Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 10 April 1902, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.



In Closing the Provincial Autonomy Debate in the Assembly.


The Premier Analyses the Position of the Opposition on Autonomy — Dr. Patrick's Absurd Bill of Rights Idea. A Hudson's Bay Railway would solve Many Difficulties — The Division.

Thursday, April 10.
The Speaker took the chair at 2:30 o'clock. Hon. Mr. Bulyea introduced a bill for the protection of useful birds and mammals, and Mr. A. E. Cross one respecting the city of Calgary, both of which were read a first time.
Mr. McKay moved for the correspondence in connection with the erection of the Osborn school district. The bill to incorporate the RomanCatholic Bishop of Athabasca passed its second reading. The bill to amend the ordinance incorporating the Saskatchewan Exploration company also passed its second reading.
Dr. Patrick moved the second reading of a bill to amend the Medical Profession Ordinance, so that any person producing a diploma of qualification'as a doctor of medicine, and a certificate that such diploma has been granted by examinations which entitle him to be registered as a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, should be allowed to be registered in the Territories upon payment of a fee of fifty dollars. At present any student must first pay the $75 for registration in Manitoba to avoid another examinationin the Territories.
Dr. DeVeber opposed the bill, because it was granting a special privilege to Manitoba University. denied to the other universities of Canada. He moved the six month hoist.
Mr. Gillis and Dr. Elliott opposed the bill on the same grounds. Dr. Elliott was in favor of more liberal legislation for the admission of qualified doctors.
Mr. A. S. Rosenroll and Mr. Thos. McKay supported the bill in the interests of the public.
Dr. Patrick said the amendments making it applicable to the whole Dominion would he moved when in committee of the whole. He would not object to that.
The House divided on the amendment, which was carried by 19 to 10.
Mr. Haultain, in closing the debate on provincial autonomy, said he felt somewhat under a disadvanage in taking up this subject, which had been discussed at so much length. However, a number of important questions had been raised during the debate and he felt that he would have to ask the House, even at this stage to allow him a short consideration of them. After three day's debate, after the motion has been put and a lengthy amendment proposed; aftera number of long speeches, the general result had been the important discovery that there are divergences of opinion with regard to the areas within which provincial institutions should be worked out. These divergences of opinion, which were mentioned by the Minister of the Interior, had been still more clearly indicated. So far as the main result of the discussion, especially as carried on by gentlemen on the other side of the House, went, it had only added to the information, which, he fancied, was pretty well possessed by the Minister of the Interior, that there are divergences of opinion with regard to the area of the proposed province or provinces. The reply which he proposed, to make on the general debate, was necessitated purely by the matters which were contained in the amendment, and by the statements made by hon. gentlemen in their speeches in support of the amendment. In his opinion the amendment was not relevant in any sense, to the main motion. It introduced something which had nothing whatever to do with the main motion, and if hon. gentlemen wish to go on record, they would have found better opportunity by moving a specific amendment. He did not take the point of order because he did not wish to allow himself to be open to the charge of an attempt to burk discussion. Hon. gentlemen had attempted to read into his speech, on moving the motion, a meaning and significance it did not suggest. He had said distinctly that he did not ask an expression of opinion regarding the contents of of the Memorial addressed to the Ottawa Government, that the question of one or two or three provinces, or even annexation to Manitoba, was not even remotely concerned with the resolution. In spite of this plain statement, hon. genntlemen had persisted, through wilful misinterpretation or misconception, upon reading a contrary meaning into it. They want to tell the Government, at Ottawa that the postponement of the consideration of the question of provincial institutions in the West was justifiable; and they want, more than that, to say that they do not want to hasten the change until some unanimity has been obtained upon a subject which this debate has proved there never can be unanimity. The Opposition practically say: Because the Dominion Government has discovered there are divergences of opinion, we are going to vote want of confidence against the local adminstration by bringing in an amendment which simply proves that the Government's discovery is correct. The Dominion Government found there were divergences of opinion, therefore we will vote want of confidence in the local government because they hold one opinion regarding this question.
Before going into the general question, there were one or two features of the discussion he wished to notice. In speaking to the motion before, he had drawn attention to a statement of the hon. member for West Prince Albert, inade on the public platform, and a private statement —that is, private as distinct from the platform or House statement—which was attributed to him as being made in the rotund a of a Regina hotel. The hon. member from Yorkton (Dr.Patrick) took advantage of that statement, and accused him of having been guilty of a gross breach of parliamentary conduct in divulging a private conversation, and took advantage of the fact to divulge a private conversation between himself and the hon. member for Yorkton some three or four years ago. It was not necessary to explain to the House the difference between a statement made openly in a public hotel and a statement made in a private conversation. Did he need to explain to his hon. friend the difference between a public statement, and a private conversation some years ago when according to his own statement, they were upon terms of a certain amount of political association? How long could political parties stand together if the moment a gentleman turned his coat, he was immediately at liberty to divulge and make publić, confidences which he received while intimately connected with former associations? He would leave the subject at that. The hon. gentleman, with his versatile nature, had very quickly picked up the methods of his latest political associates. Whether the hon. gentleman was a political chameleon or simply a political mirror, he at least reflected the ideas, the sentiments, the manners and methods of those with whom he so lately had associated. He congratulated the hon. gentleman on having at last found a resting place—temporary it may be; he hoped it would be permanent—for his political soul. (Laughter) It would be interesting to follow the hon. gentleman in his new career. What he would do, what he would say, when he would do it, when he would say it would always be matters of conjecture. According to his former record, he had never been a certain quantity. He congratulated the hon. gentleman's political associates upon having obtained the temporary aid of a gentleman whose record could never be considered more than a temporary auxiliary force. The hon. gentleman was ready to advance at times with his party, and then retreat; and as a matter of fact, he could size the hon. gentleman up generally as a political factor, a source of embarrassment to his friends, of hope to his political enemies, and of speculation on the part of the rest of the world. What a strange combination the hon. gentleman completes—a combination which, apart from a very few discordant notes which have been expressed on nearly all the important points at issue in this debate, has been wandering and stumbling about in a sort of dreary silence of negation. This bantling political party reminded him, in the words of the poet, of
"An infant crying in the night An infant crying for the light And with no language but a cry."
The infant apparently was in such a powerless state that they had been obliged to send for the doctor. (Laughter.) It would be interesting if they could only draw aside the veil of secrecy which of course must envelope the proceedings of political parties, if they could only be admitted for an evening to the deliberations of these gentlemen when they are preparing their ammunition. It would be interesting to hear the hon. gentleman from Yorkton dilating on the golden beauty of silence to his leader (Mr. McDonald). or exchanging compliments with the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett) in the way of assenting to the questionable maxim that the means justifies the end, in return for the hon. gentleman's disquisition as to consistency, which was given the other day. He would like to know whether the policy contained in the amendment was the result of the new political combination, or if it was simply a coincidence. If the former then they must attribute the authorship of the amendment to the hon. member from Yorkton: but he believed the only consolation that gentleman would have when he came to reflect upon it in the future, would be the conclusion in the words of Touchstone, "It's a very ill-formed thing, sir, but mine own." The Opposition had taken the position of Mr. Dooley, when he wrote his presidential address. Mr. Dooley in dealing with the great question of the Nicaragua Canal, said: "Something ought to be done for the Nicaragua Canal, but what the devil it is, I don't know." (Laughter.)
He would like to analyse the position of this Opposition on the various provincial suggestions. We hear the hon. member for Qu'Appelle ( Mr. McDonald ) urging a settlement of this question, but as to the details he preserves silence. He regrets the delay, and then indulges in unholy glee that the Federal Government has thrown us down. He will not support a motion which simply presses upon the Dominion Government the desirability of immediately settling the question.
The hon. member for West Calgary ( Mr. Bennett ), though an ardent provincialist, ranks himself with his leader and seems to be pleased that no action has been taken at Ottawa. He supports an amendment that simply means that the question should be postponed until the next legislature meets.
Then the hon, member from Yorkton ( Dr. Patrick ) has had certain and various opinions on this subject, and lest his new associates should be misled, his true position should now be explained to them. (Laughter.) The hon. gentlemen has had various theories. While he was free to confess that obstinacy was a vice, under certain circumstances, it was yet a most desirable thing under others. The hon. member could be relieved from any charge of either consistency or obstinacy so far as adherence to any phase of this important questien goes. He admitted the other day at one time favoring the one-province idea; on another occasion he had argued that the faith of the Dominion was pledged to the constitution of the three provincial districts Assiniboia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Later on we find him with a new god. As late as 1899, he proposed a scheme of two provisional provinces. What that meant, the speaker did not exactly know. The hon. gentleman talks in the larger language of the earlier gods, sometimes, in discussing this question. His idea was to divide the country up in two, with an eastern and a western division, which should be made provinces at some indefinite date in the future. The hon. gentleman in supporting this proposition, argued that the establishment of provinces should be postponed as long as possible. It would be undesirable that some of the larger powers should he extended at that time. He proposed, however, that these two provisional provinces should be estabished under a Legislative union, with one Legislature governing the two of them; and thought this state of affairs might go on for a very long time—possibly for 15 years. Then he drew an analogy between these two provisional provinces, and the Legislative union which existed between Upper and Lower Canada; and because they had been able, in spite of their many differences, to go on satisfactorily and amicably for 25 or 26 years, he thought that would be an early enough period for the two districts to be put into two provinces.
Dr. Patrick. On that occasion I pointed out that the States of the American Union were giving back many of their powers, even the borrowing powers.
Mr. Haultain. Do I understand the hon. gentleman to say that he was in favor of the borrowing powers being extended to the two provisional provinces?
Dr. Patrick. Certainly.
Mr. Haultain. Well, that only indicates another of those quick changes in which the hon. gentleman is such an artist. Within less than six months of that date, the hon. gentleman in a pamphlet issued for the information of his constituents,—at the time he was getting his mandate,—made this statement:
"I need scarcely point out to the older residents of the Yorkton district that not only in the Legislature, but outside of it, I have lost no opportunity to urge that the matter of establishing a province or provinces should be delayed as long as possible. It is too soon to give our Legislature power to mortgage the future of this young country by borrowing money on the public credit." (Cheers.)
Of course. I do not seek to fasten on the hon. gentleman this vice of consistency: I am not accusing him of that. (Laughter.) I am simply trying to point out the various changes of opinion that the hon. gentleman has undergone. I will continue to explain what his opinion was in 1899, and then go back six months from that date and see what his opinion was in October, 1898, when he was getting his mandate. The hon. gentleman at that time in his proposal of two provisional provinces, certainly did not refer to the borrowing powers. If he did, then of course it saves him to a certain extent from the charge I have made against him. At the same time it leaves him in the position of, what was the use of two provisional provinces if they had all the powers of provinces? Then fancy the provisional provinces under one Legislative union, deciding how much each of them should borrow! If this proposition is not proof that the hon. gentleman is not guilty of the vice of consistency, it is certainly proof that he is inclined to indulge in some visionary schemes. Now, I will ask a little more attention to the statements the hon. gentleman made at the time he was receiving his mandate. This document I have in my hands is entitled "Facts bearing on the future of the North­ West Territories, compiled for the electors of Yorkton," and dated October 10th, 1898. Now the hon. gentleman is discussing his amendment, more than once said that the Government had no mandate, that the Legislature had no mandate, nobody had a mandate, and we had to have a general election before a mandate could be given. The pamphlet says:
"Electors of Yorkton.—The agitaion which has been fostered in the neighborhood of Calgary for some years, to have the Provisional District of Alberta -separated from these Territories and established as a province with Calgary as its capital, and the opinion expressed by the Premier of the Territories on the question of the establishment of a province in the Tertories, make it incumbent on candidates for election to the next Legislature to discuss with electors, this most important question."
Now, for what reason, as a rule, do candidates discuss questions with their electors before elections? Is it not in order that the electors can give them an opinion, or for the purpose of telling electors what they, as candidates, believe regarding public questions, and ask to be sent to represent, those views in the Legislature? The hon. gentleman says:
"I need scarcely point out * * * I have lost no opportunity to urge that the matter be delayed as long as possible. It is too soon to give our Local Legislature power to mortgage the future of this young country by borrowing money on the public credit."
In October 1898 the statement was that, "It was too soon to give the Legislature the power to mortgage, the future of this young country by borrowing money, "—and in the following April, 1899, the hon. gentleman says he made the argument on the analogy of the American states that we should establish two provisional provinces with all the powers of a province to borrow money. Not only did the hon. gentleman state the fact of his conviction, but he indulged in a little prophetic map drawing, and showed what in his opinion these provinces should be. The hon. gentlenian says: "One province or two provinces—that is the conundrum," and then he undertakes in the blithe way in which, he undertakes to do other people's business, to carve out a very much enlarged province of Manitoba. He then indicates by figures that there are two provinces of220,000) square miles each, and his


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figures point to an eastern and a western province. It is true one of them is a little higher than the other and he may claim he referred to a northern and a southern province. The Prince Albert members may draw some consolation from the opinion held by the hon. gentleman three years ago, and it is probable that he will be obstinate enough to indulge in it at the present time. (Laughter.)
Now the proposition of the amendment is two provinces. What two provinces? That is a fair question to ask hon. gentlemen who are allied with the question of two provinces, as against one. Will they be two provinces, north and south, which the Commissioner of Public Works has shown will throw the whole of our organised territory into the southern province? Or will they be provinces, east and west, which I fancy certain members of the House would believe in. The hon. member for St. Albert ( Mr. Villeneuve ) is willing to go the length of three provinces, and is willing to put himself in the hands of the Dominion Government. He says we will have three provinces if that Government thinks it desirable to so constitute us. He practically says: "We are the creatures and they are the creators—do with us whatever you will."
Then the hon. gentleman says we had no mandate. What about the mandate which the hon. gentleman received in the elections of 1898 according to his election address which I have just read? He says in it is incumbent upon candidates to discuss with electors, this important question. Did he discuss it for the purpose of not getting a mandate, or for the purpose of coming down here and being able to say: Nobody had a mandate. Or did he discus it, as he states himself, in view of the fact that, "the subject was certain to be raised in the next House, I have prepared this information." So far as a mandate is concerned, there seems to have been a mandate to the Legislature, judging by what almost every member has stated. The hon. member from West Calgary ( Mr. Bennett ) has said so. He goes further and says the Government had a mandate to discuss non-controversial terms. The whole House will agree that we had a mandate, except possibly on the question of area. My opinion on the question of area is well known. The matter had been discussed in the House as early as 1896, and the House at that time declared most emphatically in favor of a single province. More than that, it has been so stated in the House and in the country. The hon. member for West Calgary referred to my speech of May, 1900, as non-controversial. So it was. I purposely asked the House to leave controversial points out of the question. The question of area at that time would have been controversial. Therefore; we were not in a positon to make a recommendation with regard to it, but we were in a position to discuss some of the general features of what our terms should be. I was anxious not to have a division of the House. Even then there were divergencies of opinion, but we were discussing a feature of it on which there was no reason that we should differ. If I had then proposed the one province idea, judging by the opinion I have been able to gather from members of the House. I could have received a mandate, because I believe a majority of the House is in favor of one province. I did not think it would be of particular value to obtain an expression of opinion at that time, and therefore I did not ask for it. I wanted unanimity on the most important subject, that we might spork as one man to the Dominion Government. We knew perfectly well that we could not be unanimous on the question of area: we could not be then, and we are not now. We will never be able to get this House or the country to agree on it.
The hon. member for Yorkton says his proposition is that we should gather the views of the people and incorporate them in a Bill of Rights. Imagine the hon. member going all over the country gathering the views of 168,00 people on the question of one or two provinces, and then embodying them in a Bill of Rights!
Dr. Patrick My idea was to make it an issue at the elections.
Mr. Haultain —I did not say those were the words of the hon. gentleman and I do not wish to put a strained interpretation on his views. But he says we should gather the views of the people. I would like to picture the hon. gentleman running around obtaining the views of 168,000 people and afterwards incorporating them into a Bill of Rights. Can you image the Bill of Rights the hon. gentleman would draw after doing all this? It would be just as variegated, just as contradictory, just as meaningless as the longwinded amendment he has just introduced into the House. It would still contain the various provincial propositions. In the Bill of Rights he would have his one province idea, his two province idea, his double- headed-two-province idea, and he would have the hon. member for St. Albert's (Mr. Villeneuve) idea of three provinces, if the Dominion Government wanted it—and I am perfectly certain if the whole country were polled that one man would be found to favor annexation to Manitoba. So that it would be an important contribution to the literature on this subject and greatly aid in its settlement if we had the general expression of opinion. (Laughter.) Would would that aid the Dominion Government? Would a Bill of Rights drawn after a general election in which five or six, or fifteen or twenty opinions were expressed, furnish the Dominion Government with any further knowledge, or put at a conclusion, especially after they have declare that they already know there is a divergence of opinion? If an expression of opinion on one side of the subject upon which the Government was well aware there was a divergence of opinion, was a block to the settement of the question, how would a settlement be aided, either by going back to the country and asking the opinion of the people, or in drafting the Bill of Rights the hon. gentleman suggested? Would the Dominion Government be in any better position?
Dr. Patrick—Yes.
Mr. Haultain—Of course the hon. gentleman says yes, but if he can tell me how much more the Government at Ottawa would know than they know today, except that there was a divergence of opinion, I would be glad to hear it.
Mr. Bennett—The whole point is really this: In the speech which the hon. gentleman made on 2nd May, 1900, he said the question of area was a controversial question and one upon which no opinion was taken from this House. Therefore, on this question, there should be an expression of opinion before the country was pledged to it.
Mr. Haultain—What has that got to do with the question I am discussion?
Mr. Bennett—Everything.
Mr. Haultain—I am not discussing whether the terms of my speech in 1900 were controversial; what I am saying is: Would the consideration of the subject be aided or furthered so far as the Dominion Government is concerned, by coming back to the House, or drafting this wonderful Bill of Rights?
Mr. Bennett—Certainly.
Mr. Haultain—What further would it disclose? What further information would it give, except what there was, as the Government was already aware, a divergence of opinion?
Mr. Bennett—For this reason, that the Dominion Government would know that this Government had authority from the House to pledge this country to one or two provinces, whether there was a divergence of opinion or not.
Mr. Haultain—The hon. gentleman is again introducing an entirely different point. I am not arguing whether this Government had a mandate to pledge this House, because the Government never did pledge this House. What I am arguing is, that so far as the Dominion Government is concerned, they would not be in a bit better position to settle a question which they must settle ultimately, the responsibility for which rests upon themselves; by coming back to this House they would still know there was a divergence of opinion, but they would also know there was a
in this House. The hon. gentleman will no doubt be perfectly satisfied when he discovers that the majority of this House are in favor of one province, and that the subsequent ratification of our proposals to the Federal Government justifies them. The hon. gentleman at great length argued out this question on the question of agency, and in making reply I need not go beyond the bounds of elementary law. I can tell him that if an agent makes a proposition without the authority of his principal, the subsequent ratification by his principal makes it a perfectly good bargain.
Mr. Bennett. That's right.
Mr. Haultain. So that if it is any satisfaction to the hon. gentleman to know it, I firmly believe and have every confidence in what I know is the opinion of a majority of the members of the House, and we can easily get a ratification of our position on that occasion. So that coming back to the question, you might keep going to Ottawa and coming back to this House, drafting Bills of Rights and discussing and arguing for the next 20 years, and you will never arrive at a more definite conclusion than the Dominion Government has arrived at, and that I arrived at in 1900, that that question is controversial and that there are divergencies of opinion. That merely is all that this amendment has shown; that is all the amendment is worth, and everybody knew it before the amendment was brought in. If what was admitted in this House and was known to everybody, was a block to our negotiations: if the Dominion Government sent us back because of divergences of opinion what they knew, and we knew, and everybody else knew, and which was naturally brought about by an expression of opinion in favor of one province, then I would say: Suppose we went back to them and said, "we have been converted, the hon. gentleman from Yorkton has a wonderful double-barrelled two province scheme," would not the Federal Government still say there were divergences of opinion? The hon. gentleman seems to think, as long as we accept his idea, there are no divergences of opinion. (Laughter.) " Simply accept my doctrine, and there is no diversity of opinion,"—although we would still have the various opinions as to whether the two provinces should run north and south, or east and west.
What are the difficulties as expressed in Mr. Sifton's letter? First, sparseness of population made it undesirable. This sparseness was not brought about by the memorial sent to Ottawa, so that, if that is the principal reason for the Federal Government not acting, the local administration cannot be blamed for being sent back. I need not advance the argument that, if sparseness of population is a bar to the immediate settlement, what about sparseness of population in case two provine es were formed, as the hon. gentleman­ proposes; especially if the country is divided east and west, leaving the northern province without any population at all.
Next as to the increase of population, which will bring about such a change in conditions that provincial institutions should not be established. That is an argument which, I believe, was never dreamed and cannot surely be blamed against the local administration. The next position taken by the Federal authorities is regarding the divergence of opinion as to one or two provinces. Simply because we expressed one of the various divergent opinions, that is the one reason discovered by these hon. gentlemen why the Dominion Government refused to take action. Was the divergence of opinion first suggested by our talking about one province, or was it not suggested for years in the debates in this House? If we suggested one province, was that a sufficient reason for the Government to say: There are other opinions,—go back, or, to use the quotation from the hon. member for Yorkton, we were told to go 'way back and find out something. Suppose we should accept this gratuitous invitation, what would we have discovered? We would have found there were divergences of opinion as to one or two provinces. We would then go back to Ottawa and say: We have accepted your invitation and gone back to the Legislature. What have you discovered? We have discovered, in the language of Mr. Sifton's letter, that there are divergences of opinion as to one or more provinces. Then they would say: You better go back to the country and follow the suggestion of the hon. member for Yorkton, and find out the opinion of the 168,000 people. Well, we would come back and have a general election, and presuming we would still be in charge of the negotiations, we would go to Ottawa and relate our discovery. Mr. Sifton would ask us what we had to report, and we would say: We have gone 'way back' to the people and have discovered that you were perfectly right in stating in your letter that there were divergences of opinion. Then let us imagine the impossible, and presume the hon, gentlemen appealed to the country on this wonderful double-barrelled two province thing and got sufficient support to put them in power, and they go to conduct negotiations at Ottawa. The hon. gentleman for Yorkton will have to draw a new map and have a conference with the members for Prince Albert about it. (Laughter.) He goes down and makes his two province proposition, but I have discovered there is a divergence of opinion: you better go back to the Legislature—and so on, ad finitum, ad absurdum. (Laughter.)
Mr. Bennett. Was not that the way confederation was carried on in the various provinces?
Mr. Haultain. They went back several times and discovered there were divergences of opinion, and having discovered that, the gentleman whose duty it was to settle the question,—whether there were divergences or not—sat down and settled it.
Mr. Bennett—They consulted the people first.
Mr. Haultain—No, they did not.
Mr. Bennett—Yes, they did.
Mr. Haultain—Of course the hon, gentleman knows exactly. I have understood there was a little province down by the sea that they did not consult.
Mr. Bennett—That caused all the trouble.
Mr. Haultain—Very likely, but the hon. gentleman said they did. (Laughter.) After we had been up and down, and backward and forward, in these numerous trips, we would still be in the position, if leaving for the 500th time, that there were divergences of opinion. The hon. gentleman has suggested that we might have come back tot e House and ask for futher instructions. Suppose we did, how much further would we have been on?
When hon. gentlemen talk so glibly about no mandate, and say we had no right to express an opinion as to one or more provinces, let us take the amendment they have submitted, and I ask them where did they get their mandate for expressing their definite and clear-cut opinion in favor of two provinces? The immediate and practical result of the amendment if carried, would be to convey to the Dominion Government that there are divergences of opinion. What do the gentlemen say? Here is the operative part of their amendment: "That is the way they propose to do away with the question of divergences of views! They are taking the position of the Three Tailors of Tooley Street—" we, the people of England."
Mr. Bennett—So are you.
Mr. Haultain—No, if you read the Memorial, you will find that it is directly stated that we simply expressed the views of the members of the Government.
Mr. Bennett—Yes, that is it, the "Three Tailors of Tooley Street."
Mr. Haultain—No, I think it ill becames hon. gentleman who are in a hopeless and helpless minority to suggest that we, having the great majority of this House and the country at our back, are the "Three Tailors of Tooley Street." Now, the amendment proceeds to say that it will be the duty of the next Legislature to adopt a Bill of Rights demanding that the Territories be established into two provinces. Is there anything more absurd or presumtious in the Government asking to be created into one province than there is in an insignificant minority dictating to the next Legislature the sort of legislation that should be adopted with regard to exactly the same question? I put it again to the House, whether the application of the "Three Tailors of Tooley Street" applies to the Opposition side of the House or to this side. The hon. gentlemen are not only attempting to speak for this House, but dictating to the next Legislature—to the future members of this House and to Parliament itself, as to their duty. If we had no mandate, what mandate have the hon. gentlemen to contemplate doing what the amendment proposes? The whole question boils down to this: They say to the Government, you have expressed an opinion in favor of one province, therefore we will declare want of confidence in you by introducing a resolution which distinctly advocates two provinces. They do not content themselves by expressing their opinion, but they go further and say it will be the duty of the next Legislature to ask for two provinces, notwithstanding the divergent views. It does not matter whether a majority of the House, or of the country, favor one province, or whether the member for St. Albert favors three provinces, or whether Mr. Bennett favors annexation with Manitoba, but I, the member for Yorkton, say it will be the duty of the next House to declare for two provinces. Wherein are we different from the hon. gentleman? except that we went to Ottawa clothed with all the authority of a Government, having the right of a Government, possessing the confidence of this House and the country to speak definitely on this subject. The long amendment is a mixture of a definite policy and an admission of impotency. The hon. gentleman ( Dr. Patrick ) says we may not be able to obtain at the outset what we want. Is that the proper spirit in which representatives should go to Ottawa to press the claim of our people? Is that the sort of men the people are likely to trust with their most vital interests? Is that the spirit in which men should go forth to war —we are afraid we won't get all we ask for, because we are merely the creatures and you the creators. Yet they then turn around and blame this Government for suggesting at Ottawa one phase of a very large question,— for daring to suggest to our creators what should or should not be done. Well, so long as I purpose not only to express an opinion to our "creators," but also to enforce those opinions whether we are creatures or creators. (Cheers.) We are told that because we suggested the one province idea, we have precipitated annexation to Manitoba. Who suggested the one province idea? I do not claim to be the discoverer of it. I have not very strongly expressed the opinion, but the opinion of the same men, the sensible men is largely in favor of one province. There are other views, but the sane view is in favor of one province, and always was.
Dr. Patrick. What about the member for East Calgary?
Mr. Haultain. That gentleman (Mr. Cross) holds different views than I do; but if there is one argument against the insanity of the proposal of the Opposition, it is the fact that they think they are unanimous in favor of it. (Laughter.)
It is easy for hon. gentlemen to take advantage of the feeling against annexation in Assiniboia, and cry "wolf" to frighten the people there: but a mere expression of opinion on their part, no matter how insane or inconsiderate that opinion may be, will not help the final settlement of the question at Ottawa. Because we consider one province to be the best, is not going to precipitate annexation to Manitoba. More than that, I say that the suggestion of two provinces is very much more likely to lead to annexation, and for this reason: We have heard a great deal about the broad Canadian spirit which should mark our discussions of the subject. Very well, I think I am a broad enough Canadian to discuss most questions fairly, but when it comes to discussing what almost exclusively concerns the present welfare and the future prosperity, the future fate of this great country, I am disposed to be a little more of a westerner than anything else.
It seemed to him from the broad Canadian standpoint, however, that the argument of the eastern people would be against a multiplication of provinces in the west. The people of the east would say they were not going to make more than two provinces in the west, and some looked on Manitoba as the west. He thought the Dominion Government and Parliament would deal with the matter from a broad Canadian view and that there would be two provinces in Western Canada. He did not believe in the annexation of any portion to Manitoba under any terms or circumstances. They would not likely be successful in opposing annexation if they were divided up into a number of camps and refused to join together on the general question. As to the argument of the western portion of the Territories having one market and the eastern portion another, he thought this would be a desirable feature in the one province. For his own part, he believed that a Hudson's Bay railway, whether built by the people of the Territories or under whatever name they might be known, would solve a great many difficulties, and afford the shortest passage to England. The idea of two provinces, northern and southern, that each might have its own transcontinental line, would be a disadvantage, not a benefit, for the province would be at the mercy of a road with which it alone could deal, compared with one large province able to play one railway against the other. The argument was on the side of one province
The Opposition spoke of co-operaton between several provinces, but he asked, did the provinces do so? The railway companies would rather deal with two or three comparatively small provinces than with the Government of one big, strong province. He denied that a large province in proportion to area cost more than a small one. The reverse was true, not only in business matters but in government. He ridiculed the idea that by having two provinces they would thus obtain an additional fifty thousand dollars from the Federal Government for purposes of legislation. All the legislative machinery would be doubled. Adapt ing the phrase "Little Englanders," he characterised the members of the Opposition as "Little Westerners." They were not acting in a broad western spirit, let alone a good broad Canadian spirit. Only a few days ago he read articles in Maritime Province papers favoring the union of those provinces into one. There were enough people in the east advocating a narrow policy without them doing so and enough people in Manitoba favoring annexation without members of the Territorial House acting as their advocates. The Opposition confessed their inibility to deal with the subject, by refusing to take a stand on the all-important point. The Government had been accused, like the boy and the jug of nuts of trying to get too much at once, but they only asked what the people had a right to.
The Opposition would go crawling and begging a nut at a time. Gentlemen opposite occupied the position of narrow and partisan men not trying to work together for the desire of the people but like men trying to work to thwart the Government in their efforts, not for the benefit of the country but for their own selfish ends. The House and country could not agree as to areas, and never would. The Opposition could not agree. The Government supporters could not, but they had sunk all their differences and united on broad terms and would leave the matter to the Ottawa authorities who had full knowledge of these differences. What they wanted was some solution. Mr. Haultain resumed his seat amid cheers, having spoken for an hour and forty minutes.
The House then divided on Mr. Haultain's motion expressing regret that the Dominion Government had not introduced legislation at the present session of Parliament granting provincial autonomy to the Territories. The motion was carried by twenty- one to seven. the vote being:
Yeas—Messrs. Haultain, Sifton, Bulyea, DeVeber, Brown, Fisher, McIntyre, Meyers, Elliott, Cross, Rosenroll, Lake, Smith, Shera, Prince, Connell, McCauley, Simpson, Wallace, Gillis and Hawkes.
Nay—Messrs. McDonald, Bennett, Patrick, Villeneuve, McKay, McLeod, Annable. Messrs. Greeley and McDiarmid were not present when the vote was taken. The House then adjourned.


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



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