House of Commons, 12 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

503 [COMMONS] 504


WEDNESDAY, 12th February, 1890.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.


Mr. McCARTHY moved that the petitions which he had presented praying for an amendment of the North-West Territories Act, be now read and received.
Motion agreed to.


Bill (No. 77) to amend the Act for the suppression of combinations formed in restraint of trade. —(Mr. Wallace.)


Mr. COOK asked, Whether the P. LeSueur who draws $1,024.30 for annual superannuation allowance is the same person who enjoys the combined offices of Civil Service Examiner and Secretary to the Examiners at a salary per annum of $1,258.33? If so, is the arrangement to be continued?
Mr. CHAPLEAU. Mr. LeSueur is a superannuated officer, and therefore cannot by law be compelled to do official duty except at a salary not lower than he received in his former position. He receives $1,024 of superannuation, $400 as a commissioner and $700 as secretary of the commission for the Civil Service examinations. He receives a lower salary than he received when he was in office.


Mr. LANGELIER (Montmorency) asked, Whether the attention of the Government has been called to the allegation that goods are being carried for merchants and others from Quebec and elsewhere to Gaspé, or other ports on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on Government steamers free of charge? If so, has any enquiry been made respecting the matter, and with what results?
Mr. TUPPER. I observed in a newspaper some time ago, during the last summer, that it was charged that the steamer La Canadienne carried passengers and goods to Gaspé. Having observed that, I called upon Commander Wakeham, the commander of that ship, for an explanation, and, after stating that he carried the usual ship's stores, some of which had to be left at Gaspé and stored there during the season, he says:
"I had some things which I had purchased and was anxious to send to my home in Gaspé by the Miramichi, on the 29th of April, but on trying to ship them I was[...]
531 [COMMONS] 532
Statement showing the names of all persons who sold to the Dominion Government since 1st January, 1886, property located in St. Laurent and Lauzon Wards in the town of Lévis, with a view to widening the roadway of the Intercolonial Railway, and an extension of the station at Lévis; the amount paid to each-proprietor, the amounts paid for commissions, the rate of percentage, and the per sons to whom such amounts were paid.—(Mr. Guay.)
It being six o'clock, the Speaker left the Chair.

After Recess.


Bill (No. 24) respecting the St. Stephen's Bank. —(Mr. Weldon, St. John.)
Bill (No. 33) respecting the People's Bank of New Brunswick—(Mr. Weldon, St. John.)
Bill (No. 16) to confer on the Commissioner of Patents certain powers for the relief of Samuel May.—(Mr. Denison.)


Bill (No. 49) respecting the New Brunswick Railway Company.—(Mr. Weldon, St. John.)
Bill (No. 54) to incorporate the Interprovincial Bridge Company. —(Mr. Parley.)
Bill (No. 55) to incorporate the Shore Line Railway Bridge Company.—(Mr. Weldon, St. John.)
Bill (No. 56) to amend the Canadian Pacific Railway Act, 1889, and for other purposes—(Mr. Kirkpatrick. )
Bill (No. 57) respecting the Erie and Huron Railway Company.—(Mr. Lister.)
Bill (No. 58) respecting the Brantford, Waterloo and Lake Erie Railway Company—(Mr. Paterson, Brant.)
Bill (No. 59) to change the name of the Vaudreuil and Prescott Railway Company to "The Montreal and OttaWa Railway Company."—(Mr. McMillan, Vaudreuil.)
Bill (No. 61) to amend the Act to incorporate the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company. —(Mr. Ross.)
Bill (No. 62) for granting certain powers to The Canadian Millers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company. —(Mr. Brown.)
Bill (No. 63) to incorporate the Home Benefit Life Association—(Mr. Small.)
Bill (No. 64) to incorporate the Moncton and Prince Edward Island Railway and Perry Company.—(Mr. Landry.)
Mr. DAWSON moved second reading of the Bill (No. 60) to incorporate the Rainy River Boom Company.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the second time.
Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. This Bill is nearly similar to the Rainy River Improvement Company's Bill introduced in 1883, which was referred to the Railway Committee, and there recommended to be withdrawn. This Bill should also be referred to the Railway Committee.


Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. I would ask the First Minister if it would be convenient, as I think it lies with the Department over which he presided before, to order a copy of the Order in Council in reference to the Adams or Cypress Hills limit to be laid on the Table to-morrow.


Mr. MITCHELL. I desire to call the attention of the right hon. gentleman at the head of the Government to a statement which I observed in some American papers in relation to an interview alleged to have been held with the British Ambassador in Washington in reference to the modus vivendi being about to expire, in which it is stated that the British Ambassador said he had received no instructions, and nothing had been done, as far as he knew, to continue the modus vivendi or to substitute anything for it. I think this is a matter of some importance, and, therefore, I call the attention of the right hon. gentleman to it.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. That is correct. There have been no instructions conveyed to the British Ambassador at Washington that the modus vivendi is continued.


Mr. McCARTHY moved second reading of Bill (No. 10) to further amend the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter 50, respecting the North-West Territories.
Mr. DAVIN moved in amendment:
That this Bill be not now read the second time, but that it be Resolved, That it is expedient that the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories be authorised to deal wlth the subject of this Bill by Ordinance or enactment, after the next general election for the said Territories.
He said: This, Sir, is, after all, a North-West question, but I need hardly say that I am quite aware that it is the privilege, and even the duty, of every member of this House to concern himself with any public question whatsoever; and I congratulate the North-West that my hon. and learned friend (Mr. McCarthy) has taken a tardy interest in our welfare. I am not aware that he ever took a very great interest in our welfare until very lately. He himself tells us that he sat in this House time and again when this measure was before it, and that he actually did not know that the 110th clause existed until the spring of last year. Well, in an ordinary member that would be an extraordinary thing, but in a distinguished advocate it is a very marvellous thing indeed. But I think I understand why it is that he has taken this interest in us in the North-West. We had here a question last year which I do not intend to go into at present, but which has been agitated throughout the country in a manner that I do not think was either edifying or statesmanlike; and I rather think that my hon. and learned friend discovered that, on that question, he had taken an illogical stand, that he found, after defending his position for a considerable time, that the position was indefensible, and, in order to let himself down easy, he took up questions that would have been settled in the Territories without his aid or the aid of anybody else outside of those Territories. Now, 533 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 534 this speech, to which I had not the honor of listening—
Mr. MCCARTHY. Hear, hear.
Mr. DAVIN. I happened to be in Hamilton at the time, under more auspicious circumstances, but I have read that speech carefully, and the remarkable thing about it is that it is one of a series illustrating the law of evolution; because they go on bit by bit; they repeat themselves considerably, but still, at each step, my hon. and learned friend shows that the doctrine of Darwin is applicable even to great politicians, and he illustrates the law of evolution. I said a moment ago that I had not the honor of hearing that speech, but, Sir, I had the honor of reading his speech that had been delivered in Ottawa, a speech going over the same ground. It was, after all, the same old stuff, but with a little evolution. So that, although I did not hear the speech I am tolerably familiar with my hon. friend's opinions on these subjects, and I may say that in the course of a pretty long political life, in the sense that I have been studying politics all my life, and have had an opportunity of hearing most politicians in England and Canada, and prominent politicians in France, I have never met with speeches so wanting in logic from so distinguished a man. Those speeches have two peculiar characteristics. The one is that my hon. and learned friend has taken to dilating on questions that, from his busy life, he was evidently not conversant with, and I am sorry to say that from a somewhat cold manner he has lapsed into violent appeals to passions that can do nothing but harm. Now, Sir, this question is a local one, and for that reason I consider that it should be dealt with by the Local Legislature. Some French gentlemen have gone in there, because we have had a small French immigration. Some of our most useful citizens are French gentlemen. They have come there with much wealth, and one of them is a coffee grower, M. de Roffignac Von Brabandt who has started south of Whitewood the cultivation of chicory. This House will probably be surprised to hear that Canada has become a coffee-growing country. We have in the North- West coffee plantations at the present minute, and when my hon. and learned friend next goes there we shall be able to regale him with a cup of coffee, if with nothing better, before he dilates on his favorite topics.
Mr. CHAPLEAU. French coffee?
Mr. DAVIN. Oh, I forgot, that would not agree with my hon. friend. Well, Sir, the view that I take is this, and it is a view that I have taken here twice in regard to the second homestead. I say that if that law is on the Statute-book, a French gentleman who has gone into the North-West under that 110th clause has a right to complain if it is repealed without his having something to say. We have a certain quantum of French population along the Saskatchewan; we have a small French speaking population to the south, and although they are greatly outnumbered, the bare fact of their being outnumbered is a reason why, without giving them a hearing, we should not repeal this clause. Now, as I said, this speech is a part of a series. I will say that on some subjects in which I am conversant my hon. and learned friend has laid down most extraordinary propositions, and, among others which I will deal with presently, that the North-West has been a losing game to us. Here is a proposition that he states:—
"There is no such thing as a Celtic skull."
I must not say Keltic, although I have been trained at the university to say Keltic; still, I remember that the last time that I spoke and used the word Keltic, an hon. gentleman, who is a Scotchman, and a friend of mine, asked me, "What on earth were you talking about kilts the whole time?" So I must not use the word with a k, but with a soft c, and say Celtic.
"There is no such thing as a Celtic skull any more than a Saxon skull; no such thing as Celtic hair any more than Saxon hair; it is only——"
Mark the proposition he lays down.
"It is only by language and by the community of language that men are formed into nations."
Now, let me make this remark. He says there is no such thing as a Celtic skull or a Saxon skull. I suppose there is no such thing as a Jewish skull or an Aztec skull; and yet I have read some very scientific treatises in which I have seen the differences in skulls pointed out. Again he says:
"It is plain that what makes a nation is language, and therefore when one speaks of a race, as these distinguished writers have done, one means a community speaking the same language."
Now, I will explain how my hon. friend has fallen into such a proposition as this. He has read treatises on language, especially as it affects modern thought; and it is rather—I do not like to say it, I do not like to say that he did not understand it, because it would be impolite, and I could not be impolite—but I will say this, that he is so busy a man that he has not time to inform himself properly, and perhaps he is too much of a nisi prius advocate to be accurate, and too much of a mere lawyer to be a statesman. But remember the two propositions that he lays down. The first proposition is, that language makes the race and the nation; and as you may have seen in his speech delivered at Ottawa, he lays down the proposition that with diversity of language to make a nation is impossible. Now, the important thing about that proposition is this: It is sent broadcast into ignorant ears, and if that last proposition is true we may despair of Canada. That is the important thing about these hurried deductions from superficial studies. My hon. friend, in his Ottawa speech and in the speech delivered in this House also, talks about making this a British colony. Sir, is not this a British colony? Let us be just. Why is it a British colony? It is so because of that very Lower Canadian French race that seems to act like a red rag on a bull on the mind of my hon. friend; for we know this very well, that there was a time in the history of Canada when that race had just passed over to the British flag, when temptations were held out to them to join the thirteen colonies, and if they had not been true to their new-found allegiance, if their loyalty had not been impregnable against the seductions of Franklin and others, we should have had no British colony here to-day. Let us be just, if my hon. friend cannot be generous. I will say this, because I want to help my hon. friend. My hon. friend does not profess, he says, to be a very devout man, but still he complains bitterly that the Roman Catholic Church is tolerated in a manner in this country that our laws hardly permit. That is his language, addressed to ignorant and passionate ears. I have the documents 535 [COMMONS] 536 here if it is dared to be questioned. That, I say, is the language addressed by the hon. gentleman to ignorant and passionate ears. It is stated in these speeches. The history of Canada is reviewed; it is mourned over that certain things were not done in the past, and it is mourned that certain things were not done when the French Canadians numbered only 60,000. But does any man in his senses suppose that, if they had not been dealt with with that wisdom, moderation and generosity that England has practised in regard to all races with which she has come in contact in building up her colonial Empire, we should have a British colony here to-day? I want to help my hon. friend. In the intervals of a busy life he is undertaking a crusade against a million and a-half of people; because it is a crusade, and he is undertaking a crusade against the Catholic Church. Nobody supposes that I have any leaning to that church. I am a Radical on religious subjects—that is to say, I am a very low English Churchman.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh! Oh!
Mr. DAVIN. Mr. Speaker, I am addressing a lawyer mainly, and I am addressing a legislative assembly, and everybody knows that, according to the old Roman law, I can become an English churchman by adoption; so I have become one by adoption. I want to help my hon. friend, because I have devoted some time to the study of history. I tell him that no assault from outside, no matter how great, no catapults that have been brought against that church from outside have ever done it the least harm. The only harm that ever came to that church has been from volcanic eruptions from within, and then the overflowings have carried away some of her fairest possessions. So that I help my hon. friend. I tell him this: the way to strengthen the Catholic Church is to assail it, and the way to solidify and make French Canadians united — and I do not think the French Canadian is a very objectionable person, for some of the most charming men and most intelligent men I ever met were French Canadians — but still, as my hon. friend, with his superior culture, does not like them, I may tell him that if he wants to make the French Canadian permanent and the French language enduring, the way to do it is to put the backs of the people up by such assaults as he is making throughout the country. To show that I am speaking by the book, let me read some passages here. I forgot, when dealing with the race question, to read a sentence in which my hon. friend says:
" They will graduall or rapidly, as he hoped, adopt English methods and English ways of thought, and this country will be, as it ought to be, an Anglo-Saxon community."
Fancy speaking to a popular audience like this :
"We came together; we assembled in a common Parliament; but by the skilful direction of the French- Canadian vote, and the desire for power among the English, and consequent division among them, the French Canadians were ultimately able to place their feet on our necks and impose laws on us contrary to our will."
I think myself it is not too much to say that, for a man of my learned friend's experience as a statesman, it is really a monstrous thing, in view of his high position in Canada, to have addressed language like that to any audience. How did he tell them he intended to move this Bill? I confess the eloquence surprised me; because, although I had often heard my hon. friend in this House and elsewhere, I did not think that lyric rapture was his forte. This is the way he described it:
"And I have undertaken the task—and a more glorious task I never undertook—(loud cheers)—that I shall be the mover of that Bill."
To be the mover of a Bill of one clause, when there was no danger, no guns pointed at my hon. friend, and to describe that as the most glorious task in his life leads me to wonder what was the character of the other glorious tasks he performed. The only comparison I can think of is this: I once called on a college friend of mine who had married for money a wife who was somewhat old, and he said to me when I was leaving at night, "What do you think of her, Davin ?" "Well, Jack," I said, "I wish I had known your taste, for I think I could have got you something older than that." Well, Sir, if I had known the hon. gentleman's taste was in that direction I think I could have got him at least as glorious a task. Why, Sir, when I read that, I remembered a joke of my hon. friend the Premier the other day. That right hon. gentleman, speaking of the member for Victoria (Mr. Earle), said, with his usual ready wit, that we were better off in this House than the House of Commons in England, for we had an "earl" amongst us. When I read that glorious statement of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), I thought we were better off still, for we have a hero in this House—a hero who chants his own epic, and there he sits. I say, Sir, that there is no foundation whatever for these propositions laid down by my hon. friend (Mr. McCarthy), and I will prove that these propositions are false and misleading, and that, therefore, for a statesman as my friend is, and for a man of great influence and popular power to disseminate those fallacies throughout the country, is a very great crime and a very great misdemeanor at the bar of history. I would not care in the least what he proposed to do if he did not fall into such fallacies, misleading as they are and calculated to beget ideas which may indeed tend to the disruption of this country. Now, Sir, I will prove that there is not a tittle of foundation for his arguments. My hon. friend, when he was making his speech on this subject in the House, resorted to authority. It was a very natural thing for a lawyer to do, yet I may say this, that what I should expect from a statesman would be "reasoning" on this question. I should expect from him that he would reason this question from historical facts; and the historical facts bearing on it are numerous enough. I should expect reasoning from him from the existing political phenomena in Europe, and then I should expect that he would draw deductions. But what does my hon. and learned friend do? He comes to us with authorities like a lawyer going before a court of appeal, and what, let me ask, are his authorities? Magazine articles, and some of them written by trumpery writers whose names will not even go down the gutter of time. Now, the hon. gentleman might have gone to many existing countries for a parallel. He might have gone especially to Switzerland. My hon. friend from Bothwell (Mr. Mills) suggested Switzerland, and then my hon. and learned friend (Mr. McCarthy) interjected the remark, "The French language is an exception in Switzerland." What the meaning of that observa 537 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 538 tion is I do not know. How is it an exception in Switzerland? The only meaning of that utterance of my hon. friend could be that the language was exceptionally used in the federal state. Why, Sir, there are only three federal states that I know of: Canada, the United States and Switzerland, and in two of these the French is an official language. Let me say that Canada need not be ashamed to go to Switzerland for a comparison. There is scarcely a country which my reading makes me acquainted with so calculated to inspire interest and so full of historical incidents that are imperishable. The development of that country has been extraordinary. The differences in its formation, its elevations, its soil and its climate are great and varied; and although Canada stretches across an entire continent, and Switzerland is in the heart of Europe, hemmed in by mighty empires, sometimes in great danger, often menaced, fought with by more powerful nations, yet like the milk-white Hind of Dryden.—
"Oft doomed to death, but fated not to die."
The commerce of that country at present exceeds per capita the commerce of any country in Europe. Her imports are about $150,000,000, and her exports, I think, $140,000,000. Notwithstanding the difference I have spoken of, we know, Sir, that there is an analogy between Canada and Switzerland in the produce of our dairies, in the produce of our cornfields, in our mighty forests, and even in our Alpine scenery, which if any of you have visited, you know that its sublimity need not blush even in the face of Mont Blanc. There is a remarkable physical analogy between the countries, and when you come to compare the systems of government there is a more remarkable analogy still. The very same questions that are relegated to the Provinces in Canada are relegated to the Cantons in Switzerland; and the very same questions that are given to the Federal Government in Canada are given to the Federal Government in Switzerland which meets at Berne. How many languages have you in the Parliament at Berne? Why, Sir, five languages can be spoken there, and three of these are official. I am not saying that I approve of this. I am only stating facts from which deductions can be drawn. But here is my hon. friend, a statesman that might be a Gamaliel to me, at whose feet I ought to sit; here is my hon. and learned friend dilating on this question and telling us, in the face of the fact that Switzerland has endured since the 12th century, that it is the oldest republic that ever existed, that its people are contented and prosperous, that with two languages a nation is impossible! And does not every one of us know what admirable articles they manufacture there? Who does not know something about the interest that attaches to that country? Yet, in face of the fact that that prosperous nation has three official languages, my hon. and learned friend goes abroad and tells the people that, if there are two official languages in the country we can never hope to make a nation—that we may throw up the sponge and write "Ichabod" over our country! A mere statement of the fact without any argument to support it is a reductio ad absurdum. My hon. and learned friend tells us, that you cannot have anation unless you have only one official language. Well, thereby hangs a tale; and I think the tale I am about to unfold will be a political caudal appendage that will cling to my hon. friend for a long time. You know, Sir, that when the hon. gentleman spoke in this House a short time ago, he gave us the authority of Professor Freeman, who he said was a great man. Now I Will give you the same authority, which the hon. gentleman read, and if you excuse me I will read it out of the book which bears the sacred mark of my hon. and learned friend. It reads:
"And now, having ruled that races and nations, though largely formed by the working of an artificial law, are still real and living things, groups in which the idea of kindred is the idea around which everything has grown, how are we to define our races and our nations? How are we to mark them off one from the other? Bearing in mind the cautions and qualifications which have been already given, bearing in mind large classes of exceptions which will presently be spoken of, I say unhesitatingly that for practical purposes there is one test, and one only, and that test is language. We may at least apply the test negatively. It might be unsafe to rule that all speakers of the same language have a common nationality, but we may safely say that, where there is not community of language, there is no common nationality in the highest sense. As in the teeth of community of language there may be what for all political purposes are separate nations, so without community of language there may be an artificial nationality, a nationalit which may be good for all political purposes, and which may engender a common national feeling; still, this is not quite the same thing as that fuller national unity which is felt where there is community of language. In fact, mankind instinctively takes language as the badge of nationality. We so far take it as the badge that we instinctively assume community of language as a nation as the rule, and we set down anything that. departs from that rule as an exception. The first idea suggested by the word Frenchman, or German, or any other national name, is that he is a man who speaks French or German as his mother tongue. We take for granted, in the absence of anything to make us think otherwise, that a Frenchman is a speaker of French, and that a speaker of French is a Frenchman."
My hon. friend comments on that:
"I think that will not be denied as a correct doctrine."
And, of course, what he seeks to make out is this: that the teaching of that article is the teaching he had laid down in his proposition, that it was necessary to have community of language in order to have a nation. I cannot believe that my hon. friend meant to deceive this House, and therefore I am thrown back on the alternative, that he did not understand Freeman. That article, Sir, does not deal with the question my hon. friend tried to make the House think it dealt with. Freeman takes for his text the extraordinary circumstance of a lot of Magyars going to Constantinople to congratulate an Ottoman general on a victory on the ground of their kinship; because, as you know, the Magyar is a form of the same Semitic speech, if it be Semitic, that is spoken by the Turks. He does the same thing as Max Miiller who deals with an extraordinary phenomenon in modern life, brought about by a strong bent to philological studies; for people are giving in this late day an importance to language that was not given before; and when you read the article, you will find that Freeman uses the word "exceptions" in an extraordinary way. He actually uses the word for the majority, and why does he do it? Because he lays down this proposition: that there are now certain nations which are formed on this language idea, but   he says the exceptions all over Europe are very large. Now, if the House will bear with me I will give them an idea of this article; but, first, let me ask why did not my hon. friend read on? You will see in a minute. If he had gone on, he would have, read that all the larger countries of Europe 539 [COMMONS] 540 provide us with exceptions—England, France, Germany, Italy, even Austria. Freeman points out that there are islands which both speech and geographical position seem to mark out as French, but which are English—as truly English, as truly devoted to England, as truly a part of the British Empire in feeling as the people of London. I allude to the people of the Channel Isles, of the same blood precisely and coming from the same district of France as the French Canadians. They are, I will say, as true to England, I believe, as the French Canadians are to Confederation. Why? Freeman asks. Because circumstances led them to cleave to England though their kindred in Normandy became French; and one again and again sees in the article—which I hope my hon. and learned friend did not read—that circumstances control more than language. The insular Norman, though speaking French, did not become a Frenchman, and he is to-day a loyal part of the British nation speaking French.
"These instances," says Freeman, "and countless others, bear out the position, that while community of language is the most obvious sign of common nationality, while it is the main element, or something more than an element, in the formation of a nationality, the rule is open to exceptions of all kinds, and the influence of language is at all times liable to be overruled by other influences."
Now, Sir, take Quebec: will any man suppose for one moment that, notwithstanding the mountebank utterances of the present Prime Minister of Quebec, notwithstanding this stuff about the tri- color, and hustings nonsense of that sort, to which nobody pays any attention, and notwithstanding those articles in the press, which my hon. friend thinks decisive—he knows very well that there have been articles in the English press of Canada which if a man were to take as an exponent of the sentiment of the Canadian people he would be regarded as demented—will any man suppose that if Quebec could to-day do what she pleased, she would cut the painter with this country and England, and go over to France? You know very well, from the character of the people, from their political and religious convictions, that they cling to the British flag. Now, Freeman points out that political and other reasons forbade the annexation by Germany of quite a number of countries; and then he comes to those parts of the world where people who are confessedly of different races and language, inhabit a continuous territory and live under the same flag. He instances—and, of course, my hon. friend, when quoting Freeman, fought shy of this, which would all right, you know, before a jury, but it is not right before the jury of the people of Canada—the Swiss Confederation, which he says has what my friend quoted him to prove that it could not have, namely, a full right to be called a nation in a political sense:
"It has been formed on a principle directly opposite to the identity of race and language. That Confederation is formed by the union of certain detached fragments of German, Italian and Burgundian nations. German is undoubtedly the language of the great majority of the nation. But the two recognised Romance languages are each the speech of a large minority forming a visible element in the general body. * * * While German, French and Italian are all recognised as national languages by the Swiss Confederation, the independent Romance language which is still used in some parts of the Canton of Graubunden, that which is known specially as Romansch, is not recognised."
Mark his words in that article :
"It is left in the same position in which Welsh and Gaelic are left in Great Britain, in which Basque, Breton, Provencal, Walloon and Flemish are left in the borders of that rench kingdom, which has grown so as to take them all in."
Now, what does Mr. Freeman say of this Swiss Confederation, which has five languages and three official languages?
"Yet surely," he says, "the Swiss Confederation is a nation. For all political purposes the Swiss Confederation is a nation, one capable of as strong and true national feeling as any other nation."
Yet this man has been quoted to prove that Canada, with two languages, could not be a nation! May I not apply his language to Canada, and say that surely Canada with her two official languages, even if they continue to prevail, can surely become a nation. Then my hon. friend quotes this writer again to prove that identity of speech is necessary to make a nation, and that diversity of language is fatal to the existence of a nation—that two or more official languages are fatal to a nation, and that identity of language and race will alone make one. What does Mr. Freeman say? He says :
"We now come to the other countries in which nationality and language keep the connection which they have elsewhere, but in which nations do not, even in the roughest way, answer to Governments."
Can you have a greater repudiation than that of my hon. friend's theory? Here is a language and it in no way answers to the Government that exists.
"In eastern Europe," Mr. Freeman tells us, "a nation's nationality, as marked out by national feeling, has altogether parted company from political government."
And he instances Turkey, Austro-Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Servia:
"In all these lands," says he, "there is no difficulty in marking off the several nations—(that is by speech only)— in no case do the nations answer to any existing political power. In these lands moreover, religion takes the place of nationality. The Christian renegade who embraces Islam becomes a Turk, even though he keep his Greek or Slavonian language. Even the Greek or Armenian who embraces the Latin goes far towards partlng With his nationality."
Can anything be plainer than that Mr. Freeman teaches the very contrary of what my hon. friend quoted him to prove. Therefore, I have concluded, because I know my hon. friend is an honorable man, that he did not read the article, or he read it in such a cursory manner that he did not grasp the ideas that inspired and infused it. Well, all I can say is, that if he takes up his knowledge as certain birds take their food, on the wing, it is no wonder his conclusions should be so flighty. My hon. friend comes from the country whence I myself come. Ireland can boast of him amongst her distinguished lawyers. Does identity of language make community of sentiment, community of race, and community of nation there? Why, do we not know that for hundreds of years the Saxon has been denounced in the Saxon tongue? So that there were at my hon. friend's door facts that might have prevented him, if he had the time for reflection, from falling into the errors he has fallen into. Now, I hardly think it worth while to deal with his allusions to Mr. Mercier, his allusions to French newspapers, his quotations from The Month. The Month he cited as an authority. Why did he quote The Month as an authority? "Why," he said, "it was an authority last year, and it ought to be an authority now;" but, if I remember rightly, my 541 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 542 hon. and learned friend the Minister of Justice quoted it last year to prove that certain views, which had been quoted from a review by my hon. friend, had not been acknowledged or accepted as the views of a certain section of the Christian Church. That, as I remember, was the way it was used; but if it was made an authority last year improperly, that would be no reason for repeating the error. Then my hon. friend quoted from the Catholic World—to prove what? To prove that the French Canadian is hostile to and is parting company with the English. Well, my hon. friend knows very well a large class—a class for which I have the greatest possible respect; my own blood, I suppose, flows in their veins—exists which have not the same regard for England that I have. He knows very well that the people for whom the Catholic World is written are people who would like to hear that certain sections of the British Empire were hostile to its flag; and to quote that as an authority seems to me an extraordinary thing. But, as the hon. gentleman was looking for reviews, there is a review—I do not know whether it came into his hands—which is one of the first reviews of the world. I refer to the Andover Review, in which there is an article ad rem on this question, an article dealing actually with the question of race in politics, and written by one of the most distinguished of living men. As we are treating the House to articles from reviews, and as I have the precedent of my hon. and learned friend to guide me, I will tell the House what is stated in this article, written by Horatio Hale, and headed, "Language as a Political Force." On page 175, Mr. Hale says:
"Two or more communities speaking different languages may live in harmony under one Government when this Government is a federation and each of these communities is allowed to manage freely its own local affairs."
Then, on page 176, he says:
"This result will be delayed to some extent by the wisdom which has been shown by the Britlsh Government, in not merely granting the utmost possible freedom to its colonies, but in stimulating the exercise by them of the powers of such self-government to the utmost possible extent. This remarkable political sagacity—"
Mark the way he regards the policy of the British Government:
"This remarkable political sagacity, unprecedented heretofore in history, is naturally rewarded by an attachment of the colonies to the mother country, which has been hitherto strong enough to overcome the attraction of a population almost conterminous, speaking the same language and enjoying equally free institutions. If Canada had been governed from England in the manner in which Cuba is governed from Spain, it certainly would now not be a British possession."
Then this same weighty writer says:
"The Swiss Republic is a notable instance of the manner in which communities speaking several different languages can be enabled, by the large application of the method of local self-government, to live in harmony under one general authority, for which, under such a system, all the members of the Confederacy may come to feel an equal and intense attachment."
Then, on page 178, he says:
"The danger to freedom and the constant liability to disturbance which result from the inclusion, in a large population, of a small community speaking a distinct language, can be removed in only two ways. The one is by the extinction of the separate language, and the complete assimilation of the people who speak it. But this is a slow process, requirlng usually several generations, and perhaps some severities hostile to good government. The other, and far prompter and surer mode, is by the application of the method of local self-government in some form.
On page 182 he says :
"France alone, in her domestic policy, seems to have solved the problem and dispelled the peril. Universal suffrage, departmental councils, and equal laws of inheritance, have transformed Germans, Bretons, Basques and Italians into Frenchmen as loyal and devoted to their country as any of their French-speaking compatriots. This is a practical lesson which statesmen of all countrles would do well to lay to heart. The strongest and most enduring of bonds is found, not in kindred or in force, but in free mstitntions and"—
In what?
—"in equal rights."
Now, I say that that article was worth quoting, and much better worth quoting than The Month or some obscure French paper. Now I come to a very delicate subject. My hon. and learned friend is taking a deep interest in the North-West, and it is a proverb that we must not look a gift horse in the mouth. He tells us here:
"As a matter of dollars and cents, as a matter of more money, the acquisition of the North-West has been a losing speculation, and, except for the purpose of building up a great nation, which we are willing to do"—
And so on. I tell the hon. member that he has had plenty of evidence on this subject. It has been shown again and again, in this House and elsewhere, that the acquisition of the North-West was not a losing speculation. Is there a man in the country who feels the cost of the Canadian Pacific Railway? Is there a man in the country who objects to the cost of that railway.
Mr. DAVIN. Except some dreaming pessimists? Look at the increased wealth, in the last seven years, of Montreal; look at the increased wealth of Toronto; look at the increased wealth of the manufacturing towns in Ontario; look at the extension of manufactures in Ontario; look at the fact that merchants and manufacturers tell me that the North-West is a magnificent customer to Ontario. The hon. gentleman goes on to say something about the depreciation in the value of farms. I have looked into the reports of Mr. Blue, and I know he generally takes a gloomy view of things, but he does not say that the farms of Ontario have depreciated in value. We know that, as farms grow old—and they are not always cultivated as they should be here—they cannot be expected to be kept up to their original value; but I do not think the utterances of the hon. gentleman on this subject were the utterances of a statesman. Look at the fact that the North- West has been opened up, that we have a vast railway there; that we have farms there to which our children can be sent; that we raise wheat in the North-West, of which I have a specimen here, the like of which cannot be produced in any other part of Canada. I have specimens of wheat which have been grown near Regina, Moose Jaw and other parts of the district which I have the honor to represent, and nine-tenths of all that wheat have been graded No. 1 Hard from year to year. Is not that an acquisition of wealth to this country? If the hon. gentleman were right, we might apply to his statement Horace's illustration where he speaks of plucking one hair after another out of a horse's tail. If this North-West country is of no value, of course the more you diminish the size of Canada itself, by a parity of reasoning, the richer it will become. This is one of those utterances which, I think, are inexcusable 543 [COMMONS] 544 in a man of the hon. gentleman's experience. I have already shown that my hon. friend has been guilty of the most glaring inaccuracy in other points; but he also told the House, in his carefully considered speech, that a newspaper published in the North-VVest, called, I think—let me see—the Regina Leader, never said a word about the dual language; that it had been silent upon that subject while other papers had spoken about it. I might refer the hon. gentleman to the issue of that paper of September 10, 1889, and here I find a whole column headed "The Dual Language," from which I will read a few passages to the House :
" It is palpable in a country such as ours, moderation is absolutely necessary in order that it shall develop, progress and culminate. If in any province or territory two languages are unnecessary in official werk, then the proper thing is to discuss in a calm and collected manner the question whether their use shall be continued or terminated. Mr. Dalton McCarthy in one of his speeches said he did not know that the French language was required by law in these Territories. Yet he was in Parliament in 1877, when Mr. Mills brought in his Bill to amend this Act and, not to be more particular, he was in Parliament, in 1886 when the Revised Statutes were passed, yet he did not know until the early part of last session that such was the law. This throws a remarkable light on the ignorance of eastern politicians regarding the North-West, and might indeed give rise generally to curious reflections. He is evidently not aware that the subject has been discussed among politicians in the North-West, or that had he never raised the question it would be raised here. Everybody acquainted with our leading men knew how the matter stood. Let it be raised, but when raised let us discuss it as statesmen should discuss it, without violent or offensive language. We need hardly say that Mr. McCarth having sat Parliament since 1876, having voted on the Revised Statutes, is one of_the persons who passed the law in its present state. He is responsible for it. Like every political and administrative question its expediency or the reverse may be properly discussed. If it should be decided that in any part of the Dominion the dual language is not necessary, let it be abolished without exciting ones or dithyrambics, and vice versa."
I hear one of my hon. friends laughing at the word "dithyrambics," but if he will get a dictionary and look up the word, he will find that it bears a strong application to that speech at Ottawa to which I have referred.—
"In regard to race questions we say this: in the Dominion of Canada every man is equal before the law, and whatever be his mother tongue, whether he be Celt or Saxon, Celt-Latin or Saxon-Celt, whether he be Secto- Indian or Franco—Indian (Métis), he stands on the same footing under our constitution before the law, and try to give the Saxon or the Celt or the Celto-Latin any predominance or to seek to suppress or unjustly repress one or the other would be to take a course contrary to civil liberty and to the constitution which secures equal rights to all. We are in a new country in the North-West, let us make a new start and discuss any question that may arise, not in the deceiving glare of prejudice, but in the clear cold light of reason; nay, in the road illumination of the Gospel of our Lord, who taught us that all men are brethren. If the continuance of the dual language is to be discussed it should be discussed in the same practical temper, the same absence of excitement, as we would discuss the building of a bridge over Boggy Creek. It is not necessary to be violent or offensive or to rail at this or the other section of the community, but to take up a question of practical action in a practical manner and looking at it on all sides come to what will have, under such quiet and balanced conditions, a chance of proving a wise conclusion."
The Swiss question is then dealt with. But the fact that my hon. friend, in a carefully prepared speech, could state that that paper had made no reference Whatever to this question, shows the glaring inaccuracy that characterised the wild effort. Now, the federal system to which I referred, requires two things. You must first have a body of communities such as we have in Canada, such as they have in the United States, such as they have in Switzerland, and these communities must have a common bond of sentiment. They must desire union but not unity; they must have a loyalty to their State or Province, and at the same time a loyalty to the Federal Government. If, of course, they desired union, the proper thing would be a central government; but where they desire to come together and get something that will give them the impress of a nation and yet keep autonomous their own State or Province, the proper solution is a Federal Government, and that Federal Government is called to deal with different races, with different languages, with men of different religions, as we see in Switzerland and as we see in Canada. Sir, I consider that here in Canada we have all the conditions that are necessary to produce a strong federal people. In peace, the loyalty to the State or Province will be high. In war, the loyalty to the Federal Government will be high. If Canada were assailed from without to-day you would find that every feeling that is provincial in the breasts of Quebeckers, in the breasts of New Brunswickers, in the breasts of Nova Scotians, in the breasts of the people of the North-West Territories and British Columbia, would all disappear in the grand federal feeling that they should fight for their common country. Why, Sir, how little language has to do with preventing people from becoming citizens of a country. I have travelled in Alsace-Lorraine where the people speak German. They are now under the German flag, but gladly would they go back. They fought gallantly under the French banner. A more loyal part of France than Alsace-Lorraine did not exist. Then take the Bretons. I saw in the summer of 1870, Gen. Trochu review 300,000 Breton Mobiles in the streets of Paris, and there was not a man under the rank of officer who could speak French; yet these men, when the hour of peril came, went into battle and fought just as gallantly and just as eagerly as the men who spoke French. Now, Sir, harangues like these, whose dangers I have exposed to-night, I hope will cease. They can reflect no honor on my hon. and learned friend, and I speak with truth when I say that I would be jealous for his honor. There is no position that he could attain, there is no reputation, however bright, that he could make, which would not give me great pleasure. But such harangues as these can reflect no credit on him as a statesman, and they are capable of doing incalculable damage to his country. I, for one, whether we have a dual language or not, have no fear whatever for Canada. I am perfectly certain of Canada's future. History teaches me lessons that history, if he studies it, will teach my hon. and learned friend. Why, Sir, does he know anything of the genesis of nations? Does he know how one country after another has risen, and how they have spoken different languages, and how they have come together, and fought under different banners, and lived under different governments, and gradually become assimilated until the difference of language disappeared, and sometimes a new language was evolved? History will teach my hon. friend that he can dispel those fears that have tortured his imagination, and with which he has sought to inflame the passions of the people of this country. The main propositions that are behind his speech, I have shown to be absolutely without 545 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 546 foundation; I have shown that the deductions he has drawn from those propositions are fallacious; I have shown that the authorities that my hon. friend has quoted, and has paraded before this House, actually teach something else; and I do hope that there is that grandeur of soul in my hon. and learned friend that he can come to the conclusion that he has been in error, and will determine to mend his ways.
Mr. O'BRIEN. In the very few words that I shall address the House on this occasion, I shall be conscious that, perhaps, I may have as little sympathy from the great body of this assembly as I had upon a certain occasion during last Session; but if what is said in this debate upon the side which I propose to advocate, has as much weight in the country as the agitation which was set on foot last winter, then I for one will be perfectly content. Not because it has had, as alleged, the effect of stirring up strife and setting race against race and creed against creed, but because it has had the wholesome effect of leading the people distinctly to understand the position in which they are placed, and to understand the tendency and necessary consequences of the policy which has been pursued for so many years past. I say, if we accomplish that result, we are doing a good thing, even if we may irritate the feelings of people less sensitive to the facts of history than to declamation, and such language as we have heard from the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat. I neither propose to emulate his declamation, nor to wander over as many subjects as he has touched upon, and in the end to say nothing whatever on the subject at issue. The hon. gentleman has said a good deal about his reading and learning. If all the effect of his reading has been to enable him to speak for one hour and say nothing, then I for one do not care to have that sort of learning. With respect to the remarks made by the hon. gentleman in regard to the hon. gentleman for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), I can well leave them to my hon. friend, in whose hands the hon. gentleman has very foolishly placed himself. I shall endeavor, after one or two observations on the historical references made by the hon. gentleman, to go to the question at issue in this matter. He has talked about Switzerland, and has endeavored to draw the inference that different languages may be spoken and officially used in one country, and yet it be one nation. I meet that statement by the simple declaration that Switzerland, or Austro- Hungary which he might have cited, is a federation of different races and different nations. Now, I say there is no analogy whatever between that and Canada. I say we have not, we cannot have, and never will have in this country two nationalities. I deny that there are two nationalities in the sense in which the term is applicable either to Austro- Hungary or to Switzerland, and, therefore, the analogy does not hold good. Coming to the question really before us, there are two methods by which it is proposed to deal with it. It is admitted by the hon. gentleman who has moved the amendment that a change is required. If achange is not required there is no object in moving his resolution. The hon. gentleman proposes to deal with it from a local point of view, the point of view from which the hon. gentleman says it should be dealt with. The other method is to deal with it from the point of view which was put forward by the hon. gentleman who introduced the Bill, and that is the national point of view. I will first deal with the local point of view. We have before us evidence which clearly shows the opinion of the people in the North-West. If we take the press of that country we find, from a little examination of it, that of all the newspapers published in the North-West there is not a single one which advocates, the retention of the dual language. I may remark that, in speaking of the newspapers, I do not include the illustrious journal to which reference was just made, for either one of two reasons—and of these two the hon. gentleman can take his choice-either that journal is so well represented in this House that it is unnecessary that the editor should read his own articles for our benefit, or else, if he chooses to take the other alternative, a newspaper so largely subsidised by public money as is the Regina Leader is hardly to be considered as an independent organ of public opinion. The hon. gentleman did not tell us what the opinion in the North-West is; he did not venture to do that, because if so, he would have been obliged to admit that public opinion there demands such a Bill as that introduced and advocated by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I will read opinions from those newspapers, published since my hon. friend gave notice of his intention to introduce this Bill. The Calgary Herald, 1st February, 1890, said:
"There is no denying the fact that the citizens of our town, and, indeed, of the North-West generally, are in favor of abolishing the dual language system."
The Lethbridge News, 29th January, 1890, said:
"The great voice of the people of the Territories is certainly against it (i.e. the dual language) and those who uphold the system are in a small minority."
The Saskatchewan, 16th January, said:
"There must be but one official language if there is to be aunited nation * * * * and to the condition of this coalescence, the abolition of the dual language is absolutely essential."
The Moosomin Courier said :
"We are pleased to be able to state that the two North- West Senators, Messrs. Perley and Loughead, are determined to support Dalton McCarthy's Bill to abolish the official use of the French language in the North-West. They will, by such action, truly represent the sentiments of the vast majority of the people of the North-West."
The Qu'Appelle Progress uses language similar to the above, as does the Qu'Appelle Vidette The remaining papers either do not refer to the subject or express no opinion in regard to it. If the hon. member (Mr. Davin) is not in favor of adopting this course, he does not represent the opinion of the people of the North-West whose cause he is sent here to advocate. The hon. gentleman says it is a North-West measure. I take issue with him upon that point, for two or three reasons. In the first place, it is a North-West question, but it is also a Dominion question. And it is a Dominion question, because this Dominion Parliament legislates for the North-West, and has declared that the North-West is not in a condition to have the full powers of constitutional government and the management of its own affairs, and it is a mere piece of opportunism, an attempt to avoid our own responsibilities, to throw on the Legislative Asssembly of the North-West the power of dealing with this question. What is more; they do not ask that it should be left to them, nor do any of 547 [COMMONS] 548 their newspapers do so. They all support the Bill introduced by my hon. friend and oppose that provision in the existing act, which was incorporated in it without the knowledge of the father of it, the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills); and the people of North-West declare that the dual language should be struck out as a provision which they do not require, which is not in their interest, and which should not be imposed on them contrary to their wishes. Another reason is, that this should not be made a local question. This reason is one which may not be acceptable to many hon. gentlemen, but it is one which will have great weight in the country, that it is not desirable to throw into the Local Legislature of the North-West a bone of contention which may cause trouble there in two or three years.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Hear, hear.
Mr. O'BRIEN. I am glad to find the hon. gentleman express his approval of my sentiments, because if we do what this resolution proposes we would enable a minority in the North-West Provinces to exercise the same power and control over the destinies of that country that a minority has exercised over the destinies of this country, an influence and power which has not been for the best interests of the Dominion. That is another reason, because it can be very well understood that if this power of continuing two languages is made a subject of local legislation, that minority may, by taking advantage of party conflicts, do what in our history has been done frequently, and what was done in old Canada, exercise a controlling power to which neither their number nor their influence entitled them. That is a very important reason why the power should not be placed in the hands of the Local Legislature of the North-West. Those are two very decided reasons why we should not deal with it as a local question and give away the power which belongs to us and to no one else. Another reason why hon. gentlemen should object to the amendment is, and it is a reason which is a very important and practical one, that, if the amendment were carried, it would not be worth the paper on which it is written. It does nothing —it does not repeal the statute. What assurance have we that the people of the North-West would ever get the power to do what the resolution asks? Does the hon. gentleman mean to say that by a resolution of this House we can repeal a clause of an Act of Parliament?
Mr. DAVIN. It could be done.
Mr. O'BRIEN. It will be done when Parliament chooses to do it, but we have no asssurance that the majority of this House will do it. The hon. gentleman's amendment, if carried, leaves the matter exactly as it was before, and it does not meet the wishes of the people which the hon. gentleman professes to represent here, nor does it meet the expressions of public opinion made in the newspapers published in that country. Therefore, I say that this amendment, if carried, is a perfect nonentity. It will not produce even that system of evolution which the hon. gentleman referred to. I cannot even pay him the left handed compliment which he aid to my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) that his speech was a system of evolution, for evolution means some thing to be evolved. That cannot be said of the speech of my hon. friend for ex nihilo nihil fit.
Mr. DAVIN. You should say nihil.
Mr. O'BRIEN. Upon the grounds which I have stated I say that this House cannot recognise the deduction which the hon. gentleman endeavored to draw from his historical reference to the incidents of other nationalities. Let me disclaim entirely (although very likely the disclaimer on account of the very great representations already made may not amount to much) any intention to demand the total abolition of the French language, we demand the abolition of the French language as an official language in the North-West, where only five-sixths of the people know the language, and this has been treated as an attack on the French language per se. Those who make that statement know that it is absolutely without foundation. They must know that nobody desires to interfere with the French language in any way where it is useful or necessary. Hereafter I venture to say that there will be but one language in this Dominion and that will be the language which should be used in all the new Provinces of this country; the language which must be the official language of the Dominion if this is ever to be a great or prosperous country. If the member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) had carried his historical references as far as Austro- Hungary, to which the analogy would more closely apply, he would find that the people of that country, where there are more than five languages spoken, have to come to precisely the same conclusion as the hon. member who introduced this Bill, and he would find that in Hungary, where there are the Magyar, the Saxon and Roumanian languages, all used in the ordinary pursuits of life, the Hungarian language is imposed as an absolute necessity, because it was discovered that the use of all these different languages led to discord and rendered government impossible. On the other hand, in Austria, where there are several languages of a similar character, the attempt made by the recent Government to allow the use of all these languages in official documents has led to endless confusion, has fomented discord, and brought about endless trouble in the community. Even here, the analogy does not hold good no more than in the case of Switzerland, because there we have distinct nationalities federated for special purposes. And everyone knows that the Emperor of Austria is also King of Hungary. I do not intend to occupy the time of this House any longer, and I will merely recapitulate the grounds upon which I object to this amendment. It means nothing, it does nothing, and it produces no effect. It is no answer to the petitions which have been sent here asking that a change should be made in the law. I further say that this is not a local question, and for the reasons I have given that it cannot be properly dealt with as a local question. The duty and responsibility connected with the matter belongs to this House, and they should not, and ought not, delegate it to any one. The question should be dealt with as the Bill of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) proposes to deal with it. Those who do not like the Bill can vote against it and say that the French language shall continue in the North- West Territories. Those who think there ought to but one language, in accordance with the well- 549 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 550 understood wishes of the people, should express that opinion by voting for the Bill, but if they vote for this resolution they are wasting time and doing absolutely nothing except giving those who do not care to face this question, and vote in a manly way, an opportunity of getting out of it without compromising themselves in a way in which they are unwilling to do. With these few remarks I again declare my intention to vote for the Bill, and against the amendment, for the reasons I have stated.
Mr. WHITE (Cardwell). I cannot hope to entertain the House with the splendid eloquence and vivacity of my hon. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), but with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few observations on the Bill now under discussion. What I have to complain of in the speech of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), is that from beginning to end it had a tendency to offend our French Canadian fellow-citizens and was not at all addressed to the question which he presented to the House. That question in itself, it seems to me, is a very simple one. It is, whether looking to the character of the population of the North-West, it is expedient to continue the use of the French language in official documents. The hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), instead of confining himself to the question of the expediency of the use of the French language in the North-West, went back to the treaty of 1763, and he made it appear by every word that he uttered that nothing in the legislation of Canada, nothing in the legislation of Great Britain affecting Canada was so distasteful to him as the recognition of French as an official language with us. I dissent entirely from the conclusions he has drawn from his premises. He said that the treaty of 1763 made no mention of the use of French as an official language, that the treaty of 1774 made no mention of the use of French as an official language, that the Constitutional Act of 1791 omitted any recognition of it, and that after Lord Durham had made his report upon his visit to Canada in 1839 it was declared that only one language should be officially recognised. The hon. gentleman stated also that it was not until 1848 when the British Parliament repealed the statute of 1841, that French obtained an official recognition in Canada. Now, the recital of the facts is perfectly accurate, but the inference drawn seems to me to be wholly misleading. Surely when we know that from 1774 down to 1841 French was actually in use as an official language, the whole argument of the hon. member for Simcoe falls to the ground. It was true, as he says, that there was nothing in the treaties and nothing in the Acts of Parliament in reference to it, but, in spite of treaties and in spite of Acts of Parliament, French was the language principally used in official documents in the Legislature. I have here, for instance, the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of 1844-45 containing a report made by a select Committee, of which Hon. Mr. Papineau was chairman, on the subject of the use of the French language, and although it is a little lengthy, I think it is of sufficient importance to justify my reading it to the House. This is the address reported by that committee, which was unanimously adopted by both chambers of the Legislature:
"To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty:
"We, Your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Canada, in Provincial Parliament assembled, must humbly beg leave to approach Your Majesty, for the purpose of renewing the expression of our faithful attachment to Your Majesty's person and Government, and of representing—
"That, sensible of the advantages we enjoy from Your Majesty's care and protection, and which, we trust, may long be continued to us under Your Majesty's parental sway, it is, at all tunes, our duty to submit for Your Majesty's most gracious consideration, such matters as may have a tendency, with any class of Your Majesty's subjects, to diminish that contentment which we are well assured Your Muiesty desires should exist in every portion of Your dominions.
"That the French is the native language of a very large class onour Majesty's subjects in this Province; of this class the great mass indeed speak no other language; in it the largest portion of their laws and the books of their system of jurisprudence are written; their daily intercourse with each other is conducted; it is the language in which alone they can invoke the blessings of Heaven on themselves and all that is dear to them. A language indispensable to so many of Your Majesty's faithful people, cannot, they will believe, be viewed by Sovereign as foreign, when used by them.
"That Your Majesty's Royal Predecessors placed the language spoken by the two great classes of Your Majesty's subjects in this Province on the same footing, affording, in this respect, equal justice and facility to all.
"That this principle was never departed the Act reuniting these Provinces was passed."
The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) would have the House believe that no official recognition was given to the French language until after 1848, although in this address of 1844 it is stated that the predecessors of the then Governor General placed the French language on the same footing as the English. It goes on to say:
"That in the yery first Session of the Legislature, under that Act, it was indispensable to translate into French every public record and document. That the debates were not, and could not, unless a portion of the representatives of the people were silenced, be carried on without its use. That in courts and judicial proceedings it was found equally necessary as before the Union, and for every other practical purpose, it is as much used as it ever has been."
When that report was taken up in the House, the following proceedings took place;—
"Mr. Papineau, in speaking to the motion, was understood to say that he could not suppose the home Government would have any objection to this amendment in the Union Bill'; and in proof of this he read from a despatch from the Colonial Secretary, addressed to Lord Gosford, which stated that the home Government conceived that no interference should be made with the language of the French Canadians. He likewise stated that it was satisfactory to notice that the English part of the community and of that House had no objecton to this amendment. This was the best proof of their good-will towards his, Mr. Papineau's, compatriots.
"Mr. Attorney-General Smith was sure that the motion would be received with the greatest satisfaction by the whole House; and that in this instance there could be no difference between members on either side of the House.
"Dr. Dunlop said that the motion was so reasonable and first, he hoped it would be carried by acclamation.
"The motion was then put and carried by acclamation, every member rising, and with a good deal of clapping and cheering."
And that was in a legislature composed of an equal number of representatives from each Province of Canada, by the unanimous voice of that legislature, after an experience of three years during which the French language, so far as that legislature could do it, was abolished. In view of that fact, and in view of the fact that since then the French population has multiplied four or five times over, 551 [COMMONS] 552 why an effort should now be made to repeal the French language, and regret should be expressed that that language is still in use in this country, I cannot conceive. It is as impossible, by an Act of Parliament, to prevent the use of the French language in this Canada as it is by any similar act to root out the prejudices that are latent in some men's minds. Now, Sir, the amendment before the House recognises the federal system under which we live, am it is a somewhat curious fact that in the Province of Quebec, in respect of municipal matters, the right is conceded to each local municipality to declare whether its proceedings shall be published in both languages or in one language only. Article 243 of the Municipal Code of Quebec enacts:—
"In any municipality, for which there is no Order in Council, in virtue of the 10th section of the Consolidated Municipal Act of Lower Canada, the publication of every notice, by-law, resolution or order of the council, by posting, reading aloud, or insertion in the newspapers, must be made in the French and English languages.
"In every local municipality, for which there is such an Order in Council, the publication of every notice, by-law, resolution, or order of a county council, and of every notice from the secretary-treasurer of the county council, by poster, by reading, or in the newspapers may be made only in the language prescribed in such Order in Council, in place of being made in English and French."
And if hon. gentlemen will turn to the Quebec Official Gazette of the 4th of January of this very year, they will find there this notice:
"QUEBEC, 23rd Dec., 1889.
"Notice is hereby given that a petition has been presented to the Lieut. Governor by the Municipal Council of the township of Eardley, in the County of Ottawa, to obtain the authorisation to publish in English only all notices, by-laws, or resolutions made or passed by said council."
So that in the Province of Quebec, where the French people are in such an immense majority, the Local Legislature has been liberal enough to provide that in exclusively English or almost exclusively English communities the use of the French language may be abandoned altogether. Sir, the amendment, as I understand it, proposes that the same principle shall be extended to the North-West—that the people of the Territories shall have the opportunity of declaring their will through their representatives as to whether the French language shall be continued in use there or not. Now, the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. O'Brien) is a good deal disturbed by the fear that the amendment, if adopted, will fail of effect; but he must know that it is a distinct instruction of the House to the Government, and if the Government fail to act on this instruction they must resign office. The hon. member tells us also that it is not desirable to throw a bone of contention among the people of the North-West, but he has no objection to a bone of contention being thrown among the people of the whole Dominion. Is it not a very much greater source of objection and irritation for the Parliament of Canada to impose a language upon a people of any Province than it is to allow that people to say what language or how many languages shall be used in their legislature? Those people pay the taxes and they have the right to say what expenses shall be placed upon them. Up to this time the people of the North- West have not had much to complain of in this respect. In fact, were it not for the lamentable agitation that was started in Ontario and Quebec principally, last summer, I doubt whether the subject now under discussion would ever have been alluded to at all either in the North-West or elsewhere. Certain it is that from the time the amendment was made in the Senate to the North- West Territory Act of 1877 down to the summer of 1889, when these unhappy religious differences were brought into the political arena in the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, not one complaint was made, so far as I am aware, by any newspaper or anybody in the North-West Territory that it was a hardship upon them and inimical to their well-being as a national community that the French should be recognised as an official language. It is only since it occurred to some gentlemen that political capital might be made out of it that this question has been agitated at all. The hon. member for Assiniboia (r. Davin) answered in every particular, I think, the speech made by the hon. member for North Simcoe in introducing his Bill the other day, but I will trouble the House with one quotation bearing upon the case, and it is from the author selected by the hon. member himself. I refer to Professor Freeman. He says in one of his lectures, speaking of the Swiss Confederacy—and I may say that Professor Freeman maintains that in many important particulars the federal system of Switzerland is superior to that of Great Britain or that of the United States:
"An artificial nation was thus formed, a nation not marked out by the usual signs of blood or language but still anation by adoption. But it is adoption without assimilation. The Lombard of Ticino, the Burgundian of Vaud, has been raised to the level of his former German master but he has not adopted their tongue, neither have dopted his. In your union you adopt citizens from all parts, but what you adept you assimilate, wherever the physical laws of nature allow assimilation. All, sooner or later, are merged in a one body; all become members of what I venture still to call the English people. To you the sight must seem strange to see two states of the same Union side by side, speaking wholly distinct languages; it must seem yet more strange to you to find one state all but wholly Catholic, another all but wholly Protestant, and to learn that the laws which in either case secure civil equality to the minority are in most cantons of recent date. Yet, with all this diversity, the Swiss people, Teutonic and Romance, Catholic and Protestant, undoubtedly form a nation, though a nation artificially put together out of fragments of three elder nations."
Showing that in the case of Switzerland according to the authority selected by the hon. member for North Simcoe, in spite of diversities of language and religion, a nation vigorous and prosperous has been formed under a system of Government in many respects superior to that of Great Britain and the United States. There is not an hon. gentleman in this House who will take exception to the view that if it were possible to have one language it would be an advantage, but it is useless to-day to lay down that view as an argument. If we could all be by a process of reasoning made English, it might be to the general advantage, but the day has gone by, when anything can be gained by insisting on the suppression of a language spoken by a large minority in this country.  We have to deal with facts as they exist. Without doubt under our present system the assimilation of the people is being gradually brought about. From personal knowledge I may say that in the Province of Quebec, throughout the Eastern Townships and the Montreal districts, there are more French people speaking English than English people speaking French. In fact it is worthy of remark 553 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 554 that in that Province ten Frenchmen learn English to one Englishman who learns French. But as L'Etendard said the other day, if efforts are made to antagonise our fellow-citizens, the French Canadians, if they are to be deprived of what the consider their rights, they will become more exclusive than they have ever been in the past. What has been the teaching of the past? We know that down to the rebellion of 1837 the French held themselves completely aloof from their English speaking fellow-subjects, whom they regarded as an alien and hostile race; but after the rebellion and after the union of the two Canadas in 1841, a different feeling began to set in, and a different state of affairs began to prevail. The French speaking people obtained the measure of self- government they desired, and according to the testimony of Earl Grey in one of his letters to Lord John Russell:
"The consequence of this was that the French Canadians and the Liberal party in the western division of the Province, seeing that their leaders and friends were admitted to their just share of power and influence, that no distrust of them was evinced by the Government and that the Government really was to be carried on strictly in the spirit of the constitution without any preference being shown to men of any one party or any one religion, became on their side reconciled to the Imperial authority which was exercised, and proved themselves worthy of the confidence which had been placed in them by the loyalty and attachment they manifested to the Crown. So soon and so decidedly were the healing effects of this policy experienced, that when the news of the French revolution of February, 1848, reached the Province, it occasioned no disturbance or alarm. In the state of public feeling and opinion which Lord Elgin found prevailing on his arrival in Canada little more than a car before, there can be no doubt that the intelligence of this startling event would have produced most formidable excitement, if not actual disturbance. Instead of this there was a most perfect tranquility and security. All efforts to create opposition to the Government amongst the French Canadians utterly failed; they heartily and steadily supported the Government, and took every opportunity to manifest, by addresses and resolutlons, the strongest spirit of loyalty to the British Crown."
That was the effect fifty years ago of a policy of conciliation and fair play, and every chapter in the history of Canada shows that where efforts have been made to antagonise the sentiment of French- Canadians, or to compel them to speak a foreign tongue, they have become only the more exclusive and refused the more obstinately to assimilate with their fellow-citizens of British origin, but that when, on the contrary, a policy of fair play, conciliation and justice is pursued, they have manifested the most unswerving loyalty to the British Crown and Canada. Sir George Cartier called himself an Englishman speaking French, and I believe there are to-day more French Canadians who are proud to call themselves English-speaking Frenchmen than ever before, and that the number will steadily increase if a policy of fair play and equal justice be continued. The events of the past year, however, have not tended to encourage this assimilation, and every fair-minded man must regret the agitation which has been made in this House and out of it on this race and language question. I believe in the policy of provincial rights in a matter of this kind. The question of a dual language is to be dealt with by this Parliament of Canada so far as federal affairs are concerned, but I believe that, so far as provincial affairs are concerned, it should be dealt with by the Provinces, and to the Provinces I am prepared to relegate it. I trust our French Canadian friends will take the same view, and that they will not allow the source from which this proposition emanates to warp or bias their judgment in the matter. Of course they believe that, but for the agitation which swept over this country last summer, this proposition would not have come here, but they must also be aware that nine-tenths of the people in the Territories belong to other races than French, and that, judging from the tendency of colonisation in that territory, that population is likely to be larger in proportion in the future. The tendency to colonisation on the part of the French population is practically confined to the eastern part of Ontario, and our French Canadian friends must be aware that their interests, not only as French Canadians, but in every sense, are not jeopardised, and cannot be jeopardised, by the abolition of the use of their language in the proceedings and the documents of the North-West Assembly.
Mr. BEAUSOLEIL. (Translation.) I cannot, Mr. Speaker, allow this debate to be concluded without expressing the opinions I hold on this matter, as being a French Canadian. This question is certainly one of the most important which can be brought before this House. It concerns not only the limited French population in the North-West, but looking at the terms in which it is couched, it influences the peace and prosperity of the country, and, more especially, the entire French Canadian race. The Bill brought in by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) is, on the face of it, directed against the use of the French language in the North-West. But if we read the speech which accompanied its introduction, and if we read the preamble of the Bill itself, we shall there find set out the principle that there should exist throughout the whole of the Dominion but one and only one official language to be employed in the legislatures and in the Courts, namely, the English language. This is a principle, Mr. Speaker, which for my part I can in no way accept. I am of the opinion of those who assert that this is not a mere local question; but that it is a question of the gravest moment and which concerns the whole Dominion. I am also opposed to the amendment made by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), because I see in it only an attempt to obtain by an oblique course what they do not dare to ask for directly. The Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe is supposed to be based upon a resolution passed by the Council of the North-West Territories, asking that the use of the French language, before that body and before the courts, be prohibited. If there is any justification in this House taking up the question it is evidently the fact that the Council of the North-West should represent the opinion of the people of the North-West, and that, consequently, there would be a moral obligation for this Parliament to carry out the wishes so expressed by that Council. Now, Mr. Speaker, if, relying on this fact, this House is of the opinion that the French language ought to be abolished,—if we decree its use to be forfeited because we believe these resolutions to represent the views of the people, it is evident that by surrendering to this same Legislature the right to decree the abolition of the French language, we act exactly as if we had decreed it ourselves. If they wish to abolish the French language, let them say so plainly. If they believe that it is in the interest of the peace of the country that a single language should be spoken in the 555 [COMMONS] 556 Territories, let them have the courage to say so. If, on the other hand, they desire to avoid exciting the passions of the people, if they wish to avoid rousing their prejudices, if they wish to avoid cause of disappointment, if they desire to maintain peace, tranquility and the excellent harmony which now exists among the various races, let them declare that the retention of the French language in the North-West is a measure in the interest of the country and let them reject this Bill. At the time of the organisation of the Territories, it was thought of importance to the erection and the peopling of the Territories that the use of the two languages before the courts and before the Legislature should be authorised. Nothing has occurred since to modify this position, The principle which the amendment lays down is a dangerous principle; if it is good to leave to a Local Legislature the right to decide questions of this importance, touching the privileges granted to a whole race; if it is good to grant this to the North-West Territories, how can you refuse it to the Manitoba Legislature, which desires, in her turn, to enact the abolition of the French language? If it is pretended that the wish of the legislatures should be acceded to at Ottawa; if it is admitted that a legislature can decree the abolution of a right established and recognised, how will you be able to refuse the exercise of this right when the House of Commons is in question; how shall we be able to go to the foot of the throne and represent to the Queen and to Her Government that the use of the French language was guaranteed us by the Constitution which was given to us by an Act of the Imperial Parliament? They will reply to us: You have thought it right to leave to the majority in the Provincial Legislatures the right of decreeing the forfeiture of the French language in one Province; to-day, the House of Commons by a majority decrees the cancelling of this right at Ottawa, by virtue of what principle do you oppose this decision? It is plain, Mr. Speaker, that if we wish, with success, to defend the rights of our race and of our language; if we wish to maintain our institutions, we should not allow him to lay down this principle, because if we admit the principle, we shall be obliged to submit to the consequences, Whatever they may be. This is why, for my own part—and I trust that I represent the opinions of no small number—I cannot support more strongly the amendment made by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin)—although he has backed it in terms of great sympathy with the French language—than I can support the Bill itself. I do not wish to give to a legislature, which has declared itself hostile, the right of decreeing, when it shall see fit, that the French language shall cease to be spoken officially in the North-West Territories. I have heard the reasons given in support of the Bill and of the amendment. One of the reasons given is that the French population in the North-West is small in number. The French population of the North-West is about one to six, which is at least as great as the proportion of the English population of the Province of Quebec. And yet with what indignation would that person be received who would say: The population of English descent is small in numbers in the Province of Quebec; it costs several thousands of dollars to translate the public papers into the two languages, let us abolish the English tongue. Let us suppose, (what is an impossibility) that a majority should adopt a similar resolution, how could this House refuse to the French majority of Quebec the right to abolish the English language, when it is desired to grant to the English majority in the North-West the right to abolish the French language. It is also stated that this population is poor. This is a good reason why we should come forward in its defence. If the population is poor; if it is but poorly able to defend itself, it remains for us, the representatives of Provinces richer and more at liberty, it is for us the representatives of a people capable of taking care of themselves, to assume charge of their interests before this House. It is also said that it is not represented. Why is it not represented? It is because the counties have been so divided that they cannot choose their own representatives. In order to establish that the Government divided up the Territories in such a manner that this population cannot secure a representation, I will cite the words of that illustrious man who has passed forty years of his life in the North-West Territories, Monseigneur Grandin, who says that, looking at the division of the counties, it is impossible for the French population to be represented. It has been stated, and I believe the statement to be correct, that each and every one of the members from the North-West was entreated to adopt the paternity of the Bill by seconding the motion of the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) and that they had one and all refused. I trust that they will continue to represent with impartiality all the elements which form the population of the North-West, and that they will prevent by their vote and voice the injustice which it is attempted to commit. Now, Mr. Speaker, complaint is made of the evils caused by the existence of two official languages in Canada. It is strange that the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) should be the first one to find out these great inconveniences. All the statesmen who have come from England, being without prejudices and having official duties to perform; those who have been entrusted with the charge of representing the Crown of England in Canada; all those who have taken the pains to study the question, have declared that the French language was not an evil but a benefit; that it was one of the most effectual guarantees for the loyalty of the French population to the Crown of Britain; that as matters stood there was a friendly contention between the two races to do most for the progress and advancement of the country. The hon. the Secretary of State cited the other day the opinion of Lord Elgin. Who does not remember the speech of Lord Dufferin, wherein His Excellency affirmed that the existence of the English and French races in Canada, was one of the greatest means of promoting the progress of the country by the emulation which of necessity existed between them. If the hon. the member for Simcoe had read a little of the history of Canada, or at least if he had desired to understand the lessons derived from it, he would have discovered that every time that an attempt had been made to deprive one portion of the population of its rights and privileges guaranteed by the constitution or by treaties, he would have seen I say, that such attempts have been followed by discontent, disorders and even by revolutions. It is only when the country has been governed according to its wishes; when all its rights have 557 [FEBRUARY 12, 1890.] 558 been respected, and when each one has felt that he could exercise in peace and without constraint his religion and speak his own language, that peace has entered into their souls, that contentment has possessed every one, and that prosperity has come again in a solid and permanent manner. The same causes will produce the same effects. They will produce the same effects not only in the North- West, but throughout the whole of the Dominion, for the simple and very natural reason that if no respect is shown for the rights of our race in the North-West, we have no longer any guarantee that they will be respected elsewhere; and the French population will come to find out that they must place themselves in a position of defence against the aggression with which they will be constantly threatened. This is a condition of affairs which should not be tolerated. It appears to me that all the statesmen in this House should hold out the hand to one another, and come to an understanding to discourage the schemes of fanatics like the member for Simcoe, who labour to inflame the population, and to stir up the prejudices of race, in order to hoist themselves into power, even on the ruins of their country. With these remarks, Mr. Speaker, I have the honor to move the following amendment to the amendment proposed by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) :—
That all the words after the word "Resolved" in the amendment be struck out and the followmg inserted instead thereof:— "That the official use of the French and English languages in the Legislature and the Courts of the North-West Territories was established by this Parliament in the well understood interests of the people of the said Territories, in order to promote the good understanding and the harmony that should exist between the different races, and with a view, by a liberal policy. to promote the colonisation and settlement. of those vast domains; that nothing has happened since to excuse or justify the withdrawal of the privileges granted only a few years ago; that the result of the proposed legislation would be to create uneasiness and discontent throughout the Dominion and to put in doubt the stability of our institutions, and thereby to hinder and delay for a long time the development of the immense resources of the Canadian North-West."
Mr. DENISON. As the seconder of this Bill, it is only right that I should place on record my reasons for the course I intend to take. In approaching this subject, I wish to say I have no feeling against my loyal fellow-subjects of French origin, or against the French language, and I would be only too glad if I could speak the French language well; but I think it is not in the interests of the North-West Territories, or in the interests of Canada as a whole, that we should adopt the French language or continue it in the North-West Territories. If it is decided by this House that it is wise to have two languages in the North-West, the question which presents itself is, what other language shall we choose in addition to English? Shall we choose French, German, Cree, Icelandic, or Russian, or any other language. If we take the population numerically, and adopt the language of the strongest in that sense, we would have to adopt, as was suggested by the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), the Cree language. In the early days up there, the English half-breeds spoke English and Cree, and the French half-breeds spoke French and Cree, and the Cree language was the common language between them all. But, if we rule that language out, shall we adopt French or German? I understand that now the Germans in the North-West equal, if they do not exceed the French there, and, if that is not the case now, I fancy it will not be very many years before the Germans will far exceed the French in the North-West. I was in the North-West twenty years ago, in the year 1870. It was then a Crown colony, or had been shortly before that. It was a British Crown colony, governed by the Hudson Bay Company, by means of a Governor and a Council. The Hudson Bay Company held that country from the time when they got their charter in 1670, until it was bought from them by the Dominion Government. It has been claimed by some that that is a French land; in fact Bishop Grandin, in his letter which we have on the Votes and Proceedings of the House, has claimed that it is French land, he speaks of it as "our land." I cannot see how he can claim anything of the kind because, as you all know, it has always been held by the Hudson Bay Company as a Crown colony under the direct authority of the British Government from the time of their charter. I would like to read a few lines from Hargrave's Red River. On page 87 he says:
" With regard to the administration of justice, the laws of England of the date of Her Majesty's accession, so far as they are applicable to the condition of the colony, are understood to regulate the judicial proceedings. The regulations passed by the CounciI of Assinboia are of the nature of by-laws."
And to show further, the interest that was taken in that colony by the British Government on more than one occasion, they found it necessary to send up troops to Red River colony, through a vast wilderness, by the Hudson Bay route up the Nelson River, and by a very long, harassing and tedious journey. On page 93 the same author says:
"For a space of time extending over 15 years a regular military force was quartered at Red River. In 1846 a wing of the 6th regiment of foot, a detachment of royal engineers, and detachment of artillery, under command of Colonel Crofton. were ordered to the settlement, where they arrived in the autumn of the same year. The entire party consisted of 18 officers and 339 men. They reached their destination by way of York Factory on Hudson Bay, over the route between which point and the settlement they conveyed their guns and stores by the usual means of inland transport used in the country. They were sent out under secret instructions from the war office. Colonel Crofton himself remained for only one year, at the close of which he was succeeded by Major Griffith, who, along with the troops under his command, returned home in 1848."
On the next page we find :
"From 1855 till 1857 there were no troops resident in the colony, but in the latter year a company of Royal Canadian Riflemen came out. This corps formed part of a regiment of seven or eight hundred men which were peculiarly a Canadian force, being recruited for service in Canada, though supported by the Imperial Government. After the first two years of its residence had expired the entire body of officers was relieved by gentlemen from other companies of the regiment, and in the year 1861, after having been stationed in the country for four years, the company returned to Canada by ship from York Factory."
You will see, Mr. Speaker, by that, the interest that was taken in the North-West country, by the Imperial Government. You will see that there was no pretence then, that it was in any sense a French colony, or retained at any time by the French. In 1870, the population was very small, some ten or eleven thousand, mostly half-breeds. As we know there is not one representative in the present North- West Council who speaks the French tongue. I went over the Canadian PacificRailway line this summer, and from the time that I entered the Territories to the day I left, it so happened I did not hear one word 559 [COMMONS] =560 of French spoken. I cannot see that there is any great cry on the part of the French in the North- West for a dual language. If it is a good thing for the French race to have the French language used in the North-West Territories, it must also be a good thing for the German race that their language be spoken there also, because they are growing and increasing very rapidly. On my return I came back by the Northern Pacific road, and I am glad to say that our road is in every respect superior to it, and is indeed a most magnificent road, and it passes through a far better country in every respect. In fact the whole of the Northern Pacific country seems to be altogether barren, except on the Pacific slope, where there is some good land. I could see that the land was all occupied; I could see that our neighbors have settled pretty nearly all that country except, perhaps, a small portion on the Pacific slope. They have occupied all the mountain lands for pasture, they have occupied all the valleys good for tillage. As you will remember, not very long ago when the Oklahoma district was opened for settlement, it was surrounded on all sides by people who rushed in so as to be able to get land. That is conclusive proof, to my mind, that our neighbors to the south have pretty well overrun all the land they have, and I think that they are not likely to have any new territory to throw open unless they seize more Indian reserves and open them for settlement. That being the case I have every ground for saying that there will be a very large immigration into our own North-West Territoreis within the next few years. We have there a great lone land, a land, I suppose, as big as Europe, without any inhabitants to speak of. There are very few or no inhabitants in a vast extent of territory which will be opened for future settlement. When we think of the large immigration that is increasing every year, when we know that immigration has been pouring into the United States for years, when we know that that country is already about filled up, we must become convinced that the tide of population is sure to turn towards our own Territories. Now, is this House to say that we are going to allow these foreign settlers who come in there, to say what language they shall speak? I hope not. I think that we should let all these foreigners who reach our shores understand that when they set their foot in the North-West Territories they have got to become Canadians and speak the language of this continent. It has been said that Switzerland is a parallel case to this Canada of ours, Now, mark you, I am not referring to Quebec, it is out of the question to speak about Quebec; I have devoted myself entirely to the North-West Territories and it has been suggested that Switzerland is a parallel case. It is not a parallel case for this reason: In Switzerland they had a dual language from the very beginning, whereas we have a great lone land empty now and waiting for settlement. As you know, Switzerland was peopled from the south by Italians, from the east by French, from the north by Germans. They were living in secluded valleys where they were left undisturbed for a long time, and when they found they were attacked by a foreign enemy they combined for common defence. When I read the history of Switzerland for the first time, I was surprised to learn what great dissensions they have had in that country during several generations, and it has only been when attacked by a common enemy that they combined and made a common defence. I would like, with your permission, to read something from Bishop Grandin's letter. He says:
"After the annexation the immigrants came in great numbers, and I can tell you that out of ever hundred there were but ten Catholics; the English and Protestant population thereupon increased rapidly, and in a few years we must be content to find ourselves in the minority."
And further on:
"You are also acquainted with what is going on this very day at Regina. In spite of the efforts of the Hon. J. Royal, Lieutenant—Governor of the North-West, and the Hon. Judge Rouleau, all our representatives, not one of whom is a Catholic, demand with two exceptions, the abolition of our language and the amendment of our school laws in order to impose upon us the so called secular schools whichare nothing else but anti-Catholic schools, even admitting that they are not Godless schools."
Further on he says:
"If even one-fourth of those who emigrated from your Province during the past ten years had come to us, we would still constitute the majority, or would at all events be a powerful minority which would have to be taken into account and against which none would think of enacting extraordinary laws. To people this territory, to people our land, as the aborigines call it—and the Half-breeds and French Canadians have some right to use that expression: for French Canadians discovered this vast country; French Canadians and Half-breeds opened it up to religion and colonisation-to settle our lands there are sent men from every nation, men without faith and without religion; Mennonites are brought from a great distance, even Mormons are admitted and are seemingly held up as examples to the Blackfeet."
I have read these extracts to show that even Bishop Grandin admits that the immigration of English and other people has enormously increased there. I desire to make one more quotation before I resume my seat; it is from the Mail of 15th November, 1889. In an interview between Premier Mercier and a reporter of that paper, the reporter asked:
"When you said in your address before the Club National last week: 'Let us hope that these principles may never be misunderstood, and that we may not be called upon in an of our Provinces to have recourse to reprisals, an to remind the majority who ma be unjust that there is a minority which stands in need of protection,' did you mean that as a threat to the Protestant majorities of other Provinces and to the Protestant minority here? 
"'Not as a threat.' replied Mr, Mercier; 'but surely as a warning to the majorities in the other Provinces. To be frank, I must say that I intended and I do intend to—day to state that equal rights must apply to the minorities in every Province, and if the Federal Act is to be applied in some other Province against the rights of the minorities and to the abolition of their Separate schools where they exist by law, I do not see why the same rule should not apply to the minority of the Proyince of Quebec. I state that the minorities had no rights because they were French or English, Catholic or Protestant, but that they had rights because they were the minorities entitled to be protected and to enjoy the same rights as the majorities. This being the principle I do not see why the minority of the Province of Quebec should have more rights than the minorities in the other Provinces when the same law applies, when these rights are consecrated by the same constitution, and when the same interest exists. So, to be clear, my intention was to say that if the Catholics or the French of the other Provinces are not treated as they ought to be, I do not see why the Protestants and English in the Province of Quebec should be treated otherwise. I understand perfectly well the responsibility that I take, and I do take it with intention. It is not a threat, as I said, but a warning, which I hope will be sufficient to prevent the majorities of other Provinces from being unjust.'"
Now, are we to be deterred from doing our duty, from doing what we consider to be in the interests of our country, by any threats or warnings from 561 [FEBRUARY 13, 1890.] 562 Mr. Mercier? I hope not. I, for one, have no idea of being influenced by the threats of Mr. Mercier or his friends. I will take any course in this House I choose, ignoring Mr. Mercier and anything he may do or say. I wish it to be understood that when he speaks his remarks have no influence or effect over me. I believe the course I am taking is the correct one, that it is the one in the interests of the land of my birth, and the land that contains everything that I hold dear.
Mr. MULOCK moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned.
That the debate be the first Order of the day to-morrow.
Motion agreed to.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to; and House adjourned at 11 p.m.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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