Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 8 April 1902, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.



Full Discussion of the Most Important Territorial Subject.


Mr. Haultain Moves His Resolution Expressing Regret at Dominion Government's Refusal to Grant Provincial Powers—Dr. Patrick Moves a Long Amendment Agreeing With Most of the Terms Asked But Declaring for Two Provinces.

TUESDAY, April 8th.
The announcement that Mr. Haultain would move his resolution expressing regret that the Dominion Government had not introduced legislation at the present session of Parliament granting provincial autonomy to the Territories resulted in every member with the single exception of Mr. Greeley, who is ill, being in his seat to-day, and in addition the space reserved for the public was crowded.
Mr. Simpson (Red Deer), presented a petition to incorporate the Red Deer memorial hospital.
Mr. A. B. Gillis presented the report of the committee on standing orders recommending that the following petitions be received: To incorporate the National Trust Co.; to amend the Ordinance incorporating Lethbridge: and to grant additional powers to the city of Calgary. The report was concurred in.
Mr. Sifton moved that the public accounts and the auditor's report be referred to the public accounts committee. Agreed.
Mr. McKay asked the Commissioner of Public Works the following questions: (1) When did his department first receive information that the bridge on Red Deer Creek between sections 28 and 27, township 47, range 26, west of the second meridian was unsafe for traffic? (2) When were instructions for the construction of a new bridge to replace the above-mentioned bridge first issued; (3) Was the said bridge constructed under contract or by a bridge gang: If under contract, who was the contractor and what was the contract price? If by a bridge gang, who was the foreman? On whose recommendation was this bridge paid for? What was the total cost of the bridge which is mentioned on page 68 of the Public Works Annual Report, 1901, as one of the 113 bridges constructed? (4) Whether, a separate report was submitted by Cyrus Carroll, Esq., L.S.D., on his investigation as to the possible drainage of a large slough on section 25, township 47, west of the second meridian and if so what was the finding in the said report?
Mr. Sifton replied: (1) Notice was received on May 8, 1901. (2) Tenders called for June 8, 1901. (3) Bridge was constructed under a contract let to a man named John Courtney, of Prince Albert. Cost $190, but bridge not yet completed and no report has been made upon it. (4) No, he has not submitted any report of survey.
Dr. Patrick moved for the correspondence between the Department of Public Works and all persons on and after March 16, 1901 relative to bridge work over the Little White Sand River, Cussed Creek, Wild's Creek, Insinger Creek, and certain other creeks; also as to construction of dam and reservoir on branch of White Sand River and on road allowance between S. 13 and 18, 18-8w2; and as to a large number of road improvements, deviation surveys and inspection of public works in the Yorkton district; 26 items in all.
Dr. Patrick in speaking on this claimed that the correspondence would show that the Government had not supplied sufficient means for the public works of the country and that what they did spent was not spent in an economical manner. Some bridges which should have heen built early in the season were delayed until there were several inches of frost in the ground. Ample notice had been given and the delay clearly rested with the department.
Mr. Sifton said he presumed the object of the motion had already been accomplished, which was to show that the Government had not supplied sufficient means for carrying on the public works of the country and had not used them in a proper manner, more especially in the Yorkton district. That object having been attained by the long motion and short but interesting speech of the member for Yorkton he did not see any reason why the department should further exhaust the means at its disposal in the preparation of a statement of the accounts asked for in this very voluminous motion. If all the members of the House had taken the remarkable attitude of the member for Yorkton it would require a staff of three or four times the size of the present one to prepare returns alone, let alone doing some of the work they had been able to do. He fully agreed that the Government of the Territories had not sufficient means to do the work for this country. All agreed on that. Every member would also agree that there required and asked for a good deal more than they expected to obtain with the means at the disposal of the Government. He agreed tat it was their duty to make demands for what they thought was necessary in their constituencies, and they hoped to get a portion of it, but few took the position of the member for Yorkton, who went through his constituency asking the people what they wanted and then published a list in a newspaper stating that he had asked for all these things and threw all the responsibility on the Government. For the same reason he brought up this resolution for the purpose of showing that he threw the responsibility on the Government. The people knew already that the responsibility was on the Government, and not on the member for Yorkton. The district of Yorkton had been treated in a fair mannerWorks had been done there. as far as the means at the disposal of the Government and fairness to other parts of the country would permit. The hon. gentleman got all the work he ought to ask for and certainly all he would obtain.
Dr.Patrick in reply said, it had always been his policy to give his public acts that publicity which every man's public nets should have, so he had nothing to be ashamed of. In publishing that list of public works, he also said he would hold the Government responsible not for doing all the work but for what there were good and sufficient reasons should be done. He took the hon. gentleman's remarks as an admission not only that sufficient ways and means had not been provided but also that his department had not been as efficient as it ought to have been. Dr. Patrick devoted some time to discussing the delays which had taken place. The motion was lost.
Mr. Haultain introduced and moved on the first reading of a bill to amend an "Ordinance respecting the Legislative Assembly of the Territories." This is the redistribution bill. It was read a first time and set down for a second reading on Friday.
Premier Haultain rose at five minutes after three o;clock and seconded by Mr. Bulyea moved: Whereas the larger powers and income incidental to the provincial status are urgently and imperatively required to aid the development of the Territories and to meet the pressing necessities of a large and rapidly increasing population. Be it resolved the Federal Government has decided not to introduce legislation at the present session of Parliament, with a view to granting provincial institutions to the Territories.
In speaking to this resolution the premier said: Mr. Speaker, in moving this resolution and in drafting this resolution I have endeavored to make it as broad as possible and so far as possible non-controversial. In spite of the amendment before the House of portentious length I still have some hopes that before the debate, which will probably arise over this resolution, comes to a conclusion that we will see that this is a subject upon which all can unite in expressing, a general opinion on a general question of large importance, to the Territories, The recital might, I suppose, be considered as non-controversial. I suppose all the members of the House, except the member for Yorkton and the member for Prince Albert East, agree that the time has come for the Territories to be granted these larger powers.
Dr. Patrick interrupted that he agreed the Territories required the larger powers.
Mr. Haultain —Am I to understand that he agrees with the recital? It then indicates another of those kaleidoscopic changes for, which the hon. member for Yorkton is noted. (Laughter.), I would say then, Mr. Speaker, that I certainly have every reason for believing that, notwithstanding the various opinions which the hon. member for Yorkton has expressed on this subject up to the present moment, and the hon. member for Prince Albert East has expressed on this question, I have at the present moulent the unamimous consent of the House to the recital which precedes the resolution. I will go further and say that the resolution must state the real feeling of every member of the House who gives his consent to the recital (Cries of no, no). This resolution presents the broad statement that provincial institutions are necessary and immediately necessary in the Territories and that this House regrets that the Dominion Government has not seen fit to bring in legislation at the present session of parliament to grant those institutions. It is not intended in any way to ratify any proposal made by the Government. It is not asking the approval of the House or of any member to the terms we have asked for, or the methods we have adopted in trying to obtain these terms. We are not asking for the judgment of the House now upon what we have asked for. We must look for that and the judgument of the country at the proper time. But whatever differences there may be with regard to details, this Government cannot hope to escape from the judgment not only on the general question but on details. The time for that judgment will come before the House and the country at large but not now and not with reference to the resolution I have offered to the House.
Above and beyond all terms of controvesy and differences of opinion with regard to area and with, regard to other terms upon which these institutions should be granted, there is the general sentiment, the general desire, the general recognition, of the necessity for the establishment of provincial institutions in the Territories. No matter what difference of opinion there may be as to details, there is ab solute unanimity over the desirability of granting provincial powers to the Territories. With regard to form there is not unanimity; the country is not unanimous. That is the final matter upon which and in regard to which we are not the final arbiters but the Dominion Government are. Again I say in introducing this resolution I have done so in the broadest terms and in such terms that it can be consented to unanimously by members who believe in the broad principles I have just laid down.
There are various opinions, in this House with regard to area, but only one as to the institutions themselves. We have the one province men, two sets of two province men, the northern and southern and the eastern and western. We have at least from the hon. gentleman from Yorkton the declaration that the good faith of the Parliament of Canada and the Government was pledged to three provinces on the lines of the provisional districts. So we have had one three-province man in the House. There are also those in the country who believe in annexation of a certain part to Manitoba. We have three, four, yes five phases to this question, which if not represented in the House at least have been presented at different times by different people. Unanimity, therefore, is impossible.(Hear, hear). These divergencies of opinion are known not only to every man in this House and Territories but to the Dominion Government and if there is any necessity for proving that, a simple reference to the correspondence will show that the Dominion Government are alive to it that this is an important question and still more alive that those different opinions are held among the people in various portions of the Territories. Their reply is a comment upon the undesirability when dealing with them of parading our differences. This is a practical question. No member or group of members of this House or the whole House are in a position to settle it. The Dominion Government are the final arbiters and while I believe we will unite in pressing, upon the Dominion Government the immediate necessity of granting provincial institutions, it would be a useless waste of time for us to spend a very large amount of time in discussing these questions. I believe that it is desirable that the House should discuss them and it is right that the House should question our way of dealing with the matter, but a resolution which deals exclusively with the Dominion Government should be dealt with in the manner it should be dealt with.
All are agreed that provincial powers are necessary. It is not necessary to try to convert the hon, member for Yorkton or the hon. member for Prince Albert East. It is not necessary to direct any lengthy argument to this House to prove that the only solution of the problems that are presented to this House and country is the granting of the necessary power to help ourselves. The people of the Territories are ready for this movement, and are expecting this movement. I believe that a sentiment has been created and an interest aroused and the expectations of the people raised by the discussions which have taken place in this Assembly, and by the statements made by ministers at Ottawa, and by statements of members of the Government in the Assembly and in speeches at public meetings. I will go further and say I believe the very large sentiment is a matter of somewhat recent growth. I believe it has come by the great force of necessity. It has been forced upon the people of this country by necessity, and until these necessities became apparent possibly for years to come there would have been no very large sentiment in favor of a change. The sentiment was created and the opinion made by the fact of the necessity. The question of transportation, the grain blockade, which depends for its solution on the question of transportation, the question of our financial position which will be felt very much more acutely before these great questions are settled, have forced this matter upon us. The question of transportation is more than a Territorial question. It is admitted to be the great Canadian question. The boards of trade of Montreal, Toronto and other cities have taken it up and referred to the conditions in the West. I need not make any argument as to the great importance of this question.
I will again come back to the original theme that with regard to our method of dealing with the Dominion Government this legislature should be unanimous. So I would say then let us so unite in making the general demand and let us press as we have and will continue to do, trusting to the strength and reasonableness of our case, and forcing our opinion upon the Dominion Government and carrying them through the Dominion House. There is no question about this that an expression of opinion by a large majority or a small minority of the Assembly with regard to the provincial idea or annexation will not help the Dominion Government very largely in coming to a conclusion. As a House in making a general recommendation there would be. If we divide up as one province men, two province men and annexationists, and one used to be for three provinces, if we present ourselves in that attitude we are not going to help the Dominion Government very nuch. They know of these differences, but I do not believe if we can convince the Government of the necessity for provincial institutions in the West that the Government would postpone or should postpone the general question. The onus for that postponement must rest where it belongs, at Ottawa.
Now, as unanimity is, possible on this, then I say that in dealing with the question in our foreign relations, if I may use the term, in our foreign relations with Ottawa we should present as unanimous a front as possible and should take all the steps we can in order to obtain the institutions which we consider are indispensible, and without regard to areas, and after we have presented these arguments to the Dominion we must take chances its to areas. I believe the overwhelming mass of evidence is in favor of one province. (Hear, hear, and cries of no, no.)
I am so impressed with the necessity of provincial institutions in the west that I consider the question of the area within which provincial institutions are to be granted and carried out is a question of secondary importance and I am willing to go so far as this. While believing in the one province idea, and while continuing to press for it, I am so convinced of the necessity for provincial institutions in the Ter ritories, that having exhausted all means to obtain this, I would much prefer to see provincial institutions established under two provinces than have provincial institutions indefinitely postponed in the Territories. (Hear, hear.) But let us have one province if we can. The amendment in asking the Dominion Government to give two provinces is making a fatal mistake and those who advocate it are making a great mistake, showing a want of faith in the institutions of the country. But I believe the necessity is so pressing that the worst of two bargains is better than none at all. But I would never agree to annexation. (Cheers).
Now, hon, gentlemen opposite will say that we have come out for one province. That is perfectly true; we asked for one province. We had to express an opinion (Hear, hear and cries of No.) We were carrying on negotiations with the Dominion Government making a bargain and we had to make the best we could. Those who say we should have submitted an alternative were recommending a bad policy. They think we should have taken the position of a man selling a horse who asked $100 for it but at the same time said he was willing to take $80. Now that is not the way this Government does their business. We stand out holding strong views as to what is best for this country. We had to admit in our discussions with the Government that there were other opinions in the Territories; at the same time we naturally and properly said we believed in the one province idea. We first had to impress them with the necessity of provincial institutions, and being impressed would they not have said, "In what area?" Would we have been justified in , saying: "There are a number of other opinions, therefore, we will not take the responsibility of expressing an opinion?" That is not the position of men going down to negotiate should have taken. It is not the question now. There will be ample opportunity as to the question of the number of provinces of testing the feeling of this House, and before the next year of testing the feeling of the people of the country, in the constituencies on it. At this point we should deal with the larger question and as far as possible present a united front to the federal authorities on the broad question upon which we can all agree.
I do not propose to discuss or ask the House to discuss, and the resolution does not lead to a discussion of the one, two or three province idea. Nor does it lead to a discussion of out methods of approaching the Dominion Government. The question is as presented in the resolution, are these larger powers necessary? Can the Territories go on as at present? Are we in a position, financially or constitutionally to adequately deal with the problems confronting us? There is only one answer to that. I think every man in the House except the two I have named , the hon. members for Yorkton and Prince Albert East, will agree that we are ready——
Mr. McLeod—I do not think the hon. gentleman is justified in making that statement.
Mr. Haultain—Are you ready?
Mr. McLeod—I agree that we are ready, but if we are prepared for one province we are prepared for two or three.
Mr. Haultain –Do I understand the hon. gentleman to say that I misrepresent him as saying that he is not in favor of the immediate granting of provincial instituents?
Mr. McLeod—I am in favor of it.
Mr. Haultain—I am glad to know that the hon. gentleman can make up his mind at the eleventh hour. He had expressed an entirly opposite opinion to his constituents.
Mr. McLeod—Not at all.
Mr. Haultain—The hon. gentleman not only stated that he was opposed to the establishment of provincial powers at once but that he had gone to Ottawa to prevent it. I say again that with the exception now of only the hon, gentleman from Yorkton, who is in his ordinary attitude of glorious isolation (Laughter), on this subject in this House there is only one answer. Every man in the House except the hon. member—I regret that I always have to make this exception—must be forced to the conclusion that provincial powers are necessary. Without going into the method of conducting the negotiations I say that it will be at least admitted that a strong case was made out by the Government for more power and more money, and these are the only questions which should he considered to-day, and even this is not included in the present resolution,
With regard to the resolution itself I feel I can confidently ask every memof the House, whether a one province man or a two province man, or an annexationist, to sink these minor differences and unanimously concur in a resolution which states our greatest need and formulates our common aspirations. We must all regret that, the Dominion Government has ignored our claim and shut its eyes to the crying need of this country and upon most superficial grounds. I do not propose to go any further but simply repeat what I have said so often. We stand face to face with the greatest problem which confronts this House in its general aspect, If we differ in detail here and in the country and constituencies, we should at least in pressing this point upon the Dominion Government present a united front on these broad principles.
Mr. Haultain resumed his seat amid cheers, having spoken for half an hour.
Dr. Patrick on rising to reply was given a good reception by the Opposition members. He said: Mr. Speaker, I quite agree with the hon. the prime minister that the question we have to deal with today is an exceedingly important, one, because not withstanding his endeavor to lead us aside from the question, the real question we have to deal with to-day is whether the proposition made to Ottawa, and the circumstances under which it was made were justified by a mandate from the people of this country. Shall we agree in censuring the Minister of the Interior and the Government of Canada in refusing a particular piece of legislation drafted for them by this Government? That is the question. The reply of the Minister of, the Interior raises the question whether these gentlemen had a mandate to make the proposition they made because he says a divergence of opinion exists.
I have admired the skill with which the hon. gentleman endeavors to crawl out of the one province idea. He is afraid of the convictions of the members of this House on that question. (Laughter.) He endeavors to get both those who believe in one province and in two provinces to vote for a resolu tion censuring the Dominion Government for not granting provincial autonomy on the basis of one province. His distinct request to the Government, at Ottawa was not that legislation establishing provincial institutions should be introduced, but legislation providing for the establishment of one province. Therefore we are quite right in discussing the motion to go further and discuss the demands made and the circumstances under which they were made before we can decide that they were right and justified in refusing at this particular season and time to introduce legislation.
Had they any right to believe that this Government had a mandate to demand one province to be established 400,000 square miles in extent, then I would regret, but the Government of Canada had no right to believe that the Government had a mandate. The hon. gentleman has referred to kaleidoscopic views, may I retort in kind. May I direct the hon. gentleman's attention to the fact that in a speech delivered at Yorkton in 1900 he made the statement that he was in favor of incorporating every acre from the international boundary to the North Pole (Laughter), and that is considerably in excess of 400,000 square miles. He said further in discussing the matter at that time that as yet they had no mandate from the people, but that it was the the duty of the legislature to educate the people on this question of entering confederation, and in response to a question he said he would take in every acre and oppose annexation, and said further that "at the next meeting of the legislature the attention of the Government would be devoted to bringing these questions before the people. The Government had no mandate from the people to plunge them into a province. It was the Government's duty, to consider and discuss interests which affected the Territories, but now it was a duty to investigate and advise upon terms of confederation and then say, 'will you send us to power to work for these terms.'"
As to that speech made in Yorkton, in my hearing (and in the hearing of every member of this House then present) he admitted the correctness of it, The effect of that speech on the people of the country was this, that he had come to the conclusion that provincial autonomy was necessary and he was going to the people for a mandate. A man after hearing that speech moved from Yorkton to Saltcoats for the purpose of contesting that constituency. (Laughter.) But there we have out of the hon. gentleman's own mouth the fact that he had no mandate to discuss the question of provincial autonomy. He had a mandate to educate the people upon it, and that was his attitude, according to his own words, "will you send us back to power on those terms," yet in the face of that he, who had no mandate, who expressed himself so decisively and changed his mind on it, he who believed every acre from the international boundary to the Pole should be included, he who went further and was going to the foot of the throne to prevent the Yukon being taken away was now willing that only 404,000 square miles should be taken in as one province. His intention was that his own particular view should be incorporated in legislation drafted by himself and foisted upon the people of this country. Notwithstanding he had no mandate, and both at Yorkton and in this House he admitted he had no mandate, he demanded autonomy and in a breach of faith with the people of this country he attempts to foist upon them institutions they never asked for, (Hear, hear.)
That is the reason I cannot regret to­ day that the Minister of the Interior has refused to take action. The Minister would have been a traitor to the country had he done so. He knew that the hon. gentleman had no mandate, no authority, and was acting without authority or instructions, and for that reason he sends him back and refuses to consider his proposition, and practically tells him to "go way back." and get a mandate from the people of this country, and that is the reason he will have to ask for a mandate from the people, that he had endeavored to force these institutions upon the people.
I admit very freely the right of the Dominion to carve the country into one, two or three provinces. These rights are very fairly set out. But there are rights theoretical and practical. There are rights the exercise of which are highly inexpedient and undesirable, and though the Dominion Government has the right to pass legislation legally making a province or provinces in this country, they will not do so without having the opinion of the people of this country. If it were otherwise what would be the use of discussion? If it were otherwise why express any regret: For these reasons we are justified in going into the terms which the hon. gentleman proposed in his draft bill and in asking if the terms are such as will justify the members of this House in regretting that action was not taken.
With respect to certain of the terms sought by them in the draft bill, some of them meet with my unqualified approval and some my disapproval. The hon. gentleman's claim, on behalf of the people of these Territories for the crown lands, timber royalties, etc., will commend themselves to every member of this House, He asks for the school lands absolutely. I do not


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believe we have a right to ask for the absolute control of the school lands. We have a right to ask for them as a trust. They have been set apart for a sacred purpose I helieve the ownership of them should be vested in the province and also the administration of them as a trust. I may say also that I am quite in accord with the hon. gentleman in respect to compensation for lands alienated for federal purposes. That is a complement to the other proposition, that we should have the crown lands. Also with respect to compensation for the impairment of the right tax we are agreed. As to the matter in respect of irrigation, I have no fault to find, nor in asking that the powers possessed by the Territories with reference to the prohibition of the liquor traffic should be continued in the provinces which may be formed.
But, sir, this man who was not going to yield a claim to a stick, straw or stone is willing now to yield up the greater part of the territory of Athabasca. Why should our provincial area not extend as far north at least as British Columbia. If that province has a right sofar north we have surely a right. That north country is a market to a certain extent for the people living on the frontier of the country. It is now a market to the Edmonton country. A commissioner of this Government went through to Athabasca to report on that country and his going was justified on the ground that it was under our legislative jurisdiction. From a provincial point of view those parts of the country which are likely to be sparsely inhabited are often the most productive of revenue. In the provinces of Ontario and Quebec that revenue is realized but from the wild lands, timber royalties, etc., and from a provincial point of view we should have as much of that wild land as we can get.
Now we come to another important question, the question of a large province, the question whether 404,000 square miles is to large for one province, or whether 279,000 or 239,000 square miles is not large enough. The area comprised within the provisional districts of Alberta, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and, Athabasca is approximately 550,000 square miles in extent. I will make a few comparisons of that with other local governments, and we will find that the area of the Territories is quite large enough to divide into two provinces which would have approximately 275,000 square miles. The largest state in the United States is 262,000 square miles, while the average State is about 54,000 square miles; Ontario has 220,000 square miles. The area of each of the two provinces would be four times as large as the New England States, five times as large as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia together, and, having regard to their size, each would be quite large enough to enjoy any advantages thought to belong to large areas.
I requested the hon. gentleman the other day to establish this proposition, which underlies his claim for one province, that a large province could be more cheaply administered than a small one. The hon. gentleman has not done that.
Mr. Haultain — Does the hon. gentleman want me to establish the proposition that it costs more to run a large province than a small one?
Dr. Patrick — Relatively.
Mr. Haultain — To what?
Dr. Patrick — Cost per head. Take New Brunswick and Ontario.
Mr. Haultain — Are conditions the same?
Dr. Patrick — Not exactly. They are both administered by a local government but in one case the province has supplied what the other province has not supplied. If you add the cost of local government you have got to add the cost of district government. the province of Prince Edward Island does practically the whole of the municipal work in that province. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick do a very considerable amount of work that in Ontario and Quebec devolves on the municipalities. The system of district government is very much cheaper than the system in Ontario and Quebec. The township councils of Ontario alone cost more than seven times as much as the government and legislature of New Brunswick each year. They have had to create township councils in Ontario because they are a large province, and three institutions were found necessary because of the enormous amount of work to be dealt with. These institutions alone cost seven times as much as the New Brunswick government and legislature and they do not serve seven times as many people nor seven times the area. If you take the cost of civil government in this province, or any province, you will find that it may fairly be divided into two kinds,—the actual work and the supervision of the work. The amount expended for supervision differs in different provinces. Nova Scotia has an attorney-general and he has no deputy, though his department is charged with the administration of criminal justice. Ontario has an attorney-general who also has a deputy. His department has several other branches over which other offices preside.
Mr. Haultain — Does that not merely prove to your mind that the province of Nova Scotia is better administered than is Ontario?
Dr. Patrick — Not altogether. In Nova Scotia 5 7-10 cents per head per year; 7 1-2 cents in Ontario and 13 cents in Quebec is the cost of legislation and executive supervision. Where there are large areas there is a large amount of expenditure and where there is a large amount of expenditure there is a large amount of supervision. The larger the provincial areas are, the more extravagantly they are administered because the people are not able to maintain that close supervision over them which is essential to economical administration.
Mr. Haultain - Is extravagance inevitable?
Dr. Patrick — Yes, by my observation of it under the present government in the Territories it is inevitable. (Laughter.) I will make a comparion between Nova Scotia and the North- West Territories. The Attorney- General of Nova Scotia is Hon. J. W. Longley, with 550,000 people in the province. His department is entrusted with the administration of criminal justice and he has a reputation quite as large, broad and extensive as the Attorney-General of these Territories, yet he manages without a deputy, and also without a private secretary. So it would appear that if extravagance is not inevitable it is at least fairly certain.
Out of these Territories we can make two provinces each as large as Ontario and quite large enough for all local purposes. They can borrow money just as cheaply. I believe from the point of view of the Dominion, and that is the point of view from which the matter must be dealt with, it is a desirable thing that the provinces should be of an approximately equal area. I am hot taken with the idea of one grand predominating and overshadowing province. It is contrary to the spirit of our federal constitution. If I could put on the hon. gentleman's political spectacles and look over these Territories and say I do not see where one system of govern ment, should begin and another should end, then I might also say I do not see why one system should begin at range 30 and another end at range 29 west of the first meridian; I do not see why we should have two governments to govern Manitoba and the Territories. Why not annex Manitoba and make the whole thing into one? Why not go further? Why stop at English River? Why not take in the whole of Ontario and the whole of the Dominion as one province? It would save duplication of machinery according to the hon, gentleman.
Mr. Haultain —We shall be quite prepared to annex Manitoba later on. (Laughter.)
Dr. Patrick —I only desire to show that the hon, gentleman is not guided by the spirit of confederation.I believe the federal system is the best system, yet devised. I believe in the principle of local government for localities, and in general government for the whole. The Dominion of Canada has pronounced on the question of a legislative union. That has been settled for all time. The question is not shall there be a legislative union. The question is shall we be true to the federal principle upon which our government is founded. A large province is contrary to that principle. The trouble is that when provinces are too large there is too much sectionalism. We already have too much Quebecism and too much Ontarioism, to much one­ provinceism. Sectionalism is the curse of Canada. What we want in Canada is less sectionalism and more Canadianism . Let us be true to the federal principle. It may be objected that the federal areas of Australia are larger but is that a case in point? Why do we hear murmurs that the Commonwealth is not any too strong? The fact is that the weakness of the units of a confederation are the measure of its strength. Switzerland, the mother of confederations, was founded because the units were too weak to stand alone. The same, was true of the early history of the United States. It was founded because its states were too weak to stand alone. Wherever possible these units should be of approximately equal area.
This claim for one predominating province has had a certain result. In Manitoba men who disagree on almost every subject are agreeing and agreeing unanimously in imaking a demand that a part of this country should be annexed to Manitoba and the one province agitation is the reason for it. It was the hon. gentleman's claim for one grand, overshadowing, predominating province that first moved the people of Manitoba to this action. They have no desire to be overshadowed and to have a predominating province next to them would have that effect and that is the reason for their demand. He who clamors for one province, is putting arguments into the mouths of the people of Manitoba. Are we weaker than Manitoba in that parliament which must deal with that matter? If we recognise the fact that it must be dealt with from a national point of view, and parliament would not do otherwise, then the representatives of Manitoba will have a voice in the matter. Have we a representative in the cabinet or they? Is our representation, larger or smaller than theirs? Is their position and influence weaker? If not have we any right to place in their mouths arguments in favor of that annexation? This gives the Dominion Government, the opportunity of saying: "We will make one province and annex the reminder to Manitoba." I say that I firmly believe that the only alternative is two provinces or annexation.
The hon. gentleman has conferred with the Government at Ottawa. Now I feel justified in referring to what he said to the member for Saltcoats privately , in 1898. He told us that it was his opinion, that it was Mr. Clifford Sifton's opinion, that annexation to Manitoba was the proper thing to be done. I did not intend to refer to this, but the hon. gentleman, has transgressed the rules of this House, and the canons of good taste in referring to a private conversation of the hon. member for Prince Albert East, and I say that the hon. gentleman did say to us privately that he knew that was the opinion entertained by the Minister of the Interior. My suggestion to him at the time was that he should take a stand to prevent it. Two provinces would do it. The idea of a predominating province would if pressed give us an antagonistic Manitoba, while two provinces would conciliate that province and we could co-operate, with Manitoba in matters where we have a common interest. The transportation question is one of these. One large province may do much to solve this problem but two or three co-operating can do more.
The reply of the Minister, of the Interior is an indication that the Government of Canada is not in a hurry to consider provincial autonomy. In 1900 the hon. gentleman said he did not expect to get all he asked. He believed he would not get all. His action was like that of the boy and the jug of nuts. The boy put his hand in the jug and grabbed a handful and them discovered he could not get his hand out, but by taking the nuts out one at a time he secured them. The hon. gentleman attempted to grab too much at once; My opinion in respect of this provincial autonomy question is to practice the line followed by the boy. There are certain things we can get if we ask for them, and there are certain things we cannot get until we have force. We should not go asking for everything; we should not go making an absurd proposition, (cries of no, no,) and to enter into secret deals and negotiations, and should not attempt or profess to do what we have no power to do.
I believe that the proper course to take is a public course in which the propositions shall be made in the light of day. I believe that in the next legislature a bill of rights should be prepared claiming everything to which we are entitled. There is little disagreement in that respect. And then we should say to the Dominion authorities we recognise that we are not in a position to make a contract. We are creatures, you the creator. You are the strong one: you can wipe us out. We have no power to make a bargain, no power to make a contract. Naturally after we are created a province then we will be in a position to make bargains and get our rights and cannot be starved into submission, and it is no new thing for a province to approach the Government of Canada for better terms. Manitoba did it twice. It made two bargains with the Dominion but in the last one unfortunately for itself admitted it to be a final one. The Quebec conference is a case in point, and the matter of the new terms recently granted to Prince Edward Island is another case in point. It is folly to talk of doing things that you have no power to do. I ask the hon. gentleman what right have we to make a bargain? We have a right to make our demand, but is not our proper attitude to adopt the high and mighty methods of the hon. gentleman. It is not to go down on a false pretense; not to go down on a pretense that we have power to do certain things we have no power to do. We should act through our representatives at Ottawa. We should incorporate our views in a bill of rights and ask for the help of our representatives at Ottawa. We should press upon them our rights and what the people want. But to express regret because the propositions that were made under the false pretense that we had the right to negotiate when we had not; to regret that the result of this autocratic mission without a mandate, this misrespresentation, this hole in the corner business, is to place ourselves in a false position. To say to the Dominion Government you are to obey the behests of this man who because he has a fine gift of sarcasm: this man whom the Creator has endowed with a most extraordinary ability (hear, hear,) and offset it with a most extraordinary indolence (Opposition cheers), to say you must do as he says: to regret that he did not get what he had no authority to ask for; to regret that the Government did not do what he had no right to ask them to do, because he was told to "go 'way back and sit down," and ask the people of the Territories, for a mandate, to go and find out if they wanted one province or two, and that is practically what it amounts to do, is, I say, to place ourselves in a false position. Because he went down on false pretences we are asked to regret that the mission failed.
Personally I do not regret; I rejoice that it failed. I would regret to go back to my constituents and say, I am so under the thumb of Mr. Haultain, I am so scared of election patronage, I am so frightened of his power to redistribute the constituency, send me back as an approver of this dictator. I would be a traitor to the trust reposed in me. I feel that I would be misrepresenting the opinions of a very large number of the people of this country. They believe that any action should be taken through their representatives in Parliament. Had this been done than I might have regretted. I regret the delay in provinciol autonomy. I regret that when the hon. gentleman came to the conclusion that autonomy was the only solution of our difficulties that he did not formulate some bill of rights and then go back to the people as he said he would. I regret that he did not do what he should have done. Some believe in provincial autonomy yet do not agree with the hon. gentleman. I believe the Government should act as if they realised that they are the servants and not the masters of the people of this country. I believe in acting under the representative system of government under which we live and I believe in provincial autonomy. There is room for differences of opinion and there are differences of opinion and it rests with the people of this country to say through the next legislature when they have put up candidates in each constituency that they declare for one province or two as the case may be.
These negotiations were secret and kept out of the public press. There is always some reason for suspicion when secretthings are done and a government is afraid of publicity for its acts. I can understand that people might expect that the asking for one province would result in annexation to Mianitoba and if the annexation should follow and people were forced into Manitoba against their will as a result of the hon. gentleman's negotiations in secret, when election time came the people could not punish him for this result of his conduct.
I hope an opportunity will be given to the people to express an opinion on these questions. This is a busy country and this is an especially busy year and season and these are days of rapid development and, extraordinary progress. I hope the busy season will be allowed to elapse before the opinions of the people are asked. Nothing can be done until the next session of the Dominion Parliament and it would be a good time in October or November to take the will of the people of this country. I hope that the people having been kept in the dark will be given time to make up their minds as to one province or two.
This reminds me of a fact I have overlooked. If we have two provinces we have a right to $50,000 for an extra legislature. The Dominion Government over and above any subsidy gives $50,000 for the support of the government and legislature of a province. The hon. gentleman asked for $50,000 for his province. That is what Manitoba gets. If he had asked for two provinces he could have asked for $50,000 for each of them. As each would have as large an area as Ontario it would have been entitled to as large an amount as Ontario gets, which is $80,000. This was sacrificed to the hon. gentleman's ambition of being prime minister of a vaster province than has been. (Hear, hear.) I admit we have to pay our share of that. But $50,000 among over 5,000,000 people in Canada is less than a cent per head, and one of the results of the hon. gentleman's plan, is that rather than place a burden of less than one cent per year on each person, he would rather have the predominating province asked for and lose the $50,000.
Again in the draft bill submitted by the hon. gentleman it is proposed that the per capita grant be on the same population as Ontario, 1,369,000. Had he asked for two provinces, each larger than Ontario, he would have had a perfect right to ask that we should have that grant of 80 cents per head on twice that number of people, and his action in asking for one province means that the people of the Territories will ultimately lose $1,116,000 per year.
I have heard some statements from men in the west that if they lived in the east they would for two provinces but that annexation did not affect them. That is not the view that should be taken. All should have the view of having our rights and all should work together for our common interests.
I have also heard the insinuation made that those advocating two provinces want possession of office. I believe after the next election the Opposition will occupy the treasury benches, but it is because we believe that two provinces is the proper and only solution of this question that we are advocating two provinces. We must win the treasury benches of the Territories first.
I have proved the breach of faith on the part of the prime minister of this country with the people out of his own mouth, by his own words, and I wish to say in conclusion that on the one hand we have one province, on the other hand two provinces; on the one hand annexation as the inevitable result, on the other hand a policy of political identity; on the one hand an antagonised province of Manitoba, on the other hand a conciliated province of Manitoba: on the one hand the federal principle violated, on the other had the federal principle maintained: on the one hand a dual municipal system as a necessary result of the large province: on the other hand cheap district government; on the one hand extravagance, which results from ineffective supervision of the affairs of the country and lack of close inspection of expenditures, on the other hand economy as a result of that closes supervision; on the one hand one great province reaching the seaboard on neither side with a lone hand in transportation, on the other hand co-operation in transportation between two or three provinces: on the one hand futile, negotiations with junketing trips back and forth to Ottawa, on the other hand effective demands through our representatives in parliament; on the one hand secrecy, on the other hand publicity: one the one hand a breach of faith with the people and a false pretense of the right to negotiate. on the other hand a mandate from the people and everything free and open and an admission that we have no power to make a bargain: on the one hand, a dangerous course, on the other hand a safe course; on the one hand the sacrifice of a portion of Athabasca, on the other hand no sacrifice but the retaining of the whole of Athabasca; on the one hand unreasonable demands made on the people of Canada, on the other hand reasonable demands on federal principles.
The people have been given no chance to consider this question and they should be given every chance to consider all the points that they will have to vote on that they may cast an intelligent vote.
Under these circumstances I feel constrained to say that I do not regret the action taken by the Minister of the Interior and the Government of Canada. The result of that action will be to force the hon. gentleman to go to his constituency and get a mandate. I, therefore, Mr. Speaker move, seconded by Mr. Bennett, that all words after the word "population" where it first occurs in the motion be struck out and that the following be substituted therefor:—
"While maintaining that the claims of these Territories against the Dominion will never be settled and satisfied until provinces have been established, on a plan of equality with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in respect of ordinary provincial powers, including ownership of all Crown lands, mines, minerals, timber and royalties, except such lands as have been reserved for the use of Indians, or reserved for and earned by any person or corporation or entered for as homesteads or pre-emptions and not granted, or reserved to provide a fund in aid of schools: and
Until such provinces have been vested with the ownership in trust, of all school lands and revenues therefrom; and
Until such provinces have been compensated for such lands as have been alienated otherwise than as free grants to settlers or in settlement of Half- Breed claims; and
Until in addition to the ordinary per capita grant, such allowances shall have been granted them for the support, of their respective governments and legislatures, and for "Debt Capital" as are fair and just: and
While believing that it is expedient and necessary that the exclusive power to make laws in relation to Irrigation should be granted to each such province: and that, such provinces will desire for their legislatures a continuance of such power to legislate in relation to prohibition of intoxicants as is now possessed by the Legislature of the Territories:
Nevertheless this House also believes That the people of these Territories have never given to this Government and Legislature any instruction, direction or authority to ask for the establishment of the area hetween the western boundary of Manitoba, and British Columbia, and between the international boundary and the 57th parallel of north latitude as one province: and that in unanimously passing in its session of 1900, a resolution praying His Excellency, the Governor General "to cause enquiries to be made and accounts taken with a view to the settlement of the terms upon which the Territories, or any part thereof shall be established as a province" this House did so on the distinct understanding and condition that before any such province was established opportunity should be given to the people of the Territories to consider and discuss such terms and conditions; and further believes
That the people of these Territories have a right to ask that the northern boundaries of the provinces established for their local government should extend at least as far north as does the province of British Columbia; that is to say near to the 60th parallel of north latitude; and  
That the area comprised within the provisional districts of Assiniboia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Athabasca is approximately 550,000 square miles in extent and should be divided into two provinces of approximately equal area each of which would be more than 59,000 square miles larger than Ontario; would be more than five times as large as the aggregate area of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; would be more than twice as large as the aggregate area of the British Isles, more than four times as large as the aggregate area of all the New England States; would be larger than the largest State in the United States; would be large enough to enjoy whatever advantages in the way of economical government large provinces may be thought to possess; would be large enough to borrow at the very lowest rate of interest, whatever sums may be deemed necessary for their proper developinent: and quite large enough to satisfy all aspirations and ambitions of their inhabitants consistent with their proper relation to the other provinces and the Dominion, and
That all the arguments used by the Territorial Governinent in favor of the establishment in these Territories of "One predominating and overshadowing province," are really arguments against having any provinces at all and are, in the ultimate analysis, arguments in favor of one government and legislature for the whole Dominion and as such are opposed to the spirit and purpose of our federal constitution and to the principle that the states of a confederation should, where possible, be of approximately equal area; and
That the opinions hitherto, from time to time, expressed by members of the Territorial Government, in favor of the establishing of one predominating and overshadowing province has called forth expressions of dissent from public men in other provinces, and has led the legislature of Manitoba to pass unanimously resolutions expressing its consent and wish that the Parliament of Canada extend the boundaries of that province in a westerly and northerly direction in order that the great central plain of Canada may be fairly divided between the enlarged province of Manitoba and the new province: and that the result of this action of the Manitoba legislature is to vest in the Dominion Parliament full power to pass an Act extending the boundaries of that province; and that the said Parliament will necessarily deal with any requests made by the people of the Territories for the establishment of provincial institutions, not, from a local, but from a national point of view and that, before exercising its powers, it will necessarily listen to and consider the objections raised against the establishment of "one predominating and overshadowing province," and that in the event of the annexation of a portion of these Territories to Manitoba the inhabitants of the area annexed will have no constitutional remedy and no means of holding the Territorial Government responsible thereafter, and
That if, on the other hand, at the next election a legislative assembly be returned with instructions to prepare a bill of rights demanding that the ptovisional districts of Assiniboia, Alerta, Saskatchewan and Athabasca be established as two provinces of approximately equal area, neither Manitoba nor any other province of Canada will have any reasonable right to object, nor can; it be urged that the establishment of two provinces would be inconsistent with the interests of the confederation as a whole; and
That the establishment of two such provinces would not, as alleged, result in a complete duplication of the machinery of local government, but on the contrary, the records of the smaller provinces show , them to be more cheaply governed owing to the closer supervision over provincial expenditure by the electorate, affording a more effective check on official extravagance than is possible in the larger provinces: and
That two such provinces, each larger than Ontario, should each be entitled at the outset to a grant of eighty cents per head on an estimated population of
and thereafter on their actual population until such time as that population reaches the number upon which this grant is paid to Ontario, which would ultimately yield to such provinces an aggregate maximum grant twice as large that received by Ontario or $1,116,872.80 more per annum than is claimed by the Territorial Govern ment in its draft bill to establish one province; and
That, in any case, two provinces would receive from the Dominion over and above every other allowance, subsidy, and source of income, a special grant of at least $50,000 each per annum for the support of their respective governments and legislatures while all that the Territorial Government has asked, in its proposed bill by way of special grant for the support of the government and legislature of its proposed one province is $50,000 per annum and that therefore the cost of whatever additional machinery two provinces might be believed to entail, would be borne by the Dominion while the people of these provinces would receive the advantage of the more efficient service that two governments would provide, and the further advantage of that more effective supervision of provincial expenditures which is ever desirable in the interests of economy: and would prevent the desire of division which the establishment of province would necessarily entail; and 
That, the establishment of two such provinces, would pave the way for united action with Manitoba to secure a fair and equitable settlement of our common claims against the Dominion for "better terms" and for co-operation in the great and necessary work of providing facilities for the transportation of our products to the markets of the world; and
That with our present small representation in the Parliament of Canada. we may not obtain at the outset, a fair and equitable settlement of all the claims of these Territories against the Dominion, and moreover, owing to the fact that our provincial boundaries are not determined and that the Territorial government and legislature, is, in the ultimate resort, not only dependent on the Parliament of Canada for the greater part of their revenue, but also for their very existence, and owing to their having no status or capacity to make a final bargain with the Dominion, the only practical and effective way to secure prompt recognition of their rights is with the co-operation of the Territorial representatives in the Parliament of Canada, through whom, the action will be given that publicity which has hither to been denied;
Therefore be it resolved that this House repudiates the action of the Territorial Government in asking without the sanction of the people, that one province should be established, more especially as there exists "a divergence of opinion respecting the question whether there should be one province only, or more than one province" and declares
That it will be the duty of the next legislature to adopt a Bill of Rights demanding on behalf of the people of these Territories that the Parliament of Canada pass Acts establishing in the area comprising Assiniboia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Athabasca two provinces approximately equal in size and provided that adequate subsidies be granted them pending the final settlement of all claims in dispute between such provinces and the Dominion; and further declares
That it will also be the duty of the said legislature to request the several members of Parliament who represent constituencies in these Territories to use all constitutional means to place on the Government and Parliament of Canada full and undivided responsibility for refusing or delaying to grant its demands.


A Continuation of the Assembly Debate on Autonomy.


Speeches Delivered by Dr. Elliott and Messrs. McKay, Gillis, Villeneuve and Smith — Expressions of Regret and Rejoicing Over the Dominion Government's Action — The Question of a Mandate.

The report of the debate on provincial autonomy in the Legislative Assembly on April 8th, which arose on Mr. Haultain's motion of regret that the Dominion Government had decided not to introduce legislation at the present session of Parliament with a view to granting provincial institutions to the Territories, is continued below. Dr. Elliott (Wolseley) followed Dr. Patrick. In rising to support the resolution he said he could not but express his surprise at some of the statements made by the hon. member for Yorkton. That hon. gentleman knew full well that this question of provincial autonomy had been discussed not only in the House but throughout the country, and in almost every constituency was brough before the electors. Even in the hon. gentleman's own constituency of Yorkton it was brought prominently before the electors, and every member of the House knew that the Government did have a mandate from the people to deal with the question, and if hon. gentlemen opposite had only taken the trouble to feel the pulse of the people they would have found that there is a strong and general desire that the Government should deal with it and at once. If there was one point raised it was because the Government had not proceeded rapidly enough in their negotiations with the federal government and had not succeeded in getting provincial institutions before this time. The little annexation feeling which existed had been worked up because the local government had not proceeded more rapidly than they had in getting the desired institutions. The most prominent agitators in that annexation movement had said that it was purely for the purpose of getting provincial institutions. One stroke of the pen would put them into Manitoba and then railways could be built in a very short time.
He, the speaker, would like very much to know where the gentleman of the Opposition stood on this as on other questions. The hon. gentleman from Yorkton had believed in one province and in two provinces. He had stated that we should have provincial powers 25 or 26 years hence.
Dr. Patrick —I never made any such statement.
Dr. Elliott —I refer the hon. gentleman to reports of his speeches in this House in 1899. He can find them in the records if he will look them up and if I have made a false statement I will be pleased to apologise for having done so. Do the hon. gentlemen opposite believe in provincial autonomy and do they want it at the present time or at some indefinite time in the future? They are not riding one valuable horse to death, neither two, but a whole band of bronchos travelling in different directions at the same time. (Laughter.) They are divided in two instead of being united. Had the hon. gentleman from Yorkton forgotten his scheme of three provinces with one legislature governing all three?
The hon. gentleman believed in two provinces that we might save the whole Dominion of Canada. If the Dominion could be saved by being divided into two provinces; if such an immense benefit would be derived by being two provinces, why not a much greater benefit by being divided into four or into eight. The hon. gentleman said the weakness of the present confederation was too much Quebecism and too much Ontarioism and that the provinces should be approximately of equal size. Then, why should they not be the size of Prince Edward Island? If the small provinces could administer their affairs so successfully, cheaply and satisfactorily was it not a great pity to divide into two instead of 102? But when the hon. gentleman attempted to prove that small provinces were administered more economically than large ones he took a few figures and drew deductions from them which could not be drawn if he followed a careful science of reasoning. One would think to hear the hon. gentleman speak that he was the representative of eastern Canada or Manitoba when he said that they would not permit of one province being formed.
The Dominion Government had not refused to comply with the demand of the local Government but had simply postponed the matter for the present, giving the flimsy excuse of a divergence of opinions as a reason for their action. If they waited for unanimity they would never get it until the millennium. It was said that the Dominion would not allow one great overwhelming province. Why should a large province endanger the rest of the Dominion? They were Canadians and quite willing to do their duty as citizens of the country and were not desirous of getting any mean advantage over the other provinces of Canada. Throughout Canada the people were Canadians and not Ontarioites, Quebecites, Nova Scotians. They were working for the benefit of Canada as a whole. Of course there were some of the narrow minded individuals who could not see past the township in which they lived.
The hon, member for Yorkton had told them that if they had one province they would have an antagonised Manitoba, and if two provinces, a satified Manitoba ready to fall in and help both provinces. But then the hon. gentleman proposed to add the whole area of Athabasca and then divide into two parts and form provinces three times as large as Manitoba. (Hear, hear.) He did not think that the people of Manitoba who would be so excited over the formation of a province four times their size would be satisfied with two provinces, three times as large as they were. The Assembly was not there to act to suit the people of Manitoba, but to work for themselves, and work out their own salvation. Their duty was to propose to the Dominion Parliament what was necessary and then let it take the responsibility of saying what it would do. If the Dominion Government had made a proposition to the local Government that they would give them two provinces upon the terms asked for one, then the Government would have been called upon to consider it, but it would have been foolish to go and say:
"Give us one province, but if you are not satisfied to do that, give us two or more."
He (Elliott) did not think the Government of Canada did their duty in sending such a reply after what the House and country had been led to expect by members of that Government. He considered it unwise of the member for Yorkton to speak of the negotiations having been done in secret. Should the premier have taken all the members with him when he made his demands, or wired to each individual or newspaper in the Territories what he said in the negotiations? The demands made by the premier were there and were known to every reading man in the Territories before they were laid on the table. They were contained in the different speeches made by the premier and in the budget speeches made by the late commissioner of public works, and on several occasions had been stated by the present commissioner of public works. It ill became any member to charge the premier with attempting to make secret deals and as being insincere, as the member for Yorkton had done in regard to this matter. Every member of the House knew there was nothing secret about it but that all was open and above board, and that the demands made on behalf of the people of this country were known to the people. The hon. member for Yorkton had spoken of the exorbitant demands made by the premier in his bill to Ottawa.
Dr. Patrick —I did not say that.
Dr. Elliott —I will think of the word later. It was "unjust" I think.
Continuing Dr. Elliott said this matter and that it must be dealt with in a clear and definite manner. The premier of Canada asked the premier of the Territories to put his terms in a clear and definite statement and all must be agreed that they could not have been put more clearly or definitely than they were in that draft bill. Every member knew that it was a clear and plain statement and he supposed that it would be charged against the prime minister that there was nothing new in it. There was nothing new in the demands made in that bill. The hon. gentleman from Yorkton had referred to the speech made by the premier in Yorkton in 1890.
Dr. Patrick —1900.
Dr. Elliott —If the hon. gentleman for Yorkton were only ten years behind the times he would be much better informed than he is to-day. (Laughter.)
If the hon. gentleman referred to the speech made in 1900, and if the man who sold out his business in Yorkton and moved to Saltcoats for the purpose of contesting that constituency based his conclusions on that speech, then he (the speaker) must say that if this man had no better idea of that speech than the hon. gentleman had he did not wonder that he drew erroneous conclusions from it.
Dr. Patrick —It was not a conclusion; it was a direct statement by the speaker.
Dr. Elliott continuing said the people were demanding provincial institutions at once. They must have power to build railways, etc. They had given a mandate to the Government. In the last general election they had expressed confidence in the Government, and in the members of the House, and it was not the duty of members to appeal to the people on every flimsy excuse that might come up. They knew the people were prepared for provincial autonomy on the lines laid down by the Government. The hon gentleman form Yorkton said the school lands should be held in trust. They certainly would be. He also agreed with everything proposed in the memorial to Ottawa, except that the Territories should be divided into two provinces instead of one. The hon. gentleman changed his mind so frequently that he should not be taken very seriously when he proposed two provinces. He might be back the next week to three provinces, or follow the suggestion he (the speaker) had made and ask for 14, 15 or 500 provinces in this country.
They had been told that things were being done in secret and that members of the Government had abandoned the stand they had taken in speeches made on other occasions. This was not so. The Government had taken the most manly course and expressed its opinion on the question and made a definite statement which nobody could say they could not understand. Everybody knew exactly what had been asked for.
Much had been heard about one overwhelming, predominating province. They proposed to make one province that would be a prosperous, successful province an honor to the Dominion, and would supply the necessaries of life to millions of people yet unborn. Why should they be putting it before the people of Manitoba that the proposed province is so many times the size of Manitoba when that province again is so many times the size of Prince Edward Island? They had able men to look after their own interests. The most important point was not whether there should be one province or two provinces, but on what grounds were they going to be admitted into confederation, whether they were going to be allowed compensation for the lands taken away and compensation for the exemption from taxation of a very large portion of the country, and what allowance they were going to receive to meet the responsibilities they would have to assume. These were the most vital questions to the country which overshadowed to a very large extent the question of one province or two provinces.
If a member of the House had made up his mind as to the number of provinces, and was in favor of two, he should give the approximate boundaries of those provinces. Would the gentlemen opposite say the question of northern and southern provinces, or eastern and western should be left for future consideration and then when the question came up to be decided as to how the Territories were to be divided would they say to the Dominion: "We do not know; you will have to take the responsibility?" If it was time to know that the Territories should be divided into two provinces it was time they knew how it should be done. (Hear, hear.) This should have been discussed in the speech made by the hon. member for Yorkton. He compared the demands made by the Territorial Government on the Dominion Government to the boy trying to get a whole jugful of nuts at once. He thought they should take one by one. The hon. gentleman was probably thinking of the time when he thought they should get full provincial powers about 26 years from the present time.
Dr. Elliott said he did not wish to go any further with the question. The hon. gentleman had taken up so many things and gone over them in his characteristic and erratic manner that it was very difficult to follow him. (Hear, hear and laughter.) If his conclusions had been founded on facts and arrived at by proper methods of reasoning it would not have been a difficult task, but when he proposed to form a province containing 220,000 square miles and said the provinces should be approximately equal in area he was making a very grave statement, when Prince Edward Island was only an insignificant area compared with the one he proposed. Manitoba was only a third the size of the province he proposed. It was not wonder, therefore, that a man could not follow the reasoning of the hon. gentleman. That gentleman also claimed that the demands made were unreasonable demands. If this was so it was his duty to tell him in what respect. He knew full well that the demands were reasonable and would receive the sanction of the people, and he agreed with everything except to say that a large area should be added to the territory demanded and then be divided into two provinces.
It was time, continued the speaker, that the Territories had provincial institutions. Last year the census had been taken and the ground work was these upon which to build. There would be no more favorable time. The people were almost animous in favor of one province and the vast predominance of opinion against annexation. He believed the Ordinances of the Territories were more suitable to conditions here than were those of Manitoba. He was anxious to go forward and build up a large, prosperous province. (Cheers.) It being 5:30 o'clock the Speaker left the chair.
When the House re-assembled at eight o'clock all the available space in the chamber was occupied by an interested and expectant audience. Many ladies occupied seats within the bar of the House.
Mr. Thos. McKay (Prince Albert West) immediately resumed the debate. He said there could be no differences of opinion as to the great necessity of obtaining full provincial powers, not only because of the increased financial assistance thus obtained, but greater even, so as to be given power to grapple with the questions with which they had to deal. The great question was the transportation question and unless they got full provincial powers they would be unable to grapple with it. It was quite true the federal authorities were grappling with it to a certain extent but they themselves could do it much more effectively if they had the power, and that was one of the great problems with which they came face to face every year. It had been almost impossible during the past few years to get a fair remuneration for their crops. It was all very well to produce large crops and have an increased acreage but it was useless unless they could get a good price for it. He desired to discuss the question from the standpoint of the farmer, for being a farmer himself it appealed to him very strongly in that way. They were on the eve of great changes. People were coming in from all parts of the world. There was no large vacant lands to the south as there were a few years ago and Canada was now advertised and known throughout the world. The question of transportation, therefore, was one that would have to be dealt with. All were aware of the serious loss sustained through lack of transportation during the past year but that was only a beginning of what would have to be faced. The growth of population would be much greater than the growth of railway development and the only way to grapple with the question was to obtain full provincial powers on the same conditions as the other provinces.
The second part of the resolution he could not agree with because he believed the Government exceeded its authority and asked too much in their negotiations with the federal authorities. It was quite true the Government were authorised by the House to negotiate with the Dominion Government. It derived its authority from the resolution passed on May 2, 1900. The latter part of that resolution said: "We do most humbly pray that Your Excellency will be graciously pleased to order enquiries to be made and accounts taken with a view to the settlement of the terms and conditions upon which the Territories or any part thereof shall be established as a province, and that, before any such province is established, opportunity should be given to the people of the Territories, through their accredited representatives, of considering and discussing such terms and conditions." It appeared to him that the Government went about the matter in a wrong way by assuming too much and exceeded the authority given it under that resolution. After going to Ottawa and suggesting the conditions and terms which they thought advisable, it was their duty to come back to the legislature and submit those conditions and terms to the legislature and people and ask for their approval. He believed in conducting business by the people for the people. The Government had exceeded its authority in this matter and could not say that a mandate was given to deal with the question of provincial autonomy.
It had been said by some previous speakers that the subject was discussed in every part of the Territories before the last election. It might have been in some parts but the Territories were large and speaking for the part he represented, he would say that it was not discussed there and he would challenge any member from north of the Saskatchewan to contradict him. As far as he was concerned it was not brought up. He thought it was time we should lead up to it but he also thought that before we were given full provincial powers the people should have an opportunity of discussing it at another election. He had said then that it was the duty of the Government to negotiate and see what could be obtained and then ask the people for their approval, and that if they did not do so there would be at least one constituency which would have an opportunity of expressig their opinion on the matter, because he would resign his seat in the House if such a measure were forced on the people. He had also made that statement in the House.
He could not understand by what process of reasoning the premier came to the conclusion that he had a mandate, more especially for a dying legislature to deal with such an important question. Such an action would be very unwise. A year's delay was all that was asked for and what was a year in the lifetime of a nation. The people might have to suffer the disadvantages under which they were placed but he was prepared to do so rather than have that legislature deal with the subject when another election would be held in a short time.
The premier in speaking to the resolution in 1900 had said that the question was not one that could be settled in a day nor possibly within less than a year or two. He was bringing it down to be discussed. He had also said that that the Government had no mandate to plunge the people into a province. Therefore it was very improper that the Assembly should deal with it, having no mandate to do so, more especially on the eve of a general election. It was quite right and proper to discuss it in the House and lead up to it gradually but they had no cause to complain that the federal authorities did not grant what was asked for last session.
As to the terms the Government proposed there ought to be no difference of opinion but unfortunately there had been a difference of opinion and it had come from a quarter from which it should not have come. In the budget last year it was claimed that the land question was settled and that we had no lands. This statement had not been made on the spur of the moment but after mature consideration for the Territorial Treasurer had gone to the trouble of getting a map from Ottawa highly colored to prove that the question of the the lands had been settled once and forever. It was quite proper that there should be differences of opinion between the members of the [?] but under our constitutional [?] Government there should be no differences of opinion in the Government itself. Now they claimed there were lands worth asking for. Such differences of opinion weaken the lands of those who were making the request and to a much greater extent than a mere difference of opinion in the House.
The premier when speaking to the resolution which gave him authority to deal with this question, at the close of his remarks said: "I hope, sir, I have established a sufficient ground for asking this House to say that enquiries should be made and accounts taken with a view to the settlement of the terms and conditions upon which the Territories or any part thereof shall be established as a province, and that a proposition should be submitted to the people of the Territories, through their representatives, before any final action is taken." It appeared that the premier must have changed his opinion because he asked the federal authorities to take final action. What use would it have been for the House to discuss it if the federal Government had passed what was asked for? They might discuss it for all time and it would make no difference to them, but it would have made a difference if the proposition made was laid before the Houes and people after the premier's return from Ottawa. Therefore, they had no ground for complaint when the federal Government failed to agree to pass that legislation. One of the principal reasons why the people should be given theself local Government which they were asking for, was that they might govern themselves as they saw fit and work out their own salvation, but owing to the way in which the Territorial Government had dealt with the people the Dominion Government may have thought that the people were not capable of governing themselves, for on every possible occasion the local Government took self-government from the people and governed them from Regina. The clause of the Public Works Ordinance with reference to small local improvement districts did not show that the Territorial Government thought the people were capable of self-government. If they did think so it was a very poor way of showing it.
The hon. member for Wolseley thought that if it was good to have two provinces it was better to have half a dozen. Well, if they could convince him, and he thought they could, to have two instead of one he was quite at liberty to have them cut up into a dozen. They were not asking too much in asking for two provinces. True it would mean a larger expenditure from federal sources for government but it must be remembered that they were asking for this not for nothing. They would have to give up something for it. The provinces had to give up the right to levy customs taxes which now amounted to something like $40,000,000, an average of $7.50 per head of the population. Thus the Territories had given up the right of collecting $1,200,000 and their population was only 160,000.
When anyone advocated cutting up the Territories into a dozen provinces they were asking for an absurdity. They might as well ask for townships to be formed into provinces. It had been asked where the Opposition stood on this question. The amendment outlined their provincial autonomy platform at the present time. It declared for two provinces, was clear cut with nothing unreasonable about it.
A voice from the Government benches—Which two?
Mr. McKay—I will answer you in the words of your leader. He says the Government wishes there should be unanimity on this question and they wish to avoid all controversial sides to this question. (Hear, hear, cheers and laughter.)
He admitted frankly that when the division of the Territories came it was quite possible there would be a divergence of opinion on the Opposition side, but at present they would do as the premier had asked and avoid all controversial subjects. If that was a good answer for the Government to give, it was certainly good when given by the Opposition. But, continued Mr. McKay when we occupy the treasury benches if there are controversial questions we will be prepared to fight it out. (Hear, hear.)
We voted for the resolution in 1900 unanimously for we did not wish to weaken the attitude taken by the Government, and, therefore, we were prepared to vote that they should go as far as the resolution indicated and in accordance with the explanation of the Attorney General that the resolution did not commit any person to one, two or three provinces. There are controversial aspects to this question but in its most important aspect it is not. We take the same attitude; it is a reasonable attitude and the only one that can be taken. The controversial questions have got to be threshed out. In the face of his explanation and getting the House to vote unanimously on that resolution the premier went to Ottawa and drafted a bill and asked the federal authorities that this large area should be erected into one province. We take exception to that, because we did not expect it would be done and we are, therefore, not prepared to vote for this resolution. We accordingly submit an alternative and are prepared to fight the next election out on that ground and the hon. gentlemen can bring it on just as soon as they like. (Hear, hear.)
I think questions of this kind should be approached very slowly. It is very important and however great we may feel the necessity of dealing with the question we should first give the people an opportunity of discussing it. This is a large country and the people are scattered over a very wide area. I believe that the members of this House at one time were prepared to see a portion annexed to Manitoba, but if so they have changed their minds. The asking for such a large area would be a good excuse for the Dominion Government to give Manitoba a part. By asking for two provinces it would do away with any grounds for giving it to her. We must admire the attitude of Manitoba in desiring a portion of the Territories. They know it is a good country and that the people would give just as good an account of themselves as the Manitobans. We do not wish to antagonise Manitoba but to gain Manitoba's sympathy, and I believe that the proposition submitted by the Government and Opposition would help to that extent by leaving out the northern part. It was unfair of that province to try and steal our property when we were not in a position to say yes or no. If we were a province the federal authorities would have no power to take away our territory, but unfortunately as we are we have nothing to say in the matter, only protest.
In dealing with this question as we have done, the people will be well satisfied with the attitude we have taken as we propose to give them an alternative proposition. Hitherto they have had only one before them. The Opposition have now adopted a platform on provincial autonomy and the people have an opportunity of having an alternative. If they are satisfied with the proposition given by the Government I will be quite satisfied to abide by it, but if they adopt ours I will be still better satisfied. (Cheers.)
followed Mr. McKay. He said this was certainly the most important question the House ever had to deal with and probably the most important it would ever be called upon to deal with, and it was, therefore, the duty of


(Continued from page 1)
every member to at least give an expression of opinion on the matters relative to provincial autonomy. The hon. gentleman from Prince Albert West had referred to the question of transportation and he quite agreed with him that it was the most important question. The experience of the past year had taught them a lesson in that respect and the matter must be dealt with without delay. After stating this the hon. gentleman had gone on to say that he could not agree with the resolution brought in, which regretted the action of the Dominion Government in refusing to grant powers necessary to deal with this question. To say the least, he considered the hon. gentleman's position inconsistent.
The member for Prince Albert West had also stated that the Commissioner of Public Works said that there were no public lands left. True, there were few lands left, but the Commissioner had not said there were no lands. The proposition made by the Government asked for the lands that were left over and above those alienated.
As to the statement that the Government had no mandate, and the statement of the member for Prince Albert West that if the autonomy question took any definite shape during the term of this legislature he would resign. Mr. Gillis said this was an extraordinary stand to take, to resign his seat to show that he was opposed to taking any steps in that direction yet he voted for the resolution to enter into full negotiations with the Ottawa Government. this was a most extraordinary stand to take.
Mr. McKay — I said that it is time to lead up to this question, but if the legislature was to plunge the people into the matter and create us into a a province during the term of this legislature, I would resign my seat and the people of Prince Albert West would at least have an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the matter.
Mr. Gillis was pleased the hon, gentleman had made the explanation but it did not alter the case one iota. No time was fixed in the resolution and the Government were empowered by the unanimous vote of the House to enter into negotiations for our entering confederation. The hon. gentleman should have moved a resolution that the Government should not have done so before an appeal to the people. That was the proper course and the one he should have taken.
Mr. Gillis then said he desired to congratulate the hon. member for Yorkton upon the strides he was making in the House. Up to a few days ago that gentleman had occupied a seat on the back benched but now he had taken a step forward and occupied the third position in the Opposition ranks which meant that he would occupy a position of eminence and prominence in this great conutry if the Opposition ever got to the treasury benches. He did not wish to build up any false hopes, however. That hon. gentleman in his speech referred to the draft bill submitted by this Government to the federal government and went on and recited several of the principal provisions of that bill, discussed them carefully and agreed with the main principles all the way through. (Hear, hear.) He agreed with all that and then went on and moved his extraordinary amendment. If he had read his amendment and said nothing the country would have been just as wise. (Laughter.)
The hon. member for Yorkton dwelt at length on the subject that the Government had no mandate. He (the speaker) quite agreed with the hon. gentleman from Wolseley that provincial autonomy was the live question at the last election. In his district it was the prominent question and it was thought iliat during the life of this Assembly it would have to be decided. The premier at the last meeting in Whitewood had stated that during the life of this Assembly it would be discussed and in all probability full arrangements made. As far as he knew in the other districts in Eastern Assiniboia the candidates also had this plank in their platforms and were agreed that it would be a question which this Assembly would have to discuss. The statement that the Government find no mandate was contrary to the actual facts in the districts he knew of.
The hon. gentleman from Yorkton also objected strongly to the manner in which the local Government approached the federal Government on this question, and claimed that they had no right to go to the federal government and Parliament but should have done it through the Territorial representatives at Ottawa. What was the premier elected to this House for if not to look after their own business. It was the duty of the federal representatives to look after Canada in general, and it was the duty of the local legislature to look after their own interests, and in going to Ottawa the premier did nothing but what was right and his duty, and nothing but what would have to be done by the present or any other government in the Territories. It was a local question that must be dealt with by them. One would imagine to hear the hon. gentleman talk about secret negotiations that the draft bill was something new and the principles in it unknown to the people. Everyone knew them and yet the hon. gentleman spoke of secret negotiations which were not divulged when they ought to have been.
Mr. Gillis stated that on the question of the number of provinces he had always held certain definite viewes which he had expressed in the House and his constituency, and that was that when they came to be a province they should enter confederation on the lines laid down in the draft bill. He had heard nothing to lead him to change his opinion. The conclusions of the member for Yorkton had very little weight. The question they had to deal with was a practical one.
The change the hon. gentlemen who occupied the Opposition benches had taken was a marvellous one. Last year when it was proposed to increase the salaries of the hon. gentlemen occupying the treasury benches a great howl was raised by the Opposition: and only a few years ago one hon. gentleman up site advocated cutting off the small allowance of $500 to the Speaker. It was all right to economise but that was carrying it too far. They had changed their front entirely and now said in effect that the country was too cheaply governed. They said instead of one lieutenant governor let us have two: instead of three or four paid ministers let us have seven or eight; instead of five or six deputy heads let us have ten or twelve: let the civil service be multiplied by two and let us double everything. If, said Mr. Gillis, we have two provinces it will cost just double and that is one thing the people of this country will not for a moment tolerate.
There wasa reference made to the amount of $50,000 they would receive as the grant made to each province from the Dominion for legislative purposes. A cent a head was not much but the item would be considered in bulk. They had examples in eastern Canada but he did not think a comparison could be fairly made between conditions prevailing there and here. In this country they hail a system of their own intended to cover and meet all requirements and deal out proper treatment to all parts of the Territories. The people were wisely and economically governed and no matter how far away they were, they enjoyed the same privileges as those near Regina or any other central point, and it would be unwise, therefore, to make any changes in that respect. Under their system of overnment they had built up in th a country the most economical system of any province in Canada. In one large local improvement district it cost less than $50 to collect $4,500 in taxes, while it cost $600 to collect the same amount in the municipality of Indian Head. No part of the country suffered or was being ill-treated, and, therefore, they should endeavor as far as possible to continue that form of government.
Who wanted two provinces? The farmers did not, and the only answer that occurred to him was a few ambitious politicians. The majority of the people were strongly and very strongly opposed to two provinces. Our duty, concluded Mr. Gillis is to get together and establish a system by which this country can be well and economically governed. (Cheers.)
was the next speaker. He said the question had been brought so suddenly on the people that they were not quite read to discuss it in all its important details. The Government did not want to proceed on the question last year without the sanction of the Assembly and yet they had done exactly the opposite of what they promised, and although he was in favor of provincial autonomy as soon as possible he could not express any regret at the refusal of the Dominion Government to grant it without the people having been consulted by a general election. or a referendum (laughter), or by the premier taking the advice of the members of the House. The Government party had told the country that the members of the Opposition took no interest in this question or even thought about it. They practically said to the member for Yorkton: "You should not have spoken. You did not clear off the deck and you did not enlighten the member for Whitewood or the member for Wolseley.
There were, howeverm going to move now and if it came a little late it was the fault of the Attorney General who for the first time had come before the House with a regular and straight announcement of his policy of one province. The resolution of May, 1900, was never intended to give the Government authority to go to Ottawa and pledge the Assembly or people of the Territories to accept whatever proposal the Government of the country wished to present them without first asking the approval of the House or people. The last paragraph of the resolution of 1900 said. "and that a proposition should be submitted to the people of the Territories, through their representatives, before any final action is taken."
Have we, the accredited representatives of the people, asked Mr. Villeneuve, been consulted and asked some advice? (Laughter.) The premier never condenscends to ask advise from us. Well, we have a right to give it to him. (Loud laughter.) I hope he will take my advice in the same sense of duty I give it. I give it as a duty to myself, my district, the Territories and Canada, because I consider that this question must be approached by a western man not only as a resident of the Territories but as a Canadian who has not only the interest of the Territories themselves at heart, but at the same time Canada as a whole, and it is in this frame of mind I intend discussing a few of the proposals.
In the resolution of May 1900, the premier had asked them to drop all controversial questions. It was not one, two or three provinces but the provincial autonomy question, and before it came to the front they had to make an enquiry into their accounts and see how they stood with the federal Government and whether they were in the good column or not, and on what terms the Territories should enter confederation, and then at that time the Assembly would have occasion to discuss them. Had they? No, the Government went to Ottawa and presented their memorial purporting to be the ideas set forth by the assembly but which they were not because they certainly were not discussed there. They had been discussed in an exactly contrary manner.
Dr. Elliott—You should have done your duty and discussed them.
Mr. Villeneuve said that was what they did. He said no advice had been given at all by the House. to the Government. The only instruction that was given—and that had been taken a little rashly by the Government— was when the House decided that the boundaries of Manitoba shonld not be extended westward. That was the only instruction given and since then they had never been asked for any. Why should they regret because that proposal was not accepted? lnstead of regretting they should rejoice. When he saw the sad face of the Commissloner of Agriculture he. too, should rejoice with them for in the event of a general Dominion election he might have to support some of the candidates of this Government they were asked to condemn. (Laughter.) He thought the Federal Government did right in refusing to entertain Mr. Haultain's proposal.
He agreed with the Opposition in declaring for two provinces. He was not against three provinces and if the Federal Government granted them it would only be following the idea of the Government when the provisional districts were made. Sir ohn Macdonald thought there should be three provinces and if the member for Wolseley ridiculed the idea he (Villeneuve) could stand with Sir John Macdonald. But that was not the question now.
The hon. member for Whitewood had referred to economy. If the Government at Ottawa were prepared to give the money for two legislatures western people should not object. The people of the north were for two provinces. and a representative was to re present the ideas of the people and as his constituents were in favor of two provinces he must come there and state the facts, and again the eastern provinces would never allow the equilibrium of the confederation to be broken. Was it possible that Ontario and the other provinces would say that fifty vears hence the country west of Lake Superior will control the rest of Canada? No, they would say: "We will make it into provinces so that while they will have some general common interests they will not have that overwhelming influence one province would possess. The Opposition were pledged to two provinces and would give evidence that it was fighting a good fight, and whatever the result of their battles everyone would be satisfied that the Opposition had been working for the best interests of the people. (Cheers)
Mr. A. S. Smith (Moosomin) said for some years this had been a very important question but this session was the first time that they had any indication that the Opposition had an opinion on it. The people expected the Government to have opinions. He had discussed this question through every portion of his district and he considered it the duty not only of the Government, but of the Opposition as well to lay before the people their ideas so that public opinion would be educated up to the position of being able to vote at the elections this year. If the people were not familiar with the question, the different members of the House were responsible for that condition of things, and the Opposition seemed to say that the people were not prepared for the step the Government had taken. One of the first questions dealt with in the House after he had a seat in it was the provincial autonomy question, and since then it had been taken up at every session, and last session the Government introduced a resolution which went to Ottawa asking for provincial powers. If the Opposition were not acquainted with it they would find when they went to the country that the people were quite acquainted with the conditions the local Government had laid before the federal Government. The member for St. Albert said this was very sudden, but he feared that hon. gentleman had not been in the Territories for a year or more if that was the position he took. Every paper in the Territories had been discussing the question and he failed to see where there was anything very sudden in it.
He was surprised that some gentlemen should say they were in favor of two provinces but were unable to state in what shape they would have them. Some would have the Territories cut from north to south: others from east to west. As he was not in favor of two provinces it did not make much difference to him, but when the Opposition went so far it was regrettable they did not tell the people what shape the provinces would be. The Government had been quite frank in taking the people and the House into their confidence on this question, although there were some gentlemen who state they have not been taken into the confidence of the Government but every member of the House knew that that was not the fact.
Here in Canada We were over-governed. There were too many local legislatures and in the opinion of himself and many other men it would be better if the eastern provinces were united. It would be a benefit to the whole Dominion. The argument brought before the House that afternoon that it was cheaper to govern small provinces than large ones would be a revelation to the business men of Canada, and of the Territories in particular. It was like cutting a farm of 100 acres up into two-farms of 50 acres.
Dr. Patrick — Take the Bell farm.
Mr. Smith contended the Bell farm was not a case in point. If if were not put on a business basis it would not pay but if it was it would pay.
Dr. Patrick — Politics in policitcs; business is business.
Mr. Smith went on to state that the hon. gentleman put himself up to educate the people on business matters in this country. The large financial and commercial institutions were amalgamating and putting them under one head and management. For what purpose!— For the purpose of cheapening the management.
Dr. Patrick — To squeeze the people.
Mr. Smith replied that Dr. Patrick was referring to monopolies, he was not. The trend of times was along the line of increasing amalgamations, and putting all lines of business under a proper head so that one man could look after the whole of it and do it more cheaply. This applied to the business of Government, and if it was done properly it could be done more cheaply. The argument used by the hon. gentleman would have no weight with the business men of the Territories and other parts of Canada.
He would refer the House to the Government of the Territories and by the last returns in the Public Works report he found that the percentage of cost was 3.86 for the expenditure of money in the Territories, and he claimed the people should be prouid of the economical conduct of business in the North-West. It was further stated that in the large local improvement districts taxes were collected and all services done for 2.5 cents on the dollar. That was a marvellous thing and it must be very gratifying to the people of the Territories to find that the money of the country had been spent so well. The percentage of cost for expenditure on superintendence and inspection was 2-16. It was a most remarkable thing from a business standpoint that the Government were able to give such a service for a small an expenditure. If they took the Financial Year car Book of the Dominion they would find that no province in the Dominion spent money so cheapl as the North- West Territories. This was very gratifying to him and be was sure it must be even to the members of the Opposition.
He thought when the time came the hon. gentlemen who had been asking for two provinces would find that the people had pronounced ideas on the question, They had been giving it their consideration for some time and realised the fact that this country must be developed. He regretted that the hon. gentleman who preceded him was not sorrv that the Government had been blocked and that the time for the establishment of a province was in the future.
They had a great deal of trouble and loss over the grain blockade. They felt that something must be done; that transportation facilities must be provided; there must be a better way of getting the grain out of the Territories and if that was the case the local Government had a part to play and a responsibility, and the Assembly had a responsibility at the back of the Government, and it must in every way see that proper transportation facilities are given to the people who were developing this great country. They were only on the eve of a great development. If they sat down and said they were glad at the action of the Dominion Government he would leave the responsibility to those who said it, but for himself he was sorry that the Territorial Government had not been placed in a position to be able to take hold of that great question and give the relief the people expected. They needed railways and needed them quickly. They could not wait for four or five years and leave their grain in grainaries. They must have railways and at once. With the immigration that was pouring in, and the responsibility thus placed on the local Government, it was amazing that the Opposition was so glad that the Government could do nothing, and it would find that the people did not sympathise with it.
He had noticed in a newspaper report of a meeting held in Prince Albert that the member for Prince Albert West had said that the people of the Territories were not as well fitted to govern themselves as the people of Manitoba were when they entered confederation. He thought this a remarkable statement, that the people were not qualified to govern the country and thought possibly the hon. gentleman had come to that conclusion not by travelling through the Territories, but by staying at home. He certainly was not speaking for any of the eastern districts and he was sure that the western country was on a par with the east as far as development was concerned. When Manitoba, nearly 30 years ago, entered confederation the people had not the training to start out with the people in the Territories had. Here they had a provisional government for many years, and the people were as well qualified to govern themselves as were the people of any province in the Dominion. He hoped the member for Prince Albert West was wrongly reported but he had not said he was or was not. The Territories had very nearly all legislative powers except to borrow money on the public credit. That was about the only difference.
The question had been fully discussed from all points of view. If the Opposition were sincere in their views it was all right. and if they had taken the same stand two years ago he would have thought they were going in the right direction. At that late date the Opposition said they had a policy and their amendment was the policy. It was not quite completed yet as they did not know how they would cut the Territories up. They would have to fight that out amongthemselves and the people would also have something to say about it. (Cheers.)
Mr. McKay rose to a question of privilege and stated that he was incorrectly reported in the newspaper quoted by Mr. Smith with reference to the Prince Albert meeting.
A report of the closing speeches in this debate will appear next week.


Continue the Debate On Provincial Autonomy and Ask That


The Former Reviews the History of the Negotiations and Declares the Government Had No Mandate — The Latter Deals With the Inconsistent and Absurd Positions Taken by Opposition Members.

Following are reports of the speeches by Mr. R. B. Bennett (West Calgary and Mr. A. L. Sifton, Commissioner of Public Works, in the Assembly on provincial autonomy:
Mr. R. B. Bennett said: Mr. Speaker, it is quite unnecessary for me to say that I approve of provincial autonomy and that I desire it as much as anything in this world. You will recollect that some three years ago I stated in this House the time had arrived for the Government to take some action to better conditions in the Territories. I have never changed the opinion then held, and it is a source of some satisfaction to me to find an unanimous opinion in the House to-day that there is a necessity to take some action along the lines of provincial autonomy. I am, however, this afternoon face to face with a difficult problem and am asked to vote yea or nay on a resolution, the preamble of which I fully approve, it is clothed in better language than I could have put it and expresses in concrete form the opinion I have expressed, and gives voice to the sentiments I then held and still have, and then follows these momentous words: "Be it resolved that this House regrets that the Federal Government has decided not to introduce legislation at the present session of Parliament with a view to granting provincial institutions to the Territories."
Sir, that means one of two things. Leave not for the sophistry of the Attorney General or his cunningly devised arguments. It means that we regret that the Parliament of Canada did not pass legislation founded on the draft bill presented by this Government or that they did not give us anything they liked on this question. Edefy the gentlemen on the treasury benches, and I challenge hon. mem bers, to deny that we are asked to regret that the Dominion Government did not pass the draft bill laid before it, or that we regret that the Parliament of Canada did not without consulting us, asking our opinion, or giving us a right to be heard pass any legislation they saw fit. I cannot agree to either of these propositions. I say it with regret. I would have liked to have that unanimity continue to prevail until this question had passed out of existence so far as this country is concerned. I should have wished that. And yet, sir, I think it is no fault of myself, or any hon. gentleman on this side of the House, that that condition of affairs did not prevail, and in order that I might make perfectly clear the opinion I have and the faith that is within me, I propose to take some little time to discuss, go over and review the history of these negotiations in order that it may never be afforded to any hon. gentleman to go on the hustings or by deliberately false statements or misrepresentations to say that on any act or word of mine any construction could be placed other than that whatever could be done should be done to solve this problem with which is wrappred up the future of this land.
The Attorney General referred to the transportation question and my mind was carried back to some years ago and I found that I once, in language almost identical with the language of the hon. member for Moosomin, said that the question of transportation should be dealt with by this legislature. I said the questions of of grain combines and elevators were questions of vital importance, and while we might discuss local questions, that over and above and beyond all these questions there was that great question of transportation, which was placed before us, and in our hands for solution, and that as we solved or failed to solve it the people would give us  credit or mete out disapproval. I donot propose to go over that question and review it at length, but in order that no misrepresentation may exist I desire to draw attention to these facts and say them again. I have nothing to retract, nothing to apologize for. My only regret, my keenest regret, is that I cannot support the demands of the Government in the resolution they have placed upon the order paper, because I regard it as of utmost importance and greatest moment, to the people of the Territories that we should have unanimity in all these matters which are in controversy and which deal with the future of this great land given us by Providence, and in order to make this clear I desire to look over the history of this subject.
I do not hold the same opinions as some gentlemen on this side. I will be perfectly frank. I do not propose to indulge in recriminations or to descend to the level of personalities, but on this question at least I do not wish to be misinterpreted in endeavoring to arrive at an honest conclusion. As to whether or not provincial autonomy was an issue in the elections of 1898 there may be a difference of opinion. I know nothing of what took place in Saskatchewan, or Eastern or Western Assiniboia, but I do know of the constituencies surrounding Calgary and up and down the line in Alberta. It was discussed,—the hon. gentleman from Wolseley knows nothing about it, though—it was discussed incidentally by the Attorney General in the city of Calgary. The members of the Government were dealing rather with the record of the Government and giving an account of their stewardship, but in a speech then made the premier pointed out that the time had almost arrived when some great constitutional changes would have to come and it would be necessary to deal with them as men, and in the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the session that followed the general elections it was said we were then 25 years of age and had attained to that large dignity and sense of responsibility that brought with it the necessary of grappling with the question of a provincial constitution and provincial Government. I will say frankly that in the speeches I made in my constituency. I did as strongly as possible advocate provincial autonomy as a relief from the ills from which we were suffering.
Now following that up, in the session of 1899 no reference was made in the Speech from the Throne to this question. The question of our future status was not dealt with. A slight reference was made in the budget speech for some relief wherewith to meet our pressing necessities. There were no public utterances by ministers of the crown, but in the fall of 1899 the first minister was in various sections of this country and at Yorkton and Carnduff he gave voice to the sentiment that the time had arrived when representations should be made to the Dominion Government, and pointed out that we had not power to deal with the transportation question or pledge the public credit. From these speeches a certain amount of public opinion began to circulate, and people met and discussed them, and I believe that from those speeches a certain large public opinion grew up in relation to this matter.
When the legislature met in 1900 in the Speech from the Throne the follow ing language was used:
"It is gratifying for me to be able to inform you that the Federal Government has proposed to Parliament now in session a moderate increase to your annual grant and a large special vote for the purpose of restoring public works destroyed by the floods. In spite of this very substantial increase to the revenue, my Government can only look upon it as affording a temporary and partial amelioration of otherwise impossible financial conditions, and will ask you to take action leading to the earliest practicable solution of Territorial financial and administrative problems."
In these words His Honor met the legislature. On May 2, 1900, a resolution was passed by the Assembly which called, not for the establishment of provincial institutions in these Territories, but for certain well defined and positive things to which I will call the attention of the House. Had the first minister asked for power to commit these Territories to the provincial status, then I say that the action he has taken would have been justified, but he did not do so.
In the concluding portion of the fifteenth paragraph of that resolution, as printed and published in the speech delivered by the premier on that occasion, these words will be found:
His Excellency also be prayed to order enquiries to be made and accounts taken with a view to the settlement of the terms and conditions upon, which the Territories or any part thereof shall be established as a province,—
and now you will observe that there are a few words in conclusion that call for most careful scrutiny,
and that before any such province is established opportunity should be given to the people of the Territories through their accredited representatives of considering and discussing such terms and conditions.
This resolution the premier moved in a speech of great ability in which he reviewed at great length the history of this country so far as the tenure of lands was concerned. That speech divides itself into two heads. Any gentleman who has read it over carefully will remember that there are two distinct heads: first, that he did not commit himself to a province or provinces and desired to eliminate from the discussion all controversial matters. I think that is a perfectly fair statement of what was done. It was not contentious and did not deal with the question of a province or provinces, and that the people were to be consulted before a final action was taken. If I understand the English language it must follow that these two are the heads of that speech: first, avoiding all contentious matters, never mining the question of a province or provinces, and, secondly, there must be a reference to the peoplele or their accredited representatives before any final action is taken by his Government. I think that is a fair summary of that speech. Turn to page 9 of that speech and you will that I was fearful that the Attorney General might bring in words which would be construed as an expression of opinion as to the number of provinces and that I asked the question:
Mr. Bennett Would you not consider it incidentally dealt with in that resolution?
Mr. Haultain: No.
Mr. Bennett: What, not the use of the single word "province"—"shall be established as a province?"
Mr. Haultain: "Before any such province is established?"
Mr. Bennett: Yes, "before any such province."
Mr. Haultain: Any part of the Territories can be established as a province. I am perfectly willing to make the present resolution perfectly clear on that point. There is no intention to convey the impression in the smallest degree of any opinion I may have ever held or expressed with regard to this side of the question.
Mr. Bennett: That is the way it is taken.
Mr. Haultain: But this is not the way it is intended, and if it is so taken it is a mistake. However, if it is so I am perfectly willing to do away with the misapprehension by stating frankly that there was no such intention.
I, therefore, took it that the Attorney General was anxious, that there should be no misapprehension on the part of the country and members as to the impression he intended to convey, that he did not intend this resolution in any way to express his private or public opinion as to how the Territories should be divided. You will find that on page 16 he also makes the same statement practically. He says: "I need hardly dwell again on the necessity for unanimity. If we are not unanimous we are not going to accomplish much. Our individual opinion will not be of much use unless backed up by a strong public opinion. The duty of every member of this House is to develop that public opinion by discussion and to bring these matters before the people of the country in order to show them that there are large interests at stake, and that they have many claims and rights which it may be they have hitherto not realized, and which can only be established by the fullest enquiry and negotiation. Exaggerated claims may be made, and possibly have been made, but the matters which I have referred to are not matters of fancy or speculation. We have an enormous country with tremendous interests and an almost boundless future. We should not be staggered by the realisation of the splendid heritage we are entitled to but should rather be uplifted and urged on to try to establish these rights and have these claims satisfactorily adjusted."
So you see at the close of his speech he said there was nothing controversial in it and that unanimous consent should be given.
As to the second point that the people were to be consulted you will find this:
"Afterall, we are not assuming on the part of the people of the Territories, if this resolution is accepted, the right to make an agreement. We are asking simply that negotiations should be opened. In fact the most important side of this question at the present time, the most important result, that will follow from this resolution being introduced at this stage, and from the  discussion which may follow it, will be further discussion which wil take place throughout the country. The people of the Territories need to have explained to them what are the actual conditions under which we are working and what would be the position under the only further extension we can look forward to."
There are other references but I take it that the references I have read establish abundantly the summary I have already made.
I say further that the people of this country accepted that opinion. I stated, and other members stated, that they so understood that resolution as authorizing, directing, instructing the Government to take such steps to deal with this large question. That, I think was the spirit in which the Government itself entered upon the negotiations, for I find that when they met the House in 1901 they had been unable to arrange a meeting with the Privy Council owing to the electors. This excuse was not an unreasonable one in view of the circumstances that then prevailed.
I would like to bring the correspondence of 1901l to the attention of the House for a moment. It was pointed out by this Government that something must be done to provide facilities for the new people coming in. Then we have the answer of the Minister of the Interior suggesting a conference to consider the question. On March 30th a reply was sent accepting the suggestion. The next step I think the Government had a right to take, but my complaint against the Administration commences at this point, and I think it is a fair one. I expected and the country expected, and had a right to expect, that to supplement the resolution passed in 1900 they would have conne and asked for instructions as to what terms they should ask. What might be urged is that I did point out certain demands to be made, and there would not be so much objection to the action of the Government if the hon. gentleman had left out that one point which was controversial, and which has brought about the downfall of these negotiations, and has set back this matter I know not how long. They asked for no instructions from this House as to what they should ask for or do at Ottawa. The House was told there would be a conference in which it was hoped this large question would be dealt with by the first minister and his colleague and the Privy Council. and so we have before us the next correspondence of 1902.
We find from that correspondence that certain telegrams passed as to the time and place of holding this conference and that it was ultimately held. What authority had this legislature given these gentlemen before they went to Ottawa? No man can go and open negotiations without producing his authority, and I take it that the Minister of the Interior, being an astute man, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier and other astute members of the Government knew just what the instructions of these men were. They were also negotiating and had their instructions, powers and privileges, jurisidiction, and they knew to a nicety just what authority the hon. gentlemen had to bind these Territories. Why did they know it? Because they had the memorial of May, 1900, and the speech of the hon. gentleman in moving it. These documents explain themselves. These gentlemen were limited in their powers: they admitted it when they asked that this memorial be passed. They had power to deal with the non-controversial matters. If language means anything,— and if any gentleman has the ability to use language to make his meaning clear, the hon. gentleman has,— just what did it convey to the ordinary reader and hearer? That the gentlemen composing this executive, representing this House and country, had authority to enter into negotiations to have accounts taken and enquiries made and placed before the people of this country. And I challenge any hon. gentleman who may follow me to point out in any written document any authority that this House gave no such authority and I defy any person to show it. The hon. gentleman himself was so particular and anxious to avoid any possible conflict of public opinion that he framed his resolution so carefully and said it was a matter of extraordinary diffculty to avoid all controversial subjects and deal with the matter as one man. Therefore, I say that this Government had a right to make their demands with relation to the lands, mines, minerals, compensation for alienated lands and for exemptions from taxation, control of school lands, and the non-controversial matters dealt with in the speech and resolution, but they had no power to plunge this country into the step they did, and which the hon. gentleman himself says is a controversial uestion. I challenge the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Public Works, or any man who supports them to show any authority this House has given to pledge this country to one province. Is it here in any statute books or Journals? Let the men who will tonight stand up and vote yea show where any authority exists in writing, which is the only way it could exist, to say that these great Territories should be erected into one province. If they do no it proves my case.
If the Government had not come to the House in the first place and asked for express powers the doctrine that they had the power might prevail, but having come and asked for express powers, and those express powers being to deal with non-controversial matters, it follows that there were only two ways in which the other powers could follow, either by an appeal to the country or to the legislature. Under our system of Government these were the only ways but they preferred to take.
They went to the Government of Canada and asked to be made into one province. Sir, had they come to this House and asked for and got that authority by a bare majority of one they would have possesed it and would have been authorised to make the proposition they did. But they did not do it. They went down and said: "We are the people." (Laughter.) The hon. gentleman may think he is the people but there are some few people in Canada who hold the opinion that he is not the people. (Hear, hear). Of course it is very much to be regretted that there are a few people who feel that the hon, gentleman is not the people, but so long as constitutional methods prevail, so long will there he people who hold up their heads and say we do not think Mr. Haultain is the people. (Laughter)
It was not necessary for this Government to declare for one province to carry on negotiations. They could have laid claim to all the things set up in the draft bill for they are alike common to one or two provinces. Therefore I submit the argument must be convincing that they had no power to plunge this country into the discussion of a controversial question, and that in dealing with the question of the lands, mines, etc., they had no need to go into it. That is my position and the documents warrant it.
What follows? They did undertake to speak for this country. Now, I hold a different opinion to what some have said. Some have said they no mandate. I think this Government had a mandate from this House to open these negotations, We gave them the authority They are the servants of this House: we are the principals. But we gave them no authority to ask for one province. It was not necessary to do so to deal with these non-controversial matters. They did exceed their authority and have permitted the Dominion Government to take advantage of them.
The little conference took place, they put their views in writing, and sent them to Ottawa enclosing a draft bill. Then certain telegrams followed urging an answer, I do not impute bad faith but I heard two months ago that these negotiations had failed. Yet the premier apparently has been travelling over the country with the Minister of the Interior in his private car—
Mr. Haultain –Pardon time, I never travelled either in a private car or with the Minister of the Interior on a train.
Mr. Bennett —I withdraw the statement. But the hon. gentleman meeting the Minister of the Interior as he did and discussing thes, matters with him must have known something of the minister's mind in dealing with these questions. Do you mean that you can discuss several matters and not get an intimation of what their mind was? On March 27, 1902 we find the Minister of the Interior sending to the first minister of this country: "I presume, however, that you would have gathered our views from the expressions of opinion which took place during our interviews, and our conclusions will not, therefore, I trust come in the way of a surprise." Now, sir, that answer was inadequate and J think the reply sent by the first minister is a rather conclusive reply, and he met every argument fairly, but unfortunately he had no authority to put in the controversial matter. The agent exceeded his authority. The other men new it andsaid we do not know you, consequently there was no bargain.
It is a significant thing that while the Attorney General was exercising his mind about this matter the Commissioner of Public Works did not trouble much about it. All I can point out is the day this reply was sent to Ottawa, the Commissioner of Public Works was in Calgary, and it was, therefore, the reply of the premier, binding his colleague so one would imagine that after all it was not such a surprise. The Minister of the Interior says it will be no surprise: the Attorney General says it was not only a surprise but a deep disappointment. I have no opinion to express: it is not my business. There exists a very well developed opinion that so far as it being a suprise is concerned they knew well what the answer would be, and the Minister of the Interior gave them the cold steel by saying it will be no suprise at all (Laughter). I am not expressing my opinion but only stating one I have heard.
There exists another opinion among a large number of people that the question of provincial autonomy is only a political football to advance the interests of one party. It has been said in public print that it is being used in order to work to the advantage of one set of men over another, and to redound to the credit of one man belonging to one great political party. I cannot believe that is so. There exists again another opinion that a portion are in favor of annexation to Manitoba.
I think I have laid down some good reasons why I am unable to support the resolution of the Attorney General. I regret I cannot support it because upon the records, documents and correspondence this delegation went to Ottawa and attempted to do what they had no authority to do, and the Dominion Government took advantage of that. If that draft, bill had passed the Parliament of Canada what chance would the people or the members of this House have had of discussing it? No man can assume to take the reports of Speeches. The Attorney General said the people had a moral right to discuss it, but they have had no chance. Because the Government have undertaken to do what they said they would not do they have committed a breach of faith. It is a breach of faith to say on May 2, 1900, that the people have a right to discuss the matter and on Dec. 7, 1901, to say that it should be one province.
By this resolution I either vote for one province or I vote that the Dominion Government can do as they like with the people. As I understand the resolution I believe I have no alternative but to say whether I am in favor of one province or two. I would bave wished to avoid doing so. When I came here and saw the copies of this correspondence and resolution I regretted that this controversial matter of one province or two had been thrown into this Assembly for discussion, but sooner or later every man must give voice to his convictions. The conclusion I have arrived at may be erroneous and the hon, gentleman's correct: then his judgment is better than mine, but I wish to be distinctly understood as saying that I do not desire in any way to embarrass the Administration or the carrying on of these negotiations. I have coine to a conclusion from reasons which the House may consider as wholly inadequate. I trust they will accept my convictions as my honest belief, as much as I do that they have arrived at theirs in the same manner. There has been much said about consistency. Consistency sometimes means narrowmindedness. A man who retains the saine views for 25 years is a fossil, a Rip Van Winkle. Times come when men must change their opinions. A man may, hold an opinion today which he condemned yesterday. The vice of today is that men hold opinions without study or consideration. The opinion I have arrived at on this matter, and it may be good or bad, is that it is not expedient that the Territories should be erected into one province. I have given it much consideration and have arrived at the conclusion that we cannot in this country at this time commit ourselves to one province without violating the principles upon which this confederation is founded.
It has been said that I declared myself as supporting the annexation of a portion of the Territories to Manitoba. I never did so, except in the course of a private conversation I said it would be better if Eastern Assiniboia and Manitoba were to come together and the rest of the Territories be erected into one province. I repeat that if Manitoba and Eastern -Assiniboia could unite it would be a happy solution of an intricate question. Much as I would like to see that, not so long as I have a vote or a voice to express my views will I consent to a country being annexed against its will and put in another province (Hear, hear), and any gentleman who says I ever favored annexation against the wishes of the people of that country does me grevious wrong, I never said it. Every time I have spoken I have said that the wishes of the people themselves should prevail. It may be that some people have been allured by a solution of the transportation problem, but much as they would appreciate that I believe that the people of Eastern Assiniboia do not desire to become a part of Manitoba, and since they do not we have to consider the question whether these Territories shall become one great province or more than one province.
I am not going to review the economical arguments tonight: the member for Yorkton has done that. But I propose to ask the House to consider the matter from a national standpoint. It is said that every man loves his village or country or province or land of adoption, and I yield to none in faith in this great country and its futture. But I am a Canadian and although I do owe my first duty to my community and the land of my adoption I owe a larger and a greater duty to the great confederation of Canada. The men who framed this confederation were inspired with the thought that the various provinces, might live in harmony, and yet I find to the east today there is a little province and the language of this Government has alarmed the people. What has caused the attention of the people all over Canada to be diverted to this question? It is the use of the words "one grand, predominating, overwhelming province." Sir. I would rather be a citizen of two provinces work together in harmony and unity than of one doing violence a to the spirit of confederation:


(Continued from page 1.)
Every man must remember that we owe some degree of toleration to other men. No intolerant man ever left his mark on a country.
I submit that by reason of the area of 404,000 square miles, the largest of any province in confederation, being formed into one province, there would follow jealousies and friction which would make it impossible for provinces to work together in unity. Let me give you the authority of a greater than I, Mr. Haultain. In his reply to the Minister of the Interior he said: "With regard to a divergence of opinion as to one or more provinces, I might say that that is a difficulty which will always exist and which any postponement of action will not remove."
Then, sir, this House is to be asked to do something to plunge the people into a difference which will always exist. These local differences will become so strong and so insistent by time that they could only result in injury to confederation. The hon. gentleman knows of the resources of the country and that it will contain the wealth producing class. The development of these resources involve the expenditure of large sums of money, and as there were divisions between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and between Upper and Lower Canada, we would have ultimately that difference of opinion which woudd bring about a division into two provinces, and I submit that in the interests of harmony we should pronounce for two provinces and avoid this friction.
I have arrived at these conclusions deliberately and although they may wrong I venture this prediction. In so far is the organised districts are concerned, and you may include Athabasca, they will never be directed as one province, and if not in the nature of two provinces that portion to the east will ultimately go to Manitoba.
In conclusion I wish to say that I regret as much as the Attorney General that we have a motion on the order paper tonight that will not permit of that unanimity which I would like to see when we approach the Dominion Government. We desire to go upon record on this point and we have incorporated into our amendment a declaration of unanimity with the Government on every non-controversial matter they introduce. We have met them and declare for everything they ask for, but now that you have introduced this controversial matter we put the responsibility where it belongs by saying that in so far as these matters are concerned we will agree, but in regard to the controversial matter we have an opinion contrary to yours.
There would be no province anyway. now until after the next general election. The Dominion Government has said it will not introduce legislation and this House will have expired and a new House will pass on the matter after receiving direct authority from the people to do so, and they will have an opportunity, of expressing themselves for one or two provinces. There will be that direct mandate from the people which every government should have, and it may be that the Government's opinion may prevail, but it does not follow that the Dominion Government will carry it out. Some say two provinces will mean annexation. Our only safety is to divide into two provinces. As to the question of extravagances, I do not propose to deal with it. We should get as much as possible out of the Federal treasury.
When the Attorney General moved his resolution in May, 1900, in closing he pointed to that table and said there sat around that table the Fathers of Confederation, and tonight, when the question of the division of the area of these Territories is before us let the ghosts and memories of those great men rise up before us and let their aspirations be with us. It was no local considerations that influenced Tupper, Macdonald, Brown and Tilley. Let us remember this and with a broad minded desire to do justice to all men let us ever remember that this country was not given to us pioneers to work out its future for our own ends but as a great inheritance and legislating today we are legislating for posterity. Let us not be influenced by considerations of a great overwhelming, overshadowing province. Let us be national in our aspirations and not sectional in our ambitions. Let us remember that we are are all Canadian subjects of a great sovereign. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. A.L. Sifton, who was received with cheers on raising, followed and said: Before this question finally comes to a vote I would like to address a few words to the House. It is a question that has been of very deep interest to me for many years. There are some gentlemen throughout the country who have been talking about the rights and privileges of this country. I am glad having been interested in this question for such a length of time, that the last remaining doubt has been swept away in reference at least to this one question,— that the time has arrived that it should be settled in some manner. We have at least reached a stage where we can work together in that matter; also in regard to another matter. I have been interested for some time as to what was the particular policy upon which the members of the Opposition in this House would be able to unite. During the somewhat limited time I have been a member of this House it has only been upon a very few occasions they have been able to unite on any question, their numbers varying from three to ten on various questions. I was, therefore, curious as to what policy they would unite on on this great question. I do not wish to consider any member of this House my enemy, but on reading this 2,000 word amendment I was reminded of the saying of Scripture "Oh that my enemy would write a book." (Laughter.) We have here expressed the condensed feelings of the members of the Opposition on this great question. After years of consideration on the part of some after months some others have taken and in after days some two or three have taken we have this document, and in regard to this matter although the speeches of hon. gentlemen have varied, although all have a different reason for opposing the resolution, they are willing to unite before the House and country on this amendment and to say that although we have done wonderful things in going against the constitutional privileges of Canada, and the Territories in the action we have taken in this matter and committed many transgressions, they are willing to condone everything except the asking for one province, while in their amendment they ask for two
I am thankful that we have so much the confidence of the members of the Opposition when they are united. Individually they have not got that confidence, but when united they have at least, that much confidence in us to say that we asked for everything this country was entitled to, for there has not been one single objection raised as to the draft bill with reference to asking less than the rights of this country and the people of this country are satisfied that the Government, have looked after their interests, and if they were able to get provincial autonomy tonight they would be pleased to get it. on the terms of the bill presented by this Government.
The Opposition say the principal objection is that there is no, mandate with reference to the particular matter of the number of provinces. The resolution of May, 1900, certainly did give this Government the right to discuss and negotiate with the Dominion Government. I would like to ask the gentlemen who have spoken to say what we have done that this House did not authorise. They knew they were stating matters that were not of any interest to the people but simply to make some charge. When they could not say anything against the proposals they had to say something against the manner in which they were made. They also complain that the negotiations were carried out in secret. A good many people will not blame the Government that they did not take newspaper reporters with them when they went to Ottawa and the conference took place with the ministers of the cabinet, and not the Minister of the Interior. It is not necessary to go over the conversations which took place but the Ottawa ministers did take an interest and did negotiate with the representatives of your Government, notwithstanding their limited authority and no objection was made to their authority in regard to that matter. They knew, just as we knew and as the members of this House knew and as the electors knew, that we had no authority to bind this country or House. And we would never do it had we the express authority to bind the people. That was legally, entirely and absolutely under their control and they had absolute power to consider and settle it without regard to the people of the Territories if they saw fit, but instead of taking that position they treated us with courtesy and said we are willing to discuss it and they did.
No absolute answer was given to this Government until that letter arrived the other day. We may have had suspicions as to what they were going to do but they never gave us an answer verbally or otherwise.
As to the charge of trying to keep this matter secret and doing business behind their backs and trying to deceive the people. The Government took the only possible action that could be taken to bring it before the attention of the people and House before it could be introduced. This House was summoned in order that it might meet before any bill could possibly have become law so that we would be in a position to meet this House and discuss this matter, to object if any members saw fit in regard to any legislation and to express the views of their constituents whether they were members of the Opposition or supporters of the Government, and they have the right and would have had the right had any bill been introduced. Parliament is still in session and probably will be after the members of this House have gone home. And that is the reason when we call this House, we are told we intended to settle it behind their backs. We did submit a bill to the members of the Dominion Government which in the estimation of the members of this House was in the interest of this country. We did it at the request of the council that they might have before them in concrete form the ideas of this Government. It is no secret that I have expressed opinions on this subject at various places throughout the country.
The question is not so much as to one or two provinces, but to settle it in some form as speedily as possible. The Oppression say the people should have an opportunity of settling in a concrete form the question as to which particular set of ideas as to the shape of the province would suit them best. But that would not satisfy hon. members of the Opposition on this question. There are some people in East ern Assiniboia who desire an eastern province; there are some people in the neighborhood of Calgary that would like a western province; there are people in Saskatchewan who would like a northern province, and the people of St. Albert would like another northern province. Each one of them can go to his constituents and say we will have a province right here and run it ourselves. One province in the east, one in the west, one in the north, one in the south. Is it that each member can claim: that the policy of the Opposition is the policy of the people? That is the perfectly clear cut proposition that members of the Opposition have. More power to them if they think this question can be settled in that manner and the people deceived. But they say wait until we are elected and then we will say whetherthe provinces are to be east and west or north and south. (Hear, hear.)
I would gather that the three gentlemen living to the north would favor a northern province and the other three would be the other way, but when we consider a division I fear that the three gentlemen, with those who might favor a northern province, have got a little the worse of the matter. I fear that if they try to persuade the people up there to their view they will have a hard time of it, as there are some pretty clever people up there. They will begin to examine the question and will find that the area proposed of 550,000 square miles is to constitute, according to the amendment, two provinces of approximately equal area. The three districts of Alberta, Assin­ iboia and Saskatchewan as now represented consist of 296,000 square miles. Each of these two provinces is to consist of 275,000 square miles so that the southern province would take 275,000 square miles off of the area of the whole of Assiniboia, the whole of Alberta, the whole of Saskatchewan and what would it leave? 21,000 square miles of the northern end of Alberta and Saskatchewan to make the northern province. (Cheers) I am afraid that the genius of the members for Yorkton and North Qu'Appelle has been rather too much for the northern men. (Laughter and cheers). 21,000 square miles! When you come to get the long length of that country it stretches out a long way east and west. These hon. gentlemen would have found had they examined the map that Prince Albert. Edmonton and St Albert would be included in the southern, province, that even the North Saskatchewan river, that even Athabasca Landiug would be included in the southern province (Loud laughter and cheers), and that out of the whole immense territories of Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta. only a little strip four townships wide would be included in that northern province. It would be better almost to take one province for then they would have a little of that, valuable northern country at least in the province and would have their constituents to vote for or against them. (Hear, hear)
Some attempt to argue that the smaller you make the provinces the better, and even claim that the whole history of Canada and the principles upon which the confederation of these provinces was founded, show that the provinces should be almost one size. One would have imagined that after considering the differences in sizes that already exist such statements would not have been made. The provinces vary from 2,000 square miles in extent to considerably over 200,000 square miles, so one would think that the whole principles of confederation would have been smashed to atoms long ago. The Opposition have not met the question as to which we should copy were we to be confined to any one of them. The province of Prince Edward Island has been held up as an example by the hon. member for Yorkton and I do not wonder at it in view of the fact that he constituency of Yorkton would nake two Prince Edward Islands. (Laughter) He would not have to come down here any more as the hon. gentleman himself could be lieutenant governor of one and premier of the other. (Loud laughter.) When we come to size we find that the 404,000 square miles of the Territories would make 202 provinces the size of Prince Edward Island, and if the argument as to economical administration is good as to Prince Edward Island why not have 202?Carry out the hon. gentleman's argument to its legitimate conclusion and we should form these 202 provinces and then our hon. friend from Medicine Hat would have 20 provinces in his constituency (laughter). He would have a lively time of it advocating 20 provinces among his constituents. Some ranchers think that one is more than they want. What was done unfortunately a good many years ago with reference to Prince Edward Island we have as people of Canada to accept, but we need not repeat such a mistake.
We have heard a good deal to-night about looking on this question in a broad statesmanlike manner as people of Canada. This is to a certain extent right. We should take an active part with reference to the affairs of Canada. But the Government of Canada and the members of Parliament, are men who can safely be entrusted to look after their side of the bargain, even as the people of Manitoba, can be entrusted to look after their own interests, and the people of the other provinces to look after their local affairs. This House and Government has been honored with the confidence of the people not for the purpose of looking after the interests of Manitoba or Prince Edward Island, but to devote our best time and ability to looking after the Affairs of these Territories, not with reference to the far northern portion or the eastern, western or southern portions, but in reference to the affairs of the whole people of these Territories whenever their interests are involved.
Supposing the representatives in this House passed a unanimous resolution in favor of one or two provinces would that authorise us to accept it and say the people had no right to pass on it? It is their duty to say whether we have exceeded the jurisdiction reposed in us and whether in our negotiations we have neglected a single interest of the people of this country. How are they going to say it? How in regard to two provinces? By electing representatives in favor of two provinces who do not know where those provinces are going to be? or electing representatives supporting this Government? or by taking the opinions of the memers of Parliament from the North- West? It is the duty of the Dominion Parliament to come to a conclusion upon this important matter, —important not only for us but for the whole Dominion,—with all the evidence they can get from all sources.
I hope the Opposition will spread this amendment of theirs broadcast all over the Territories and if they will only guarantee to go along and give the explanations they have given to this House tonight, give their different reasons for their conduct and make their diverse speeches, the members of the Government and the members supporting the Government need have no fear. We would be quite safe in leaving it to the judgement of the electors.
We have been told that we have taken away self-government from the people in the large local improvement districts. It is unfortunate that statements should be made which are liable to create an impression that this country is not a self governing community. The fact that we are here shows that the people of this country are governing themselves so far as local matters are concerned and shows that up to the present time the people have had confidence in us, and the fact that the Opposition are not governing the country does not show they have not self­ government but that the people have shown a certain annount of discretion in selecting those who will govern (Hear, hear.)
As to the statement of Mr.Bennett that the reply sent by Mr. Haultain to the Minister of the Interior was his own reply sent, while the Commissioner of Public Works was in Calgary, Mr. Sifton said he had seen the communication and agreed with it before it was sent.
With reference to the final settlement of the question of the number of provinces Mr. Sifton said they never would be unanimous. No important question had ever yet been settled by the unanimous opinion of the people and never would be and so long as the people of Canada retained their intelligence so long would they differ on public questions. Mr. Sifton continued: I have expressed an opinion that although I would be prepared to accept other solutions, and although, as I told members of the Dominion Government in council that I would be prepared, as Mr. Haultain told them he would be prepared, to accept a different solution, our individual opinions were the one province would be to the advantage of the people of this country, and we told them then and there that not only now but always would it be impossible to secure an unanimous opinion, and although I am of that opinion yet I do think it is the duty of every member of this House to carefully consider before he casts his vote. And I say that the people who have come to this country, no matter what portion, should seriously consider this question before they vote on the amendment which has been brought in by the Opposition for the first time.
There has never been any complaint that any legislation has been to benefit one section and to the disadvantage of another, or that the spending of money has not been fairly distributed.It is a very poor argument that the people of the Territories could not agree and get along in regard to these affairs. It is an argument that will not appeal to the people.
Although the Opposition talk about national considerations and look at the rights of other provinces and never mind our own, they all want the province nearest to themselves. It would prevent quarreling because it would separate them one from the other. They have had experience and know they are not safe together. (Laughter and cheers.) Again they say: "These two provinces will be quite large enough to satisfy all aspirations and ambitions of their inhabitants." (Laughter.) That ought to satisfy the people of these Territories that we will have the ambitions and aspirations of these gentlemen satisfied. In order to do that, however, we will have to have four provinces as we cannot have four premiers in one province. The eastern and western might go to the members foe Yorkton and West Calgary and the northern and southern to the members for St. Albert and North Qu'Appelle. We would have have these four provinces to satisfy the reasonable ambitions of the inhabitants (Laughter.) We do not need to bring to the people of the Territories the fact that we cannot agree and live amicably together.
When the question is settled it will probably be settled for all time to come. The statement has been made that we should have a sort of temporary province and take what we can get. They say, have the Territories created into one province or provinces and then go down and fight for better terms year after year: other provinces have done it. Yes, those little provinces by the sea have had an interesting time in the past. It has been the case of one government after another, as in Manitoba, to win election after election on the cry that they were going to get better terms from the Dominion for the local Government. This is the policy of the Opposition would like get a province and then keep on fighting and fight year after year. That is not the policy of this Government and not the policy I hope will be adopted by the Dominion Government. I hope it will be settled on terms equal to those of the great provinces of Ontario and Quebec. We have asked for nothing less and so far as we are concerned we are willing to accept nothing less than has been granted to those provinces. (Hear hear) Those provinces have got better terms by holding up the Dominion Government but is that the kind of policy that will appeal to the people who settle here? We can better afford to suffer for a few years longer the privations some people have suffered and continue our campaign and see that the question is settled on terms that will be of ultimate benefit to this country and not on terms that we will have to be continually fighting for year after year. That is the policy we advocate, that when this matter is settled it shall be for all time to come so that we shall be prepared to settle down and do the work of this province for the benefit of the country, not in fighting for better terms but in legislating fro the people and endeavoring to build up a province that will be the pride, not only of the people here but of Canada and of all the provinces: that in time to come the people of all the provinces will be proud that they have a province here second to none, not endeavoring to exercise a preeminent place in Canada, but taking the position that the members of Parliament who will be elected from here in time to come will demand for her.
I hope the members will consider this question seriously, not from the standpoint of any particular town which might desire to be the capital, or of a district that desire to be a province, or of a man who might desire to be a premier; but froma broad point of view to build up a country such as no other country on the face of the globe ever had. (Loud cheers.)


Many Members Speak on the All Important Subject.


By a vote of 22 to 7 the Assembly Rejected Dr. Patrick's Amendment in Favor of Two Provinces—The Members for North and South Regina Express Their views Other Speeches.

Mr. D. H. McDonald, leader of the Opposition followed Mr. Sifton in the debate on provincial autonomy, and took up a line of argument similar to that followed by previous Opposition speakers. He declared theOpposition to be in favor of provincial autonomy but not in favor of having certain terms put upon the people unless those terms received the consent and approval of the people. The premier by introducing a controversial matter into the negotiations, had to a certain extent deceived the members of the House. As to the Sifton banquet at Prince Albert Mr. McDonald said that the Commissioner of Public Works knew full well that the people of that country were unanimously in favor of two provinces and consequently he failed to express the opinion of the Government or himself on the question then before the House.
The speaker refuted the idea that the members of the Opposition wanted two provinces in order that they might hold office. The firmly believed that it was for the best interests of Canada that there should be two provinces. If the policy of advocating one province was persisted in it would drive a large portion of Eastern Assiniboia into Manitoba. The Opposition desired that those people should remain in the Territories as long as they desired to do so. It was a mistake to think that any large number of people were agitating for annexation to Manitoba. They had not so declared themselves publicly and had on no occasion expressed themselves as desirous of joining Manitoba. There might be a certain amount of feeling that the people of Manitoba were in a better position to carry out their wheat. This was a fact and it was largely due to the inactivity of the present Territorial Government in pressing for the construction of railways in this country.
It was well that the Dominion Government had seen that there was a div ergency of opinion as to one or more provinces as it was possible that otherwise the terms submitted by the local Government might have been forced on the people of the Territories. There was even now some jealousy in some provinces that other provinces had too much influence and was it advisable that they should stir up that unfriendly feeling which might lead to a still worse feeling? The only question before the House was whether the Territories should be formed into one or two provinces. The Opposition laid before the House their views in favor of two provinces and on those views they were prepared to go to the country and on them they asked that the vote be taken. (Cheers)
Mr. G. W. Brown followed. He did not propose to take up much of the time of the House at that hour, and while he did not impute the motive for a number of provinces to be that the political ambitions of hon. gentlemen opposite might be satisfied, he would congratulate their leader on the manner in which he distributed amongst his followers the work which generally fell to the leader himself.
In view of the fact that, while the leader of the Opposition was complaining that the Government had not accomplished more with reference to this important subject, the member for West Calgary was speaking of steam boiler inspection, etc., and forgetting entirely the great question his leader was trying to impress on the House, the people must come to the conclusion that so far as they were concerned there had been no great deal of attention given to what the policy of the Opposition should be. They had the humble confession of the leader of the Opposition that for two years he had expressed no opinion on it. Then after the member for West Calgary had devoted his time to his private affairs and the hon. member for Yorkton had time to make up his mind, the House and public had that wonderful document — the, amendment. Just imagine those hon. gentlemen who had expressed such divergent opinions at so late a date, within 2 hours formulating a policy for the people and coming down here to ask fro a short respite to produce that document. (Laughter.) There was no agreement among them yet.
Talk about the Government exceeding their duties and introducing a question which did not belong in the negotiations. When the estimates were being voted in a previous year had not the member for Yorkton asked if there was sufficient money to call a special Session and pay for a deputation to go to Ottawa? He knew last year the Government were going to Ottawa to treat with reference to this question exactly as they did treat with it. Knowing this, and that the House could be called together, he obtained a specific promise from the leader of the House that there would be funds enough to bring the House together, and then he came there to-day and said that the Government had no mandate. This was a very unusual position to take.
Hon. gentleman opposite declared for two provinces but claimed it was not necessary to say what they should be. The hon. member for West Calgary had said that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia could not agree, neither could Ontario and Quebec, and that the same state of affairs would exist out here. If the hon. gentleman was any exponent of the views of the people he represented then he (Brown) would like to know if these people were going to be linked in with eastern and western Assiniboia. The realreason for not stating where these provinces should be was given by one hon, member when he explained they wished to be in a position to change front whenever they liked.
As to the cost of governing small provinces Mr. Brown pointed out that Prince Edward Island was running behind and getting deeper in the hole all the time. The claim for two provinces instead of being a reason for not annexing a portion to Manitoba was an argument in favor of it. It was the Opposition who were suggesting it and the Dominion Government might say if there is too much for one province then we will give a portion to Manitoba and make the balance into one province.
In conclusion, Mr. Brown said the smaller province had all the rights and privileges of the larger provinces but they had not the ability to undertake large schemes for the benefit and welfare of the people which the larger provinces possessed. (Cheers.)
Mr. A. E. Cross (East Calgary) moved the adjournment of the debate and a few minutes later at 1.35 a.m. the House adjourned.


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



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