House of Commons, 14 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

637 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890] 638


FRIDAY, 14th February, 1890.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.


Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I have had an informal communication across the floor with the hon. leader of the Opposition, and we find that a great many members on both sides of the House want to leave town to-night. With the consent of the House, the debate which is set down as the first Order of the Day, will be proceeded with, but there will be no division taken to-night, and at ten o'clock, if the House will permit, we will go into Supply.
Mr. LAURIER. It is understood that there will be no vote to-night, and that the debate will not be concluded, but will be resumed on Monday.


Bill (No. 79) respecting the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada.—(Mr. Small.)
Bill (No. 80) respecting the Grand Trunk, Georgian Bay and Lake Erie Railway Company. —(Mr. Tisdale.)
Bill (No. 81) respecting the Don Improvement, Toronto—(Mr. Small.)
Bill (No. 82) to confirm an agreement between the Montreal and Western Railway Company and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.—(Mr. Desjardins.)


Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. As arranged yesterday, I will now place in your hands, Mr. Speaker, a motion which was not formally introduced then. I may mention that I have received a package of papers from the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Rykert), which he has requested me to include, and therefore I add to my motion: "together with certain other letters furnished by the hon. member for Lincoln and appended hereto." My motion is:
"That whereas certain letters and documents reading as follows:—
"WINNIPEG, 15th December, 1881.
"DEAR MR. RYKERT,—Would like to see you very soon about something I have discovered in the West, and want you to tell me what I am to do to get hold of same. When will you go to Ottawa? I think I see something good.
"Yours truly,
"ST. CATHARINES, 22nd December, 1881.
"MY DEAR ADAMS,—I duly received your letter of the fifteenth, and have to say in reply that I cannot tell on what time I will go to Ottawa. If I can be of any aid to you I shall be pleased. Hope you are doing well. Has the boom yet subsided? I hear St. Catharines men are a little mad in speculation.
"Yours truly,
"ST. CATHARINES, 11th January, 1882.
"MY DEAR ADAMS,—I know nothing about the prospects of getting limits, nor do I know what are the rules of the Department about applying. If you send me particulars of what you want, I will see the Department, or send to my agents at Ottawa and enquire.
"Yours truly,
"WINNIPEG, 18th January, 1882.
"DEAR MR. RYKERT,—I think I have got a good thing up here, and am told by a lumber agent that if I only apply to the Government I can get hold of it. Now, I do not know how to apply and want you to help me, as I know you can if you like. Perhaps you can better yourself by helping me, as I will pay you well for all you do for me. Can I get up a company up here for limits? I can get good men to help me. I have made a good deal of money here and hope to make more.
"Yours truly,
"25th January, 1882.
"My DEAR ADAMS,—I am delighted to hear you are making money. Nothing would please me better than to see you here again with a fortune. As regards the matter you spoke about, I shall be pleased to assist you and the company in any way I can, and of course I would be glad to better myself in any way which is fair and honorable. It seems to me you ought to organise the company[...]
651 [COMMONS] 652
[...]Order of the House by this return long ago. I may say, however, that it looks as if any consideration, even the smallest, is good enough for Prince Edward Island. That, however, is not the greatest complaint I have to make.
Mr. SPEAKER. I wish to call the hon. gentleman's attention to the fact, that he is debating a matter not before the House. The hon. gentleman can ask for an explanation, but he must not go beyond that. He cannot delay the proceedings of the House by raising a debate on a matter not before it.
Mr. PERRY. I contend that the return does not contain the information sought for, and I wish to call the attention of the Minister to that fact. The notice of motion asked for the number of lobster-packing factories around the coast of Prince Edward Island, but the Minister does not give that; he merely gives the names and the number of those who were fined, and those who paid those fines and those who did not. I say the answer in the return is not complete. As there seems to be a desire in the House to not allow me to fully go into this matter, I will take another course, and I will see the reason why the return has not been given as asked for.
Mr. TUPPER. I do not think there is any occasion for the hon. gentleman to take any other course at all. There is no disinclination on the part of myself to withhold the information he now asks, for I have not looked lately at the motion with reference to the information that was desired, but my recollection of the matter, both in connection with the discussion and conversation with the hon. gentleman, was that his motion was confined entirely to the information I brought down. That is to say, the names of the persons fined, and those who had paid, and those who had not paid the fines. It is a very easy thing to give the hon. gentleman the information he now seeks, and a supplementary return, if necessary, will be brought down.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of the Bill (No. 10) to further amend the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter fifty, respecting the North-West Territories; the motion of Mr. Davin in amendment thereto, and the motion of Mr. Beausoleil in amendment to the amendment.
Mr. CHARLTON. Mr. Speaker: I realise, Sir, that the question under discussion is one likely to provoke angry feelings and race prejudices, and I shall endeavor to make the remarks that I have to make to—day in a conciliatory spirit. I shall of course feel bound to state my convictions, but I shall endeavor to do so courteously, and without, at all events, giving needless offence. I shall not agree with many of my fellow members of the House—with the majority of them probably—but, I shall ask of them that toleration that I accord to them in the discussion of this matter. It is, Sir, a disquietening question, and necessarily so. It is to be regretted that it is disquieting, but it cannot be helped. We might purchase quiet by the avoidance of the question entirely. We might purchase quiet by allowing matters to go on in the course they have been going without any protest or without any attempt on the part of those who believe that danger is ahead to avert that danger. I do not consider, Sir, that that course is necessary or advisable. We are certainly capable of discussing this question in this high court of the nation, in a spirit of fairness stating our convictions; and after having heard the arguments that are to be presented on both sides, the House will decide the question as the majority of its members deem proper.
The speakers who have addressed the House on this subject in the earlier part of this debate have, as a rule, taken the ground that a community of language in a country is not essential; many of them, indeed, I infer from their remarks, entertain the opinion that it is not even desirable. We have had the example of states in ancient times, cited here in a sense which would lead one to suppose that the speakers thought the example of those states worthy to be copied by us. We have had allusion made by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) to the fact that of the federal unions now existing in the world two of them do not possess community of language; and I think, Sir, if we regard the history, the present position and the progress of those three federal unions, we shall find a very striking argument in favor of the doctrine I have advanced, that a community of language is desirable; for certainly neither the federal union of the cantons of Switzerland, nor that of the Provinces of Canada, bears any comparison with the federal union of the United States in point of development, population and power. The hon. member for Assiniboia treated us the other night to an exceedingly witty speech; I do not know that I can say that the spirit of the speech was quite in keeping with the magnitude and importance of the question he had under discussion. In the course of his speech he said that if you wished to make the French language permanent, you had but to attempt to restrict it. I do not know that the experience of the world would bear that assertion out. I do not know that the French language has been made permanent in the United States. Louisiana soon after was admitted into the American Union, the French language was not sanctioned as an official language; and the result of that prohibition or restriction, if the hon. member prefers the latter term, has not been to make the language permanent, but, on the contrary, to thoroughly diffuse and assimilate with the American element the French population near the mouth of the Mississippi; and I do not believe that any fair or proper attempt to secure the dominance of the English tongue in this country will have the result of making the French language predominant or increasing its use in the country.
My hon. friend from North York (Mr. Mulock) gave us a very nice essay on ancient history. He went back to the days of Queen Esther, and told us how King Ahasuerus sent his letters in 127 different languages to 127 different provinces. Well, Sir, if the hon. gentleman had gone a little further back, which he might very properly have done, to the time of the Tower of Babel, he would have found a time when one language was in use; 653 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 654 in the 11th chapter of the Book of Genesis, he would have read:
"And the Lord said, behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
"Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language that they may not understand one another's speech. "
Evidently the Almighty recognised the power of a community of language, and frustrated the attempts that were being made by the people of that day: he scattered them over the face of the earth, and brought in more than a dual language among the peoples of the world. The hon. member for North York tells us that Greece had a community of language, and yet that out of that community rival states with their animosities and bickerings arose, and there was no such thing as a national feeling in Greece. The great trouble with Greece was that it wanted commercial union, and the day of commercial union had not yet come. If the Greeks had adopted that policy, the bickerings and animosities which existed among those states speaking the same language would gradually have disappeared In Rome, the hon. gentleman tells us, there were the Greek, the Latin, and numerous other tongues; they had no community of language in that great empire. Necessarily they had not. The Roman Empire was composed of conquered states; it had spread from the city on the Tiber, until it had covered nearly the whole of the known world; but does the hon. gentleman propose to tell us that the debates of the Roman senate, the Roman code, or the Roman statutes, were reproduced in all the languages spoken in that great empire? I think not. I think there was nothing in the Roman Empire corresponding to the condition of things we have in Canada to-day. Latin was used in the proceedings of the Senate and was I venture to assert, the official language of the Roman Empire. Then the hon. gentleman came down to the days of modern history, and he gave us a long list of the nations having more than one language. He tells us that Spain, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Turkey—
Mr. MULOCK. No; I said nothing of Turkey.
Mr. CHARLTON. Well, we will drop Turkey. Does the hon. gentleman propose to hold those nations up for us to copy? Shall we copy the institutions of Spain, Russia or Austria?
Mr. MULOCK. And Great Britain.
Mr. CHARLTON. We will come to Great Britain in a moment. Does the hon gentleman tell us that all the languages used in those countries were the official languages of their diets and assemblies, and that the laws were published in all those languages? I think not; and if they were, we do not want a model from them. Then, I come to England, as the hon. gentleman proposes. He tells us that in Great Britain we have not only English, but the Gaelic, the Welsh, the Irish, and the French in the Channel Islands. Well, are the debates in the Chamber at Westminster conducted in Gaelic, Irish, Welsh and French? Are the resolutions put from the Chair of the House of Commons in all those languages? Are those official languages? By no means. English is the official language. The hon. gentleman tells us that the decrees of the English Parliament are read, I think he said from a high hill on the Isle of Man in the Manx language. Well, if he wishes us to adopt that plan, there could be no objection I imagine, and we should then have all the decrees of this House read from the highest peak in the North-West, in French, in Icelandic, in Cree, in all the hundred and twenty- seven languages, more or less, that are spoken in that territory; we need not quarrel with the hon. gentlemen in regard to that. The hon. gentlemen tells us that there is no need of resorting to repression. Well, Sir, we do not propose to resort to repression; he is begging the question; we do not propose to interfere with any rights that exist in Canada by virtue of the provisions of the British North America Act—not one of them; but we do not want to extend certain features of our institutions to virgin soil; we do not want to extend the confusion that necessarily exists from the use of two languages. While we do not want to interfere with a single vested right, which exists in this Confederation, by virtue of the Confederation Act of 1867, we deny that these are vested rights in the North-West Territories, a territory which has been acquired since Confederation, and we are not bound to have implanted in that soil the condition of things which we do not propose to interfere with, but the existence of which we lament in the older portions of the Dominion.
We next heard from our friend whose riding is Rouville (Mr. Gigault), a gentleman to whom I always listen with the greatest pleasure, a gentleman who is a logical speaker, and who represents his views temperately and forcibly. He accused my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) with being governed by American rather than by British precedent and example. No doubt the hon. gentleman from Simcoe thought that American example might be as good to follow as the examples of some of the Continental States of Europe; and I do not know but that we might in many cases, with profit to ourselves, have paid more attention than we have to American example. For instance, if we had taken pains to examine American precedents with regard to the Franchise law; if we had seized ourselves of the fact that the American Constitutional Convention of 1787, after full consideration of the question, had decided to have no national franchise but State franchises, and that this decision was carried into effect and had been in operation for a hundred years with the greatest success and to the greatest satisfaction of the people, we might have avoided the legislative bungle which is now upon our Statute-book — the Dominion Franchise Act—and have satisfied the public more thoroughly than we have succeeded in doing. We might, if we had copied American example more closely, have taken the position earlier in the day on Provincial rights which has since been taken; and I do not know that the fact of being influenced to any extent by American example should be cast as a slur upon any public man in this House in discussing any public question. The hon. gentleman then will perhaps pardon me if, in dealing with this question of community of language, refer him to American example bearing directly upon this question—the example to which I referred incidentally a few moments ago of the treatment of the language question in the vast territory of Louisiana, which was acquired by the American Government in 1803. Here was an old French colony with a large French population, containing 655 [COMMONS] 656 no Anglo-Saxon element of any consequence. It was necessary for the Government of the United States to give to the French citizens of Louisiana institutions and laws, and they made it a fundamental principle to be carried into effect at the earliest practicable moment, that the English language should be used through the territory as an official language, that the Legislature of Louisiana in its records of proceedings should use that tongue, and that the laws of Louisiana should be published in that tongue. Upon that basis the State of Louisiana was organised as speedily as possible, and upon that basis the French citizens of Louisiana became American citizens; and in course of time they have become so throughly assimilated that they are today American citizens in every sense of the word. Many eminent men come from this French element in Louisiana, such as General Beauregard, Pierre Soule, and scores of others, who figure in American history and have acquired prominence in American politics and literature. Any one going through New Orleans, as I did a short time ago, will see that there is one quarter of the city called the French quarter and another the English quarter. The old quarter which was occupied by the French is still called the French quarter, but you hear the English language everywhere, and you cannot discover any marked indication that you are among a people of foreign descent, so thoroughly Americanised have they become. That has been done in Louisiana, and the condition of things which exists there to-day is more desirable, certainly, to the American people than if they had a Quebec planted at the mouth of the Mississippi, just as we have one planted at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Suppose the French language were extended over that vast territory comprising Louisiana and that great land west of the Mississippi, now comprising ten states and two territories, would that be a desirable state of things? Was not the wisdom of the American people shown in deciding that the French language should not be an official language either in the State of Louisiana as it exists at present or in any part of that vast territory west of the Mississippi extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the British line? Was not wisdom shown in excluding the French as an official language from that vast territory? Beyond question it was; and American example in that respect is an example we would do wisely to follow in dealing with the same question here.
There are other instances besides the one I have alluded to in the history of America. There is the example of the treatment of the Spaniards in Florida when that country was acquired by the Americans. The use of the vernacular language of the people was denied to them as an official language; the laws were not published in that language; the proceedings of the courts were not held in that language, but it was imperative that English should be used; and the consequence was that the Spanish population of Florida became speedily thoroughly assimilated with the Saxon population of the rest of the United States. We have another example. The United States, as a result of the war with Mexico, became possessed of the territory of California, which had a considerable Spanish population. Again the United States denied to that population the use of the Spanish tongue, as an official one, and made English the official language of the Legislature and the Courts. As a consequence these people have been swallowed up by that great assimilating maelstrom, and now, in a second generation, you can scarcely detect a trace of the Spanish nationality in the population of California. The Spanish element have become thoroughly assimilated with the American element, and thoroughly Americanised, and that has been accomplished by virtue of this rule, which the American Government invariably enforces when incorporating foreign elements into its body politic. We have another case—that of Texas. Texas was conquered and wrested from Mexico by a movement of adventurers from the South and South- West, and an independent nationality was erected there after a fierce struggle, characterised by such events as that of San Antonio, where the Alamo, defended by one hundred and ninety-two men, was captured by 7,000 Mexican troops after 1,600 of the assaulting force were killed, and not a soul left in the garrison. The bravery of the garrison is commemorated by the inscription on the monument in the square of San Antonio: "Thermopylae sent its messengers of defeat; the Alamo sent none." The courageous spirit of these defenders resulted in wresting Texas from the control of Mexico, and they made English the official language; and Texas is to-day one of the most prosperous and thoroughly American of all the American States, and you can scarcly find a trace of the existence of a foreign element in the population of that country.
Then my hon. friend instances the case of Cape Colony, and points to the fact that the Dutch language is an official language in that colony. Well, the circumstances of Cape Colony are quite similar to our own. The Dutch were the original settlers of the country. It was conquered by England, and it was wise probably to give to the Holland element of Cape Colony the use of their language. But Cape Colony is extending its bounds; English influence has crossed the Kahalari Desert to the north, and, following Livingston's pathway in his early explorations, has reached the Zambesi. England has taken possession of Lake Nyassa, a lake larger than Lake Erie, has shut out Portugal from that region, is pushing her possessions on further north to Lake Bangweola, and has already acquired avast empire in South Africa, with immense possibilities and resources, an empire that may be the home of scores of millions of people in the future—a salubrious, fertile region containing hundreds of thousands of square miles. Does my hon. friend suppose the Dutch tongue will be extended to that region and become the official language in the new Provinces to be erected in that vast country, the basin of the Zambesi? I am sure such will not be the case.
Then the hon. gentleman alleged that my hon. friend from North Simcoe said in his speech that the French shall not read French literature. I do not understand the hon. gentleman to have said any such thing. I do not understand that he proposes to debar Frenchmen from the use of their literature or their tongue wherever they live. The Bill under the consideration of the House merely provides for the discontinuance of the French language as an official language in the North-West Territories. It says nothing about the right of the French people to read their language, or use it as they do to-day. It says nothing about the right of a Frenchman to use his language in this House, or throughout this Dom 657 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 658 inion. Wherever his rights exist under the Constitutional Act, he can preserve and cherish his language; he may refuse to allow his children to learn any other language if he chooses to do so. The hon. gentleman objects, also, to the preamble of this Bill. I think last year, my hon. friend, the Minister of Justice, in the debate on the Jesuits' Estates Bill, said that the preamble had very little to do with the Bill, that the character of the measure was best shown by the provisions of the Bill itself. However, I see nothing objectionable in this preamble, which reads as follows:—
"Whereas it is expedient in the interest of the national comity of the Dominion that there should be a community of language amongst the people of Canada, and that the enactment in the North-West Territories Act allowing the use of the French should be expunged therefrom: Therefore Her Majesty, &c."
That simply asserts that, in the interests of this Dominion, it would be well if we could have a community of language. I believe that statement, and I will support the Bill upon that assertion. The Bill itself asserts that the French language should not be used in the North-West as an official language. I believe that, and I shall vote that it shall not be used there. Those who think otherwise can vote the other way. Each of us is entitled to his own opinion, and probably each may entertain their opinion honestly. Then, the hon. gentleman says that the French Canadians want only fair play and justice. I should be ashamed to take the position that I intended to deny fair play and justice to the French Canadians; on the contrary, they should have the fullest justice and the utmost limit of fair play; but this is an English colony, we live under British laws and institutions, and there is a vast country in the North-West where all the institutions are plastic and unformed, and, because there are a few hundred or a few thousand children of French traders and French half- breeds in that territory, it is not necessary for the future welfare of this country that the dual language should be preserved there as official, with all the evils which we believe would flow from it to the general interests of the country. The North-West is likely to become the seat of power in this Dominion; it is likely to have the great majority of the people of this Dominion; it it is likely to become the most productive part of the Dominion, and therefore it is of the utmost importance, at this time, that this change should be made, when it can be done without any great trouble. When that country is young and in a formative state, we should put it on the right track. The North-West ought not to be saddled with such a provision as the use of two official languages. I believe, in the interests of this country, that it should not be, and I shall so vote. My sense of duty impels me to do so. Then the hon. gentleman says, that Parliament is the proper place in which to deal with this. I thoroughly agree with him in that. The North-West Territories, have not yet Provincial institutions. This clause 110 emanated from us. With this Parliament rests the exclusive jurisdiction up to this moment, and, if this Parliament has taken a step which is not in the interest of the country, or has done any wrong, let us undo that wrong and retrace the step. I shall vote to retrace the step and undo the wrong. The hon. gentleman will vote that this provision shall not be repealed. He has a perfect right to do so, and so have all his fellow-countrymen, but I shall vote that it be repealed, because I think it is not in the interest of the country.
Then we come to our friend from Algoma (Mr. Dawson), who tells us there were French in the North-West before there were English. So there were, and so there were in Ontario, and they had stations in Detroit before there were any English there at all, and they had other stations in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, and yet the French language has not been retained in those places. The English have acquired rights there by possession or purchase, and I believe that we may follow their example in the case of the Canadian North-West.
I come next to the speech of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works. I am bound to say that I considered that speech last night a bitter one. The hon. gentleman possesses tact and diplomatic ability, but last night he did not succeed in concealing the bitterness of his feeling on this topic, a feeling amounting almost to a sense of hatred of those who were opposed to him. He paraded before the House— as, of course, he had a right to do so— his devotion to his Church and his loyalty to French Canadian institutions. He is undoubtedly loyal to them. Referring to the French settlers of the North-West, he asked "when have these men spoken treason?" I have not accused them of speaking treason but it is not long since they were in rebellion; and whether they were more in fault for that than my hon. friend and his colleagues, I am not now to say; but as to their loyalty to this country and its institutions, I doubt if they are entitled to any degree of consideration on that score. As to this question of loyalty and of the use of treasonable expressions, I must be permitted, I think, to refer to some of the circumstances which are indicative of the feeling amongst our French fellow-citizens, and I do this with a feeling of reluctance I did not propose to do so; and, perhaps, it is not necessary to do so; but, I think, the Minister of Public Works challenged this reference by the allusion which he made in the course of his speech last night. In the city of Quebec, not many months ago, there was a great public demonstration on the occasion of the unveiling of a couple of statues, and speeches were then made by French Canadians of eminence, who may be supposed to give utterance to the feeling in French Canada, which, I think, possess a great deal of significance. I think there may be some here now who were present on that occasion. I have understood that the Tri-color was there displayed abundantly, and that the Union Jack was not so abundantly displayed; that the outward appearances would not impress any one with the idea that it was a British Province. I find that I have here a couple of extracts from the speech of the Premier of that Province, in the course of which he said:
"He was ready to declare that the Government of which he was the head was ready to disappear if that would be the means of uniting the French Canadian people for the triumph of their sacred cause. (Great applause.) For the sake of their nationality, for the sake of their religion, they must be united. Religion and nationality formed a harmonious union in their midst. The strength of the French Canadian people lay in the union of the people wlth the clergy."
A little later on, the hon. gentleman used the following language:—
659 [COMMONS] 660
"By coupling the name of the Jesuit hero, Brébeuf, with the immortal Jacques Cartier, they said to their insulters: It is useless to imagine that we will ever cease to be French and Catholic. This monument declares that after a century of separation from our ancient mother, we are still French. (Applause.) More than that, we will remain French and Catholic." (Great and long continued cheering.) He said this, not as a provocation, but as a reply. But once more he would say that to render this reply effective they must cease their fratricidal strife and be united. That was his word of advice to them on this great occasion. Let them cherish it and act accordingly, and all the actions of the fanatics of Ontario would come to naught. (Long continued applause.)"
An hon. member of this House, Colonel Amyot of the 9th Battalion, in response to the toast of the Militia, said, among other things:
"That they did not know the moment the French Canadian Militia would be called upon to guard their interest and their laws."
A statement that was received with great applause. Now, a little later on, we had a celebration at Montreal, and we had the ex-mayor of that city using the following language in a speech made by him:—
  "French Canadians were the sons of these colonisers"—
He had been referring to the early colonial history of Canada, and the valor of the French Canadians in resisting the Iroquois and the English:
"French Canadians were the sons of these colonisers and fighters, and if they were not so good at firing guns as their forefathers, they would not be found wanting, if occasion required it, and the Iroquois and savages of to-day woul be treated in a similar manner to those of former days."
Well, Sir, if I am to be compared to an Indian, I would rather be compared to a Iroquois than to a Digger Indian; but I think this language is not calculated to promote harmony and good feeling, and I think the language was not called for. There was nothing in the events connected with the agitation in the House last Session, and the agitation that followed that affair in the country, that called for any such manifestation of feeling in French Canada. A portion of the people of this country took the view that a law had been passed that ought to have been disallowed; they took the view that the prerogative of the Crown had been insulted and infringed upon; they took the view that sectarian grants had been made and that money devoted to a special purpose had been unconstitutionally diverted from that purpose and used for another. There was amply room for differences of opinion on this point; but it was not a subject that warranted the exhibition of the kind of feeling that is evinced by the extracts I read a moment ago.
Mr. GIROUARD. Will the hon. gentleman tell me the name of the paper from which he has been quoting?  
Mr. CHARLTON. The name of the paper is the Toronto Mail It is the only paper, so far as I am aware, throughout Ontario, that had a reporter there to report the proceedings, or from which we can obtain any information with regard to the matter whatever. Now, the hon. Minister of Public Works, in his speech last night, dwelling upon the matter of the loyalty of the French Canadians, reminded us that it was owing to that spirit of loyalty that French Canada did not embark in the revolution with the thirteen colonies and become a part of the American Confederation. Well, I have great doubts, Sir, whether it was loyalty to British institutions, or whether it was the fear on the part of the French Catholic Church that union with these thirteen Puritan colonies would be detrimental to her interests as a church; and I have very serious doubts whether it was unmixed loyalty that actuated the people of that Province in the choice they made in regard to that matter.
Mr. CHAPLEAU. Keep those doubts to yourself.
Mr. CHARLTON. I have my doubts, and I have a perfect liberty to express them here to-day, and I think it is susceptible of demonstration that the choice in relation to that matter arose from the fear, on the part of that church, that acting in consonance with the thirteen colonies, would not redound to her interests in Canada. Of course, this is an opinion, and I suppose I have the liberty of expressing my opinions here with regard to this matter if I do it temperately and courteously, and I trust I have not exceeded the limits of courtesy in the way in which I have made the statement. Then the hon. gentleman asks: Is your birth better than ours, is your blood better than ours? Well, Sir, who had claimed that our birth or our blood was better than that of our French Canadian fellow-citizens? It is not a question as to which is the leading race, as to which has the best lineage, as to which has the best blood. We do not say to our French Canadian friends that we are better in any respect than they are, but in the position we take we are actuated by a desire to serve the interests of this whole country, and that with five millions of people in this country, the true interests of each one are the true interests of all; and if in our opinion a special line of policy is likely to be more conducive to the interests of Canada than another, we have a perfect right to advocate that line of policy; and the hon. gentleman had no right to make the taunt that he did, and to strive to raise, as he did strive to raise, in his speech, feelings of animosity and bitterness. Then he went on to say that persecution and fanaticism would not stand. Well, that is true, at least I believe and hope it is true. I do not believe that persecution or fanaticism ever benefited a cause yet, and I hope that the time will come when evangelists can hold religious services in the city of Hull without interruption, and when the Salvation Army can parade the streets of Quebec with the same facility and ease that they can the streets of Ottawa. I hope that persecution and fanaticism in that respect will not stand in the Province of Quebec; and if the time should ever come when some French Luther wants to nail ninety-five theses, more or less, to the door of any church in Canada, attacking tithes, fabrique assessments, canon law, and medieval institutions of any kind—I hope the time will come when any person, whether a clergyman or otherwise, will be at liberty to nail his placard to the door of the church and maintain that position, with free speech, and every right that pertains to free speech in Canada. Now, Sir, with regard to toleration, all that we want in this Dominion, all that we ask in this Equal Rights movement, is equal rights in religion, the right to worship God, the right to proclaim our belief, the right to carry on the usages of our religion in any part of this Dominion without molestation. That is all we claim. We have no desire to abridge the rights possessed by any man in this Dominion, 661 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 662 whatever may be his faith, and we only protest when a desire to abridge our rights is manifested by some other man against us. We have taken a position, of course, against sectarian grants; we take a position against union between Church and State, and any undue favors shown by the State to one church at the expense of another. If this is not sound ground, then I am much mistaken; if the position that we have taken on this matter is not unassailable, then I am laboring under a grievous error. I suppose, Mr. Speaker,—although the charge is not made directly against me; it was against my hon. friend from North Simcoe, and is likely to be made against me—I suppose that I shall be accused of fanaticism. Well, Sir, there may be some ground for it. My maternal ancestors were some of them Covenanters and were subjected to bitter persecution by the bloody Claverhouse. I can remember, as a boy, my own father being mobbed in the State of New York, because he was an abolitionist. And I rather fancy that fanaticism is constitutional with me; it may be, I will not deny it. But if it is fanaticism to stand up for what I believe to be in the best interests of this Dominion, if it is fanaticism to attempt to stem the tide that sets very strongly against me in this matter, to venture to take a position which alienates friends and embitters the hostility of foes, then I am a fanatic. But I stand up to-day to assert my belief that the use of the French language in the North-West as a dual language is unnecessary, that the use of the French language as an official language in the North-West should be prohibited, that it may easily be done, that no shock or agitation will result from doing it, and that it will be an act of supreme folly, when the matter is brought to our attention, to refuse to do it. The hon. gentleman said there are 1,500,000 French in Canada, and they are not to be driven from this country. Who asks to drive them from Canada? Who proposes to drive them from it? Who proposes to deprive them of any rights they possess to-day? They are welcome in Canada. We are glad to have them as citizens of this country, and we welcome them to share everthing with us, and in any action we take to have in View the interests of the French as well as the Saxon inhabitants of this country. Then the hon. gentleman makes the plea of inherent rights to the use of the language in the North- West, because there are a few thousand French Canadians, more or less, in this country. The argument would apply to every portion of the Dominion where French Canadians are found. If there is an inherent right to the use of the French language wherever there are French Canadians, that right will apply to Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; and if that argument is sound, you must not only retain the use of the dual language in the North-West, but also extend its use over the entire Dominion. Then the hon. gentleman tells us: "Oh, well, the expense is small, it is an exceedingly little thing to make such a row about." He said the cost up to this time had only been $400 a year, and he added, "I will pay that amount out of my own pocket rather than have any trouble." Sir, it is not a matter of expense; that oes not enter into the calculation. It is a matter of the future well-being of the North— West; it is a matter involving the whole welfare of the future inhabitants of that great country, which may in fifty years have millions of inhabitants, instead of a few thousands; it is a question of laying the foundation on which the institutions of that country will rest, the moulding of the plastic elements which are to form the bed-rock of the future. It is not a question of a paltry few hundred dollars, which may have been spent hitherto in the cost of maintaining this system of a dual language in this country. Then the hon. gentleman told us, and he did so in a manner which amounted almost to a menace, that the French are united, the French in this House are united, they will stand by their rights, they will vote as one man, for there is no politics in this question. Well, the hon. gentleman felt, perhaps, as he has often felt before when he has had the entire French element at his back, that he was master of the situation—very likely he felt so. That is one of the troubles which exists in political matters, and a combination of that kind on race lines has often controlled most important legislation here. I cannot retort upon the hon. gentleman by telling him that the English are united, because they are not. They do not unite readily upon a matter of this kind. There are differences of opinion; they cannot be readily united for the purpose of maintaining race privileges and interests. There is too much magnanimity among them; they feel it would be an act of tyranny to unite on this matter, as the hon. gentleman claims the French of the country have done. But if that feeling is to govern the conduct of the French members of this House, if they are to unite together on race lines, in the manner which the hon. gentleman told us they have done on this occasion, the natural result may possibly be that it will lead to a union of the same kind of the other element; and this is certainly to be deprecated. Then he said: Why not treat the French as brothers and friends. Well, surely, why not? We have nothing, we seek nothing that we will not share with the French equally. What are our aspirations? Look at our annexations. We have acquired the North-West, we have acquired British Columbia, we have acquired Prince Edward Island, and we wish as soon as we can to acquire Newfoundland. We are determined to possess one-half of this continent. We have built a. system of canals, not for our present wants only, but to meet the requirements of the future, and we have perfected a waterway from the ocean to the heart of the Continent. We have burdened ourselves with an enormous debt for the purpose of building a railway from ocean to ocean. We are making vast grants and subsidies for the purpose of extending the railway system of the Dominion. We are carefully and laboriously perfecting a code of laws which we believe have no equal in Christendom. We have in thisDominion one of the grandest educational system that existsinthe world. We have liberty; we aim to become a great nation. These are our aspirations, and there is not one of those blessings, privileges, immunities, that we do not propose to share equally and fully with every citizen of the Dominion whether Saxon or French. Yes, we are prepared to treat them as brothers, and we simply ask from them the same feeling and treatment towards us as we are freely prepared to extend to them. They are our brothers. We feel that to 663 [COMMONS] 664 be the case. The latchstring we have always hanging out and the warmest welcome is always ready. We do not wish to have animosities, bickerings and prejudices existing; but we want to make this an English nation, we wish to have English institutions from ocean to ocean, we wish the North-West with its future 30 or 40 million to be a Saxon North-West. We are honest in this wish, and we desire that every individual in this country should share the blessing that would be secured by this consummation. If we could only have on the part of the Minister of Public Works that degree of self-denial which would enable him to make British citizenship something more than a second or a third-rate consideration, if he could only make it prominent and superior to his devotion to French institutions, it would be a great thing for him, a fine thing for his race and a fine thing for this Dominion, and the same may be said of all who entertain the opinions he entertains.
I come next to the hon. member for Drummond and Arthabaska (Mr. Lavergne). I am bound to say that the spirit and the attitude of the French members of this House upon this question, and upon all questions for that matter, is above all praise. I say this truly; I say this fully. They have shown—there may be an exception or two, for there is an exception to every rule—forbearance and a desire to treat this question fairly they have not evinced bitterness, they have not evinced bigotry, they have not evinced prejudice in an undue degree, and this is especially true with respect to the French Canadian Liberals of this House. The hon. gentleman to whose remarks I am referring, spoke last night in defence of Canadian rights, the rights that are guaranteed the French race under the constitution. I can agree with him. There is not a right guaranteed to the race under the constitution which I wish to see impaired there is not a right the integrity of which I wish to see impaired in the slightest degree. This is not a question of the preservation of rights existing it is a question as to the formation of new institutions and a polity that will be adopted with respect to the vast unoccupied territories of this Dominion.
Then we come to the remarks of the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills). The hon. gentleman treated us to a very learned dissertation, to a speech which, of its character, is perhaps the finest I ever listened to in this House. It was a most admirable contribution, and it was listened to, beyond doubt, with the greatest degree of pleasure by the hon. members of the House. I am afraid, however, it will be above the comprehension of the average elector and may not be read with effect by the millions in the country. I was struck with one point in the hon. gentleman's speech which I thought evinced a want of tact. He said that three millions people could not swallow two millions, that it was not a cod that swallowed Jonah but a whale. Now, the comparison of the French race in this country to Jonah was, I think, on the part of the hon. gentleman, somewhat unkind. We are not proposing to swallow this Jonah we do not expect to undertake any such impossible task as to swallow two millions people—not by any means, but we do expect to get the institutions of the North-West fixed up in a right shape and we have no doubt in the world that we will succeed in that.
Mr. LANDRY. You don't want to swallow it, but you want to throw it overboard.
Mr. CHARLTON. No, nor that either. We expect to allow our French Canadian friends to enjoy whatever privileges they ever have enjoyed, and we do not question their right to enjoy one of these privileges. If we can secure the gradual assimilation of the races, if we can secure gradual homogeneity, we will be glad, and if we cannot we will be sorry. The question of the two languages in the North-West is the question we have in hand to-day. We propose if possible to have that North- West an English country. I have not time this afternoon to attempt to follow the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) in the various positions he has taken. However, he gave us an account of the attempt in the Netherlands to have community of language there, and said it was a failure. Well, we are not making that attempt in Canada, and it is not a parallel case, nor has it any bearing on the matter under discussion. We do not propose to make any attempt to force the English language upon the Canadians of Quebec, and therefore the comparison was far-fetched and entirely inapplicable. We merely propose that in a new country, where there are comparatively no inhabitants at all, that the English language shall be used as the official language in place of two languages. That is all there is about the question, from our standpoint. The hon. gentleman also said—and I cannot see what bearing it has on the case at all—that we had better commence with the aborigines by prohibiting the translation of books into their languages and by prohibiting the missionaries from learning their languages or from preaching the Gospel to them in their native tongue. It may be that this had a bearing on the case, but I cannot see it. There is no proposal to make the aboriginal languages in the North—West official languages, nor is such a thing dreamed of there is no proposal to prohibit a man of the Cree or Sioux or Blackfeet tribes speaking in his native tongue, nor no proposal to prohibit the translation of the Bible into those tongues. Why the hon. gentleman should have brought up that argument I am unable to see.
Mr. DAVIN. I am sorry for that.
Mr. CHARLTON. I am sorry my obtuseness is to be lamented.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Hear, hear.
Mr. DAVIN. Everybody else in the House saw it.
Mr. CHARLTON. I have no doubt my hon. friend's perception is very keen.
Mr. DAVIN. I saw it clearly.
Mr. CHARLTON. I repeat, Sir, that I cannot see what this matter may have to do with the question before us, because there is no proposal to make the Cree or any other Indian language official. The proposal before the House is to make the English language official, but it does not prohibit any man from reading, speaking or transacting business in any other language in the world, the Chinese or otherwise. My hon. friend (Mr. Davin) whose keen vision enables him to see a black rod in the dark may also enable him to see the hearing this has on the subject. The hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) proceeded to say that as there were several thousand French Canadians 665 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 666 in the North-West Territories it was necessary and more convenient to have the two languages in fact he went so far as to say that because there were a few thousand French in the North- West it was a matter of absolute necessity to have the two languages. I wonder how they get along in Massachusetts without two official languages, where there are 75,000 French Canadians, or in New Hampshire where there are said to be about 40,000? It seems they get along quite conveniently with the English language there, and it seems that the French go there out of choice, and keep on going there and staying there, without feeling any hardship placed on them for the lack of their own language in these States. If the French can go to Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and other New England States, why the same class of people cannot go to the North-West if there is no French language there, is more than I can understand. We are told further that we have no specific information or expressed request from the North-West for this change. We have all the information we want. We are dealing with this question on the basis of our own duty towards the North-West. We took it upon ourselves some years ago—it was done by the Senate—to insert a clause with reference to the use of the French language in the North-West, and when that Bill came back from the Senate to the House, the member of the Government responsible for the Bill, the Minister of the Interior at that time, assumed the responsibility for that clause in not insisting that it should be expunged from the Bill. No doubt this clause did not attract the attention it ought to have done then, and I do not suppose that the hon. the ex-Minister of Interior gave the matter any particular consideration. He was somewhat annoyed at the insertion of the clause, but as it was late in the Session he permitted it to pass. We have this matter now brought before the House, and we begin to realise that it is a question of some importance. The question is, shall we undo a certain piece of mischief that we did unwittingly a few years ago I do not care what the North- West Will think of this matter. I do not care a farthing whether we have specific information or expressed requests, or not the question for me is, is it a provision that this House of Commons, as the original source of authority charged with the management of the affairs of the North-West, is entitled to insert in that Bill, in the interest of the North-West and of the country at large If it is, let it stand there. If it is not, I maintain that, without any reference to expressed requests, or Without consulting the wishes of the North-West, it is the duty of this Parliament to remove it. Then, the hon. gentleman says, let the people of the North-West legislate upon this when they become a Province. I say so, too, and I say further: let them be placed in a perfectly untrammelled position to do with the question as they think proper. And when the North-West in due time obtains Provincial Government, let them proceed de novo and determine whether they are to have French an official language or not. We will thus wash our hands of the question.
That is perhaps all I have time to say this afternoon in reference to the position taken by the learned and hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills). Sir, the discussion on this question has taken a wide range. It has covered the whole of the colonial history of the country, and I will ask the indulgence of the House for a few moments while I refer to some of the more interesting features with regard to this struggle which is taking place on this continent for supremacy between the French and the English races. We have had colonial establishments in America for three hundred years. Three of the nations of Europe laid their plans for the foundations of empire here—Spain, France and England. Spain colonised Mexico and South America, but all her colonial possessions have dropped from her grasp except Cuba and some insignificant possessions in the West Indies. France colonised Canada, and the history of French enterprise, French courage, French genius, and French daring in connection with the exploration of the vast interior regions of America reads like a romance. We have in the careers of La Salle, Joliette, Marquette, Hennepin, Tonty, and Duquesne, a story of adventure which, I repeat, reads more like a romance than the veritable records of history. I have often thought, Mr. Speaker, when crossing over the prairies of Illinois, how magnificent was the conception of La Salle as to the foundation of an empire in that region; I have thought of his discovery of Illinois, of his voyage down the Mississippi to its mouth, of his knowledge of the vast resources of that great country, of the enterprise which led to the planting of military posts at Detroit, Mackinaw, and other favorable points in the west and north-west. The French of that day were singularly adventurous. The young Frenchmen preferred leaving his home on the St. Lawrence and going to the wilds of the west, taking a dusky bride of the forest rather than one of the marriageable daughters of his own people. In this spirit the French penetrated the far interior of the continent, and surrounded the thirteen colonies with a cordon of posts, and, in their magnificent conception, took possession of some of the finest portions of this continent. On the other hand, we had the thirteen colonies planted by the English, a more slow-going, methodical people, without that dash and spirit of adventure which characterised the French; but these Englishmen sat down and began the founding of states, the building up of institutions and the formation of constitutions and the result of their labor in due time was embodied in the American Republic, with such men as Washington, Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and other great fathers of the American Confederacy, standing sponsors of the work. But before this consummation had reached a close, the possessions of France in the north had passed away from her. In 1759, on the Plains of Abraham, the French power gave place to the English flag, and that event was one having a more important bearing on the destiny of this continent than any other event in the history of America. That event led unquestionably to the American Revolution. But for the conquest of Canada, the thirteen colonies would not have thought of revolting at the time they did. The capitulation of Quebec in 1759, and the French cession of Canada in 1762, were followed by the ceding of Louisiana to the United States in 1803. The great Napoleon, convinced that he would be unable to hold that possession or toprevent it falling into the hands of England, ceded it to the United States for the sum of $13,000,000, and with this cession the last vestige of French possession and French power in America passed 667 [COMMONS] 668 away. Now the Anglo-Saxon was placed in the ascendancy it was the decree of fate that this should be the case and what does he proceed to do? Why he sets to work to carry into effect with all possible haste his purposes. He intends that this whole continent shall have freedom and free institutions he intends that it shall have religious tolerance; he intends that the history of the race on this continent shall be marked by the most wonderful material development of this or any other age he intends to build up a great power on this continent and he has done it. Already the second power in the world is the Republic to the south of us the greatest of Britain's colonies is the one in which we live and the power of these two countries is increasing in a ratio which almost dazzles the imagination. The Anglo-Saxon may be somewhat aggressive, but his purpose is nevertheless a beneficent one, and he intends—it is his fixed determination—that assimilation and homogeneity shall be the characteristics of every part of the land over which he bears sway. That is his fixed intention, and whether he can accomplish it or not, I am unable to say but that he expects to occupy this continent, from the Arctic Ocean to the Isthmus of Panama, there is no doubt. My hon. friend asks, what he will do with Mexico He will do with Mexico just what he did with the French in Louisiana and the Spaniards in California. He will say to them Here are the institutions and the rights of citizens—take them you are welcome to them become American citizens, and there is no right belonging to an American citizen that will be denied you; and he will assimilate them all. He will not take them in all at once, as the whale swallowed Jonah, but he will take them little by little, and will ultimately assimilate the whole mass. In the working out of this problem, he will find our French friends, genial, tractable, industrious, naturally law-abiding. I cannot tell how potent will be the influences that will be brought to bear on them, or how rapid the assimilation will be; but I do not believe that the position of isolation which the French race occupy now they will see fit to occupy forever. On the contrary, I believe they will ultimately see it to their interest to join this great tide, to share this great prosperity, to become a portion of this Anglo-Saxon race which occupies this continent—to submit, in fact, to the decree of fate. They may not do it in this or in the next generation, and we must leave natural causes and forces to work their natural fruit we cannot bring about the change by violent measures we cannot do it either by this measure or by any subsequent one we may introduce. It is a matter in regard to which our French friends must be left to exercise their free choice. So long as they wish to remain as they are, they must be free to do so. In the evolution of affairs, when they see that some change will be beneficial to them, it is for them to choose it or not they will act according to their own wishes, and be governed by their own free choice, be the result what it may. That the French race in Canada is capable of reaching the highest stage of intelligence and development goes without saying. That they will play an important part in the history of this continent is certain, but they never will fulfil the destiny which ought to be theirs while they remain in a position of isolation, without community of interest or community of feeling with the kindred races upon this continent.
Now, I repeat what I have said several times, as I wish to make this point clear, that we have no intention to meddle with vested rights. It would not be prudent to do so. My hon. friend says, the use of the French as an official language in the North-West is a vested right. I say it is not. It is not guaranteed by the Act of British North America, but it is a right which exists by means of the surreptitious interpolation of a clause in the statute. That matter we are considering now, and it is competent for us to repeal that statute. We are not dealing with the constitution of this country at all. It is not necessary to conceal what the sympathies of the English-speaking people of this country are. While we do not propose to meddle with vested rights or to make ourselves officious or offensive in any sense to our French Canadian citizens, we do not deny that we consider medievalism a little behind the age. We do not deny that we would like to see the French race rid themselves of it, not, as in France, in the flames and smoke of revolution, but by peaceful legislation. We do not deny that we would like to see them rid of their system of tithes, fabrique assessments and the other antiquated abuses under which they labor, but while they have our sympathy and while we bid them God-speed in any effort they may make to unburden themselves of this system, we do not propose to initiate any movement to that end. I shall feel sorry if the spirit of backwardness continues, and shall feel glad that something else should take its place. I feel free to make this statement, because it is my conviction that the condition of things in Quebec can be improved, and that the true Liberal, the true Re.former, will grapple with that condition of things.
The question may be asked: Why not take the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin)? It may be said the North-West Territories are sure to remove the dual language, and that the result I aim at will then be reached any way. Why not, then, take the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia, and shift from our own shoulders the responsibility of dealing directly with this question? Well, I answer that I prefer, as the more manly and honest course, that we should undo the thing we have done. It is my belief that it is incumbent upon this House either to affirm that the principle embodied in the 110th clause is right or that it is wrong. We do not want to shift the responsibility to other shoulders. If the inhabitants of the North-West want the dual language, they can have it after they get this power. It will be competent for them then to adopt it, but let us leave them perfectly untrammelled in this matter. Let us declare whether it is our opinion that the 110th clause of the North- West Act is a proper or an improper clause. Let those who believe it is a proper clause, vote for its retention, and let those who believe it is not, vote for its repeal. I am free to say that I would not vote to grant a dual language to the North-West under any circumstances. I do not believe it is our business to do so. I repeat if they want it they can have it when they have Provincial insti tutions; but it is not our business to saddle it upon them. We have no business to make any enactment of that kind.
669 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 670
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. We are not saddling it.
Mr. CHARLTON. We did saddle it, and we should unsaddle it. The hon. member for Cardwell (Mr. White) says that he believes in Provincial rights in this matter. Well, there is something rather curious in connection with the backdown of the Government upon this question of Provincial rights. It rather provokes my surprise. I can remember when the Rivers and Streams Bill was disallowed again and again; I can remember when the railway legislation of Manitoba was disallowed, and when the Government asserted—and they told the truth—that they had unquestionably an unlimited power in the matter of disallowance. There can be no question, it is a matter in the discretion of the Government, which is responsible only to the people for the proper exercise of that power, and yet the Government have become the advocate of Provincial rights. They have had a new revelation on this matter; they have had a new light as to their duty they do not feel warranted now in meddling with Provincial rights at all since the Jesuit Estates' Bill; and the hon. member for Cardwell has no doubt whatever that in this difficulty Provincial rights should govern. I think the position of the Government is scarcely a creditable one; its abandonment of their position with regard to their right to exercise the veto power in the case of Provincial legislation does not reflect credit on them.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. We cannot veto this clause.
Mr. CHARLTON. No, but we can repeal it.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. That would not be the exercise of the veto power.
Mr. CHARLTON. But I am making some remarks on the position taken by the hon. member for Cardwell (Mr. White), who believes this question should be referred to the Provincial Government of the North-West Territories, when organised, for the settlement of this question, because it is a matter pertinent to Provincial rights, and I say it is a matter which pertains to us. The authority emanates from us, the clause was adopted by us, the clause should be rescinded when invested with Provincial authority and powers by us, and then the Provinces of the North-West will be placed in the position to exercise Provincial rights, and say whether they will have this thing or not. Reference was made by some speaker, in the early part of the debate, to the petitions sent in by the North-West Council, and the insinuation was made that the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) had bought the Council. I do not remember who made this charge. I do not think the hon. member for North Simcoe has the funds to buy that Council, and I would not deem it a very creditable thing on the part of any hon. member to cast that imputation upon him. Another assertion made was that his speech has captured it. That is an assertion more flattering to the hon. gentleman than the other, and I have no doubt his speech had very much weight and influence in the North-West but the fact is the public is alive to the importance of this question, and that the sentiments of the North-West and Manitoba are against the retention of this dual language. That was shown by the repudiation of the French language in Manitoba the other day by a vote of twenty-seven to six; and by a larger proportion than twenty-seven to six, the people of Manitoba and the North-West will sweep this language away whenever they are given this opportunity.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Leave it to them.
Mr. CHARLTON. Certainly we will. We will sweep it away here, and leave it to them to deal with it there. We may adopt the politician's expedient of shifting the responsibility from our shoulders and dodging out of this thing, but I do not think that would be very honorable or creditable to this House. I appreciate fully the feelings of hon. members who will vote for the retention of the dual language clause. I appreciate the feeling of the French members of this House who believe in the extension of their language over the North- West. They act according to their convictions, and I shall respect their action if they vote accordingly but I cannot agree with them, and will therefore vote the other way. I hope that the French members will forgive, if they deem it necessary to forgive, that feeling which they cannot endorse, but which English-speaking members of this House entertain—a feeling of pride in the history of the British Empire that feeling which causes them to take pleasure in contemplating the result of the battle upon the Plains of Abraham that feeling which leads them to rejoice in the results of the Battles of the Nile and Trafalgar, and in the results of the Battle of Waterloo that feeling which makes them view with pride the progress of the British Empire, and inspire in them the belief that British institutions are the best calculated to conduce to the prosperity and welfare of mankind. I hope, Sir, they will forgive our purpose, our avowed purpose, to make this a Saxon state. The avowed purpose of the Anglo-Saxon is to make the Anglo-Saxon race the greatest race on the earth, and the hope of the Anglo-Saxon is that the day will come, and come before many decades have elapsed, when the English language will be the common means of intercommunication between all the races of the world, and the English race will be the dominant race of the world, so that the Anglo-Saxon will fulfil the destiny which God has evidently designed he shall fulfil in this world.
Mr. BLAKE. Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to trouble you with very many observations in regard to the speech we have just listened to, or, indeed, to address you at any great length at all. I may say at once, that if any one of the propositions now before the Chair had been thoroughly and entirely satisfactory to my mind, as to the mode in which this question should be dealt with, I should have contented myself with giving a silent vote. It does not happen that either of those propositions commends itself entirely to my mind, and I shall briefly state why that is so, and how, in my poor judgment, this matter should be disposed of. Referring to what the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) has said, his distinguished position for a great many years in this Parliament has led—I do not say at all unjustifiably—to his not infrequently, when announcing his own views on public questions, speaking in the plural. Not infrequently has he followed in the past the course which he pursued to-day, of speaking both 671 [COMMONS] 672 positively and affirmatively, and positively and negatively, in regard to the views and assertions, and policies and aspirations of others with whom he was for the time acting but I am wholly unable to accept the declaration which the hon. member has made to-day in the plural at all. I accept it as far as he is himself concerned. As far as he himself professes that these are his views, his intentions, his opinions and his aspirations, I accept his statement fully and unfeignedly. But, when the hon. gentleman spoke of "we," of what "we" were intending, what "we" were proposing, what "we" were aiming at, and what "we" were not aiming at, and what "we" were not intending when he spoke of what he English speaking people of this country intended and insisted upon, and so forth, then I say the hon. gentleman took up a position which, in face of what has been going on in this country for some months past, in face of the declarations of the hon. member who is primarily responsible for this agitation—the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy)—in face of the language of this Bill itself, in face of all these things with which we have to deal, I cannot accept. If I could accept it, the question would receive an easy and rapid solution from me. I do not intend to enter into a criticism of the criticisms of the hon. gentleman from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). One or two words will suffice for that. The hon. gentleman said, but I hope and think he must have misread his history, that the decrees of ancient Rome, were published in all those portions of the world over which she had authority, only in the tongue of Rome herself. I think history shows us that nothing so inhuman and barbarous as that was done, even in what may be called inhuman and barbarous times. Turning to a more modern example, which he justifiably quotes, an example which is to be regarded by us with the highest attention, interestand respect, he refers to the neighboring Republic, to what has been aimed at and accomplished in that great community, in whose well- being the whole modern world has so deep an interest, of whose constitution the right hon. gentleman opposite has not seldom spoken in terms of deserved admiration as to the great work which was achieved by the men who framed that constitution. Speaking of that example, the hon. member for North Norfolk was unfortunate enough to quote, as an instance of a state where the French language had been stamped out and the great principle which he proclaimed, had been realised in the very initiation of its connection with the nation of which it forms a part, the State of Louisiana. Why, Sir, is not the hon. gentleman aware that, by the original constitution of the State of Louisiana, the French as well as the English language was permitted to be used in the debates of that State, and that that continued until the State of Louisiana by a subsequent determination of its own, under circumstances when the question had ceased to be a grievance, determined—as I believe, though I have no information upon this point—that it should be blotted out. The fact, however, is this, as stated in a book of authority, the "Cyclopaedia of Political Science:"
"The diversity of interests of the French and American citizens, however, formed the more usual dividing line of politics in the State. The former were at least a strong minoritv, and a singular evidence of its strength was a provision in the Constitution which allowed mem bers of the Legislature to debate either in French or in English."
Mr. CHARLTON. Does the hon. gentleman mean to say that the statutes were printed in French  
Mr. BLAKE. I was not discussing whether the use ofthe French language was complete in all the technical details. What in the world has the publication of the statutes or the proceedings in the French language to do with the matter? What is involved in that except a paltry $500 a year for the printing of certain things in the two languages What is the harm if the people who have to obey the laws are enabled to read them printed in the language which they understand? That is a small question the great question is included in the power of freely debating in the Legislature in the tongues of the peoples of whom the State is composed. All I care to know in regard to that is that the constitution gave the people of French origin the right to speak in their mother tongue in their own State Legislature. The hon. gentleman has said that this question is a very narrow one, and, as he puts it, it is a comparatively narrow one. He has spoken of the impropriety of what he calls dodging responsibility. He has told us of the want of manliness that would be involved in our placing upon other shoulders the responsibility which we ought to take ourselves, and I confess that I have considerable sympathy with that view. As far as our present information goes, the general principle upon which this question should be dealt with, and I am quite prepared now to state the time when I think it should be dealt with; but I thought a large part of the hon. gentleman's speech was but a poor commentary on the declaration as to dodging responsibility which he made and to which I have just referred, when he iterated and reiterated the statement that "we" have no intention of interfering with vested rights, that "we" have no intention of interfering with the rights of any minority which are secured under the British North America. Act, that "we" have no desire to touch any privilege properly reserved, that "we" do not intend to touch it, and that "we" are not touching it now. It   appeared to me that these statements were evasive of responsibllity, were not merely inconsistent. with the Bill which the hon. gentleman is supporting—including the preamble—but were fatally inconsistent with the attitude of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and with the general character of the agitation of which this Bill is merely the first fruits. A little later, the hon. gentleman declared that "we," the Anglo- Saxons of this continent—once again taking the plural pronoun, which the hon. gentleman used first. when speaking of those with whom he was acting, then when speaking of the English-speaking people   of this country, and finally when speaking of the. Anglo-Saxon race from the Pole to the Isthmus —he declared their stern determination, by what means might be open to them, to make this country from the North Pole to the Isthmus an Anglo-Saxon community, and to create a homogeneity of race. Well, it is only a question of means and methods, times and circumstances, opportunities and occasions, by which this result is to be achieved and the hon. gentleman will find, as I shall proceed to point out presently, that his leader does not propose to relegate the consideration of this question to other generations, to those natural and 673 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 674 gradual and insensible operations which furnish the only possible solution of such great questions as he has imported into the debate; but that it is other and more rapid, direct and stringent —I will say more violent methods, that are really proposed to us in this regard. Now, Sir, as I have said, there are underlying questions here, much broader questions than the simple questions dealt with by the enacting clause. And these underlying questions are historically old, no doubt, but they are old with reference to our own policy too; they were raised before the last general election, they were raised by the hon. member for North Simcoe himself in large part, they were raised by a newspaper which was, at that time, the most powerful supporter in the Province of Ontario of hon. gentlemen opposite, and they have since been persisted in, and have since been enlarged. This group of questions are fundamental questions. They embrace topics of creed as well as of race, and the Jesuit affair to which the hon. member referred, was not the cause, was not the origin. It was obviously, it has since been confessed to have been, a mere incident, a mere occasion, taken advantage of as a fit and opportune occasion to bring up one phase, and in various aspects, more than one phase, of this group; a good occasion to bring all up in a manner which would attract the favorable consideration of those to whom they who brought them up sought to address themselves. Now, Sir, I intend to refrain, as far as possible, from discussing this question in any party aspect whatever. It needs to be discussed in its party aspect, it must receive such a discussion at some time, but I do not think this time is the fitting time. I say I hope as far as possible to avoid any question of party in the course of this discussion. I am as anxious as the hon. gentleman is anxious, to say nothing, so far as truth will allow, except conciliatory words, and to deal with this matter in a manner becoming a public man; in such a way that, if my feeble words have any effect at all, they may tend to prevent the calamitous results of which the hon. gentleman this afternoon was complaining, though he, and those who act with him, from the best motives, I have no doubt, havebeen the prime cause of the realisation of these results to the extent to which they have been up to this time realized. I say, Sir, that if you could deal simply with the enacting clause in this Bill it would be a matter of minor consequence; if you could dissociate that clause from its preamble, from its surroundings, from its past and from its future. But you cannot dissociate it, either from its pre amble or from its surroundings or from its past, and still less from its future. These difficulties are in part indicated by the preamble which, as you must expound it upon any fair principle of exposition, I maintain declares for action and principles of action which all good Canadians must disavow instead of assenting to. It is a far-reaching principle. It goes—and the hon. member for North Simcoe, whose legislative and professional ability we know—intended that it should go, wrote it in order that it should go, far beyond the intent of the enacting clause; and those who agree to that preamble, who give to it to-day their voices and their votes, must set their minds and their political forces to the accomplishment of the ends which we find there embedded. Doubtless our constitutional act may be amended, doubtless the well-understood wishes of the Canadian people can accomplish the amendment of the constitution. The machinery may be cumbrous, and it may be that occasionally, as has happened in the past, upon inadequate representations, changes of no great consequence, but changes still, may be made and it may be again that very strong representations may, for a time at least, be ineffectual in producing amendment. But in relation to any question the well understood wishes of the Canadian people, in time and place, after due consideration, thoroughly ascertained and forcibly presented must produce an amendment of the constitution; and into the agitations which are necessary in order to execute this preamble, as indicated by the hon. gentleman's own speech, we should be, it is intended that we should be, plunged if we agree to it. Now, what does it say? The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), thought that it was a very innocent thing. There was not much in it. He laid a great deal of stress upon the preamble of some other Bill which was passed in some other Legislature, and he thought that preamble was good cause for disallowance here. But now he says that the preamble of this Bill, which is given as the basis of our decision, the cause itself upon which we are called upon to vote, is of very little consequence. It is true, it is the reason for the enactment, it is the moving cause which is given to us, but it is not of much consequence, and is not of much harm.
Mr. CHARLTON. I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon. I cited the words of the Minister of Justice, not my own words.
Mr. BLAKE. Oh, well, I know. I do not care much for that mere throwing of verbal bombshells from one side to the another. We have got to do with the reason of the Bill. The hon. gentleman cited words which I thought he adopted. He agrees with me now that the preamble is of consequence, and that by it we understand what the Bill means. He says that he is prepared to agree with the preamble, and to vote for it. The preamble says
"Whereas it is expedient, in the interest of the national comity in the Dominion, that there should be community of language among the people of Canada, and that the enactment in the North-West Territories Act allowing the use of the French language should be—"
Repealed? Oh, no.
"should be expunged therefrom: Therefore,"  
And it proceeds to enact. Here, then, is the meaning in this preamble, of that community of language, which it is expedient should prevail among the whole people of Canada. The second paragraph of the preamble tells us that the community of language which is declared to be expedient amongst the Whole people of Canada, is that community and harmony which prevails, according to the well known fable, between the lion and the lamb the English is to swallow up the French and the French is to die, that the English may live and flourish upon it. That is the community which is to exist, the community of language which is expedient; the enactment allowing the use of French is to be expunged; therefore, it is the English language alone that is to be used. Now, Sir, when I read this preamble I confess myself to have been a little puzzled by the word "comity," whose use—
675 [COMMONS] 676
Mr. McCARTHY. I think it is a mistake. I think in truth the word was "unity."
Mr. BLAKE. Well, I am very glad to hear it, because I was about to say that I did not perceive that the word "comity" had any reasonable application to this matter at all. We know what the meaning of that word is, and if ever an improper word could be chosen for the hon. gentleman's Bill, it certainly was the word "comity." But he now tells us, as I presumed, that what he intended by the phrase, was unity, and, therefore, it is in the interests of the national unity of the Dominion, that this result is to take place. Now, Mr. Speaker, in order to the advancement of our national unity, we must agree, if we adopt this preamble, that it is expedient, that we should take all possible steps which are open to us to procure by legal and constitutional means the disallowance of the use of the French language where now it is allowed. That is clear, that is plain, that is obvious, that is logical. Was ever such a lame and impotent conclusion deduced from such important premises, if this question is to cease with this little enacting clause with reference to the North-West Territories If that which it is expedient for the unity of the Canadian Dominion to abrogate is to be suffered to go on in this chamber, is to be suffered to go on in Canada, is to be suffered to go on in the important Province of Quebec, while our national unity is to be preserved, forsooth, by dealing with a few thousands who now inhabit the North-West Territories? No. These gentlemen represent a very grave condition of affairs. That is not their intention. We all know it is not the intention; it has been admitted not to be the intention at all; we cannot stop here; that would indeed be much cry and little wool. Nor does the hon. gentleman so pretend. In the speech with which he moved the first reading of this Bill he entered into a number of considerations which would have been but remotely relevant to the simple clause of the Bill itself. True he pointed out plainly enough, what was perfeclty obvious, that he was not at the moment proposing to do more than deal with the North-West Territories question. But, so far from making that further announcement, which he could not have honestly made, but which was made by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) to-day, he said simply this. After speaking of the past and the present, he said:
"I have endeavored at all events to make good my statements, that both from within and from without the general opinion prevails that this question has come to the point where it is likely to cause further differences, as it has already caused differences in the Dominion."
Then the hon. gentleman said:
"Come back now Sir, to the North-West Territories. I am not attempting here, and hon. gentlemen know that at all events in this form of motion, I could not attempt in any way to interfere with any rights under the British North America Act which are guaranteed to the French Canadians of the Province of Quebec and to the French Canadians in this Parliament. I am treating, Sir, of what this Parliament is competent to deal with. I am treating of the question of the dual language of the North- West Territories."
It is a perfectly correct statement that this is all the legislation proposed by this clause but the proposition to which we are asked to assent, as the ground work of the legislation proposed, obliges us to proceed by all lawful ways and means to secure, in the interests of the national unity of the Dominion, the application of that principle in those other places where certainly the contrary principle now prevails, is potent and effectual for good or for evil according to the diversities of opinions on this subject, potent and effectual to an infinitely greater extent than its application can be either now or for 50 years to come in the North-West Territories of Canada. But I say we are not confined to the hon. gentleman's preamble nor to his speech here. We find in a recent speech delivered in this city to what is called the Equal Rights Association statements which deal with this question, and which deal with it in a manner showing that he at all events does not shrink from the application of the motto which the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), cited last night, the motto "Thorough." The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), said we are not talking of interfering or proposing to interfere with the use of the French language, with reading, writing or speaking it. Nothing of that kind, he said, is talked or thought of it is simply this question of using it in the North-West Legislature, and, as the hon. gentleman repeated, this dreadful grievance of the statutes and ordinances being printed in the French language. But that is not the view of the hon. member for Simcoe. I find these statements in a speech delivered by him as late as 12th December last, within a few yards of this building. He said that Lord Durham had held first, and above all things, that the French language must be stamped out. And the hon. gentleman gave his own personal opinion that Without a shadow of doubt Lord Durham was right. It is not, therefore, a question of an occasional French speech in Parliament which bores the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) and the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), or of their being troubled by the fact that copies of the Debates and of the statutes are printed in French, in a tongue with which they are not as familiar as with their mother tongue; but the language must be stamped out, says the hon. member for North Simcoe. The hon. gentleman proceeded:
"Is there a shadow of doubt that between these two races, of all races in the world, if they are ever to be united, it must be by obliteration of one of these languages and by the teaching in one of these tongues."
I should judge, I hope I am not mistaken, that the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), does not mean that the English language should be obliterated; if so, it must be the French language. Then, the hon. member for North Simcoe drew upon his experience as a parliamentarian, and declared he had observed that more French was now spoken in the House than formerly, an observation, I must confess, entirely at variance with my experience, which is somewhat longer in this House than that of the hon. gentlemen. I quite admit that the course which the hon. gentleman and others have pursued, will very naturally lead to a larger quantity of French speaking in this House than has prevailed hitherto, but I do say there is nothing more marked, than the change which has taken place since I first entered Parliament, with respect to this question of French speaking. Then, the hon. member for North Simcoe proceeded to point out that our constitution is amendable in regard to the use of the French language in Quebec and in Canada, and he gave the precedents which showed the truth of that statement, that the constitution is amendable. And 677 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 678 what did he go on to say! He went on to say that the precedents in that sense are very useful and may be acted on in the year 1890 or '91 in this connection. What! Are we going to relegate this matter to some distant age to be disposed of finally by the action of the French Canadians when the leader (Mr. McCarthy) tells us that in 1890 or '91 the precedents which prove the possibility of altering the British North America Act, so as to obliterate the use of the French language are useful and may become available forthwith? Then the hon. gentleman stated that we ought not to remain in this position forever, and there should be sufficient patriotism in the Dominion to produce the change foreshadowed. Nor was his speech confined to the question of language, it touched creed as well; for I find him asking the people whom he was addressing, and through them the people of the whole Dominion, to give him power to eliminate those parts of the constitution which were inimical to the public weal and he followed that statement by the question—indicating the parts of the constitution which he regarded as inimical to the public weal, and which he proposed that the people of the country should give him power to eliminate—
"Are we to have Separate Schools in Upper Canada, tithe assessments in Lower Canada, dual language in the Dominion Parliament, and dual languages in Quebec, the North-West and Manitoba?"
And he again called for power to obliterate what he called those obnoxious clauses. I, therefore, expected that the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) would not adopt the line which the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) has adopted. I expected that, while he would perhaps leave rather in the background those other questions, he would say nothing which was inconsistent with his preceding utterances, nothing which would be likely to limit the effect of the preamble to which he asked the assent of the House nothing which would interfere with or check the triumphant march of his friends in pursuit of the great purpose which had been before developed, and which was further and fully developed in advance of the meeting of Parliament by the speech to which I have referred. This Bill, then, is only the opening of the campaign; and it lays down in itself, so far as the question of language is concerned, which is all it deals with, lines quite broad enough for the contemplated movement; and, I repeat, that its past and its present and its surroundings are all important elements; they indicate its future; and they entirely overshadow the little enacting clause. For those who, like the hon. gentlemen, have spoken in that sense in this House, who believe that these things are essentially in the interests of the Dominion of Canada, there is, and I am not in the slightest degree complaining of it, there is for them but one course to pursue, the course of agitation. It is their right, nay more, it is their bounden duty, if their conscientious convictions be, and I am far from saying they are not so, that the condition of things in this whole Dominion, is such that its future prosperity and progress will be served and advanced by such an agitation as is necessary for the attainment of such results as are indicated, to enter upon and pursue that path of agitation. We may as we settle what it is that we are called upon to meet; what that condition of things is with which it is proposed that we should deal. I say that that honesty of conviction which I freely accord to the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), (and which I am bound to accord to him as to any public man), involves, as a necessary consequence, that he should prosecute the agitation upon the lines he laid down on the 12th of December last and at other times, as the line of policy essential to this Dominion. If it were otherwise, I can conceive no language strong enough for the denunciation of his conduct in the utterance of these sentiments. Now, Sir, for those of us who believe—I speak for myself only—but for myself and for any other person who happens to believe that in our existing conditions the objects aimed at are, by the means proposed, absolutely impossible of attainment for those who believe that the agitation does, as to the Province of Quebec, not merely not present any element whatever of success, but destroys the least prospect of reform from that source from which alone the reforms which these hon. gentlemen desire can be looked for, namely, from within, from the spontaneous action of the people themselves? for those who believe that it not merely does not improve, but that it tends to imperil the conditions of certain minorities of race and certain minorities in creed in different parts of the Dominion that it excuses, if it does not absolutely justify, the combinations of populations on lines of race and creed which the hon. gentleman so earnestly deprecated this afternoon for those who believe that it tends to produce and to intensify the greatest political evils which it is possible to conceive for Canada, and that it imperils the best hopes which remain to Canada; for me, Sir, who believe all these things, and for any others who may believe with me, there remains only the course of firm and uncompromising opposition from the start, to the course of the hon. gentleman. "Obsta principiis." I decline to permit the thin end of the wedge to be inserted not with the guile which I might not unjustly attribute to the remarks of the hon. member for North Norfolk, nor yet with the hammer of the hon. member for North Simcoe, who has told us plainly the strokes he intends to give to that wedge and the vigor with which be intends with it to rift and cleave this Dominion. Now, Sir, I profess to be, and I hope I am a Reformer. I have never concealed my opinion; I have always at those times and places, and under those circumstances in which I thought I might do good by it, announced the opinion that there are many things to be reformed in the different Provinces of this Dominion, and many things to be reformed in the Dominion as a whole. There are many things I should desire to see reformed in the Province of Quebec as well as in other Provinces. But I know full well,—such little knowledge of history as I have acquired, such knowledge of human nature as fifty-six years have given me, have taught me that impertinent interference; still more that threats of coercive interference, and agitations to withdraw acquired and provincial rights are the very surest means to destroy the slightest vestige of hope of reform. They give to the resisting party incalculable advantages. They enlist the sentiment of nationality, the sentiment of provincial autonomy, the feeling of outraged dignity and of insulted authority in opposition to the intruders. And under cover of these defences, resistance is easy and 679 [COMMONS] 680 its success is certain; while where the opportunity occurs aggressive action is but too likely to ensue. That is the condition of things, Sir, which I believe will be accomplished by the efforts that are now being made. I regard the prospect of reforms which I myself should desire to see accomplished in the Province of Quebec, as removed—I will not say to an incalculable but to a very long distance—by this agitation even so far as it has gone. I regard that prospect as absolutely vanished, should this agitation receive the support and countenance to any considerable extent of this House and of the people of the Dominion at large. No, Sir, the fullest and the frankest recognition of the provincial and covenanted rights the evidence which we shall give within the domain of our power in the various Provinces of Canada, of a generous and liberal consideration for those minorities which are under our control; combined with a sympathetic interest in the welfare of our neighbors give titles—just titles—to friendly suggestions to helpful advice, to legitimate influence. Nor have I despaired in the past; nor when this cloud passes away shall I despair in the future for the recognition of those titles. At any rate I am on the side of those who shall stand by those minorities who are, as I have pointed out, threatened and proposed to be coerced (by constitutional means I admit, but it is not the less threat and coercion, however constitutionally you may do it) by the policy the hon. member for North Simcoe has foreshadowed. I am on their side; and I believe that any other attitude is impotent for good, and powerful for evil to the state.
It being six o'clock the Speaker left the chair.

After Recess.


Bill (No. 67) to incorporate the South Kootenay Railway Company.—(Mr. Mara.)
Bill (No. 68) to incorporate the West Kootenay Railway Company.—(Mr. Mara.)
Bill (No. 69) respecting the St. Catharines and Niagara Central Railway Company.—(Mr. Rykert.)
Bill (No. 70) to incorporate the St. Lawrence International Railway and Bridge Company.—(Mr. Taylor.)
Bill (No. 71) to incorporate the Brandon and South-Western Railway Company.—(Mr. Scarth.)
Bill (No. 72) respecting the Summerside Bank.— (Mr. Davies.)
Bill (No. 73) to incorporate the Bankers' Safe Deposit, Warehousing and Loan Company (Limited). —(Mr. Cockburn.)
Bill (No. 74) respecting the Confederation Life Association.—(Mr. Cockburn.)  
Bill (No. 75) respecting the Calgary Water Power Company. (Limited).—(Mr. Hickey.)
Bill (No. 76) to incorporate the Elbow River Water Power Company. —(Mr. Davis.)


House resumed debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of Bill (No. 10) respecting the North-West Territories and the amendments of Messrs, Davin and Beausoleil thereto.
Mr. BLAKE. Mr. Speaker, we have heard something to-day—of what I fear we shall hear more of in Canada for some time—of a union of race and a union of creed. This question is not unfamiliar to my ears. In days long one by I found myself, as my predecessor in the leadership of the Liberal party found himself, as my successor in that leadership, I dare say, may find himself, confronted with attempts to unite and consolidate in the ranks of one party those of one nationality, and to consolidate in the ranks of one party those of one creed. This question is not new in Canada. Those attempts I met by no private bargain or intrigue; I met them by frank statements in this House and on public platforms of my views on the questions of race and creed, and of the rights and interests of minorities; I met them by on effort to convince those most particularly concerned that there were no real grounds for those attempts—attempts which I deprecated then, as I deprecate them now, as public calamities— and by the assurance that my fellow countrymen of all creeds and all races might differ and agree, according to their opinions on political topics, with absolute confidence as to the safety of the rights peculiar to themselves on questions of race and creed. That assurance, I believe I could well give that assurance I hope this debate will enable us in Canada still to give but largely on the issues of this debate does the question of that assurance turn. Sir, at all times and in all countries minorities are inclined to be susceptible, jealous, apprehensive, exacting— such is the condition of human nature. Those who are in minorities feel it; and those who happen to be in majorities, though they may complain of it, ought to understand it too. Minorities are apt to believe that they must unite in order to protect themselves against aggression; and such union amongst themselves, and such consequent isolation from their fellow-countrymen, is, wherever it occurs, and just in proportion to the extent of its occurrence, a serious danger to the state. But this is oftentimes excusable, and sometimes even justifiable and in the face of such attacks as those to which I referred this afternoon, I am not able in any strong language to condemn, although I do not intend to applaud, and although I still most earnestly deprecate, any such attempt at union. I am speaking this day mainly in the hope to avert, if by any feeble effort of mine I can avert, the continued existence of those apprehensions which might be a justification, or at any rate an excuse, for such union. Sir, in times of gloom and depression as to the future of my country—perhaps I am not an optimist, perhaps I have taken and may take now in many aspects a view too gloomy as to the condition and prospects of Canada, but in times in which I have felt gloom and depression as to the prospects and future of my country, as to its progress in several of the respects which are essential to the making of a nation, I have had in these latter years the consolation of believing that, in whatever other respects we might be stationary, perhaps, even, I am ashamed to say, retrograde, in the respect at any rate of tolerance and regard to the rights and privileges and susceptibilities of minorities, we were moving on— slowly, steadily moving on— to a higher plane. 681 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 682 And that consolation was, to my mind, a very great one. But although I did so believe, as I shall still venture to entertain that hope, I knew well that all this time there were great masses of prejudice and suspicion, of ancient hates and misconceptions, and bitter memories of former conflicts, lying ready to the hand of the incendiary, easy to be kindled, difficult to be extinguished; and that the proportions of the conflagration which they might excite were impossible to be calculated in advance. Sir, we have but just heard of an event we must all deeply deplore. The great institution, the crown and glory, I may be permitted to say, of the educational institutions of our country, is at this moment in flames; and we know not how small a spark may have kindled the great fire which is consuming that ornament to the whole community of Canada, the University of Toronto. That ornament, a great material ornament, and a still greater exhibition of the triumphs of the principles of toleration and of our advance in higher education, a university where we have gathered together the youth of all denominations, Protestant and Catholic, under the sanction even of the Catholic Church— a State institution on non-sectarian principles, where all were gathered together as fellow-subjects to acquire the highest training that the land afforded is now, so far as its material fabric goes, a ruin tottering to the ground. But great through the calamity, the material fabric may be replaced. Just as by that great calamity we may observe how small a spark may kindle a great fire, so let us take warning in this larger sphere, in the still greater matter upon which we are now engaged; and let those who are seeking to set the heather afire upon this question be careful before they proceed to precipitate a moral ruin which may be irreparable. Let them remember that it is utterly impossible to calculate the results of the issues and the passions they are raising. Sir, I knew not merely that there were questions of prejudice and of misconception, of passion and of bigotry, of ancient hate and ancient difficulties; but I knew more. I am not of those who take the optimistic view that in all respects our path is easier and smoother because of our peculiar conditions in Canada; I am not of those who believe that our path is made plainer and straighter by the circumstances of different nationalities and of different creeds. I have recognised the fact that our situation, such as it is, presents problems of very considerable difficulty—perhaps problems of very considerable danger—and that we might have, if Providence had so ordered our lot that we were a homogeneous people, all of one race, one tongue, and one creed, an easier path, a plainer road in which to travel. I have recognised those difficulties with which we may have to grapple some day; though I hope, if we are to succeed, at some other time and in some different spirit and on some other lines than are proposed to-day. I knew that those real difficulties added great force and strength to the baser elements which form the greater part, after all, of the troubles with which we were and are encompassed I knew the risk and the loss which was to be encountered in the Province which I may call an English and Protestant Province—the province of Ontario—by acting for those whom we served on the path on which we were then travelling and we encountered it deliberately at that time. Nor shall we, I hope shrink from it to- day. The right will triumph in the end. There is an old proverb in the language which my hon. friend would prescribe "Tout casse, tout lasse, tout passe;" and even this storm, this agitation, though its proportions may be as great as my hon. friend expects and perhaps justly expects, will pass away; With serious consequences may be to those who are engaged in the contest, but it will pass away in the end; and what is right and true will in the end prevail, though some of us may fall in the struggle. On what conditions, circumstanced as we are, can we live and thrive and grow in Canada? Certainly not on the lines which are being laid down by those engaged in this agitation. I would ask them to put themselves in the French Canadian's place. You may selfishly wish that he had agreed to be suppressed you may have a profound conviction of the incomparable superiority of your tongue, your laws, your creed you may earnestly desire for all men the inestimable boons of British birth, of English speech, of Protestant religion. But still, after all, cannot you put yourself in his place? And can you not, must you not, admire the courage, the fidelity, and the determination with which, at great odds, he fought in all fields—in the legislature, before the people, and in even sterner fields than these—for what to him was as dear as what you call your birthright is to you? Fought, aye, and conquered too! Cannot you recognise that his was after all a victory for humanity? And that if, as the case is, it has imposed greater difficulties and more arduous efforts and toils on those who are engaged in making a nation of Canada, it yet, by that very circumstance, gave the chance for more exalted triumphs, gave an opening for the exhibition of still higher and deeper and broader feelings of justice and liberality and tolerance than are permitted to a wholly homogeneous people? Can you not at least see—if that much you cannot see—-that he has in fact conquered? Do you seriously hope to prevail today in a conflict in which, under infinitely greater disadvantages, he obtained the victory long ago? Surely if it were a conquest in which he was in the wrong, you have the right to struggle still but his victory after all was for equal rights—rights equal with your own. That is all he asked that is all he got. But you say No; his language must be obliterated; it is inimical to the Constitution that it should continue; you must teach him your tongue; he must forget his own; he must not have what he regards——and, from his point of view, rightly regards—as equal rights with you, the Anglo-Saxon, of whom the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) spoke so proudly this afternoon as destined by fate to swallow him up. Sir, I regard this larger question to which I have referred, and it is the meal question we have to consider, as a settled question and even were my views as to the settlement different from what they are, I would not consent, as a public man, to an attempt to reopen a controversy, long since closed, on grounds which do not give to my eye the least prospect of success, but which ensure ultimate defeat to the assailants, and meanwhile limitless disaster to the state. I say: No; a thousand times, no! Whether you differ or agree as to what might have been best for the country, in the situation of the country as it stands, I say: No, a thousand times, no; to the least effort or proposal to reopen that settled controversy and I maintain that it is the duty of those 683 [COMMONS] 684 who truly regard the progress and the prosperity of Canada, who hope to see it advance in its path towards nationality, to defend the rights of the minorities in this regard, as by law and by convention and by national settlement established. I intend for my part to defend them just as warmly as if I were one of themselves; and I should regard myself as dishonored and disgraced if I were now to yield to the forces which press me to any other course. It is not difficult to drive most of us, perhaps—it is certainly not difficult to drive the humble individual who addresses you from his place in this Parliament; but I hope it is impossible to drive me, as long as I occupy that place, from the path of duty and of honor, which I believe to be the path which I have chalked out in the words I have now spoken. To this Bill, under these circumstances, I should record an unhesitating negative, if that were the question presented immediately to the House. I do not desire to enlarge upon the lessons of history, of which we have heard much in this debate but I wish to call your attention to two very recent formal, and to my mind, solemn expressions of opinion, expressions of British opinion, of the opinions of the English Government upon questions closely allied to this. You remember the long and complicated and difficult controversy with reference to Schleswig-Holstein. In 1860, the English Government proposed to Denmark to allow Schleswig, one of the duchies, independently to decide upon the language to be used where the Danish people prevailed, where the Germans prevailed, and where the races were mixed. That was the character of the dispatch, that the community itself should decide, and that regard should be had to the various languages of the populations, thus giving a plain indication at that comparatively recent date, of the view of the British Government, under the Secretariat for foreign affairs of Lord John Russell, in regard to that question. in 1862 and 1863, unhappy, broken-down, disintegrated and enslaved Poland, regarded by the great powers as no longer possessing the capacities for an independent state, but as a people under the thrall of Russia, had broken out once again into insurrection, under the pressure of some fresh severities of its Russian masters and three of the great powers of Europe agreed together to, remonstrate with Russia as to its course towards the Poles—I can hardly say towards Poland, but towards the Poles. Who were they Great Britain, France and Austria. They remonstrated with Russia. Russia asked them to formulate the points upon which they suggested her lines of policy towards Poland should proceed. Those three powers formulated, by conjoint action, six points, and one of the six points on which they recommended to Russia action towards Poland, circumstanced as Poland was, and so late as the year 1863, was the use of the Polish language in the public offices and in the law courts. That was the advice given by Great Britain, France and Austria to Russia, interfering with its course towards its own subjects, who had been handed over to it by a proceeding which no one can read without condemning, but handed over and having become, so to speak, its property long before. And, at that late date, the recommendation was that the step taken should be reversed, that the abrogation of the right to use their own language should be withdrawn, and that the Poles should have the right to use their own language in the courts and the public offices. I do not deny, as I have already said, our difficulties in this country. I repeat that those difficulties are serious; and I hope that those of us who now act on the lines which I have been suggesting will be recognised as having earned in proper time and proper place, the right to be listened to with favorable ears in case we do tender proper advice as to what we believe, in the true interests of minorities, and in the true interest of Canada, should be done in regard to these difficult and delicate questions. I hope also that our attitude may not be mistaken by either friend or foe, either by those we serve or those we oppose, by the minorities in whose cause we are prepared to stand up or by the majoritiese whom many of us represent, as being that of an unworthy truckling to either race or creed. I should like to ask what have the majority of the representatives of Ontario constituencies to gain by adopting the course which I have chalked out for myself Let others speak for themselves. I know that the only gain I can have for myself is risk and loss. Nothing but that. We shall then claim our right to speak firmly and frankly on all fit occasions and on all burning questions, and we shall ask the consideration which we are now granting. Having said so much, I ask how should this Bill, brought forward in the frame which it has assumed, with the preamble by which it is prefaced, with the speech in which it was introduced, with the speeches by which out of doors it was heralded, having regard to the movement of which I have said it is the first fruits— how should this Bill be met? I am prepared to meet such a Bill, so introduced, so framed, so prefaced, with an uncompromising negative. But it has seemed to be the temper of the House to meet it with some substantive declaration. I shall not object to that; but for myself I am not fully satisfied with either of the declarations which have been proposed. I am of opinion that, if we do formulate a declaration, it should contain a distinct and unequivocal repudiation of the principle of the preamble of this Bill, and should vindicate the ground on which we stand, as to the question raised by the enacting clause. In these respects and also because I am not prepared for myself to affirm all the language contained in the second amendment,— for example the statement that the enactment would put in doubt the stability of our institutions—I think that amendment is not wholly applicable to the situation; nor do I think the first amendment is what we require either. I think there is apart from the suggestions of policy, no present grievance of any account. The money question is absolutely nothing. The amount is trifling, and this Parliament pays it and the hon. gentleman who proposes the Bill (Mr. McCarthy) has cheerfully voted for and supported the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars—I might say millions—of expenditure much less defensible than the $400 or $500 a year which are expended to convey to the French people of the North-West, few as they may be, a knowledge of the ordinances of the country in which they live. Now, Sir, what is the condition of our country with respect to the North-West? We have spent many scores of millions mainly in connection with the North-West. Our crying need there to-day is, and will for a long time be, settlement, the influx of hardy and frugal cultiva 685 [FEBRUARY 14., 1890.] 686 tors of the soil. The Province of Ontario is being bled to-day partly to meet that demand. Her farms have fallen in price; and that fall, very notably in the eastern section of the Province, is partly due to the altered conditions of supply and demand, partly also due, no doubt, to unfavorable seasons, partly due to low prices, due to a combination of circumstances, in which however, the North-West is a large factor. I say that fall would have been very much more marked than it is to-day, if it had not been for that influx of French Canadian settlers into the east, which this agitation seems almost designed to prevent, which certainly is regarded as no unmixed blessing by those who are engaged in the agitation, so far as the Province of Ontario is concerned. For my own part, I take ground altogether different from those gentlemen on that subject; I heartily welcome our French fellow-countrymen who prefer Ontario to the States. I hope they will continue to prefer it; I hope that they will come in, just as many of them as have come in, and buy our farms from those who want to sell them, and who will not complain, however much other people may create grievances in another Province, if they get a better price than they otherwise might by reason of altered conditions in the law of supply and demand. I say that while Ontario is being bled at this moment and in this way, the Province of Quebec is being bled too, not so much by migration to the North-West but she is being bled mainly to the entire loss of Canada, and to the profit of the neighboring Republic. I think the most important object to which we can practically address ourselves, is the diversion of that emigration to the States to migration to the North-West Territories. I do not hope myself for any substantial measure of success whatever from projects of repatriation. I believe that the French Canadian whom you let go to the States, and who settles there, you have practically lost forever. There may be cases of return, but, speaking in the large, such, I regret to say, is my belief of the result. Nor can I say that I entertain any very high or sanguine hopes, judging by experience, of Quebec migration on a large scale to the North-West. But still there is in that respect a hope, there ought to be a hope. If it is the case that we are unable to persuade our own people from the Province of Quebec, agriculturists, to move to those fertile plains of which my hon. friend from North Norfolk gave such a glowing description, if it is the case that we are unable to persuade them to move there, and that they still prefer the Eastern or the Western States to Canada, then how can we hope for any great immigration from abroad? I say that we ought to address ourselves to that problem to which I have referred, in an earnest, an active, an energetic manner. But I conceive that the temper and spirit displayed in this Parliament and displayed in the North-West itself in this matter, may be very important factors as to the success of any such effort. I decline to abandon the hope of considerable immigration. I believe that if the people of the North- West Territories will consider of the matter, if those few thousands of souls who are scattered, specks hardly discernible, through that vast territory, will but realise the fact that industrious, hardy, frugal, economical, cultivators of the soil are leaving old Canada, not for new Canada, but for the States, they will hold out their arms, they will welcome warmly those whom we might induce to go out there. Are you going to induce them to do so by such proposals as this? I am for trying out the experiment; I am for continuing every inducement, the sentimental inducement if you please, as well as other inducements, until that experiment is fully and fairly tried out. In face of this agitation to which I have, all through what I have said, alluded, as the main and important, the overshadowing feature of this discussion, I should regard the immediate adoption of a proposal to expunge such little use of the French tongue as is now provided for, as fatal to whatever prospect there may be of an increasing or of a continuing French migration to the North-West. I say that the future will indicate to us the solution of this question, and that it should be reserved until the future speaks and gives us that indication. I agree with something that has been said by the hon. member for North Norfolk as to the people of the North-West. They are, so far as their rights, their constitutional rights are concerned, in a transition condition. They have not asked, they feel themselves that they are not yet in a position to claim the full measure of provincial rights. It would be entirely premature so to deal with these enormous areas of fertile territory in the present conditions of settlement and of occupation, and to turn them into Provinces. All sides are agreed on that. The people of the locality, but also the people of Canada, are deeply interested in the policy to be pursued in the North-West. Canada has, in truth, if you consider the enormous areas that she has to settle, the enormous expenditure she has made and is making—she has, in truth, the main interest, an interest far surpassing that of the few people who are now there. But fortunately for old Canada, and fortunately for those people, it is a common interest. There is not the slightest divergence of interest. There may be differences of opinion as to what are the best means of advancing that interest, but the interests are one and the same; the prosperity of the North-West is the one interest of both; and the proper step to take in order to advance that prosperity is the question submitted to both and upon that question the Parliament of Canada, in the present condition of the North-West and of the people of that country, must speak; I will not say with a despotic voice, I will not at all say with a voice regardless of the opinion of the Territories, but still at this moment, having the responsibility, with a decisive and potential voice. Now, under these circumstances, I say, we should meet the question when it comes. The hon. gentleman has suggested that we have heard the opinion of the North-West. I should have great, though not absolutely decisive regard to that expression deliberately and constitutionally reached, but I deny that we have yet heard it. The North-West Assembly had no commission or authority from this Parliament, its creators, to deal with this question at   all and the electors to that assembly had not before them, when the assembly was elected, any proposition upon this subject. So, neither was there an authority in the body, nor was there a mandate from the constituency. It may be, it is quite possible, that even upon a full and calm consideration, after the interval of time which is to elapse between now and the next appeal to the people, it may be that there may be a very strong expression of opinion there, as to what is for their interests; but in the meantime it is not to be entirely forgotten 687 [COMMONS] 688 that the condition is only this, that the Parliament of Canada votes out of Canadian resources a trifling sum annually for the payment of the printing in the two languages of their ordinances; and that if they choose to elect a Frenchman to the assembly, that Frenchman has what, I am afraid, would be a very barren privilege, the right of expressing his sentiments in that assembly, in what, to the majority of them, I am afraid, would be something like an unknown tongue. There is the condition of things. No particular grievance, therefore, now exists, and the condition upon which you are to deal with the question is to be settled, as I have said, in the future. If, when you have tried the experiment, if when you have used all fair exertions, if when you have given all fair inducements, you still find that country is, even to the extent to which it now is proportionately, an English country, why the question will settle itself. If, what I would rejoice to see in the face of all that has been said in my Province and elsewhere, there should be a large immigration of Frenchmen to the North-West, and that settlement should be mixed, the condition might be practically the same. If that settlement were, what I would not prefer myself, isolated, it might create a condition of things demanding different treatment. Let us deal with it when the condition arises and as the condition exists; and when we do deal with it, let us deal with it, not associated with the efforts which have been made, the apprehensions which have been raised, the hostilities which have been excited by the proceedings of which this Bill is the first outcome, but entirely dissociated from all these, having meantime finally and altogether settled, as far as the opinion of the Parliament of Canada can settle, the other questions, the greater questions, the more important questions in regard to which this Bill seems to be but a sort of pilot balloon. Sir, I have endeavored to set forth in the draft of an amendment such a form of words as, without at all being wedded to that precise form, seems to me to indicate the most appropriate solution of this question, and, if the opportunity is offered to me in the course of this discussion, by any process, I shall take leave to submit that proposition to the chamber; and in order that hon. members may know what the proposition which I at all events would very respectfully submit for their consideration, I shall now, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, read it
"This House cannot, having regard to the long continued use of the French language in old Canada, and to the covenants on that subject embodied in the British North America Act, agree to the declaration contained in the said Bill as the basis thereof, that it is expedient in the interest of the national unity of the Dominion that there should be community of language amongst the people of Canada.
"That, on the contrary, this House declares its inviolable adherence to the covenants in respect to the use of the French language in Quebec and Canada, and its determination to resist any attempt to impair those covenants.
"That as to such use of the French language in the North-West Territories, as is now provided by law, it is in the best interests of Canada at large and of the Territories in particular that inducements should be held out to the emigrating inhabitants of each of the Provinces to settle in the Territories, whose greatest want is population.
"That the expunging of the provisions allowing the use of the French language in the Territories is not required to remedy any practical grievance at this time, and would, under existing circumstances, lessen the chances of a French Canadian immigration.
"That it is expedient to leave those provisions undisturbed, and to defer any decision as to the ultimate solu tion of the question until time shall have further developed the conditions of North-West settlement."
On these lines, or on lines like these, I would invite this House to act; to these considerations, however feebly set forth, I would invite the earnest and dispassionate attention of my fellow-countrymen. This I feel is for Canada a turning point. I see but dimly; I may not see aright; but, if I at all discern the signs of the times, until Canadians on such lines agree, there will be for Canada neither progress, prosperity, nor peace.
Mr. MCNEILL. Mr. Speaker, although the hon. gentleman has disapproved very strongly of the use of the plural pronoun, I will venture to make use of it in addressing him for a moment and in saying that we on this side of the House are delighted to see the hon. gentleman in his place once more and able so vigorously to take part in the discussions in this chamber. I will not for one moment dream of attempting to follow the hon. gentleman through the brilliant periods of the carefully prepared oration which he has delivered to this House. I would not dream of doing so in any case, besides I would leave the matter naturally to the hon. gentleman beside me (Mr. McCarthy). But, Sir, I will say that while the hon. gentleman was addressing us and while I admired those glowing periods in which he advocated a broad-minded and liberal policy in Canada, I could not help asking myself if it was possible the hon. gentleman was not aware that his own conduct was largely responsible for the agitation and for the fear in the Province of Ontario which had given rise to this agitation which he condems. I could not help asking myself whether the hon. gentleman was not aware that the course which he had pursued in reference to the Riel agitation had warned the people of Ontario of the danger in which they stood and had led them to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the power of French Canada was so great that even Edward Blake had succumbed to its influence, had gone back on all the record of his past life, had forgotten his pledge, yet warm from his lips that he would not attempt to build up a political party on the scaffold of Regina, had forgotten the blood of his own fellow-countrymen on the plains of the North-West, and had joined hands with the Parti National. That party which without his support would have withered and died almost in the hour in which it was born, that party which is responsible to-day for all the trouble that is upon us at this moment. I could not help also asking myself if the hon. gentleman who had addressed us in such eloquent terms had also forgotten, or was it possible that the hon. gentleman who told us that this preamble of the Bill was the all-important part of the Bill, was the same gentleman who voted last Parliament that the preamble of a Bill had nothing whatever to do with it, or was it due to his approval of that preamble that he so voted. I do not wish to press this matter further, but I will say that these considerations presented themselves to my mind.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Go on.
Mr. MCNEILL. I am about to proceed. I do not wish to press that particular part of the matter any further, but I was going to turn to another matter. I hope I have not in any way annoyed hon. gentlemen opposite. I think I have the right to express my views as well as any of these hon. gentlemen. If 689 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 690 we have not even the right of free discussion I do now know what Canada is coming to. I have been much struck during the course of this debate with one or two of its features. One of them is that there seems to be a very strong reluctance, I do not say on the part of the hon. gentleman who has just addressed the House, but on the part of most of the hon. gentlemen who have opposed this Bill, to meet this issue squarely, and to say whether or not they desired to maintain a dual language in the North-West Territories, in the teeth of the almost unanimous wish of the representatives of the people there. Another feature of this debate which has struck me is this, that hon. gentlemen or some of those who have spoken at least, desire not so much to discuss this Bill as it is, or to discuss the provisions of the Bill, or whether or not the dual language should be maintained officially in the North-West, but rather to discuss some other question as to whether our French Canadian friends are to have the right to speak their own language at all in the North-West and throughout the length and breadth of this Dominion. There is another feature of this debate which has impressed me a good deal, and that is, that there is a tendency, in some quarters, to impute narrow- mindedness and a want of liberality to those who think that to impose the dual language by statutory enactment upon the people of those vast regions, which we call the North-West, would not be to the benefit of Canada. The speech of my hon. friend from Bothwell (Mr. Mills) struck me as somewhat of an illustration of the first two of these features of this debate. The hon. gentleman, if he will allow me to say so, made us a most able and a most interesting address; but I listened to that speech for considerably over an hour without being able to discover whether the hon. gentleman was or was not in favor of continuing the dual language officially in the North-West. The hon. gentleman certainly pitched into my hon. friend beside me (Mr. McCarthy) most unmercifully, as did several other gentlemen, and unless my hon. friend from Simcoe has the hide of a rhinoceros, or half a dozen of them, he must, by this time, one would think, be pretty sore. The hon. member for Bothwell told us that if one language only was to be the language of Canada, that could not be the English language, but that it must be a sort of hybrid between the English and the French. I thought when he made that statement that he was not complimentary to my friend, the Minister of Public Works, who had just been addressing us in very forcible English indeed. I thought he had not been complimentary to my hon. friend, the leader of his own party, whose charming En lish will, I venture to say, live in the literature of Canada. The hon. gentleman naturally overlooks these facts, because they are facts. He has also overlooked the fact that although Highlanders of Scotland speak the English language they speak pure English he overlooked the fact that although almost all the rising generation of Wales speak English, they do not speak a hybrid between Welsh and English. He also overlooked the fact that although the people in the counties of Ireland, where there has been an admixture of race, speak English, that that English is not a mixture of Erse and English, but is pure English. The hon. gentleman overlooked these facts; but I do not suppose we need be much surprised at that, for we all know that when my hon. friend gets on what I may call a burst of pure theoretical, political, philosophy, such ordinary common place things as mere matters of notorious fact are altogether beneath his notice.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). The hon. gentleman is depending on his imagination now.
Mr. MCNEILL. The hon. gentleman is simply stating facts which my hon. friend from Bothwell never can appreciate. I may say further that I thought the hon. gentleman paid rather a left- handed compliment to our French Canadian friends, when out of all the characters portrayed by Shakespeare he selected as the mouth-piece of the French Canadians on this occasion the rapacious, the extortionate, and the relentless Shylock. My hon. friend gave us a very interesting discourse upon the law of forces. He handled the subject admirably, and he told us that if a number of forces were acting upon a given body at a given time, that body would be impelled in the direction of the resultant of these forces. I see my hon. friend nods his head and agrees to that statement. He told us that that law applied to mental as well as to physical force, and he was happy enough to illustrate the fact himself, because he showed us that the forces then acting on his own mind impelled him to make a perfect circle round the subject under discussion and carefully to avoid touching it at all. In reference to the third feature of this discussion, namely, the tendency to impute illiberality to those who think that the dual official language should not be maintained in the North- West Territories. For my own part, I wish to state that I shall express my conscientious convictions on this question regardless of any such imputations. While in many things I do not agree with my hon. friend beside me (Mr. McCarthy) yet I agree with the proposition he lays down, when he says that a country inhabited by one homogeneous people, speaking one language, is stronger and more stable than the same country would be if it were inhabited by an equal population composed of the original races which together went to make up that homogeneous people each one of them speaking its own separate language, maintaining its own laws and customs and preserving its own individuality. I venture to say that there are few people who will controvert that assertion. Let us take the Austrian Empire for example. What is the notorious cause of the weakness of the Austrian Empire? It is the fact that there is no distinctive nationality in Austria; it is the fact that Austria consists of a conglomeration, or rather I should say of a bundle of distinct peoples, each of them preserving their own nationality, their own manners and customs and as Professor Freeman says held together only by the fact that certain marriages, and wars, and treaties, and so forth, have given them a common sovereign.
I have been astonished to hear the example of Austria held up as one which could be placed in opposition to the view of the hon. member for North Simcoe. What does M. Louis Leger say in his late work with regard to Austria, a work of which Prof. Freeman, in his preface, expresses the highest admiration? He says:
"These conflicting elements have not been welded together by time, as for example: Have the Celts, the Gallo-Romans, the Franks, and the Iberians in Modern 691 [COMMONS] 692 France They have each preserved their language and their traditions; they live side by side without mingling. The life of an organic body consists in the equilibrium of the simple elements of which it is composed. If this equilibrium is destroyed, the body dies. In like fashion the life of the Austro-Hungarian State depends upon the unstable equilibrium of the various races which make up the empire."
Then, take the case of England. It is notorious that the Celts in the west did not fuse with the rest of the population of the island, and during several centuries that circumstance was a source of weakness, and embarrassment, and a clog upon England. If the Celts, and Anglo- Saxons, and Normans had not mingled in England and formed one race, but lived as separate races in England to-day, does anyone suppose that England would occupy the place among the nations of the world which she does occupy? Take the case of Scotland. Is it not notorious that the Highlanders of Scotland did not amalgamate with the Lowlanders, and is it not a fact that that was a source of weakness to that country Sir Walter Scott, who knew the nature of Scotchmen as well as any man who ever lived, perfectly expresses the feelings of the Highlanders of Scotland when he puts into the mouth of a typical Chieftain the words with which we are all familiar:
"The stranger came with iron hand And from our fathers reft the land."
And then, after giving a magnificent picture of the barren fastnesses into which they were driven, he goes on:
"Pent in this fortress of the North, Thinkst thou we will not sally forth To spoil the spoilers as we may, And from the robber rend the prey Ay, by my soul! while on yon plain The Saxon rears one shock of grain, While of ten thousand herds there strays But one along yon river maze, The Gael of plain and river heir   Shall with strong hand redeem his share."
Sir, it is notorious, as I say, that those words represent the sentiment of the Highlanders of Scotland, as maintained for very many generations, and that it is only within comparatively recent days that that unfortunate feeling of distrust and dislike between these races has died away and I venture to say that anyone who knows the circumstances of that country is prepared to endorse what I say when I assert that nothing has more contributed to that better and happier condition of things which now exists than the more general use of the English language in the Highlands of Scotland. Take the case of France. Will anyone say that if France today were not inhabited by the great and homogeneous people that she has, but were inhabited by the Celts and Gallo-Romans, Iberians, Franks and Norsemen—each preserving their own institutions, usages and individuality, and speaking their own language, she could be the great and powerful and stable nation she is to-day? And so I believe that here in Canada, if our races were amalgamated, we should be stronger than we are at the present moment. We all know that our French Canadian friends have many qualities characteristic of their race, great and good qualities, which are not characteristic of the race to which we belong and I think we may say, on the other hand, that we have good qualities characteristic of our race which are not so highly developed in theirs; and I think we may fairly conclude that if there were a blending of the races, that blending would be beneficial to both but in any case it cannot be doubted that it would add to the solidarity of the Dominion. Then, I think, there can be no question of the correctness of the assertion of my hon. friend, that this perpetuation of different languages has a tendency to keep races apart and to preserve and maintain race distinctions; and the other proposition, the reverse of that—though I cannot go so far as some of the quotations which my hon. friend read taken by themselves would seem to go—appears to me to be perfectly correct also, that the use of one language is a wonderful solvent of race distinctions. It further seems to me to be self-evident, that the enforcing by statutory enactment, so far as statutory enactment can enforce it, the use of distinct languages has a tendency to perpetuate a plurality of languages, and to prevent the advance throughout the population of any one of those languages which has a natural tendency to become dominant. Now, Sir, all these propositions I believe to be true and unassailable; but I hope no hon. gentleman in this House, whether he be amongst my French Canadian friends or amongst my English-speaking friends, will for one moment suppose that because I hold these propositions to be true, I also believe that the dual language should not have been permitted in Canada. I entertain no such opinion, Mr. Speaker. In dealing practically with this question, we have not to consider principles in the abstract, but facts as they are. A well known writer, speaking of the great Edmund Burke, said:
"All abstract speculation and theorising on the principles of government, without special reference to the particular circumstances of the country and the people to be governed, Mr. Burke held, from the beginning to the end of his life, in undisguised contempt."
And I venture to think that it would be well if that rooted conviction of the greatest political thinker Britain ever produced, was also the rooted conviction of some of our theoretical political philosophers of the nineteenth century. It no more follows that because we think it would be to the advantage of Canada that we should have one homogeneous race here, that because we think that our races would more speedily become homogeneous if one language only were used, we would be justified in attempting, even if we had the power, to stamp out one of these languages, than it follows that one of these races would be justified in exterminating the other. I would ask if there is any man in this Chamber who would say that when Canada passed under the aegis of liberty-loving England, the use of their mother tongue should have been denied to the gallant defenders of their soil. Is there any man who will say that on the day when Montcalm fell on the Plains of Abraham there should have passed away forever from his compatriots the right to the freest and fullest use of that tongue which they had learned at their mother's knee, which is interwoven with the very threads of life, which is inseparably connected with every joy and sorrow, with every emotion, with every thought, from infancy to the grave I venture to say that no one will say so, and I venture to say that any such treatment of the vanquished would have been un-English and unjust, would have been tyrannical and cruel. I will go further and 693 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 694 say that it seems to me it would have been only a little less oppressive to have precluded our French Canadian friends, who were the overwhelming majority in their own Province, from the freest use of their own language in their courts of law and in the Legislative Assembly of their Province. In treating of this matter, we must not be so much impressed by considerations of abstract principles as by facts as they exist and by the lessons of history, and while it would have been well for England if the Celts of the west had amalgamated with the rest of the population as the Celts in Cornwall and Devonshire did, and while it would have been well for Scotland if the Celts in the North had amalgamated with the Saxons in the plains as the Celts in England have done, still we must remember that notwithstanding the fact that they did not amalgamate and have not amalgamated up to this day, England has grown to be great and prosperous as no country of a like area has ever grown before; and Queen Victoria today has not throughout her broad Empire more devoted and loyal subjects than are to be found in Wales. And while it is true that it would have added to the strength of Scotland if the Celts of the Highlands had joined hand in hand with their brethern on the plains, yet, notwithstanding the fact that they did not do so,   Scotland for many a long century preserved her independence and held her own; and when at length the kingdoms were merged into one, that result came about, not as a consideration of abstract principles alone would have led us to believe it would have come about, by the conquest of the weaker country by the stronger, but it came about by the fact that the far weaker country gave a king to her great and powerful southern neighbor from her own royal House of Stuart and to-day when any British general wishes to get a body of picked men for any service of special difficulty and danger, these very plaided warriors of the North, who were so often led by men like the typical Rhoderick Dhu against the Saxon, are amongst the most highly prized of all those most famous regiments whose splendid deeds of valor, and prowess, have shed a lustre on the British arms. Therefore, I say, that although we have two races living side by side here in Canada, I for one am not doubtful of the result. Let no man fear for the future of Canada. Mighty and glorious that future must be, notwithstanding that there may be perhaps a poor pitiful handful of traitors within, and that there are certainly swarms of jealous rivals without. For my part I wish we had no race distinctions, I wish we were all one united homogeneous people, I wish the terms French Canadian and British Canadian were only to be found in the pages of history, and that from the North to the South and from ocean to ocean, the simple word Canadian were the one and only term that could appropriately be applied to the citizen of this broad Dominion. But, Sir, such a result as that, if it is to be brought about at all, can only come about by the flux of time and by the cultivation of feelings of mutual respect, mutual forbearance, and mutual good-will. I wish to say this, however, that the forbearance must not be all on one side. We must remember that part of the trouble is this, that in the Province of Ontario, and, I believe, in other parts of Canada to-day, the impression is that the forbearance has been pretty much all on one side. For my part I will say here in my place in Parliament what I said to my own constituents on the 12th July last, that the man who would for party purposes or for paltry personal motives endeavor to sow the seeds of dissension between our French Canadian friends and the British-speaking people of Canada is unworthy to represent any constituency in this Dominion, and that he might more properly, in the well known words of the poet Hood:—
"Sit for hell and represent the devil."
Sir, we have our race distinctions, and it is our duty to make the best of them. Unfortunately the extraordinary movement which was inaugurated some time ago in the Province of Quebec, and which was promoted so largely by the hon. member for West Ontario (Mr. Edgar), and which culminated in the formation of a party whose raison d'étre is only that it is the French as against the English party, has rendered the making the best of our race distinctions very much more difficult than it otherwise would have been. That is a proposition which perhaps may be taken exception to. But when the people of the Province of Ontario see the Premier of the Province of Quebec ostentatiously put himself at the head of this anti-British party in the Province of Quebec, they, I think, naturally come to the conclusion— whether it is right or not is another question— that this anti-British party represents the sentiments of the people of the Province of Quebec and that the sentiment of the people of the Province of Quebec is hostile to British interests. I do not myself believe that that is a fair view of the situation, because we know—those of us who are in this House know—or many of us believe—I may say we know that the Parti National does not represent united Quebec at all events. We know that our French Canadian friends sitting on this side of this House are opposed to the Parti National, and I believe—my hon. friend will contradict me if I am wrong—that the organ of the party of which he is the distinguished leader, La Patrie, denounces the Parti National. If, then, we have our friends on this side opposed to the Parti National and those hon. gentlemen opposite who represent the great Liberal Party of the Province, also opposed to it, I think the sentiment of the Province of Quebec cannot fairly be taken to be hostile to British interests, but the existence of that Parti National produces that impression in Ontario. I was very much pleased to hear the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Amyot), who occupies such a prominent position in that party—if I may be allowed to allude in passing to a previous debate—aver from his place in this House in the most solemn terms, in the most distinct and emphatic terms, that he and those acting with him were not actuated by any anti-British feeling whatever; that he and his compatriots recognised to the fullest extent the beneficencethat was—the word he used—the beneficence of British rule in Canada. And I was glad to hear him aver that, without any reservation, they admitted that they were treated with fair play, with justice and with generosity. I was delighted when I heard the hon. member make that speech, and I was so moved by it that I was almost inclined to cross the floor of the House and renew to him my supplication that he would allow his name to be enrolled as a member of the Imperial Federation 695 [COMMONS] 696 League but I thought I would wait till the conclusion of the debate, when I was satisfied, from what my hon. friend said, that I would capture the whole Parti National en bloc. But I warn my right hon. friend the leader of the Government, who is not here at present, but I warn him through the members of the Cabinet who are here, that when that day arrives and I get the silver-tongued member for Quebec East (Mr. Laurier) to become a member of the Federation League, my right hon. friend will have to keep a sharp eye on me lest I fall a victim to the magic of my hon. friend opposite. As I have said we must try to make the best of our race differences. The hon. gentleman said he had the fullest confidence in British fair play, British justice and British generosity, and I say he and his compatriots may have the fullest confidence in British fair play, justice and generosity. The British people in Canada and in the Mother Country are as ready to mete out fair play, justice and generosity to-day as they have been in the past, and they will be in the future as they are to-day. That is my conviction. Because for my part, I will never believe that our French Canadian friends can be prevailed upon either by agitator or demagogue so far to do violence to the generous and chivalrous impulses which are so characteristic of their race, as to endeavor to convert those privileges which have been so lavishly conferred upon them iato a weapon to wound the hand that bestowed the boon. Therefore, I do not believe that any attempt will ever be made to interfere with those privileges. It is right that they should look with jealousy at any attempt to interfere with the constitutional privileges which have been conferred upon them, but, for my part— it may be my blindness—I cannot see how the proposal which is now before us will interfere with them. I am not speaking of the preamble of the Bill, I am speaking of the Bill itself. I take the position which was taken by the 188 last session, and I assume that the preamble is not an essential part of the Bill. I say the question with which we are now face to face is not one of interfering with the constitutional privileges of our French Canadian friends. It is rather a question whether we should continue to interfere with the natural privileges of the British people in the North-West Territories, who have, by the voice of their Legislative Assembly, asked us to relieve them of a burden which this House has imposed upon them. When they had no Legislative Assembly, this House, with the strong hand and in the exercise of its right, no doubt, if not of its wisdom, decreed that there should be dual language in the North- West Territories. At that time we had at least this excuse for what we did, that we had no authoritative information that what we did would be distasteful to the majority of the people there. Now we have the fact that the Legislative Assembly, which we felt bound to call into existence, has, by a practically unanimous vote, asked us to relieve them of the burden which we cast upon them. They say that they regard this as a burden, they say that they do not require dual language in the North-West Territories, they say that they regard it as burdensome and vexatious, and they ask us to remove the incubus which we have cast upon them. I do not see for my part how we can refuse to accede to their request. It is perfectly useless, to my mind, to place against the almost unanimous vote of the Legislative Assembly of the North-West petitions such as have been presented to this House, more especially when we know that the opinion expressed by the Legislative Assembly is endorsed by every organ of public opinion in the North-West. Perhaps my hon. friend (Mr. Davin), who edits the Regina Leader, and who, I see, is not in his place, has not endorsed it. Well, I listened to my hon. friend reading a long article from the Regina Leader the other day, and the Leader did not venture to controvert in any way the statement that this was the opinion of the people there. It is quite true that if there were a large French population in the North-West Territories, the precedents which have been adduced by the hon. member for West Durham, might have some force. What were they? One was that it had been recommended by the British Parliament that the people of certain countries in Europe should be left to decide for themselves whether they should have a dual language, or a plurality of languages, or what language they should have as their official language. Well, the people of the North-West have told us their wishes and if he does not give effect to their expressed opinion upon this subject, he is going back upon this precedent which he has brought before the House. And what was the other? It was with reference to Poland, and the question was whether the Poles should be allowed fuller use of their own language in their own country. What in the world has that got to do with this question? If the North-West was a French settlement, if there was an overwhelming majority of our French Canadian friends in the North-West, these two precedents which have been brought forward by the hon. gentleman would have some bearing. But I venture to say—and I hope that he will not think me impertinent in saying so; I suppose, insignificant as I am, I have a right to my opinion on the question--but in my opinion, at least, his precedents have no bearing upon the question at all, but are rather an argument infavor of the contention that the people of the North-West ought to decide this question, and that the opinion of the people of the North-West ought to be taken as conclusive on this question. Now, if there were a large number of our French Canadian friends in that country, even though they were not in a majority, I think it might be reasonable that we shoud stay our hands. But I want to ask, is there not some limit to this? Suppose there was only one French Canadian in the North-West, and a hundred thousand British people; should we be called upon to establish a dual language in the North-West Territories, or to maintain it there? Well, then, it is a question of degree. The question is, whether there is such a population of our French Canadian friends there as to require the use of this official dual language, such a population as would make it worth our while to go right in the teeth of the almost unanimously expressed wish of the representatives of the people. It is strange Liberal doctrine, at all events, I think. Now, Sir, if the people of the North-West were seeking to inflict any hardship upon our French Canadian friends the case would be different. But they are not asking anything of the kind. They are simply asking us not to impose upon them this dual official language, and when we remember that every single member of that Legislative Assembly is an English-speaking person, and that the 697 [FEBRUARY 14, 1890.] 698 French language is to him a foreign tongue, it seems to me that the request is a very reasonable one. Mr. Speaker, I would be most unwilling in any way to do violence to the sentiments of my French Canadian friends; I would be as unwilling to do so as I am sure they would be unwilling to do violence to my sentiments. I would even be willing to go some length in deference to their prejudices, as I believe they would be willing to go some length to meet my prejudices. But though I am prepared to go a long way for peace and friendship, even for the attainment of such objects as these, I am not prepared to go as far as to betray the people of my own flesh and blood; I am not prepared to go so far as to say that I will ignore the voice of the Legislature which we ourselves have felt it our duty to establish there. I would consider that I was doing them a gross injustice, and I shall endeavor, for my part, to mete out to them the same measure of justice that I would hope to have meted out to myself.
Mr. SUTHERLAND. I do not think I would have attempted to address the House upon this question, had it not been for the remarks of the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. McNeill). I think it was a very inopportune time for the hon. member to make the attack he did on my hon. friend from West Durham (Mr. Blake), just after the able, patriotic and broad-minded speech that he had made, showing that he was able to rise above party and express in a patriotic manner the views he held. I regret that the hon. gentleman should have taken this opportunity to make such a wild charge against the character of my hon. friend from West Durham, although he requires no defence at my hand, either in this House or in the country. Sir, the position that my hon. friend took upon the Reil question only entitled him, I think, to still greater credit before this House and the people of Canada. To my mind he had everything to lose from a political point of view, and nothing to gain, from the position he took on that question and although I did not vote with him, although he was my leader, whom I respected and admired then as I do at the present time, I exercised my humble judgment according to the best of my ability, nor did that hon. gentleman ever complain of the position that I took at that time. I think, Sir, that it is to be regretted that this question has come before the House at all, considering the course the discussion has taken. The discussion has taken a wide range, and many matters have been referred to that are likely to raise bad feeling throughout the country, not only between people of different nationalities, but between those professing different religious creeds and this has been attributed to the speeches made by my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) on other occasions outside of the House, as well as to the remarks he made on the introduction of this Bill. I must also say, Mr. Speaker, that I think that the heated and passionate address of the Minister of Public Works last night is very much to be regretted. I do not think that hon. Minister was at all justified in making the remarks he did on this particular question. Had the hon. Minister any ground for the attack he made upon the people of the Province of Ontario that they were intolerant towards their fellow-countrymen in Quebec, and the French-speaking people of this country? The hon. gentleman must have forgotten that at the present time in this House the most ultra-British and ultra-Protestant representatives in the chamber have chosen for their leader a French-speaking Catholic who, by his conduct in this House, and by his great ability, has endeared himself not only to the members on this side, who are proud of him as their leader, but I may say to every member on the other side of the House as well a gentleman whose patriotism is well known, who has on several occasions taken a broad-minded and liberal view of questions, in opposition to what we know to be the sentiments, easily aroused, of his race in the Province of Quebec, which he represents here. That being the case, I think it is to be regretted that the Minister of Public Works should have made the passionate appeal he did and have attacked the people of Ontario, and have appealed to his French Canadian friends irrespective of party to stand by him on the present occasion. In my humble opinion he did not consider that the constitutional rights of the people of Quebec were being attacked at the present time, or that there was any danger whatever to him or to his party or his nationality or the creed of the people whom he represents. It is only fair, after the attack made by the hon. member who has taken his seat, giving as his reason why this agitation has been carried on throughout Ontario, that I should thus express my opinion. In my humble judgment, I may say to my French Canadian friends on both sides of the House, that I do not think there is any particular danger to their constitutional rights or their civil or religious liberties. If I were to express my true feelings on this matter I would say that, judging by the articles in the press which support the Dominion Government, judging by the resolutions passed at party meetings throughout Ontario, there is no particular fault found with the action of this House or with this Government, for the newspapers and the party with whom the hon. Minister works in harmony do not find fault with the leader of the Government and hold him and his colleagues responsible for this agitation, but all the blame is cast upon Mr. Mowat and the Ontario Government. Does not the Minister of Public Works know that the only charge brought forward in Ontario against the Government of that Province and the only charge brought by the Conservative party, with whom he works so well, is that Mr. Mowat is allowing French to be taught in the public schools in some parts of Ontario, and that he has been truckling to the Catholic Church These are the charges made, and I am sure when the elections take place a few months hence that will be the last we will hear about this, which appears to be at present a very important and serious question, so far as many of the Conservatives in Ontario are concerned. No doubt my hon. friend, the Minister of Public Works will find time, instead of offering, as he told us, prayers on sacred ground in Quebec for the souls of his forefathers, to send missionaries to stir up the French Canadians to vote against the Mowat Government, as he has done in the past. I am informed that only a few months ago he sent one of his missionaries to assist a in bye-election and to endeavor to stir up the feelings of the French and Irish Catholics against that Government. I have as much right, and a great deal more right, to offer this as a cause of the 699 [COMMONS] 700 agitation in Ontario, as had the hon. gentleman who last addressed the House to lay an unjustifiable charge against the hon. gentleman for West Durham (Mr. Blake). If those charges had not been made I would not have addressed the House on this question. Although I admire very much, and I am sure every member of this House and every true Canadian must admire the broad and patriotic speech of the member for West Durham, of whom I am a great admirer and follower, I cannot agree with him on the main question before the House at the present time. I believe, and it is my honest judgment, although I may be wrong, that, as in the North-West Territory there are so few French-speaking people, and still fewer, if the information I have received is correct, who read French, it would be better not to have a dual language in that country at the present time. While I differ from the hon. gentleman, I am sure he will give me credit for honesty of judgment in dealing with this subject. While not committing myself to vote for the Bill before the House I candidly express my view on this question and I believe also the view of my constituents. I may say to the Minister of Public Works, who has just entered the Chamber, that I do not think he was justified in making the attack he did upon us. It is not within my recollection that in the Province of Ontario any Catholic or any number of Catholics have been treated with intolerance or their worship interfered with in any respect whatever, with the one or two exceptions which are so frequently referred to, and in those cases there was no interference with worship. It is true that in Toronto, where feeling runs high, when there were large demonstrations on one, two or three occasions, rows have been stirred up and little conflicts have taken place but at no place, and certainly not in the riding which I represent, where there is a very large Protestant majority, have the hon. gentleman's coreligionists failed to enjoy the greatest possible liberty to worship God in any way they pleased, and in my riding they have been assisted, as every Catholic throughout that section will bear witness, very materially by their Protestant neighbors. I repeat that the insinuations made in the speech of the Minister of Public Works were very unjustifiable, and his appeal to his fellow Canadians, irrespective of party, to stand by him on this occasion, was simply an attempt to pull wool over their eyes, for he knew that if there was any agitation in Ontario, if there was any intolerance in regard to this question, it was owing to the action of his own political friends for whom he had not a word of condemnation, although, they are the party which is opposing the action of the Liberal Government in allowing French to be taught in the schools, and indeed the hon. gentleman seemed to be perfectly satisfied to receive the support of those who were carrying on this agitation in Ontario.
Mr. LAURIER moved the adjournment of the debate. .
Motion agreed to.
Mr. LAURIER moved:
That this debate be made the first Order of the Day on Monday next after private Bills.
Motion agreed to.


House again resolved itself into Committee of Supply.
Miscellanous Expenses—Senate. . . . . . . $58,438
Mr. FOSTER. This is a decrease of over $2,000.
Mr. WILSON (Elgin). How is this decrease of $2,200?
Mr. FOSTER. Oh, don't find fault with a decrease.
Mr. WILSON (Elgin). There must be something about it to require some explanation.
Mr. FOSTER. It is the result of a general course of economy.
Mr. WILSON (Elgin). I understood that last Session there was to be some investigation to see if the expenses could not be cut down. Are we to understand that this is the result of the operations of the enquiry last year?  
Mr. FOSTER. That is a forerunner of the result.
Mr. WILSON (Elgin). Well, we would like to see some afterrunners too.
MR. DAVIES (P.E.I.) Before these items pass, I would call the attention of the Minister of Finance and of the House, to what I consider has been a gross misuse of the vote of this House in this connection last year. In the Auditor General's Report for 1888-1889 I find that this House, after consideration and consultation, voted a sum of $5,338 for the stationery of the Senate. That amounted to about the same per capita as was voted for our stationery here. I find, however, that these gentlemen of the Senate, instead of spending the sum we voted, spent $12,412.88. This is a matter which requires a good deal of explanation. It is perfectly useless for us to attempt to limit the expenditure, if we vote four or five thousand dollars for a particular department or branch of the Legislature, and they spend ten or twelve thousand dollars. When I take up the details of that expenditure I find that they are not such as would commend them to our serious judgment. Among the items I find 99 thermometers, from which I would suppose that each gentleman in the Senate requires a thermometer to test the temperature of the chamber for himself.
Mr. FOSTER. To keep him warm.
Mr. DAVIES (P. E. I.) No it would not even keep him warm. Then I find among the items several barometers, 12 tourists' cases at $127 (I suppose some of them intended to make a journey in the summer), 22 writing cases, stationery cabinets, writing desks, deed boxes, despatch boxes, pocket diaries, letter cases, and a lot of other things which at first sight do not appear to be at all necessary. The principle which I wish to call attention to is the disregard aid to the control which this Chamber should exercise on the expenditure of public money. When we vote $5,800 and they spend $12,000 it is a flagrant disregard of the wishes of this Chamber, which is supposed to control the expenditure of the public money. I think the Minister should give some explanation of this extraordinary expenditure above the vote.
Mr. McMULLEN. While the Minister is looking for this information, I would call his attention[...]


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



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Isabelle Carré-Hudson.

Personnes participantes: