness thrust upon him. His famous brother, the Minister of the Interior, had been called the young Napoleon of the west. Well it was a case of history repeating itself. The great Napoleon was always kind to his brothers, putting one on one throne and one on another and the young Napoleon of the west had placed his elder brother on the throne of the Territories. (Oh ! oh !) Well it was very strange that the same telegram that brought the news from Ottawa that Mr. Ross was going to the Yukon also brought the news that Mr. A. L. Sifton was to be commissioner of the public works. It was from Ottawa the news came, not Regina. It was the accident of birth that had made the member for Banff Territorial Treasurer and minister of public works. Mr. Bennett proceeded to criticise the budget speech, characterising it as a speech of "ifs and buts." "If they only had so-and- so, they would do this or that, "but" they had not, so could not. The proposition before the House should be considered as a business matter. He asked whether the members would apply the same principles in their private business. Every dollar of the $467,000 received last year had been expended ; and there were large outstanding liabilities. One item was $11,000, another $30,000, in cannection with public works. A liability of $47,00 in connection with school grants, which has not yet been paid, making a total of $88,000 of a deficit when the financial statement for the year was received. Another business question was what revenue was expected to be received. The answer was about $413,000. Deduct the $88,000 and you have $325,000. Now pay the local improvement grants, $11,000, and $180,000 to schools, and allowing for a deficit the same as last year, there would remain $267,000. Then it was proposed to anticipate $180,000, there would be $447,000 to meet an expenditure of $590,000. Where will they be in 1902 unless Providence comes to our aid, or we receive a much larger grant from the Dominion Government? Would a single business man discount the future when he had no borrowing powers? In times of financial stringency it is customary to reduce expense. What do we find here? You are asked to say that last year we spent $73,000 for civil government, legislation and administration of justice, or about 17 per cent ; this year the percentage asked was about 21 per cent., or $86,000, as against $73,000. Would any shareholders adopt such a report from their directors? The Opposition existed because of public clamor and a desire that the legislation should be impartially and intelligently criticised. He thought there would have been no difficulty if the Government had taken this position towards the Dominion,
or we will not provide roads, bridges or schools for the immigrants you send. If the executive had come to the House and said, "They refuse us our rights, and justice," and had appealed to the people they would have been supported by all the members, and by the country. He proceeded to criticise the outcome of the policy of centralisation, denying to some of the people the right of self-government, while others are entrusted with representatitve institutions. The deputy commissioner of public works was an able executive officer, but he should not be entrusted with legislation ; the legislation to take away the rights of the people to self-government was his legislation. It had been said that the policy of the administration was found in the ordinances. The publication of these had cost $20,000, but of what use were they to the people or to the magistrates? They were completely changed every session. Again, a system was needed to secure permanent roads and improvement of the main lines of communication and what had been done? The minister had gone back to the old system of district engineers after it had been abandoned for a year. He blamed the Government for inaction and inability, resulting in 2,000 unsettled cases of right of way claims under the expropriation ordinance. A section had given power to go to the supreme court, but the Government had not availed themselves of it. Referring to what Dr. Elliott had said about the Red Deer bridge he (Mr. Bennett) stated on the authority of men competent to judge that the bridge was improperly built. He protested against estimates in bulk, as used as an engine of oppression against the people, and as a dangerous power to give to one man to locate public works, and to say to the electors, "If you want schools, road or bridges, vote for this man." Speaking of salaries, he contended that every man should be paid what he was worth : that it pays to have a good men and pay them good salaries. But was this the time to increase salaries? In times of financial stress it was customary to reduce salaries. The late treasurer served the country well and received $2,500. Was the present treasuerer's services worth more? It ill became him at such a time to make the first break by increasing his salary. The sacrifice should not all be borne by the "moss back, " a portion should be borne by these gentlemen who are living in luxury, devoting half their time to the public service and the other half to matters political in support of the Dominion Government. The commissioner of public works had left the impression that the lands of the Territories were all alienated ; but the fact was that half the lands shown on his colored map were homestead lands, while only a small portion of the others were really alienated. He quoted from
the late treasurer, last year, that there were 50,000,00 acres still left over and above those taken for railroad purposes, and 35,000,000 acres allowed for cost of the administration. Turning to the remedy, he said, after reading the memorials that had been sent, he did not wonder that nothing had been obtained. The government had not met the difficulty as they should have done. The prescription by the Territorial treasurer was provincial autonomy. This was a very large question. He had occupied an independent position in reference to this question, and was prepared to give hearty support to any proposition or any set of men adequate to meet the growing necessities of the question. Should the House know anything about the terms proposed or not? Should they know whether there was to be one province or two provinces? Whether they were to have the lands or compensation, and whether they should have the minerals ? Before the terms and conditions were agreed upon this House should have an opportunity of discussing them. Why should the House not have had some of these terms before them this year? Next session the Bill was to be brought down, the time would not be adequate to consider them. He suggested that after the conference at Ottawa, immediately on the proposals being known, let the House be called together to discuss them ; and, if necessary, let there be a dissolution, and let the people pronounce upon them. He held that this country should have, if not all, the major part of the lands, and also its minerals. We demand these, they will bring us revenue. If any servies of his could assist the Attorney-General they would be given. He would never accept any terms as being the same as were given to Manitoba and he was sure of this that the people would keep on demanding until their grievances were removed.
replied to Mr. Bennett's remarks on the ministers having taken part in Dominion political matters, and he defended the local Government against the charge that they had used unfair influences in the election in Eastern Assiniboia. He himself was a candidate and knew nothing of such influences. He did not agree with the doctrine that members of the House should not take part in Dominion political matters. He denied that the supporters of the Government had sneered and jeered at Mr. Bennett's first speech ; and said that the gentleman's undoubted ability as a speaker made no impression because of his rash statements.
who on rising was received with applause said that he and the Government had been accused of telling the old old story. If so one would have thought they would have been met with the old old criticism. That, however, was not so and he had to object to and protest against the style and scope of the criticisms. The Opposition had found that three bridges out of three hundred had been swept away, and two school districts had not been paid. They had discovered things that everybody knew last year. The whole criticism had been founded on misconception of the facts, figures and arguments of the member for Banff. The House had listened to a federal political harangue for the first time. The references to the "Napoleon of the West" and the insinuation as to influences brought to bear on him (Mr. Haultain) with reference to a choice of a successor to Mr. Ross were absolutely indecent ; and the statements of the hon. gentleman were entirely untrue. He denied that members of the Government or officials had gone about influencing electors ; or that any bulk grants had been improperly used. Attacks had been made on the deputy minister of public works and a gentleman who had just joined the service, both of them unwarrranted and foundationless. There were a large number of things in the hon. gentleman's address. The policy of the Government was referred to as an experi ment and they had been censured for amending so many ordinances. For his part he hoped that for many years the policy, institutions and laws would have to be changed every year. (Hear, hear.) It had been suggested that if the Dominion Government refused to treat the Territories liberally the Assembly should resign and leave the Federal Government to carry on the business. This would be to take the attitude of a sulky boy. The first part of the speech of the member for West Calgary had been delivered before ; and the second ought to have been made a year ago. He took exception to the statement that the faith of Canada had been committed to three provinces. He pointed out that the province of Quebec and that of British Columbia were each larger in area than the three districts. of the Territories. The debate had at any rate brought out the policy of the Opposition. Their policy last year was a reduction of $2,500 in general expenses, this year they had expanded a little on the magnificent sum. They protested against forced taxation without representation, yet they said they supported large local improvement districts. He took as official the declaration of the member for St. Albert that he was opposed to centralization. The only alternative to the system was a municipal system. Another portion of their policy was the statement of the member for West Calgary that there was no difference between a corpora tion and a Government. There had been corporation leanings on the other side of the House. As explained by the treasurer the increase in Civil Government had been about $6,000 not $13,000. The Government accepted the offer of help from the member of West Calgary but it should have been offered last year. There had been no change of front no change of opnion on the part of the Government. The treasurer had said the change of their political status would have to be justified ; unless the House could prove that they would be better off the change would not be justified. It was a simple fact that the power of final settlement was with the Dominion Government. This did not mean that the Government would acquiesce in any impossible terms. He would be absolutely unwilling to have a province established on the same terms as those given to Manitoba. He did not admit that any particular nationality or creed had a claim to representation in the conference to discuss Territorial matters. With regard to the time of negotiations and the manner in which they had been conducted. Immediately after the raising of the Assembly the memorial had been sent. The federal mininsters were then going all over the country looking after the Dominion elections, and a conference was impossible. The minister of the interior had taken action before the Territorial treasurer had joined the Government. If made a province without proper terms they would go on kicking and continue kicking until they got them. Extra representation at Ottawa based on the census would be urged. He would demand more than this, viz, the representation to be based on more than prospective population. With regard to negotiations, Mr. Haultain assured the House that the Government would continue to urge the claims which they had advocated.
said that the Opposition were not here to propound a policy, but when they reached the treasury benches they would have a progressive policy. He advocated a Territorial Government and Opposition ; coalition governments were dangerous, and he wanted a Grit or Conservative Government on Territorial lines. He objected to the minister of agriculture receiving a salary from this country and lowering himself to be a scrutineer in an election. He proceeded to read several letters to show that the minister of agriculture had used his influence in the last election. He thought the civil servants were poorly paid but there were too many of them. The Government were not doing enough to secure water for the people. It was not true that private enterprise and Dominion Government enterprise had failed in this. He gave instances of public works that had been badly constructed. There must be something radically wrong in the school system where there were children thirteen years of age who had never been at school. The House should endeavor to be unanimous in the matter of provincial organization.
expressed congratulations that so competent a man had succeed the late Territorial treasurer, as shown in the budget speech. He was pleased to see an Opposition in the House, and a division on Territorial lines. Speaking of the civil service grant, he was entirely in accord with the increase of the ministers' salaries. The department of agriculture was of such importance that it could not be done without. The question of water supply was one of the most important and difficult ; but the efforts put forth were meeting with approval. He was in full accord with the leader of the House in regard to provincial autonomy.
extended his quota of congratulation to the commissioner of public works and to the members of the Opposition. The policy of the Government was national and also rational. The criticisms offered by some of the members of the Opposition did not appear to him to have much solidity. Ten thousand political souls like those could find ample waltzing room on the point of a cambric needle.
replied to the statements of the member for south Regina. He was prepared to show all the corrrespondence in connection with the letters read, and denied that he had any intention of influencing the young man's vote in the election. He was not aware that there was anything disreputable in acting as scrutineer in an election ; if there was then the hon, member who had spoken probably knew more about it, as he had been one himself.
announced himself as a supporter of the Government's policy. He thought the French Catholics would be well represented in the conference by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Oppositions to Governments had always cried extravagance, but the Government had acted as wisely as possible under the circumstances. He expressed unbounded confidence in the Federal Government and in the Territorial Government as representing the Territories.
referred to the shortage of $180,000, and in connection with this the increased salaries to the ministers. He did not object to this, but was sorry to notice that the deputy ministers had no increase. If the 2,000 cases about the right of the way should be satisfactorily settled he would support the policy.
as an independent, said he had voted with the Government on some matters and against them on others. He thought any one capable of performing the duties of members of the Government should receive the increased salary voted. He did not think the commissioner of public works would be influenced by the fact of his being a brother of the minister of the interior. He would not say at present whether he was in favor of one province, or two, or three, but would await the announcement of the proposals.
on rising to close the debate was loudly applauded and delivered a dashing and masterly reply. He said the debate had assumed a more important form than a mere discussion of the details of the estimates. It was with a feeling of satisfaction he had listened to the discussions, and had been pleased with the flattering expressions towards himself that had been uttered. The criticisms of the disposition of the funds had been rather small. The amount available for roads, drainage and bridges was $102,000 for the whole of the Territories. Of this $65,000 had been asked for by the constituencies represented by ten gentlemen, and the remaining $35,000 by 21 gentlemen. He didn't think that the feelings expressed by the member for West Prince Albert as to the increase of salaries were shared by the members of the House. In 1892 for sometime the present Premier was the only paid member of the Government. In September, that year, in the middle of the year, two members were provided for with one-third of the present population and the amount voted for salaries was $4,500. He did not, therefore, think there was much to complain about. In regard to well boring, he admitted there were farmers who would like wells on their farms ; but the wester portion of the Territories required exceptional treatment in the matter of bridges, and the eastern in regard to water supply. The policy of the Government was to put no well on private property. It was unfortunate that the member for West Calgary should waste his talents in insinuations against the honor of some one in or out of the House. The Government had two engineers in its employ who were equal to any in this country. He had written to an engineer in reference to the bridge at Red Deer, and received his opinion that it would have stood in an ordinary year.
When Mr. Sifton had concluded the motion was put and carried and the House went into committee of supply, Deputy Speaker Gillis in the chair. After a few minutes' consideration of the first resolution in reference to the estimate for civil service (executive council), Mr. Bennett moved an amendment for which only five members voted, to reduce the item by $4,500, including the salary increases. The committee rose and reported progress at 1:30 a.m.


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



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