House of Commons, 17 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

725 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 726
Bill (No. 28) to incorporate the Ottawa, Morrisburgh and New York Railway Company.—(Mr. Hickey.)


Mr. CHARLTON. I wish to detain the House for a moment, before the Orders of the Day are called. I notice that in the Queen's Speech delivered at the opening of Parliament, on the 11th instant, no reference is made to the Behring Sea difficulty, which is a matter of very great importance to us. It is also stated that the United States Government are making provision for more efficient police regulations with respect to seizures in that sea; and in view of our action some time ago, and the expression of our unbounded confidence in the Queen and loyalty to her, we naturally look to England for a little protection in this matter. I would ask the Premier if he has any information to give to the House on this subject?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The only information I can give the hon. gentleman is that negotiations have commenced-that the British Ambassador and the Secretary of State for the United States are now discussing the preliminaries for negotiations on this subject.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of Bill (No. 10) to further amend the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter 50, 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. LAURIER. If I, for one, could accept the declaration often made by the mover of this Bill, not only while introducing it, but on several occasions before, protesting that to the course which he had adopted for himself, and of which this is only the preliminary step, he was impelled by no other motive than a desire, a lofty desire, of securing the future of this country from dissension, and of ensuring peace and harmony by removing all causes of contention, I would be sorry that the hon. gentleman, harboring in his heart aims so high, should have endeavored to accomplish them by means so selfish, and so ungenerous, as those which underlie the measure which he has brought before the House. When, however, the hon. gentleman, in order to find a motive for the measure to which he called the attention of the House, invokes considerations of such far-reaching prudence, he is simply deluding himself. The hon. gentleman, no doubt, may persuade himself, but he will with difficulty convince those to whom he has been addressing himself, that his ultimate object in this matter is simply to secure the future peace and harmony of this country, while his present action must tend to endanger the peace and harmony which happily prevail. I can find nothing in this Bill, I must say, but the old, old spirit of domination and intolerance which, in this land, and in other lands, has always characterised the course of pure, unadulterated Toryism. This measure, taken by itself, disconnected from the motives which inspired it, would not be of very great importance—we are all agreed upon that— but it is of the greatest importance for this reason, that it constitutes a declaration of war by the hon. gentleman and those with whom he is acting, against the French race. It is a declaration of war, I say, against the French race of this country, of which the hon. gentleman, in this House, spoke in no disrespectful terms, but of which, in other places in the Province of Ontario, he spoke— I am sorry that he is not now in his place to hear me—the hon. gentleman spoke in terms which he would not dare to repeat on the floor of this House; the hon. gentleman spoke of the French race in terms of opprobrium, which, I say again, he would not dare to repeat in this House, in presence of French Canadians, who, by law, are on a plane of equality with him in this House. He would not dare to apply here to my fellow—countrymen of French origin, the terms and epithets which he applied to them on former occasions in the Province of Ontario. He would not dare to say here what he said elsewhere; he would not dare call that race here as he did elsewhere—a "bastard nationality." I have here his language, which he used not later than the 12th July last, at Stayner, Ont., where he said:
"In Barrie, last election, I pointed out, in a few simple words, that the great danger which overshadowed Canada was the French national cry, this bastard nationality, not a nationality which will take us in as we will take them in, but a nationality which begins and ends with the French race—which begins and ends with those who profess the Roman Catholic faith, and which now threatens the dismemberment of Canada."  
A "bastard nationality," a "danger to Canada!" Why, Sir, the days are not five years distant when this  "bastard nationality," to use the choice words of the hon. gentleman, was unanimous in their support of the Conservative party to which the hon. gentleman, then as now, belonged; the days are not five years distant when the hon. gentleman might have counted on his fingers the members of that race in this House who did not belong to the Conservative party. And yet in those days, and as long as that race gave his party nearly the whole weight of their influence, we never heard of any danger to Canada from this French national cry. In those. days the sensitiveness of the hon. gentleman, now so easily alarmed, did not seem to be in the least concerned. Nay, more, my fellow-countrymen of French origin, on the same side of the House to which he belongs, could appeal, and did appeal, to all the prejudices of my own race; but that was a legitimate warfare, because the national cry was made to do service in behalf of the Conservative party, to give them office, and to procure for them the direct and indirect profits of oflice. The speech delivered the other night by my hon. friend, the Minister of Public Works, and to which, I must say, legitimate objection was taken by my hon. friend rom North Oxford (Mr. Sutherland), was simply, in condensed form, the food which, for the last twenty-five years, has been served up every day by the Conservative ministerial press of the Province of Quebec. Yet in those days not one word was ever heard as to any danger to Canada from this national cry. But matters are altered to-day. To-day the French Canadians are no longer a unit in their support of the Conservative party; and what was commendable, or at least unobjectionable, in those days, has now become a danger to Canada. A danger to Canada, Sir! I venture to say, judging of the future by the past, that if the French Canadians were again to unite and give the whole 727 [COMMONS] 728 weight of their influence to the party to which the hon. gentleman still belongs, not one word more would we hear about this danger to Canada from the French national cry; because, though the hon. gentleman affects now to be a free lance, still he belongs to the party commanded by the Prime Minister. He may not be a very disciplined soldier, he may be carrying on a guerilla warfare, according to his methods, but after all, he is working for the benefit of the Conservative party. He has told us himself on more than one occasion. Not fifteen days ago he said so in Collingwood, and he said so on the 12th July last, at Stayner. It is well known that it was on the 12th July last at Stayner, amongst his own constituents, that the hon. gentleman started on the war path. He then stated that he was furnishing his own weapons, and that when Parliament again met he was going to give assault to the French. His ardor was such that he deprecated the unfortunate condition of things which, under the Constitution, did not permit him to attack them wherever his ardor would impel him, but under the Constitution, he says he could attack the French language in the North-West Territories, and attack he would as soon as the occasion offered. But at the same time the hon. gentleman, addressing his constituents—all of them, probably, good Tories—was careful to tell them that he was still a Conservative, that he would remain a Conservative, and that a Conservative he hoped to die; and I have no doubt that that is true, because I do not think the hon. gentleman has the slightest particle of Liberalism in his composition. After this, some candid souls have asked if the hon. gentleman was in sympathy with the Prime Minister, or if he was starting a new movement of his own. A most useless question, for, whatever may be the aim of the hon. gentleman, it is quite certain that he means no harm to the Conservative party, still less to the leader of the party. Upon that occasion he spoke of his attachment to the party, and to the leader of the party, in terms of gushing effusiveness which, I must say, the hon. gentleman is not accustomed to use. I might quote several expressions of his, but here is one which is characteristic of the whole tenor of his speech:
"I will treat my old chieftain with all tenderness, for I am still a member of the party. I cannot be read out, although I do not know what is in store for me."
The hon. member (Mr. McCarthy) is not here, but, if he were, I would tell him that he can keep his soul in peace. He need not fret or worry over what is in store for him, for I know the right hon. gentleman's astuteness too well—not to mention his nobler qualities—not to be aware that, if the hon. gentleman brings recruits to the party, he will be forgiven; and it is for recruits to the party that he is looking now. I regret that the hon. gentleman is not here, as I would rather speak in his presence than in his absence, but, in all sincerity, I say that I believe he is looking for recruits for the Conservative party, while, of course, not forgetting himself. The Conservative party have been in power for a long time; they have been in power nearly continuously for thirty years, and it is a matter of history that, during that time, they have been kept in power almost entirely by the French Catholic support of hhe Province of Quebec. That is a support upon which they can no longer  rely, because the people of Quebec are now divided in their political allegiance; but it must be manifest to everybody that an English Protestant united Ontario would be just as effective for party purposes, and this seems to be the task which the hon. gentleman has set before him to accomplish. It is always an easy and a cheap task to arouse and inflame prejudices. Give me a meeting or assembly of men, whether it be small or large, and in that meeting I will find passions and prejudices, noble in themselves, but which can be easily excited into dangerous passions and prejudices. The hon. gentleman is now endeavoring to arouse prejudices which old quarrels, religious fervor, and pride of race, may have left in the breasts of his fellow-countrymen of English origin. He tells them that if the country is to be kept British all Canadians of British origin must unite; at the same time he states that he is a Conservative, that he will remain a Conservative, that he will not be separated from his leader. If the appeals which he has been making were to be successful, to whom would they profit and whom would they affect? They certainly would not affect the Conservatives, because the hon. gentleman states that he is still in allegiance with them, and that they belong to the same party. If they would affect anybody, they would affect the Liberals of Ontario, who, fearing perhaps for British connection, might be induced to follow the hon. gentleman into the Conservative party, for which he could frame a policy and of which then he would be dictator. Well, if this movement of the hon. gentleman were to be terminated here, if it were attempted merely to do service as a party device and to end there, it might not be viewed   with much alarm. If this measure of the hon. gentleman were not to be followed by any other, if it were to remain as it appears here, a measure for the proscription of the French language confined to the North-West Territories alone, where the French population is small, I say at once that I would be inclined to say: Let the measure pass and let us return to those measures of practical usefulness which demand our attention. But this is not the last movement of the hon. gentleman. This is only a preliminary skirmish, soon to be followed by a general onslaught upon the whole French race in Canada. I have before me the words of the hon. gentleman, and he has more than once told us that his object is a hand-to-hand conflict with the French race of Canada. If he did not say so in so many words, there is no mistaking his meaning that his ultimate object is the annihilation of the French race as an individual people in this Dominion. In his speech at Stayner, he unfolded his whole mind, and, addressing himself to the English section of the people of the Dominion, he said:
"There is a great work cut out for us to do. Let us begin with that which seems most possible of accomplishment. Let us deal with the dual languages in the North- West. In the Local House let us deal with the teaching of French in the schools. When these two matters are settled, we will have accomplished something, and we may be able to do something better in future."
These words are quite significant. This Bill, the introduction of this measure, is simply a preliminary step, and when that is accomplished it is to be followed by something better. And what is that something better which is to follow? The hon. gentleman has not left us in doubt as to that. Here are his words:  
729 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 730
"We must buckle on our armor. * * * * This is a British country, and the sooner we take up our French Canadians and make them British, the less trouble will we leave for posterity, for sooner or later must this matter be settled."
Nothing can be plainer than this language. The French Canadians are to be deprived of their language, not only in the North-West Territories, but wherever their language exists. They. must be deprived of everything which constitutes their distinct individuality in this Dominion, and this must be done by legislation now; but, if not done now by legislation, in future it will be done by force and violence—by bullets and bayonets. The expression is not mine, but that of the hon. gentleman himself. It has been repeated, not once or twice, but several times in different parts of the Dominion. So this is the policy upon which the hon. gentleman is endeavoring to form a new party, or to re-organise an old party. This is the policy the hon. gentleman offers to his fellow-countrymen of English origin. I denounce this policy as anti-Canadian; I denounce it as anti-British; I denounce it as being at variance with all the traditions of British Government in this country; I denounce it as fatal to the hope we at one time entertained, and which I, for one, am not disposed to give up, of forming a nation on this Continent; I denounce it as a crime, the consequences of which are simply shocking to contemplate. The hon. gentleman may mean nothing more than a mere party device, but he is opening the flood-gates to passions which, once aroused, perhaps no human power may be able to restrain. He is appealing to national and religious passions, the most inflexible of all passions, and—whatever may be his motive, whatever his end, whatever his purpose—his movement cannot be characterised by any other language than that of a national crime. I do not know what are the motives which are actuating the hon. gentleman; I do not know them fully. I look only at the consequences. But, whatever may be the hon. gentleman's motives, he has more than once felt impelled to repudiate the statement that he is actuated by hatred of the French race. If he were here, I would tell him that I accept his statement absolutely and entirely. Hatred is so base a sentiment that I would not impute it to him, but, if he is not actuated by hatred, it is evident that he has a very strange misconception of the character of French Canadians, and must have a very low estimate of their moral standard. In the speech to which I have already alluded, the hon. gentleman did not hesitate to go considerably out of his way, in order to refer to the agitation which, a few years ago, passed over the Province of Quebec, consequent upon the rebellion in the North-West and the execution of the chief participant in the same. He did not hesitate then to attribute the storm of indignation which, at that time, convulsed a highly emotional race to the lowest sentiments which can actuate the human heart, and those expressions were, to a certain extent, reproduced in the House, the other day, by the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. McNeill), in the attempt he made to attack my hon. friend beside me (Mr. Blake) for the courageous stand which he took upon that question. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) did not hesitate to say, that, if the people of Quebec took the stand they did at that time, it was from a most dishonest motive; that it was simply an attempt to stand between a criminal and justice, because the so-called criminal happened to be one of their own race.
"Those who have done me the honor to pay close attention to my political career, will remember that in the County of Haldimand two or three years ago I raised the warning note. I pointed out that the Province of Quebec had been worked up to madness against the Dominion authorities for daring to execute justice upon a Frenchman."
"For daring to execute justice upon a Frenchman." I repeat this sentiment in his own words. Well, I have simply this to say, that whoever declares that the position taken by the people of Quebec upon this question was not an honest one is guilty of slander, and makes a statement the truth of which he cannot prove. The hon. gentleman has not, however, the odium of having invented that charge. It has been a stock phrase of the Conservative ministerial press of Ontario for the. last three or four years. So long as it was simply confined to some obscure scribblers it might be passed in silence, but when the hon. gentleman did not hesitate to give it the countenance of his name and reputation, and when, moreover, such sentiments are re-echoed in this House, I cannot allow the charge to pass unrebuked. I will meet the hon. gentlemen on his own grounds. I will not dispute his expression that the people of Quebec were driven to madness on this question, but as to the motives attributed by him I will state that the people of Quebec believe in their conscience, whether right or wrong, that the execution "of that Frenchman" (to use the words of the hon. gentleman) was an unjustifiable homicide. The hon. gentleman will not forget that twenty-three of his colleagues; twenty-three of those who supported that Administration like himself—most of them who, like himself, will not be read out of the party, but who will remain Conservatives— telegraphed to the Prime Minister that the execution would be a crime. This is not all; there is more than that. The hon. gentleman will not forget that the press of the civilised world decided upon that occasion that "mercy should rule and not severity." The opinion of the press of the whole world; the London Lancet, the Christian World, the London Daily News, the London Echo, the Pall-Mall Gazette in England, Le National, Le Journal des De'bats and Le Télégraphe in France, Harper's Weekly, the Times, the World, the Commercial Advertiser of New York, and scores of other journals in the United States, gave it as their opinion that mercy should have been the rule upon that occasion. I tell the hon. gentleman who has interrupted me that if those great organs of public opinion came to the conclusion that mercy should have been the rule upon that occasion, how dare he now contest the honesty of the people of Quebec who came to the same conclusion? If those who were without the conflict, if those who looked from a calmer sphere came to this conclusion, is it to be wondered at that the people of Quebec came to the same conclusion, though it maybe regretted that they expressed their opinion in such violent language. I say more. There is no one man of English origin, if he be true to the standard of that proud race which never tolerated injustice, and never submitted to tyranny, who, looking at the long tale of woe and misery 731 [COMMONS] 732 which resulted in the rebellion in the North-West, but must feel his heart indignant—not against the poor wretches who, goaded to madness and driven to despair by years of careless indifference, at last risked life and limb and freedom, risked the loss of everything dear to man, to get justice, and then alone obtained it—but against those who by their own supineness had brought about such a crime on the fair name of the country. There is more than that. If the history of that rebellion were told, it would unfold to the world a tragedy darker than Hamlet. There was a race of men on the border between savage and civilised life; advanced enough to understand the value of property, but not advanced enough to defend their property against those unfeeling speculators who everywhere precede civilisation. Among the whole race then in Canada there was not one who had received the smallest rudiment of education; but they had heard there was one of their number who had been more favored than they in this respect, and he was then an exile. If he were brought back to the Territories, might he not procure for them the act of simple justice which they themselves could not obtain? To him they appealed; but, misfortune greater than all their misfortune! the man to whom they thus appealed to be the eye to see for them, the mind to guide them, the arm to protect them, had been touched by the hand of God, and was the most helpless of them all. In the face of such facts, the judgment of my fellow-countrymen can be impugned, but their honesty cannot be assailed. It is a vile imputation to attack their honesty of purpose; and if I have thus alluded to these facts, it is not with a view of recrimination, it is not with a view of perpetuating the bitterness of these sad days. But since we are threatenod with a war of races, since my hon. friend (Mr. McCarthy) is going to appeal to the people of Ontario to unite together, I want at least fair play in the contest. I cannot allow that such a statement as this made at Stayner, should go unrebuked, and I must do my share in the attempt to re-establish perverted truth. I cannot allow the fair name of my countrymen to be assailed by false statements, and that the expression should go abroad uncontradicted that the people of Quebec will follow no law but the law of their own selfishness. Since the hon. gentleman (Mr. McCarthy) has taken this attitude, since he has tried to introduce this new policy, which outlines the course he has taken recently, we might have hoped that he were impelled by motives of a higher and nobler consideration. I am not ignorant of the fact that, among the men who have adopted the same views as the hon. gentleman, there are many who have come to the conclusion which the hon. gentleman has given expression to, from the conviction that the existence of two separate nationalities in Canada is not compatible with the existence of the Dominion. This objection thus presented is one which I will not reject. On the contrary, I say this is a question which must engross the serious attention of all those who have at heart the future of the country, for no one can close his eyes to the fact that the existence of two distinct nationalities must produce sometimes, as it has produced already, causes of angry friction and, therefore, of danger. But, Sir, we must deal with facts as they are, and deal with them as we find them. Here are two different races geographically united under the same political allegiance, but separated by numerous ethnical features. With those conflicting elements, it is the object of the hon. gentleman apparently—it is my own object certainly, and it is the object of us all, I believe—to try to form a nation. This is the problem we have to solve; how shall we proceed to solve it? The hon. gentleman has given us his method, the Tory method, and he has once more demonstrated that Tory methods never proceed from the nobler, higher instincts of the human heart and the human intellect, but always from the dread, the diffidence, and the distrust which everywhere has made the Tory party, wherever it has had sway,suspicious and cruel. The hon. gentleman, looking around this broad Dominion, sees a population of one and a-half million inhabitants, nearly one-third of our whole population, who are of French origin, attached to their language, their laws, their institutions, and their religion—attached to everything which characterises their separate individuality. If the hon. gentleman had stated that this was a cause of possible friction, and that we should endeavor to find some means of alleviating that friction, I would agree with him; but the hon. gentleman did not take that view. On the contrary, he coldly asserts that the existence of two separate races here is not compatible with the existence of the Dominion, and, therefore, one must disappear; and I have quoted his words in which he appeals to his friends of English origin to buckle on their armor, and see to it that we have only one nationality on this continent. Sir, if this policy were to prevail, what would be the result? What is it the hon. gentleman has in view? It is simply this: that the French Canadians should feel the yoke on their shoulders, that they should be deprived by legislation, or by force if necessary, of everything which has been granted to them hitherto. If this doctrine were to prevail, on what foundation would this Confederation rest? The hon. gentleman, I am sure, would himself admit that pride of race, attachment to the memory of one's nation and ancestors, are noble sentiments; and yet the hon. gentleman coldly proposes that one and a-half million of Canadians —in order, as he says, that they should become good Canadians—should renounce their origin and the traditions of their race. He proposes that the humiliation of one whole race in this country should be the foundation of this Dominion. Woe to the party which can adopt such degrading doctrines as this. Who does not see that the humiliation of one race would be a far greater danger to Confederation than any we have ever yet known? I endorse the words spoken a short time ago by the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. McNeill), that we want to build up a nation on this continent; and we want to establish such a state of things that every citizen of this country, whatever his origin may be, whether he is English or French, shall feel in his heart a supreme pride to call himself a Canadian. But I would ask the hon. gentleman—I could not appeal perhaps to his heart, though I might to his logical mind—does he believe that to subject one whole section of our population to the humiliation of renouncing its origin, of turning its back upon its history, would make them proud of the country? Who does not perceive that if you 733 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 734 should force one section to hate the institutions under which they live, those institutions cannot live? Sir, the humiliation of one race, one class, one creed, or one man is not the foundation on which this Confederation can rest. There is but one foundation for it, that is, to give the fullest scope and the fullest sway to all those sentiments which could not be torn from the heart without causing a loss of pride. The hon. gentleman seems to think that all Canadians should be cast in the same mould. He is proud of his race, and he has every reason to be proud of it; but, Sir, it does not follow that we should all be English- speaking Canadians, that we should all be merged in the Anglo-Saxon element. Certainly no one can respect or admire more than I do the Anglo- Saxon race; I have never disguised my sentiments on that point; but we of French origin are satisfied to be what we are, and we claim no more. I claim this for the race in which I was born, that though it is not perhaps endowed with the same qualities as the Anglo-Saxon race, it is endowed with qualities as great; I claim for it that it is endowed with qualities unsurpassed in some respects; I claim for it that there is not to-day under the sun a more moral, more honest or more intellectual race; and if the hon. gentleman came to Lower Canada, it would be my pride to take him to one of those ancient parishes on the St. Lawrence or one of its tributaries, and show him a people to whom, prejudiced as he is, he could not but apply the words which the poet applied to those who at one time inhabited the Basin of Minas and the meadows of Grandpré:
"Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodland,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of Heaven."
Sir, I claim no more than this is fairly due to my countrymen, and I say let the two races stand together, each with its own characteristics; they will be all the more speedily united in the same aspirations towards a common object—British in allegiance and Canadian in sentiment. But, Sir, if you attempt to rend from one whatever is dear and sacred to it, instead of having peace and harmony, you will have ever increasing discord. My hon. friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) the other day told us that it was in the interest of the French Canadians to become a part of the Anglo-Saxon race; and proceeding to relate the achievements of that great race, both in war and peace, he almost asked permission from and apologised to the French Canadians for feeling proud of the British feats of arms on the Plains of Abraham, in the Bay of Trafalgar, on the field of Waterloo. Sir, my hon. friend needed not to apologise; his sentiments are quite natural to those who have the same blood as he has in his veins, and they cannot be offensive to anyone; but I, who belong to the race which was defeated in those battles, claim no permission to say that I lay no claim to that stoical heroism, if heroism it be, which can contemplate without a pang, even retrospectively, the defeat of one's own race, though my judgment is clear that in two, at least, of those battles—that on the Plains of Abraham and that on the field of Waterloo—the victory of England was a victory of liberty. Ihave,more than once in this House, told my fellow- countrymen of the Province of Quebec, that the day which had severed Canada from France had not been an evil day for the descendants of France, because they had found under the British Crown greater liberty than they could have hoped for under the French régime, and after all liberty is the greatest boon of life. But, Sir, while I say that, I do not disguise to my fellow-countrymen of English origin, who will, I hope, understand me, that even at this day, holding the opinions which I hold, whenever I take up our history, as I follow the long, the persistent, the implacable duel between England and France for the possession of this continent; as I trace, page by page, the fatal climax, dim at first, but gradually taking shape and becoming inevitable; as I follow the brave army of Montcalm retreating before superior forces, retreating, even after victory, retreating into a circle made every day narrower and narrower; as I come to the last page and the last struggle where that truly great man, the gallant Montcalm, found death with his first defeat, I do not disguise from my fellow-countrymen of English origin that my heart is clenched and that my French blood runs colder in my veins. Talk to me not of your purely utilitarian theories! men are not mere automatons! It is not by trampling on the tenderest sentiments of the soul that you will ever accomplish your end if such an end you have in view. And yet it is in the name of British allegiance, it is with the apparent object of securing the future of this country, that this new policy is introduced—this so-called British policy which is at total variance with the policy ever followed by the British authorities on this continent. This country had but a few years before passed under the régime of the English Crown, when the great conflict arose between England and her colonies to the south, which ended in the separation of those colonies from the mother land. England at once realised that, if she was to retain a foothold upon this continent, it was necessary for her to win the affections of her new subjects, since she had lost the allegiance of those of her own kith and kin; and that unless she made just concessions she could not hope to do so. In a just and generous spirit she made the concessions necessary to gain this object. To her new subjects she gave their laws, their language, and their religion, although at the time that very religion was subjected to many disabilities in England. Does not the hon. gentleman who moved this Bill know, as everybody must know, that these timely concessions saved this colony to England? Does he not know that if the new subjects of England had joined the armies which Congress sent over to force Canadians into the movement of insurrection, the result would have been for Canada what it has been for the rebellious colonies—total separation. And the hon. gentleman might have known that, though the Marquis de Lafayette and the Count d'Estaing sent their emissaries to wave the old colors of France before the eyes of the old subjects of France, the latter still remained true and fought under the British flag around the walls of Quebec with the same courage which they had displayed against that flag but sixteen years before. Supposing the hon. gentleman had been living then and had had a voice in the council of the King, what advice would he have given? Would he have said: Do not allow these men to talk their own language; do not give them any privileges? If he had, and if his advice had been taken, this 735 [COMMONS] 736 country would not be British as it is to-day. I have stated, and I repeat the statement, that the French Canadians having claimed and received from England the privileges of British subjects, it would be the blackest ingratitude on their part if, to-day, they were to reject the obligations which British citizenship entails; but I a so say to the hon. gentleman that it would be ungrateful, unmanly, and ungenerous to repeal at this moment, or to attempt to take from the French Canadians, the concessions made to them to win their affections and to secure their support in the day of England's danger. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) stated, a few evenings ago, that he had his doubts as to whether the loyalty of French Canadians upon that occasion had been altogether unmixed; he had his doubts as to whether, instead of being loyal, they did not only look to their language, their laws, their institutions and their church. I do not understand the doubts of the hon. gentleman. I do not doubt at all. I am quite sure these were the motives which impelled my countrymen to be loyal. They had to choose between the action of the British Crown and that of the Philadelphia Congress. The British Crown had just granted them the Act of 1774, which secured to them everythin they held dear—their language, their laws and their religion—and they had to choose between that and the Act of the Philadelphia Congress, which will always remain a blot on a noble page of American history. The hon. gentleman shows that in the proclamation which the Congress of Philadelphia issued to the English people that very concession was declared to be one of the grievances of which the colonies had to complain. These were the motives that induced my countrymen to take the stand they did. Does the hon. gentleman find fault with them for being guided by motives? Do not men generally act on motives? As Mr. Lincoln said, in 1862, in the darkest period of the war: Negroes themselves will act upon motives. I would like to know What objection my hon. friend has to that? What are his views of loyalty? Does loyalty consist only in kissing the smiting hand? Is it meritorious when submissive and slavish? No; loyalty is meritorious when it proceeds from favors granted and from justice done. And this has been the invariable tradition of the race to which my hon. friend has the honor to belong, and of which he is justly proud. But there were before today men whose memory was short and whose sense of atitude was limited. In the first Parliament, which sat in 1791 under the Constitution then granted, there were men like the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) and the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), who wished to have the use of the French language abolished in the legislative hall. Their attempts were frustrated, chiefly by the efforts of one man, who, upon that subject, could speak with authority. That man was Joseph Papineau, the illustrious father of a still more illustrious son; and his whole life was the repudiation of the theory advanced here in the last four days. He was an example of the fact that a man can speak in the language of his ancestors, and still remain a true subject of the Crown of England. At the time when Arnold and Montgomery were invading Canada, despatches had been brought from Lord Howe, who commanded the British forces in the insurgent colonies, to Sir Guy Carleton, who commanded the English forces in Canada. The despatches reached Montreal. Sir Guy Carleton had been forced to retreat to Quebec before Montgomery's army, and was busily preparing that city against the invaders. The despatches could not be carried further than Montreal, except at the cost of great perils and hardships; but two young men undertook to carry them through. Joseph Papineau, then a young man, twenty-five years of age, was one of the two who volunteered for this service. The country was in the hands of the enemy; it was unsettled, and there were great rivers to be crossed, without bridges, and it was in the fall of the year. Mr. Papineau and his friend tramped the whole distance. They reached Quebec and delivered their despatches. Then, what did they do? They enlisted as volunteers and served in the defence of Quebec, until the enemy was repulsed from Canadian soil. Some few years afterwards, in 1791, Mr. Papineau had been elected member for Montreal, and when the attempt was made to banish the French language from the walls of the legislature of Quebec, Mr. Papineau could speak with some authority, and he asked:
"Is it simply because Canada forms part of the British Empire that Canadians, who speak not the language in use on the banks of the Thames, are to be deprived of their natural rights?"
Mr. Papineau's recent services, his fidelity to the cause in danger, were such as to convince the English members of the Legislature that his arguments were reasonable and generous; and I submit that his words should find an echo, even at this distant day, within the walls of this chamber. The hon. gentleman told us that, at a later date, Lord Durham, in his famous report, advised the suppression of the French language in the legislative halls of Canada. It is perfectly true, and his views were incorporated in the Imperial Act of 1840, but five years had not elapsed before the Canadian Legislature unanimously decided, all shades of opinion united, to petition the Imperial Parliament to remove the obnoxious clause, and it was so removed. The union of Upper and Lower Canada had just been consummated, and it was soon perceived, under the guidance of that master mind, Mr. Baldwin, that if the union was to be for the good of the whole people, every section of the people had to be protected in what was held dear by every one of them. This Act of the Legislature has, however, been criticised by my hon. friend from Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). He found nothing in it great, generous or statesman like. On the contrary, he characterised it as a weak concession from politicians in order to capture French votes. I would not do justice to the hon. gentleman if I did not here quote his words. This is what he said:
"The Parliament of 1840 did all it could to repair the injury of 1774; but gentlemen, it was not very long before our politicians undid it all."
Mark the supreme contempt in these words, "our politicians!" The hon. gentleman was on tender ground when he spoke of "politicians," he was at one time a politician, though he informed his. audience that he was no longer of that class.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). A statesman.
Mr. LAURIER. The hon. gentleman was too modest to say that, but he left it to be inferred, that the great statesmen of the present day should 737 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 738 endeavor to undo the great wrong inflicted on this country, from such base motives, by such puny politicians as Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Lafontaine, Sir Allen MacNab and Mr. Morin. The hon. gentleman was proud, he said, to fortify his views with the views of Lord Durham, and he was proud to refer to Lord Durham as a Liberal of the Liberals. It is true that Lord Durham was a Liberal, but I will show that, While he was a friend of liberty, and was one of the most advanced statesmen of his day, he did not know the force of free institutions, and that, however large the range of his mind, he was not such a keen-sighted statesman, nor even true Liberal, as was our own Robert Baldwin. My hon. friend the other day recalled the famous words of Lord Durham, wherein, in graphic language, he depicted the state of Lower Canada in the summer of 1838. He had expected, he said, to find here a conflict between a Government and a people, but he had found two peoples warring in the bosom of the same state; he had found a struggle, not of principles, but of races. The language is perfectly true. It cannot be doubted at this day, that the movement which culminated in the rebellion of 1837-38 in Lower Canada, when it assumed that acute form, had degenerated into a war of races. My hon. friend did not tell us the cause which had brought about that war of races, but Lord Durham told us, and my hon. friend might have quoted his language. The cause was the contest between the Legislative Assembly and an irresponsible Government. For almost fifty years the Legislative Assembly passed laws which were deemed essential, absolutely essential, for the welfare of the country, and even for the very existence of the Legislative Assembly itself, as a body; and as often as those laws were passed, so often were they trampled upon by an irresponsible Government. The Assembly was altogether French; the Executive was almost entirely English, and its members were recruited by the Colonial Office among its creatures. As may be expected in any such case, the Whole French population took part with the Assembly, and nearly the whole of the English population took part with the Executive. Very few, probably, thought much as to Who was in the right or as to who was in the wrong; but, if you desire to know who was in the main right in that dispute, I cannot do better than to call in the testimony of Lord Durham himself, as it is couched in his report. And this is what he said:
"From the commencement, therefore, to the end of the disputes which marked the whole parliamentary history of Lower Canada, I look on the conduct of the Assembly as a constant warfare with the Executive, for the purpose of obtaining the powers inherent in a representative body by the very nature of representative government."
Thus you have the admission that, if there was a rebellion, it was forced upon the French Canadians of that day by the action of the Executive Government, which had refused to give to the Legislative Assembly the powers inherent to a legislative body. Yet, in face of that opinion, Lord Durham said that the loyalty of the French Canadians could not be trusted, and that henceforth Lower? Canada would have to be governed by an English population, and the method he suggested was the union of the two Canadas, with a provision that the English population should have in the House a large majority in numbers. The reason he gives for coming to that conclusion is given in very pithy terms. Here it is:
"Never again will the present generation of French Canadians yield a loyal submission to a British Government."
I have already stated that Lord Durham did not know the full force of free representative institutions, and that our own Baldwin was a greater statesman in that respect than Lord Durham. Lord Durham had not imagined, he had not thought, that, if the French Canadians were given all their privileges, they would at once become loyal subjects, that they would not have to be governed by the strong hand of an English majority, that division would not take place on the line of races but on the broader lines which impel men to move onwards or to cling to the past. Mr. Baldwin understood that, and he was the first to suggest that the French Canadians should have their language restored, and should be treated as the equals of their fellow-citizens of English origin. That was true statesmanship and that view was unanimously adopted by the Legislature; and I ask, in face of subsequent facts, who is the greater statesman, Lord Durham or Mr. Baldwin? Lord Durham stated that the then living generation of French Canadians would never yield submission to an English Government. At that very time, there was a young man who was an exile from his native country, because he had been a few months before a rebel in arms, and the British Government had set a price upon his head. There is no doubt that, if he had been captured, he would have met the fate of those who, on the scaffold, paid the penalty of having loved their country not wisely but too well. Under the policy introduced in 1845, this young man became a member of Parliament and leader of the Conservative party, and he died a baronet of the realm. Sir, this took place in face of the words Lord Durham wrote in 1838, when he said that never again would that generation of French Canadians yield a loyal submission to the British Government. Now, my hon. friend from Simcoe asks us to go back upon this policy. Are we to be told at this day, or is it to be believed by any one at this day, that the policy introduced by Mr. Baldwin has not made Canada what it is? Is there a man living in this land, especially if he is of the Liberal party, who Would at this day go back upon the policy inaugurated by their leader forty years ago? Sir, there is not a man in this country to-day who must not feel proud of the wise and statesmanlike policy which wasintroduced upon that occasion. I am not ignorant of, nor will I minimise, the danger which arises to Canada from the fact that we have here a dualty of language and a dualty of race. But the fact exists, and ostracism of any kind, instead of removing the danger, would simply intensify it, by forcing a section of our population to hate the institutions under which they live—intensify it, because it would bring a section of our population into conflict with the majority, which would thus abuse the brute power of numbers. It seems to me that the hon. gentleman must feel that the policy which he is now championing is weak and inferior. Any policy which appeals to a class, to a creed, to a race, or which does not appeal to the better instincts to be found in all classes, in all creeds, and in all races, is stamped with the stamp of inferiority. The French Canadian who appeals to his fellow-countrymen to stand by themselves, 739 [COMMONS] 740 aloof from the rest of this continent; the English Canadian who, like my hon. friend, appeals to his fellow-countrymen on grounds affecting them alone, may, perhaps, win the applause of those whom they may be addressing, but impartial history will pronounce their work as vicious in conception as it is mischievous and wicked in its tendency. We are here a nation, or we want to be a nation, composed of the most heterogeneous elements—Protestants and Catholics, English, French, German, Irish, Scotch, every one, let it be remembered, with his traditions, with his prejudices. In each of these conflicting antagonistic elements, however, there is a common spot of patriotism, and the only true policy is that which reaches that common patriotism and makes it vibrate in all, towards a common end and common aspirations. I may be asked: What, then, is to be the future of Canada? The future of Canada is this: that it must be British. I do not share the dreams or the delusions of those few of my fellow-countrymen of French origin, who talk to us of forming a French nation onthe banks of the St. Lawrence; and I would say to my hon. friend from Simcoe, if he were here, that these dreams ought not to disturb his sleep. Those who share these delusions are very few; they might be counted upon the fingers of one hand, and I never knew but one newspaper which ever gave them utterance. Yet, while I say that this country is bound to be British, it does not follow at all that there must be but one language—the English language—to be spoken in this country. I claim that I am as loyal as the hon. gentleman to the institutions of this country, and I am the son of a French mother, and I declare that I cling to the language which I learned at her knee as I cling to the life which she gave me. And upon this ground I appeal to every man of British origin, to every man of that race in which the domestic affections are so strong; and I know that in the heart of every one the answer will be, that, situated as we are, they would do as we do. But the hon. gentleman will revert to the cold, dry arguments that, after all, a dualty of race will produce friction, and that friction will produce danger. But where is the remedy? I tell the hon. gentleman that the remedy is not in ostracism, not in harsh methods nor in cruel methods. My hon. friend from North Bruce (Mr. McNeill)—who, like many other good men, preaches better than he practices—gave us the other day the true remedy. The true remedy, he said, is mutual forbearance and respect. I altogether agree with my hon. friend from North Bruce. But he complained in his speech that the forbearance should not be all on one side. Sir, is it all on one side? What he complains of is afew expressions, I admit very imprudent, that have fallen from the lips of some men in the heat of the debate. Well, I am pretty sure that when those expressions are sifted and explained they readily fall away. The newspapers of Ontario, during the past year, have been full of citations of the words of my hon. friend from Bellechasse (Mr. Amyot), pronounced at the St. Jean Baptiste celebration last year; and when he took occasion, a few days ago, to explain those words, he explained them so thoroughly that my hon. friend from North Bruce immediately wanted to make him a member of the Imperial Federation League. If all the other expressions were so sifted I do not despair that my hon. friend from North Bruce would try to make Mr. Mercier himself a member of the Imperial Federation League. This is what he claims his fellow-countrymen and my fellow-countrymen of English origin have to bear. Well, I tell him that the French Canadians have also something to bear. I will tell him what we have to bear. What we object to is the meddlesome interference of certain men in Ontario in our domestic politics; What I object to is the whinin pity bestowed by some over-zealous and over-good men in Ontario upon the poor, down-trodden, prostrate French Canadians. Only the other day my hon. friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) complained that the Province of Quebec was making no progress, and he instanced the fact that in that Province we still have the tithing system, and he said if there was in Quebec a true Liberal party, they would grapple with such an evil as that. There is in Quebec a Liberal party, not without fault, I admit, but a party which has fought as noble a battle as was ever fought by any party in any land. But before I tell him why the Liberal party in Quebec do not grapple with the tithing system, let me remind him that there is in England a Liberal party of which any man ought to be proud, a party led to-day by one of the greatest men that England has ever produced, or that any land has ever produced—Mr. Gladstone. Does my hon. friend also know that there is a tithing system in England just as there is a tithing system in Lower Canada—no, not just the same, because the tithing system in England is far more oppressive and unjust than the system in Lower Canada. The tithing system in Lower Canada only affects Roman Catholics and no one else, but in England the tithing system affects every man, whether he is a member of the Church of England or of another. And yet never to this day did the Liberal party grapple with that system or attempt to bring the English people to abolish that system. Why? Because the great majority of the English people would not part with it. And for the very same reason the Liberal party has never grappled with that system here, because the people of Quebec are satisfied with it. My hon. friend has read somewhere that the people are oppressed under the tithing system, that they are compelled to abandon their lands because the oppression is such that they cannot pay the tithes. The truth is the people of Quebec to-day give double the amount to the Church voluntarily than they give by law. I declare, in the name of the Liberal party of Quebec, of which I am an humble member, that so long as the conscience of Quebec is satisfied with the system, never will the Liberal party attack that system. I will say this to the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), that if we could make a compact between the English and the French, each to mind his own business and not meddle with the business of the other, we would get along tolerably well, not only tolerably well, but perfectly well. Yet the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) perhaps may say: If you are to bring the two races together, simply by relying upon moral influence and persuasion, the union may be far away. There is orce in the objection, because there are in Quebec, as there are in Ontario, extreme men who will not be amenable either to reason or generous considerations. The extreme men of Quebec talk today of forming a French nation on the banks of the St. Lawrence, and the extremists of Ontario talk of driving away 741 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 742 the French with bayonets. When the very large body of the nation, composed of the two races, come closer together and know each other better, I have no doubt that friction of races here will be as rare as it is in Switzerland after hundreds of years of political union. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) if he were here, would say, perhaps: Is this system ever to remain? Is there never to be a day when we shall have here nothing but the English language? I would tell my hon. friend that I do not trouble myself with such considerations as to a dim and distant future. The only thing which troubles me at this moment is, to keep peace and harmony in this land, and not have peace and harmony endangered under the vain pretence of securing the future against feuds and contentions. I have great pleasure in telling the hon. gentleman—and I am sorry he is not present—that, in my judgment, the English language is to-day and must be for several generations, perhaps for several centuries, the commanding language of the world. So long as the centre of civilisation was on the basin of the Mediterranean, three languages in succession held sway: the Greek, the Latin and the French. At the end of the seventeenth century the French language was undoubtedly the dominating language of civilisation. It is still the language of diplomacy, the vehicle of communication for international exchange in the higher productions of the human mind, but it is no longer the language of the many. That position now belongs to the English language. That revolution has been accomplished by the wonderful development of the Anglo-Saxon race during the eighteenth and in the nineteenth centuries. That race have carried their language with them in their emigration around the world, and now it is the language of more than 100,000,000 of people scattered over Europe, Africa, America, Asia, and the islands and continents of the Pacific Ocean. Sir, the very fact that the English language is to-day the dominating language of this continent of America, makes it imperative on French Canadians, although they will retain their language, to learn and speak English. Nothing was more appropriate, more wise than the words that fell a few days ago from the junior member for Ottawa (Mr. Robillard). The French Canadian father who to-day does not give an English education to his son does not do justice to his child, because hecompels him to stand back in the hard struggle for life. I would say more. It is imperative for us French Canadians to learn English, but—I have no right to give advice to any other man—if I were to give any advice to my Anglo- Canadian friends, it would be that they would do well to learn French too. The English are a proud race; but the Romans were a proud race also; and after they had conquered the world, a Roman acknowledged that the education of his son was not complete unless he was as familiar with Greek letters as he was with Latin letters. Perhaps, however, my hon. friend for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) would not admit such an example for himself or the people of this country, because the object of my hon. friend is not simply to remove the use of the French language in the North- West Territories and from every legislative hall in Canada, but his object is to prevent the teaching of French in the schools of Ontario. There are today, in the back townships and new concessions in Ontario, schools where a few French settlers are attempting to impart some knowledge to their children in the langua e of their ancestors. The eagle eye of my hon. riend has caught sight of that fact. The eye of the eagle can withstand the sun, but the eye of my hon. friend cannot withstand that little li ht. He spoke a few days ago in this city, the Capital of Canada, at a meeting which adopted the following resolution:—
"And this meeting avails itself of this opportunity of expressing the opinion that in our own Province the use of the French language as the language of instruction in the public schools should be abolishe and for ever prohibited, and that no undecided measure for obtaining this end will be satisfactory to the people of Ontario."
The hon. gentleman spoke to that resolution and endorsed every word of it. This is what he said:
"At the same time, as a citizen of Ontario—of the Dominion, I heartily endorse the sentiment which the meeting has given utterance to—that we ought, and ought at once an for all time, to ut an end to the teaching of our children, either French, anadian or English, in any other language than the language of the country in which we live."
Is this really the measure of my hon. friend? We always knew him to be a restrictionist, but not to that extent, I am sure; we always knew him to be a restrictionist in trade, but he is a restrictionist even in knowledge. If the hon. gentleman, on that occasion, had said that the people of Ontario would insist that English should be taught in all their schools, I would raise both my hands in favor of it. But that is not enough; not only must English be taught, but he objects to any other language being taught in Ontario schools. Can it be that an hon. gentleman possessing the attainments, power and ability of my hon. friend should stoop to things so low? It is a thing low, and vile, and contemptible, to say that the people of Ontario, whatever be their creed or their origin, shall not have the right to teach a second language to their children if they choose. Men are not usually wantonly cruel; men do not, as a rule, purposely degrade their lives, and what is the reason, I want to know, which impels my hon. friend to use such language as that? Sir, the reason is, that Tories of the stamp of my hon. friend never can bring themselves up to the point of trusting the better instincts of the human heart; they never can divest themselves of the base notion that, if they treat their opponents with generosity or with justice, their opponents will abuse the privilege. They can never divest themselves of the base notion that, if the French Canadians are to be allowed their language and their characteristics as a race, they will turn traitors as a race. They want to make this country British in the same manner they have tried to make Ireland British. For the last seven hundred years, English statesmen have attempted to make Ireland British, not by justice, not by generosity, not by appealing to the better instincts of the generous hearts of that people, but by every form of violence and cruelty. They have proscribed her religion, they have killed her agriculture, they have destroyed her commerce, they have done everything to degrade the land and the people. And with what result? With the result of making Ireland a thorn in the side of England, with the result of filling the heart of the people of Ireland with bitterness against England. Sir, Mr. Gladstone has done more in five years to make Ireland British than English statesmen have done for seven hundred years before. 743 [COMMONS] 744 Will I show you the different results which can be wrought upon the feelings of a sensitive people by generous treatment? Let me quote a speech delivered by Mr. John Dillon, M. P. for Tipperary, last year. The occasion was a demonstration in favor of Mr. Dillon on his being released from jail, where he had served a term under the odious Coercion law. Now, I cite this speech because it may be a lesson to the hon. member for North Siincoe (Mr. McCarthy) and those who agree with him in this House. Mr. Dillon said:
"But it is impossible for me to be blind to the facts that are forced upon my notice as regard the mighty change which have come over the minds of the masses of the people of England, and remembering this, I think it is not wise to be impatient, because the liberty of Ireland is not to be accomplished in a day. I can see no cause for impatience, but cause rather for hope and even exultation. Coming now, as I do, from what was meant to be a degradation and an insult to me, and as I hope an honorable man, I can find in my heart not the slightest trace of bitterness against the people of England. I recollect the day when the power and when the name of Englishmen were hateful to my heart. It may be that I have been demoralised by the countless acts of kindness I have received at the hands of Englishmen; but the feeling has now changed, and I cannot find it in my heart to regret that it is fast passing away."
Those last words, I am sure, will fill with unbounded joy the friends of Ireland and the friends of England as well. But with what terrible meaning are not these words prefaced? It is known that Mr. Dillon is a man of noble and unstained character. No harsh words would be expected to cross the lips of such a man, yet he tells us there was a time when the very name of England was hateful to him. How terrible these words are? They are the expression of the bitterness accumulated through centuries and centuries of persecutions in succeeding generations of Irishmen. But, Sir, mark the change. Less than five years of a generous attempt by a great party to do justice to Ireland, to give her the liberty and justice to which she is entitled, has worked wonders and changed the disposition of the Irish people. These five years of generous attempts to do justice to Ireland have erased the sentiment of bitterness and replaced it by sentiments of affection to the land whose very name was hateful to Ireland only a few years ago. What a triumph this is for the cause of Ireland? What a triumph this is for those who, in this House, told the English people that if they were to treat the Irish people generously, they would have the same result in Ireland as in this country? What an evidence also this is that the only manner, after all, in which you can attach a people to their allegiance is to treat them with fairness and generosity; and what a rebuke it is to all those (my hon. friend from North Simcoe included) who believe that the only manner in which to make a people loyal is to trample under foot everything which they hold dear and sacred. Sir, I have just pronounced the name of Home Rule. Home Rule with us is local autonomy, and I hope that this principle of local autonomy will some day afford us some solution of the difficulty we have now to deal with. What is objectionable in this Bill is not, as has been often stated, the object of the Bill itself, (which is, after all, with some exceptions, a local question), but the tendency of the Bill and the principles which underlie it, for we know that this is only a preliminary step that is to be followed by many others. We are, today, in the fourth day of this debate, and I have to make the reproach that the Government have not yet told us what their policy is on the question. The Government, of late, do not discharge the duty they owe to this House. They can advise us on matters of details and matters of procedure, but when it comes to a question of principle they refuse to discharge the duties for which they are responsible to the House. We had a speech the other day from the hon. the Minister of Public Works. He simply told us he was against the Bill, but he affirmed no principle which we might apply to the situation. We have three propositions before us: the Bill itself, the amendment of my hon. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) and the amendment of my hon. friend from Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil). I am free to speak of them, but in what I say I declare that I express my own personal opinion. I do not speak here as the leader of a party—I express my own opinion, and nothing more. As to the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), I have to say that, in my opinion, it is premature. It is endeavoring to give to the people of the Territories upon one question, plenary power, while they are still in a form of tutelage. We are not repared to give to the people of the North-West full local autonomy. We cannot expect that a population which in 1885 numbered only something like 30,000 souls—the population of a small town, scattered over immense territories, out of which several empires can be carved—can be entrusted with the full power of responsible government. The amendment of my hon. friend from Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil) is, perhaps, more consistent with our true position. The amendment affirms the proposition that the present state of things ought to be permanent. With this, however, I cannot agree, and although I am prepared to vote for the amendment of my hon. friend from Berthier, I cannot do so Without taking exception to his statements. It is impossible to admit, for instance, that the institutions of the North-West are permanent. On the contrary, they are exceptionally temporary; they deal with a state of things which is exceptional in itself; they were devise at a time when there was no population, and they must be modified from time to time as the necessities of the case require. But at this moment to say they are permanent, is a thing in which I cannot agree, except so far as they must be permanent in every particular, so long as we are not ready to give these people a more extended form of local authority. My hon. friend also says in this amendment, that since we passed this law and gave this incipient constitution to the North-West Territories, nothing has occurred to change our views. I cannot agree with that. Everything has occurred since that time, not to change our views, but to set us thinking about what we should do at a future time, not very far off, in regard to those Territories. What has occurred is this: a population has gone into those Territories; they have been given a Legislature; and that Legislature has demanded certain measures—not only on the question of language, but on that of the schools, and on the system of Government. Bearing these facts in mind, it seems to me that the proper time to deal with this question will be when we are repared to give the Territories, perhaps not absolute, but a more extended form of local self—government; and when that time comes, we must be prepared 745 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 746 to deal with this question upon the broad principle of this Constitution, which has been devised for the safety of the majority and the protection of the minority, and in the light of the condition of things which may exist at that time in the Territories. But till then I believe it is better to defer the consideration of this question. There is this remarkable feature in the Bill we have before us: it is not founded on an expression of the will of the people of the Territories; it is founded simply on alleged principles applicable to the whole Dominion. This is what I object to in this Bill, and—though it is my own individual opinion only—I submit to all parties in this House, French or English, Liberals or Conservatives, that the best thing for us to do is to defer the consideration of this question to a future time when we shall be prepared to deal with all the questions now affecting the North-West Territories. In the meantime, however, we ought to remember this—French, English, Liberals, Conservatives—that no race in this country has absolute rights, only the rights which do not invade the rights of any other race. We ought to remember that the expression of race feelings and race sentiments should be well restrained to a point, beyond which, if pressed, though still kept within legitimate limits, they might hurt the feelings and sentiments of other races. But when the time comes for dealing with this question, I hope we shall all be prepared, without party differences, to deal with it on the broad principles that apply to this Constitution; that we shall not, French or English, hesitate to apply true principles under the fear that evil consequences may flow from them, because we must remember that true principles are only an emanation of Divine truth, and that there is above us an eternal Providence whose infinite wisdom knows better than man what is best for man, and who, even when all seems lost, still guides everything for the greatest good.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I go a great way with my hon. friend in his remarks concerning the principle of this Bill. I sympathise with his very natural feelings of indignation at much of the language that has been used in su port of this measure now before the House. I have no accord with the desire expressed in some quarters that by any mode whatever there should be an attempt made to oppress the one language or to render it inferior to the other; I believe that would be impossible if it were tried, and it would be foolish and wicked if it were possible. The statement that has been made so often that this is a conquered country is à propos de rien. Whether it was conquered or ceded, we have a constitution now under which all British subjects are in a position of absolute equality, havin equal rights of every kind —of language, of region, of property and of person. There is no paramount race in this country; there is no conquered race in this country; we are all British subjects, and those who are not English are none the less British subjects on that account. But while I say so much, Mr. Speaker, I must regret that my hon. friend, perhaps yielding to the necessity of his position as a party leader, should have commenced his speech with some party attacks against the Tories. My hon. friend felt constrained, I suppose, to make those allusions which, in the cir cumstances of the case, I think were not altogether generous or altogether politic. The hon. gentleman spoke of the spirit of this Bill being that of Toryism, utter Toryism, oppressive Toryism. Why, Sir, if he looks at the history of England in modern days, I think he will find that most of the liberal measures passed there have been passed, if not by Tories, by Conservatives. I think also, if he will look at the history of Canada, he will find at all events, that liberality towards the French Canadian race was pretty much confined to the Conservative party. The hon. gentleman had to admit that while this Bill was, as he affirmed, an evidence of utter Toryism, the exclusion of the French language, the injury done to the French people, the insult offered to them, came from a Radical, the Earl of Durham. To be sure, my hon. friend said that Lord Durham was a Radical who did not understand all about liberty. That is quite evident; and so great a Radical was he that in order to get rid of him the English Government sent him to this country to show us his liberalism by attempting to deprive half the people of their right to use their own language. Ay, Mr. Speaker, and he succeeded in carrying out that effort; he succeeded in excluding the French language, and the measure was carried by a Liberal Government- in England. That was in 1840. The first Government formed in Canada under that measure in 1841 was a confused Government, where Liberals, and Tories, and officials were mixed up together. But, Sir, in 1844, when there was a stand-up fight between Conservatives and Liberals, when the Conservatives rallied around Lord Metcalfe, and carried a majority; when the Parliament met in Montreal in that year, with a Conservative majority, the whole of the French Canadian race, with the exception, I think, of four, were in opposition to the Government. I was then elected for the first time, and I sat in that Parliament as a Tory, a supporter of Lord Metcalfe. In that Parliament the French Canadians were powerless; and yet, Mr. Speaker, what did that House do? Let me read to you a resolution that was passed, not by a Liberal or Radical Government, not by a Parliament having sympathy with the French Canadians exactly, but by a Conservative Parliament elected, as was then alleged, in opposition to the interests of the Province of Lower Canada; and yet passed, from a more sense of justice, and without one single dissenting voice. Yes, from a more sense of justice, the resolution was passed and the address was passed without one dissenting voice. I, as a member of the young Tory party, was proud then to have the opportunity of pronouncing on that question. The yeas and nays were not taken because we were unanimous, but I was proud of having had a part, as a member of a great party, in the resolve to relieve our French Canadian friends from the oppressive action of the Liberal Government in England, at the instigation of the Radical Earl Durham. What said that address? I shall not read the whole address which went home to Her Majesty, and of which the chief clause was repealed, but it went on to say:
"We do not question that the best intentions and designs influenced the minds of those who enacted the provision which declared: That all writs, proclamations. instruments for summoning and calling together the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of the Pro 747 [COMMONS] 748 vince of Canada, and for proroguing and dissolving the same, and all writs of summons and election, and all writs and public instruments whatever relating to the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly or either of them, and all returns to such writs and instruments, and all journals and entries, and written or printed proceedings of what nature soever of the said Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, and of each of them respectively, and all written or granted proceedings and reports of Committees of the said Leglslative Council and Legislative Assembly, respectively, shall be in the English language only."
That was the measure of justice offered to the French Canadians by a Liberal Parliament in England and a Radical Governor General and High Commissioner sent out by a Liberal Government. And what did the Tory Legislative Assembly of Canada say?
"That in the very first session of the Legislature under that Act. It was indispensable to translate into French every public record and document. That the debates were not and could not unless a portion of the representatives of the people were silenced, be carried out without its use; that in the courts and judicial proceedings it was found equally necessary as before the Union, and for every other practical urpose, it is as much used as it ever has been. That the only distinctlon which crusts, then, is, that the French is not permitted to be the legal language of Parliamentary record, a distinction of little value, perhaps, in itself—one which cannot produce any beneficial results on the feelings or the habits of the people using it, while it gives rise to a feeling among them injurious to the best peace and tranquility of the Province, namely, that this limited prescription of their language conveys, however designedly, an imputation of an unfavorable distinction towards themselves.
"That desirous that the hearts of all men in this Province may be joined in unity, in their attachment to and support of Your Majesty's person and Government, we humbly pray Your Majesty to endeavor to remove this cause of discontent, and to recommend to the Imperial Parliament the repeal of that portion of the law which has given rise to it; assuring Your Majesty that such a course will be hailed by Your Majesty's loyal Canadian people as an additlonal mark of Your Majesty's solicitude for their welfare."
There is an instance of the oppressive Toryism which my hon. friend lamented. But my hon. friend ought to have looked at the history of old Canada after that period. My hon. friend says truly that a Conservative Government was kept in for years by the support of the Conservatives of Lower Canada. And why was that so? Because from the Conservative party the Lower Canadians got full and ample justice. What party was it that relieved the habitants of Lower Canada, the censitaires of Lower Canada, from the oppression of the seigniorial tenure? What was it that made them free men instead of being victims of antiquated feudalism? The seigniorial tenure oppressed them, and the people rose against it; and it was a Conservative Government, of which I had the honor to be a member, that relieved them of that burden. You might remember, Sir, that when the Hon. George Brown brought his immense force and ability and unsusurpassed energy to lead the Reform party of old Upper Canada, his whole aim was oppression to the French. Every speech he made, every article that he wrote in the Globe, every resolution almost which he moved, was a denunciation of the French law, the French language, and the Catholic religion; and because we, the Conservatives, opposed him with all our might and all our vigor, we were in a minority in our Province. Again and again have the best and the strongest of our Conservatives been defeated at the polls simply because we would not do injustice to our French follow-countrymen. Again and again have we been put in a minority because we declined to join in that crusade against the French Canadians, against the Catholic religion, and against French institutions. Again and again have I been misrepresented and called the slave of popery, and told that I had sold myself to the French of Lower Canada and was sacrificing my own race, my own religion, and my own people because, without a moment of hesitation, without swerving for an instant, I and those who followed me—for even when I was not the nominal leader, I greatly directed the course of the Conservative party—declined, from no personal motive or desire of popularity, the popular cry was raised against the French Canadians in Upper Canada then as it is in Ontario, to-day—to do an injustice to our French Canadian fellow-citizens; and it was not a fair taunt of the hon. gentleman to tell us that we owed our position to the support of the Conservatives of Lower Canada. Does the hon. gentleman not remember when the agitation was raised in Upper Canada on a very specious cry—the question of representation by population—that the population being equal in Upper Canada should have as many members as Lower Canada, which it had not at the time of the Union, because at that time Lower Canada had a larger population than Upper Canada—does the hon. gentleman not remember that the Conservative party opposed that cry, specious and popular as it was? And why did we oppose it? Because the avowed object was to crush and oppress our French Canadian subjects. The reason why I oppose the Bill of my hon. friend to-day is the same—because that Bill, a small Bill; I might almost call it an insignificant Bill in its enacting clause—is based on the purpose of doing away with the French language, of discarding the French language, at all events, and depriving the French Canadian people of the solace of the language they learned at the feet of their mothers. Why, Mr. Speaker, if there is one act of oppression more than another which would come home to a man's breast, it is that he should be deprived of the consolation of hearing and speaking and reading the language that his mother taught him. It is cruel. It is seething the kid in its mother's milk. The greatest, perhaps, of all the objections to this measure, is that it is a futile measure. It will not succeed. It cannot succeed. As my hon. friend from Bothwell (Mr. Mills) said the other day, and as the hon. member from the West Riding of Durham (Mr. Blake) repeated, in order to carry out an oppressive measure we must have a Russian Government or we must have a Stafford here; we must put down the language with a strong hand; we must exclude it from the schools; we must exclude it from oflicial life; no man in Canada who spoke French must be allowed to take office; the Frenchman must be made a Pariah, and his language must be made a mark of scorn; that is the only way to carry out the principle or the object of my hon. friend the Minister for North Simcoe.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Did I call my hon. friend the Minister from North Simcoe? That is giving him more than equal rights. But in hon. friend has commenced at the wrong end. He should attack the language where it is; he should 749 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 750 not attack it where it is not. He should have gone down to the Province of Quebec, and, by peaceable means—he says by peaceable means, though I heard some remarks about bayonets from my hon. friend opposite—and, by his skill and his eloquence, and by other means which, no doubt, he has presented to his own mind and will give to us by-and-bye, he should have shown the people there that it is for their good, that it is for the good of the party, and for the unity and good of the country, and should. have convinced them that it was necessary for them to give up their language. His present proposal is like the sting of a gnat—a sort of irritation which can be of no use, and could not carry out the avowed object of my hon. friend. There is scarcely any French spoken in the North- West. There are a few French Canadians there, and a scattered population of French half-breeds, and the whole effect of this Bill would be to deprive these poor people of reading or knowing the laws to which they are subject. I say the hon. gentleman commenced at the wrong end. If the butcher goes to kill an ox, he goes to strike him on the head, and does not cut a little piece off the tail, which, after all, is the only effect of the measure of my hon. friend. But he is such an able man that one wonders—I wonder, with my limited apprehension—what he would accomplish by this measure.
Mr. MITCHELL. He got loaded up the wrong way.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. It cannot be from any desire to save the $400 which my hon. friend is ready to pay. It cannot be for the purpose of spreading the English language more than it is spread there. It cannot have the effect of inducing the half-breeds who are hunting over the plains to change their language from French to English. Unless it be that my hon. friend has a dislike to the language—and I am not aware that he knows much about it—or has a dislike to the people who use the language, I cannot understand why he has pressed this Bil1. It is on record that an English sailor, returning from France, was asked what kind of people the French were. "Oh," said the sailor with an expletive, "they are a bad lot." "What is the matter with them?" "Oh," he said, "they call a hat a chapeau; why the deuce could they not call it a hat at once, and be hanged to them?" And that is very much the spirit of my hon. friend. I did not intend to speak on this matter at all after having heard the exhaustive speeches which have been made on the other side, and I must say, with the little exception of the slight touch of partisanship in the speech of my hon. friend who spoke last (Mr. Laurier), the speeches of the gentlemen who have honored the House have been of such a kind that I agree with almost everything they say.
Mr. MITCHELL. Except the member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton).
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The member for North Norfolk is not on that side.
Mr. MITCHELL. He is here beside me.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. He is an Ishmaelite. He has placed himself under the wing of the hon. the leader of the Fourth party.
Mr. MITCHELL. Don't misrepresent me—it is the Third party.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. At all events, he sits in very suspicious juxtaposition to the leader of that party. The objections to be taken to the resolution now before the House, moved by the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil), have been already given by the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake). Without entering into the general discussion of the resolution, it is in my mind sufficiently condemnatory of it to call upon the House to reject it, that, if it means anything, it means the continuation of the present state of things must be perpetual. It says that any alteration will cause a distrust, a suspicion, a doubt of the stability of our laws. If that is any reason against giving to the Legislature in the North-West now the power to deal with this matter, the same reason will exist twenty years hence, and it would keep the question permanently a source of disquiet and agitation and discomfort, not only in the North- West, but in Ontario and other Provinces, amongst all those who take a warm interest in this matter. I think also the resolution of which we had some information from the hon. member from the West Riding (Mr. Blake) is liable to almost a similar objection. It leaves the case undecided, and while these two resolutions have that effect, we must remember that this is a subject of great agitation in different parts of the Dominion. Lower Canada is agitated on account of this attack on their language; the North-West will be agitated if it is supposed that they are deprived of the right of judging on this subject; and we must take great care, Mr. Speaker, that while we are calming the agitation and soothing the agitated feelings of the people of Quebec, we are not arousing the feelings of the freemen of the North-West by passing a resolution which postpones for an indefinite time, it may be for a long period, a question in which we can see, from the resolution they have adopted, that they are greatly interested. I think, therefore, Mr. Speaker, that the true solution of this question, a solution that will quiet the feelings of the East and that will be satisfactory to the people who roam over the plains of the North- West, will be the resolution in principle of my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), in which he says: Let the representatives of the people up there judge for themselves, after having had a commission from the people to deal with the subject. I think if that were adopted it would satisfy the North-West, and the amende honorable that was made in this House by that resolution would quiet the insulted feelings of the people of the Province of Quebec, and we would have peace, through the benign influence of this resolution of my hon. friend from Assiniboia. I would ask my hon. friend opposite, my hon. friend from the West Riding of Durham (Mr. Blake), to take this matter into his consideration, and see whether there cannot be adopted very much of his resolution, with which I am most heartily in accord, and, in addition, to enquire whether, after the people had an opportunity of considering the question, after the next general election, and after they have read the discussion in this House, and after they have seen the general opinion of Parliament the great inquest of the nation, it would not be right and fair to trust to the representatives of the people in our far west to choose for themselves? They will act for their own county, for their own section, and their action will be only 751 [COMMONS] 752 temporary. That country is infinitely too large to be one Province; it is too large, in my opinion, to be four Provinces, and this is a matter for the future, and, therefore, a resolution of this kind, giving them the power to deal with the subject, after being commissioned by the people, will be quite safe. After the population comes in there, if there is a large German population—and I should be very glad to see it—who shall take possession of a large section of that area, why not give them the right to use the German language? They would insist upon it whenever their numbers were sufficient. If the French Canadian settlement, which was commenced under rather unfavorable auspices at Edmonton, should increase and grow so that they would become a French Canadian Province, they would insist upon having their own language. This is a measure of peace and a measure for only a time. Under all the circumstances, the fact that they are not yet a Province, is of very little consequence. Whether they are called a Province or a Territory, they have rights as British subjects. Whether the people occupy a Territory or occupy a Province, if they want to use the French language, they should be allowed to use it; and if they want to use the English language, they should be allowed to use it, and it should be left to themselves. If there should be anything else attached to a measure of this kind when transmitted from the North- West, if there is anything further than a mere statement respecting the language, if any improper legislation attached to this, there is a remedy. All that this House and that this Government has to do is to check any improper legislation exceeding their powers, as, for instance, constituting themselves a constituent Assembly instead of a Legislative body, as they are now. These are my sentiments, very crudely expressed, and I must ask my hon. friends opposite to weigh this question carefully to see whether some joint measure of peace should not be adopted, and then the whole question, in my opinion, would be ended forever.
It being six o'clock, the Speaker left the chair.

After Recess.

Mr. BLAKE. I would ask the privilege of the House for one moment with reference to the remarks of the First Minister which were addressed to me personally before the recess. I wish to say that I have given the consideration which was due to everything the hon. gentleman has said, and that while my own judgment remains that the proper solution of this question is embodied in the suggestion which I submitted for the consideration of the House, I believe that the best interests of Canada are to be served by, if possible, a harmonious settlement of the question. For my part, I should not desire to adhere to any individual opinion, or to the terms of my suggestion, if there could be devised any reasonable modification of those terms which might meet the assent of the leading men of both sides and of both races within this chamber, and I have some hope that such a result may be reached before this debate is ended. I think it my duty to have made that statement to the House, because the great disaster which has happened to the University of which I am Chancellor, obliges me to leave to-night in connection with its interests; therefore, my own proposition I must leave in the hands of the House at large. I know not whether it may be adopted or whether some modification of it may be adopted, but I do hope that the debate will be conducted and closed in the spirit which characterised the right hon. gentleman's closing remarks.


Mr. MITCHELL. Before going on with the debate, I wish to remark that I have seen an important statement in an evening paper, to which, I think, the attention of the House should be called. It is headed: "It hovered over us. The close shave we had of a war with the United States." The item reads thus:
"CINCINNATI, Ohio Feb. 17.—In a speech at the dedication of the First Regiment Armory, Saturday night, Governor Foraker said he was asked by telegraph by the War Department in 1887, when the Canadian fishery situation was strained, how many armed men he could rush to the Canadian border in case of a sudden emergency. He said similar messages were sent to Governors of other States."
It is a very important statement, and I would like to know whether the Government have received any information of the truth of the statement.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. No; the Government did not receive at that time, and have not received at any time since, any intimation of anything of the kind at all approaching or in any way connected with it. I believe it is altogether a canard.
Mr. MITCHELL. I hope so.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I am sure of it.


House resumed debate on proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy, &c.. &c.
Mr. COCKBURN. I am sure that every hon. member has been delighted to hear from the lips of the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), the declaration just made that he desires that the present difficulty should be amicably settled, and I feel confident that in this House there is enough patriotism, enough religious and political toleration, and enough statemanship to enable us to arrive at a solution which will be acceptable to all. Indeed, Sir, it has been to me, I may say, a source of grief to witness the acrimonious spirit in which this debate has been conducted, and to see old feuds, old emnities and religious animosities excited, which I am sure every one in this House must have felt had better have lain forever dormant until they had died their natural death. At the same time I do not see why the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) should have excited so much alarm. I speak of the Bill itself, for when I look at the preamble I must confess I cannot father it. It is the preamble which in its nature may tend, and has tended, to excite the strongest animosity and the strongest distrust on the part of our French members, and many have seen in it an attempt on the part of my hon. friend to deprive them of their political and religious liberties throughout the Dominion. I am sure, from the intercourse I have enjoyed for some years with the hon. gentleman, that such purposes are not in his heart. It may be that this preamble is a kind of indication of what was lurking in his 753 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 754 mind, and of that condition he would desire to see established throughout the length and breadth of the land—one language; but, at the same time, it is not in his heart, nor is it his intention, to adopt any legislation, or other such means, to endeavor to bring about such a result, as he must be conscious that such a mode of action would be utterly futile. I must express my sympathy with those French members who have been alarmed on the present occasion. I have spent a good part of my life in France, and my boyhood and early manhood are associated with the pleasures of that country, and I have seized every opportunity I have had since manhood to renew my acquaintance with France; and, therefore, I enter on a discussion of such a subject as this with no sympathy for any fanatics, but with a desire to arrive at some result which may be satisfactory to all parties, and which may be for the ultimate benefit of our common country. I regret that religious animosities should have been excited, for I can never forget that over three hundred years ago, it was the Catholic Lord Howard of Effingham who led the fleet of England against the Spanish Armada, and that he did so after having kissed the hand of the English Queen, whom he knew had been declared by the Sovereign Pontiff to be illegitimate, to be a heretic, and to have been excommunicated. I cannot help thinking that during the whole of this debate we have been moving on too high a plane, and have been led away by the preamble of the Bill, to which most of the efforts of opponents of the Bill have been directed. I might take the ground, following the decision of last year arrived at by the authorities on constitutional law, on both sides of this House, that the preamble has nothing to do with the Bill, that we must consider the Bill itself; that was the doctrine proclaimed last year, and it is one which may be applied on the present occasion. But, apart from the preamble, when you look at the Bill, what is it? It is a Bill founded simply on the petition of a number of gentlemen in the North-West Territories, called the Legislative Council. Those gentlemen, rightly or wrongly, wisely or unwisely, have been entrusted with the management of the affairs of the North- West Territories. They have the confidence, so far as we know, of the electors of these Territories, they are as duly qualified to vote as are the electors of Ontario or of Quebec, and they are there on the spot, and in a full House almost unanimously they have asked to be relieved of a disability which was imposed upon them, and which they never requested or expected would have been laid upon them. They tell us that circumstances have so changed that the system which has been in operation in the Territories is no longer satisfactory and that it is unwise to continue such a disability, and they beg to be relieved of it. I have examined the returns of the last census in 1885, and I find in the North-West Territories the whole population by nationalities was 48,362 souls, of whom there were savage Indians 20,170, leaving a population of 28,192; and of that number the French population amounted to 1,520; or only 5 2/3 per cent. of the population of 28,000 , or 3 1/10 per cent. of the whole population.
Mr. LARIVIERE. It is true that the French Canadian population is 1,500, but there is a large French half-breed population which the hon. gentleman forgets.   Mr. COCKBURN. I will take up that point immediately. I am kindly reminded by my hon. friend, that there is another population in the North-West Territories, a half-breed French population. I am aware of the fact that that population numbers 3,387, but I understand on reliable authority that this is not a French-speaking population, but a population which speaks the Cree language, and I do not think I am entitled to rank them with the 1,520 French in the Territories. At all events, I cannot put them on the same footing. I will go further, and say, that since that census was taken I have no doubt in my own mind, and my conviction is strengethened by authentic information, that the increase of the English-speaking population and the German- speaking population and other nationalities has been so great, that, instead of the French population being 5 per cent. it is now probably less. The hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) spoke to us the other day of this being an attempt on the part of 3,000,000 people to swallow 2,000,000. There is no such attempt. He said this reminded him of the fact that it was a whale and not a cod that swallowed Jonah. I beg to remind the hon. gentleman, that if he is going to reverse the decision of the majority for 5 per cent. of the population, he is asking Jonah to swallow the whale. With respect to the population in the Province of Quebec, with which a comparison has been made, I find that there is a total population of 1,350,000, the French population numbering upwards of 1,000,000, the English-speaking numbering 268,000, or 19 per cent. of the population. I do not think we have a right to institute such comparisons, and I only mention them as they have been already made, because those rights of the people of the Province of Quebec, the rights of the minority in Quebec and of the minority in Ontario, and in every other Province in the Dominion, will, I trust, for ever remain undisturbed; and I will be no party, directly or indirectly, to do anything which, in my humble judgment, would amount to an attempt to break up one of the most sacred contracts into which any two people have ever entered. I mention this matter fully in order that my position may be clearly understood. The position of the North- West Territories has been presented to us as resembling very much the position occupied by Switzerland. We have been pointed to Switzerland as a guiding star for us. Even the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) was so careful as to give all the exports and imports of that country, and he showed us how it was purely an agricultural country, and how it was particularly blessed in having a treble language. The analogy was a forced one; in fact, I know of no two countries so utterly dissimilar in every respect as the North-West Territories and Switzerland.
Mr. DAVIN. I wish to correct the hon. gentleman, because I know he does not wish to misinterpret my remarks in proceeding with his lucid argument. I did not compare Switzerland to the North-West Territories. I said there was an analogy between Canada and Switzerland, although Canada stretches across an entire continent and Switzerland is in the heart of Europe.
Mr. COCKBURN. I thank the hon. gentleman for the information. The argument was, however, made, and made several times. I desire to draw 755 [COMMONS] 756 attention to the fact that each of those Territories is only slightly less than the area of the whole of the United Kingdom, 121,000 square miles, while the whole area of Switzerland is only some 15,964 square miles, of which 34 per cent. is over four thousand feet above the level of the sea. There are some 4,521 square miles unproductive, and six per cent. of the whole country is covered with snow fields and glaciers. I do not think you can compare a country like that with what I might call the immense ocean land territory we have in the North-West. I have trudged through the whole of Switzerland, again and again, with my knapsack on my back; and, speaking generally, you could take the whole of it and duck it in Lake Superior, sink it to the bottom there, and were it not for its high mountains like Mount Rosa and others you would never know that it was at the bottom of the lake. I consider Switzerland in almost every respect dissimilar to Canada. In its whole history Switzerland is entirely different from Canada. In Switzerland we are not dealing with a virgin country as we are in Canada with the North-West, which was until lately the habitat of the wild beast and the home of the buffalo. We are not dealing with a country without a history; a country spread out before us waiting for emigrants to possess it. In Switzerland we have a country which, in one form or another, has had some form of Government for six hundred years. Switzerland saw the beginning of its Confederation in the year 1291, when Uri, Schwyr and Unterwalden united to check the encroachments of the House of Hapsburg. In 1332, Luzern joined; in 1351, Zurich joined; in 1353, Glarus and Zug and Berne city joined; in 1481, Freiburg city and Solothurn joined; in 1501, Basie and Schaflhausen joined; in 1513, Appenzell joined: and these 13 cantons remained the Confederation of Switzerland. In 1798, two centuries and a-half or more after this, the Helvetic Republic, under the protection of the French Directory, was established. When you look at this country which has been held out as a model to ours, what do you find? You find that its growth was from prehistoric times, unaccompanied by serious disturbing influences. Our growth in the North—West, and throughout the whole of this country, is very different. It has been made up of individual elements brought from all countries, amalgamated together from their own desire to satisfy their economic wants, whereas in Switzerland they were brought together by the external hostile influences around them. There were Austria, Italy, France and Germany crowding them altogether; we find, as soon as they were freed from this external pressure upon them, there was internecine warfare. This country held up to our admiration is a country which had no settled form of government until 1848, when the new constitution as adopted by a majority of cantons, though material changes in the form of necessary extension of the constitutional law were made in 1865, and finally in 1874. In the year 1832, we find that seven of the twenty- two cantons formed themselves together in a Liberal Sonderbund. We find in 1846 the Catholic cantons united in a separate Diet, and a separate Legislature and Senate, so to speak, a revival of the league of Sarnen. So strong is the feeling of a want of union among them that you find in 1832 a civil and religious war; and in 1846 these Catholic cantons raised 50,000 men while the Federation on its side raised some 100,000 men and overcame those opposed to it. We find that in the twenty-two cantons in Switzerland, the official language is that spoken by the majority. The rule they have laid down for themselves is that the majority should decide what the official language should be in each canton. It is not a question of whether five or ten per cent. of the population should speak one language, and be correspondingly represented, but in every case it is decided that the official language shall be the language of the majority in the cantons. Now, in considering those cantons, we must never confound them with our Provinces, although constitutionally they possess greater rights than the Provinces themselves. In fact, they accepted the doctrine of extreme state rights as it existed before the great civil war in the United States. I have pointed to Switzerland as adopting the official language of the majority, and I should like to see the same thing carried out in our North-west Territories. Louisiana has also been brought forward. I find an Act of Congress on the 20th February, 1811, with reference to the incorporation of Louisiana, to the effect that they shall be allowed to come into the Union on condition that all its laws, all its records, and all its legislative proceedings were to be preserved in the English language. Austria- Hungary has also been referred to. In that country we have a population of 41,000,000. Of this we have 8,000,000 Germans, 6,000,000 Magyar, 7,000,000 Czechs, 3,000,000 Roumanians, 3,000,000 Poles, 3,000,000 Serbs and Croatians, and 1,500,000 Turks, and other peoples speaking various tongues. There are 21 legislative assemblies and executive councils, and all of these transact their affairs in the distinct languages of the majority. If we look to Switzerland or to Austria-Hungary we shall find that the ruling there is the rule of the majority. Such a rule I would like to see introduced into this Dominion without any reference to religion or to the status of the language, and I am sure there would, in such a case, be very few found in this House who would contest the accuracy of such a proposition. The debate has proceeded as if the proposal were made to obliterate altogether the French language. We have been told that we shall have all to learn English; that the French language will be unknown in our country; that we shall have all our papers printed in English, and all our proceedings and private business conducted in English. I consider such argument a travesty on the question now before us. The question before us is simply and in reality the petition of the North—West Assembly. This Assembly, in the words of their petition, say:
"That whereas, by section one hundred and ten of 'The North—West Territories Act,' it is enacted that either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Legislative Assembly of the Territories and in the proceedings before the courts; and both these languages shall be used in the records and journals of the Assembly, and all ordinances made under this Act shall be printed in both these languages.
"And whereas this Assembly is of the opinion that the sentiment of the people of the North-West Territories is against the continuance of the section recited on the grounds that the needs of the Territories do not demand the official recognition of a dual language in the North- West or the expenditure necessitated by the same.
"And whereas this Assembly is also of the opinion that sound public policy demands the discontinuance of two oflicial languages in the North-West:
"Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray."
We have here the declaration, calmly and deliber 757 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 758 ately expressed, of those men who are entrusted with the management of the affairs of the North-West Territories, and they ask us simply to rescind the resolution or law passed by this House binding them to the use of two languages in their courts and in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly. Why, Sir, I understand that in the whole North-West Council there is not a single member to be found who speaks the French language; and why, in the name of common sense, should we refuse to grant to these men a simple request of this kind? They are the directors and managers of those Territories; they are the men most conversant with all its wants; and they come and tell us that it is a trouble to them to be compelled to use that language, that they wish to be free from it, that it is not wanted, that it is against the sentiment of the people, and that no sound public policy demands its continuance. We have, unfortunately, in the preamble of this Bill, a totally different question raised; but I trust that the House will divest itself of the feeling that has been aroused by this preamble, and will consider solely and exclusively the request made by this board of gentlemen to this House and will grant it. We have had various countries pointed out to us, among them Schleswig-Holstein, in which the policy of Great Britain was to give to the various sections of the population the use of their languages—to the Danes, the Danish language, and to the Germans, theirs; and we were told that the Russians in 1862 were advised by England and other countries on the continent of Europe to grant to the Poles the right to speak their own language. I quite agree with these recommendations; but surely it is not contended that the Poles for whom this petition was made, consisted of only 5 or 10 per cent. of the population of Poland, or that the Danes and Germans for whom a similar request was made numbered only 10 per cent. of the total population? Why, the arguments brought forward in reference to other countries have only tended to confirm and strengthen, in my mind, the right of those people in the Legislative Assembly of the North-West to be granted what they ask. Before I take my seat, I should like to read, with reference to Switzerland, one or two paragraphs from the Federal Government of Switzerland by Mr. Moses, published last year, in which he says:
"The conglomerate character of the Swiss population, composed of representatives of the German, French and Italian peoples, has made it difficult to bring all parts to co-operate towards a common national end. The act that these representatives of different peoples have continued in separate groups, each within its own territory, and speaking its own language, has made the growth of a national sentiment slower than it might have been had all been thrown together into a common society and compelled in the course of time to use a common language. At present German is spoken in fourteen cantons and parts of others; while Italian is confined to the canton of Ticino and a part of Graubunden. To state the relations between these groups in another way, there are 1,352 German communes, 945 French and 291 Italian. Besides these there are 118 communes in Graubunden where the Romansch language is used. Only German, French and Italian, however, are regarded as oflicial languages, and in these three all the federal laws"—
Not the cantonal or provincial laws——
—"are published, and they may all be used in the transaction of federal business, whether in the assemblies, in the council, or in the courts; moreover, all must be represented in the Federal Council. The Romansch language, on the other hand, is not an oflicial language and is seldom employed in the affairs of the Federal Government. Not only as it regards their language, but in a general way, also as it regards their manners and customs, have the several cantons maintained their individuality.
"While in Switzerland the representatives of the German, French and Italian peoples have preserved their peculiar characteristics, to a certain extent, by remaining territorially separated, in the United States there has been a mingling of peoples on the same territoy, and there is already manifest a tendenc to mould those of English, Scotch, Irish, German and candinaviau stock into a new national product."
Well, Sir, I entertain those views with reference to the request of the North-West Assembly; but while I recognise its wisdom, I am not blind to the objections raised in this House or to the susceptibilities of our French kindred. I am, therefore, prepared to accept the proposal which has been made with reference to finding some means of dealing with this question, after showing every desire to conciliate those susceptibilities, by leaving the whole question to be determined by the electors themselves in the North-West Territories, and I can only hope that the brief delay in its settlement will not give occasion for idle strifes. In view of the fact that we desire to give our French friends, and all the electors, an opportunity to be fully represented after the matter has been fully discussed, and in view of the fact that our friends in the North- West will have before them the debates which have taken place in this House on the question, I think the wisest policy is to accept the suggestion thrown out by the hon. gentleman, and to join all our hands together, and see if we cannot settle this difficulty, which I regret has ever arisen, but which, I hope, will soon be finally solved.
Mr. SPROULE. I wish to make a few and only a few observations on this important question. I think the subject from almost every standpoint has been dealt with ably, logically, and generally reasonably; but I consider it to be the duty of every public man, in cases of national emergency, when the national life is at stake, to, as far as possible, use conciliatory language, to allay the suspicions of some, and the excitement of others, and to have regard to the feelings of those classes, those religions and those nationalities which are always in opposition to each other. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) made use of much more eloquent language in a similar line the other night, and I thought it was to be regretted that that hon. gentleman, with his great ability, had not successfully carried out the principles which he was then endeavoring to inculcate throughout his previous history. I can only say that from my first entrance into political life to the present time, I have at various times recognised that he has been one of the very important factors in creating a strong feeling in the Province of Ontario against our French fellow- subjects in the Province of Quebec. I know that it was the case in 1871 and 1872, and I thought, when Ithe hon. gentleman was addressing us so elequently the other night, it was a great pity he had not adopted the same moderation when speaking in our local Legislative Assembly in Toronto, and referringto the murder of "Brother Scott," and when among the English-speakin people the feeling was almost at fever height, an the excitement so great that men could scarcely restrain themselves, and there was a strong hostility engendered against our French fellow-citizens, so much so that reason did not always hold her sway, and that very often excitement of sentiment and national prejudice took the place of reason. I think that those gentleman who have dealt with this question 759 [COMMONS] 760 have dealt with it very ably. They brought into service many very important lessons of history, and if we wish to learn anything with reference to national life there is no source from which we can glean greater knowledge. From history we can learn the causes of the rise, the growth, the progress and the decay of nations; from it we can learn those principles which tend to make nations great, powerful, and long-lived; and if the lessons of history teach anything, they teach us one important truth, that community of language is not essential to national unity, because some of the greatest nations have been cited in which national unity, to all intents and purposes, either for political or social life, exists without community of language, which the hon. member for North Simcoe professes to say is necessary for the well-being of a nation. If Switzerland has now endured for over seven hundred years and stands as an emblem of greatness in national life, as a federation of states based upon somewhat the same principles as our Confederation, and yet has three different languages recognised as state languages, does she not teach us the very important lesson that it is not essential to have community of language in order to have a great state? The hon. member for Bothwell laid down some very important rules to guide us in our choice among the resolutions proposed or to be proposed for the solution of this question. He said that the rule upon which the English authorities followed, in reference to what language or languages should be the official language of any new state or country when it was organised, was the rule of convenience. Well, we should apply the rule of convenience to this case, and if the hon. gentleman's logic went to prove anything, it went to prove that the solution of the present difficulty is the one proposed by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), because it cannot be inconvenient to that country to have but one language, seeing that there is not one member in the North-West Council who speaks French. If the rule of convenience should be the rule to guide us, when we have the unanimous voice of the North-West Council asking that only one language be official, surely there can be no injustice in granting their petition; and the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) ought to support the resolution of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) if he has the strength of his convictions. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) intimated to this House the nature of the resolution that he would have proposed had he the opportunity; but I do think that with all his great eloquence and ability, his proposition fell far short of meeting the requirements of the mass of the people. What was his proposition? It was this: We will postpone the day of settlement in that country until, if I may so term it, vested rights grow up in reference to the French language there; until the question may be much more difficult to settle than it is now. He roposes that we should shunt off the responsibility from our shoulders to-day and relegate it to the future, and in the meantime, allow to be kept up a very dangerous agitation, that may ultimately result in the destruction of the state. I do not think it was statesmanlike on the part of that hon. gentleman to make that proposition. It is much more practical to solve the difficulty by giving the power into the hands of the people themselves, and thus do no injustice to our French fellow-citizens. Moreover, the hon. gentleman and his supporters have invariably held that the duty of the Federal Parliament was, as far as possible, to give power into the hands of the people to settle these provincial or territorial questions themselves. In harmony with that theory, he has always argued, during the last ten or twelve years, in which I have had the honor of a seat in this House, that in matters affecting provincial rights, the Provinces should be left to deal with them alone. Why not put that theory into practice on this occasion? To do so would be a much better solution of the difficulty than the hon. gentleman proposes. I can see practically no difference between the motion of the hon. gentleman and that proposed by an hon. French member (Mr. Beausoleil) a few evenings before. They are both in the same direction, and are attended with the difficulty that they postpone the settlement of this vexed and difficult question to the future, and merely tide over the present. One hon. member said that the reason we ought not to touch this question at present, and allow the French language to be spoken in that country, was because the Act has been so long in existence. For thirteen years it has been on the Statute-book, and previous to that time he said the French language was also spoken there; and if for no other reason, the right of priority would compel us to decide that the French language should be the language spoken in that country. The hon. member for Toronto (Mr. Denison) answered that argument ably, when he said if it was the right of priority which should determine the question, the Cree language ought to be made the official language instead of the French, because the Cree was spoken in those Territories by the aborigines long before there was any English spoken there. Another hon. gentleman said that a large number of the French who were there almost compelled us to do justice to them by retaining this clause in the Act; but in Ontario to-day we have ten times the number of French Canadians that there are in the North- West, and no one contends that in the Legislative Hall of Ontario it would be wise or needful in the interests of that Province that the two languages should be official. If the reasoning of the hon. member for Bothwell were correct, that because French Canadians were there, and the right to use the dual language was given them a few years ago, we should continue it to them now, with much greater force should the French Canadians of Ontario ask us to make the dual language official in that Province. A great many strictures have been passed upon the hon. member for North Simcoe for having brought this question before the House. Stripping the question of all its surroundings, I do not think that the motion he has proposed or the amendment to that clause of the law, is in itself very extraordinary; but, unfortunately, when we came to consider the proposition, we found that in the preamble to his Bill the hon. gentleman fell into the mistake of imitatin the Bill passed by Mr. Mercier in Quebec, and mixed up in the other questions, with the one at issue, that are not relevant to it. But, if we strike out all that irrelevant matter, the preamble is not so objectionable, and I do not think we would be doing great injustice if 761 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 762 we accepted the Bill as so amended. It is most unfortunate, that at this time, when there is a disturbing element abroad in the land, men with perhaps more enthusiasm than judgment, are creating a great deal of excitement both in Quebec and Ontario, and in the North-West Teritories; and in view of this fact we should deal with this question very carefully, and extend as generously as we can all the concessions we can reasonably extend to our French compatriots. But, While doing that, we would be doing an injustice to ourselves if we were to allow any encroachments that, in our honest convictions, we believed would be contrary to the interests of the state or of our national life. I believe there is a disposition on the part of eminent men on both sides of this chamber, to, as far as possible, come together in a great emergency, and support the state rather then support their national sentiment. I think it is wise and well that they should do so, and we would fall far short of our duty if we were unable   to join with them, in this important crisis of our   history, in trying to stamp out anything which partook rather of sentiment than of statesmanship, of race rather than of national rights. We should stand by one another, and endeavor to reconcile those conflicting elements we so often find in this country of ours. I am far from believing that we have not a bright future before us. I do not believe that, because we may speak the French or the German or the Gaelic language, that is anything against the glorious future instore forour state; but we must endeavor to reconcile those conflicting elements and to bring together the people who are in a manner under our charge, and who are looking to us for advice in important times like this. I think we would meet the duty which devolves upon us by accepting the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), because, in that way we would be doing no great injustice to anyone; we would be following the lines of provincial rights; we would be giving into the hands of the people the right of saying what they should have now and what they should have in the future. At the same time, we would do our duty to the state; we would allay for the time one of those exciting questions which are becoming more and more annoying every day, and we would be doing our duty as members of this great country, which must in time become one of the most important in the history of the world.
Mr. WRIGHT. As a member who, for twenty- five years, has represented in this House a county in the Province of Quebec, a county in which a large majority are French Canadians, and as a Quebec member, I cannot allow this debate to pass without saying a few words. Sir, I regret exceedingly that the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) should have brought this matter under the notice of the House. It appears to me to be one of the most disturbing questions which could have been brought under our consideration. Providence has placed us here in this magnificent northern home land of ours, men of divers races and creeds and languages, but I think animated by a common patriotic purpose, to develop our resources to the utmost, to live in peace and harmony together in the enjoyment of equal rights and privileges. I think, take it for all in all, we have the best and freest country that ever the sun shone on. I think we have every material element of wealth within our midst, that we have a hardy, a bold, an energetic and a kindly population, and that we have the best country that can be found in the world. We have a form of government which is free to the fullest extent, and every man has the absolute right of freedom of conscience and worship. All that is wanted to build up this national edifice is a little common sense—a little sense of justice, a little of that spirit of compromise, which is of the very essence of the British system, and then the work may be said to be accomplished. I must confess that I have been very much astonished at the course which has been taken by the hon. member who introduced this Bill, and his friends who advocate Imperial Federation. They profess to endeavor to bring about the union of the British Empire; they profess to unite instead of dividing us, but what does this course of action mean? Instead of peace and harmony, they bring us the faggot and the sword; instead of that spirit of compromise, which, as I said, is of the essence of the British system, and gives it its magnificent power throughout the world, they bring us dissension and disorder. To my mind, their course—I regret to say it, for personally I have the greatest respect for those hon. gentlemen—leads me, though I cannot believe that they are animated by treasonable purposes, to think that they are not animatedly patriotic purposes, and I regret exceedingly that they have chosen to adopt this course, which cannot but be disastrous to the interests of our common country. But I believe in the common sense of the great body of the people, and while, if certain fanatics in the Province of Quebec, and certain fanatics in the Province of Ontario had their way, the result would be most disastrous, still I have faith in the patriotism of the great body of that people, and I believe that when this storm has swept over us, the result will be beneficial and not disastrous. To my mind, the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has received at the hands of the three gentlemen who attacked his position with such singular force and power a summary and condign punishment. It appeared to me that his punishment was almost too great for him to bear. He bore it, however, with a bravery and a stoicism which was worthy of every admiration. Not the Jesuit Breboeuf at the stake, tortured to death by savages, not Rowland Taylor in the fires of Smithfield, passed the ordeal more gallantly than did the hon. gentleman. Sir, in a great story told by a great master of French literature, he gives us a description of the torture. In the "Notre Dame" of Victor Hugo, he gives us a graphic account of the death of the Gitana Esmeralda who was executed by the cruel code of a barbarous age. He tells us how her limbs were dislocated, her arms and legs were broken, and how then she was pressed to death dying with the name of her lover and her Saviour on her lips. When the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), who was the first executioner, proceeded to perform this dreadful task, when he proceeded to inflict that punishment, the result could not be doubtful. When Eos or the Dawn comes in contact with Chaos or the Dark, no one can doubt what the result will be. In the great book of Sir Walter Scott, when Wilfrid of Ivanhoe charges down upon the Templar, who can doubt the result? And so, when the eagle from the west swooped from his eyrie upon the serpent of Simeoe—I use the term only in 763 [COMMONS] 764 a parliamentary sense—who could doubt what the result must be? Sir, he destroyed him with dithyrambics. His punishment was something almost too dreadful for him to bear. Mr. Davin poured out upon him all the vials of wrath of the English language. He pointed out the extraordinary temerity of a lawyer, and a nisi prius lawyer at that, engaging in this attempt. Why, it was the very apotheosis of six-and-eight-pence. In the older civilisation, if the firm of Quirk, Gammon & Snap had attempted to work a revolution, they would have been driven out of every European country. This is the man who is attempting to destroy a magnificent language and literature and to divert the course of an empire. Sir, he pointed out too, indirectly, that all the great traitors were not lawyers. He detested every deserter from his party. Someone had said that a gentleman never changed either his religion or his politics. He could not go so far, but he could not forget that, at the famous "Siege of Corinth," the "First to fire the shot and wield the blade, was Alp the Adrian renegade." He was in religion a Low Church radical; but in almost all other matters he was inclined to be High. Some concessions must be made to the sentiments of a democratic country like this. A sot must be occasionally thrown to the Cerberus. It was difficult to maintain the distinctions of caste. In "Guy Livingston," the old Irish Colonel was unwilling even to die with an attorney; in this country it is still more difficult to live with them. They had an unpleasant fashion of interfering with the private affairs of a gentleman—which, to say the least, was inconvenient. Lucifer, Catiline, Iscariot, the Constable of Bourbon, Benedict Arnold and their congeners might have been indiscreet; but, however, they had never been indentured. In the older civilisations, in order to float a company, you must have the name of a lord in the prospectus. It was one of the prerogatives of those who charged with the conqueror at Senlac. There was a great English statesman, who if his career had not been cut short, by circumstances over which he had no control, would have solved this difficult problem. He understood the peculiar genius of the Anglo- Saxon race; he combined the practical with the poetical; the sensualistic with the idealistic philosophy. When John Locke will have been forgotten, when "Paradise Lost" will have paled before the lustre of Ens, or the Dawn, when Shakespeare will have been relegated to obscurity then the name of the lamented John Cade will be held in veneration and honor, as one who loved his fellowmen and understood the genius of his people; the object of his life was to increase the pleasures of his people, by adding to the size of the drinking pots, by increasing their number of hoops thereon, and to complete their happiness by hanging all the lawyers. If that system had been carried out, if that project had been realised, what a start would have been made in the direction of the millennial period! Then, Sir, the Vice-Chancellor took up the parable. It was said of Lord Bacon that he wrote of exhaustive science, like a Lord Chancellor; it may be said of the Vice- Chancellor that he attacked the hon. member for Simcoe, with singular force and power. He went back to past ages; he made an exhaustive review of the Egyptian, Assyrian and ancient civilisations. Then the hon. member for Bothwell deluged him with authorities, the result was the complete discomfiture of the unhappy gentleman. The hon. member for West Assiniboia destroyed him as the Parthian horse destroyed the legions of Crassus. The member for York charged him as the Greek phalanx did the Persians at Arbela. While, like the Roman legion, the hon. member for Bothwell, destroyed his opponent. And so the doom was acaccomplished and peni forte et dure was inflicted upon the unhappy member for Simcoe. I regret, for one, and I am sure this House will regret, that such a course has been taken by an hon. gentleman for whom we all have so high an esteem. For my part I have been twenty-five years in this House, and, in my capacity as a soldier in the ranks, have done my best to build up this nation, and to keep together the various elements of our system of Confederation. Our difficulties have been very great, but now, after the edifice has been completed, after this splendid structure has been erected, I, for one, do not wish to live to see it destroyed, and if this motion of the hon. gentleman had carried, I state my honest conviction to this House when I say that I believe it would be followed by disastrous results. If we were, by this insidious attempt, to succeed in destroying the French language in the North-West, and then carry the policy still farther, as is the evident intention, to the Province of which I have the honor to be an inhabitant, I believe that the system of Confederation would be destroyed. Sir, contact has brought us into sympathy. We have constructed a magnificent system of railways, we have become acquainted with the Maritime Provinces and the North- West, and we have spanned this land from ocean to ocean, and from sea to sea. The people of this Dominion like each other. For my part, I have always had a profound and supreme admiration for the toilers of the sea in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I have always liked the people of British Columbia. I have even admired the splendid people of Ontario. We have always held them in our heart of hearts. And so with the men that come from that grand prairie Province, the wheat-field of the world, we hold them in special regard on account of their ability, their energy, their enterprise, and I do not wish to see the separation of those Provinces which send us such men. But, Sir, with all that, there is one place which I hold still dearer, it is my native Province, the Province of Quebec. Sir, that Province contains divers races. We have there the Englishman, the Irishman, the Scotchman, coming from bold and hardy races, who are able to hold their own against all comers. We have also the French Canadian people, and I who know them well, who was born in their midst, who have lived among them have learned to respect their zeal for their ancient faith, their kindly courtesy, and the chivalrous gallantry which they inherit from their Norman and Breton ancestors. I, for one, would be the first to protest against any interference with, or any outrage upon, the rights and privileges of my native Province. Sir, I do not believe that this House or this country would tolerate any such a thing. If we could eliminate the French Ianguage, would we do so? I ask every member of this House to answer this question honestly in his own mind. If we could eliminate the French Canadians, whom we know so well for their kindly 765 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 766 courtesy, for their generous hearts, for their marked ability, as we have seen those qualities exemplified in this House, would we do so? would we strike out such an element as this from our population? I do not believe that there is a man throughout the Dominion who would say so. Sir, there can be no doubt that the hon. member for Simcoe has, with strange power, aroused a singular fanaticism in this land. Last summer I visited one of the greatest counties in the Province of Ontario, one of the greatest in the Dominion, a county of which any Province might well be proud. Sir, it was a land of which it might almost be said that it was literally flowing with milk and honey, with creameries and with cheese factories. It was a land of extraordinary fertility, a land of which any man might well boast. The pastures were covered with herds of the choicest cattle; forests alternated with cultivated fields; the sluggish rivers flowed with smooth serenity through rich meadows and fields of waving corn. Its people were bold and brave and manly, whose ancestors had held their country against the invaders; and the sons looked as though they would hold that land as bravely as their fathers had won it. A little graveyard was pointed out to me where the victors and vanquished slept quietly together awaiting the judgment day:
"These in the robings of glory; Those in the gloom of defeat, Both with the battle blood gory, In the dusk of eternity meet; Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the judgment day, Under the laurel—the blue, Under the willow—the grey."
It was literally an agricultural paradise, but the trail of the hon. member for Simcoe was over it all. A great anti-Jesuit meeting had been held. There the 188 were denounced in the fiercest terms. I remember reading in the local newspapers that one reverend gentleman had called us, I think, a "complicated comminuted community of cowardly cannibals." That was the term applied to the 188. On the other hand, the noble 13, gentlemen of whom we have always been very proud, were held up in the highest honor and esteem. When I went there the storm had passed over, and I only remained to receive its ground swell. As I have said, the county was a most magnificent one, and the people were a generous and brave people. But there was a gloom upon their countenances which struck me with surprise, considering that they had such a. beautiful country, that their crops were splendid, that they had every element of material prosperity. They said to me: "What do you think of these Jesuits who have taken possession of the land? You come from the land of Loyola, you come from the land of these Jesuits, you come from this priest-ridden Province of Quebec." I said: "Yes; but it does appear to me that there are other Provinces which are priest-ridden as well as Quebec." "Well," they said, "what is going to become of those oor, miserable, oppressed Protestants of that rovince?" I said: "Yes; we may be oppressed, but as you can see, they do not starve me, at any rate." "With regard to the English inhabitants of that Province, those poor slaves who are hunted by Mercier and his congeners, what about them?" I said: "I think they bear their punishment very patiently, at any rate they get on very well with all their neighbors." Then then they said: "What of the priesthood?" I said: "So far as the priests of the Province of Quebec are concerned, not alone the Catholic priests, but the Presbyterian clergy, the Methodist clergy, and the clergymen of all the denominations, they live in peace and harmony together, they like each other." I said: Father Brown of Chelsea told me the men who first came to assist him when his church was burning were the Orangemen of the district. I saw myself at the funeral of an excellent lady, the wife of the Presbyterian clergyman, the Catholic priest among the friends in the sad procession. Everywhere the same kindly feeling prevailed, and I said that among the priests of my district, some six or seven, there are not finer gentlemen, not better servants of Christ, or better servants of the Man who in the olden times gave us His laws under the palm trees of Judea, than the very Catholic priests of whom I have spoken. I said that if some of these men were animated by the feelings which appeared to animate a few of the clergymen of Ontario, we would have had a very sad time indeed; but they preached the gospel of peace, love, law and order. Under these circumstances, I said, we got on exceedingly well. But, they said: You have a lot of nuns. Yes, I said, we have, and most excellent and worthy ladies they are, ladies who by their truly Christian charity are calculated to convince one of the reality of the Christian religion. The Rev. Mr. Carson said that when some of his family were dying from diphtheria, that those who first came to his assistance were Catholic nuns, and I said in my own region they attend Protestant and Catholic alike. I said I felt it to be my duty to state this to you, because great misapprehension has arisen with respect to the feelings which prevail among those who reside in the Province of Quebec. When I was seated by the bedside of the dying Father Delliages, he said to me: Every night my dreams carry me back to dear old France, but my heart is with the people of the Gatineau region. So it is with most of the clergy in our midst. They get on admirably with the Protestant clergy there. The Methodist goes about most energetically to promote the interests of the Master; so does the Presbyterian clergyman; and so does the English clergyman, unless, unhappily, he is too poor to have a horse, and he then walks as did the Apostles of old. Then they proceeded to put me through a course of cross-questioning. They said: Tell us of the night; tell us of the future: what party will it be which will sweep away those rotten old parties, as the leaves are sweept away by the autumn blast? I ventured to say a word on behalf of my friend of the Left Centre. I said: Here was an opportunity for the Left Centre, who is a chief of singular energy and intelligence, but without a party; and here is a splendid party, but without a head: still should the two join together, great results may be anticipated. I told them of his heroic struggles in favor of the Widow Murphy and her cow. I told them that in Sir Peter they had one who was always foremost in works of goodwill; I told them of his marvellous energy, ability and perseverance; I told them of his heroic struggles in favor of the helpless and the poor; I told them that when the widow's wail and the cry of orphan children came from the woods of New Brunswick, that he performed one of the most generous and gallant acts on record; I told them that he was 767 [COMMONS] 768 always foremost in works of good-will; I told them that to be poor and helpless and miserable was to commend them to his generous nature, and that if he were not ennobled by Downing Street, he was ennobled by right of an earlier creation and the imposition of a mightier Hand. What then they said of the superb old sorcerer who sits securely throned on a thousand wiles in his city of Ottawa? I told them that the "old sorcerer," as they called him, had apparently taken a new lease of life. He was sorcerer, magician and necromancer all in one —like Aaron's rod, his wand had swallowed up those of all the other magicians;—like Prospero, he had waved his wand, and a nation had sprung into existence;—by his magic power he had bound our Dominion together with a network of iron, and strewed it with cities, "like shells along the seashore";—he had clothed the dry bones with flesh, and breathed life into the northern part of this continent. Will the magician's wand be broken, his spells reversed, and this gorgeous edifice of Confederation disappear? Will the sorcerer say:
"Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud—capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit shall dissolve, And like this unsubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a wreck behind?"
But that magician has laid the stones faithfully and well, and the edifice will not fade away. But they said, he was gone over to the scarlet woman who sits on the seven hills. I ventured to say that I was not aware of the state of the hon. gentleman's spiritual harem at the present time,
"Not age could change, nor custom stale, His infinite variety."
I thought I knew that at an early period he was captured by Madame Calvin; then that he had certain coquetries with Madame Wesley; then he had a liaison with a certain beautiful Baptist lady; but I said, perhaps, inasmuch as he had an infinite versatility, the Italian beauty, the scarlet lady, had at last won his heart. But, I said, it is well known that he has had the best of everything in this world, and, if I am not mistaken, he will get the best in the next. They said, what about the members of the Cabinet? I said they were most admirable gentlemen, who were selected, as I have often said, not only on account of their singular ability and merits, but also because they represented certain historical events. I ventured to say that the Minister of Customs represents, or did represent, the battle of the Boyne; the Minister of Inland Revenue was supposed to represent the broken treaty of Limerick; the Minister of Finance represented the crystal globules of cold water; while the Minister of Agriculture represented that amber beverage which was dear to our Scandinavian forefathers. And, as regards the old Chieftain himself, we who deal so much in futures, who hold him in our heart of hearts, do not take for him the opprobious term conferred by the savages, of "Old To-morrow," but, lookin to the future, we call him the "Sweet By-an-Bye." Those people were very much agitated by the course adopted by my hon. friend for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy).
Then they said: "Is there any chance of the Left Centre joining the present administration?" I replied: "I notice certain little passage of sweetness and light confitures and compliments, and one can never tell what the result might be. We, who are lookers—on in Venice, sometimes thought that it was quite possible that the Third Party might take his place in the ranks of the present government, and we remember that passage in "Marmion ":
"Let the wild falcon take her fling, She'll stoop when she has tried her wing,"
And, perhaps, when the hour comes, when the cry goes forth, "the Philistines are upon thee Samson," when the morning breaks, he will be found fighting in the ranks of the Chieftain, as of yore. At all events, I know that so far as the leader of the Government is concerned his feeling is always in favor of one who is given to a little judicious bolting. My hon. friend to my left will bear testimony to that, and the horse which bolts, as the House will recollect, is always treated with a little more attention than the steady old hack that never kicks over the traces; and I am aware of the kindly feelings which always animate the right hon. Premier towards the leader of the Left Centre. Not to parody, but to speak with certain reverence I may, refer to a hymn which appears to be singularly appropriate, and which always impresses me with its strange power and pathos:
"There were ninety and nine that safely lay, in the shelter of the fold, But one was out on the hills away, far of from the gates of gold. Away on the mountain bleak and bare, Away from the tender chieftain's care."
I left that pleasant country with a feeling that, take it for all in all, the difficulty was not insurmountable. They said to me: If the old parties are swept away, what of the new party which will be formed? I replied: I do not see What they can do unless the anti—Jesuits muster their battalions and move down on Quebec. Before they had reached Montreal they would be met by you, Mr. Speaker, and the gallant 65th. I can fancy what the feelings of the old guard would be when they met on the plains before the great commercial city of the Dominion. I can fancy the scene which was enacted on the plain. Colonel. O'Brien—I beg pardon for using his name—would bow pleasantly to Mr. Speaker, and would say: "Gentlemen of the French guard, fire first," and the Speaker would say: "Gentlemen of the English guard, you fire first;" and then the soldiers would look upon each other, and realising they were brothers, march together to the city of Montreal, universally rejoicing and feeling they might have other enemies at some future time to fight against rather than amongst themselves. I beg pardon of the House, Sir, for treating a serious subject with such apparent irreverence. I sit opposite my hon. friend from Simcoe and I notice the equanimity with which he bears his punishment, and I have no doubt that when the time comes he will hit back with all that strength and power of which we all know he is capable. I would, however, ask that hon. gentleman and those who are with him on this question—some of whom I have ranked as my dearest friends in this House and in the country—to consider their course. We cannot afford to have our Confederation destroyed, 769 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 770 and the people of Canada will not permit a few fanatical men in Quebec or Ontario to bring about so undesirable a result. Somebody has stated that the French and the English dislike each other. I deny it. The two races on the contrary like each other, and I know that in my part of the country, we would not part with our French compatriots, even if we could. We all recollect what happened a few years ago, when a great rebellion took place in the North-West. We remember when feeling ran high throughout the whole length and breadth of the land. Was there any division between the French, English and Irish then? No; not one soldier faltered. Every Canadian, whether English, Irish or French, was ready to go forward to put down the rebellion and to protect the laws. Some histories tell us that at the battle of Marathon a light ran along the Grecian spears when the Greeks saw the enemy, and that at the battle of Salamis a light shone on the masts of the Grecian ships. So it was with the patriotic sentiments which animated our people then. A friend of mine, Major Joshua Wright, who travelled with the 65th Battalion, told me that braver soldiers and more patriotic men could not be found in the world. They vindicated the honor and glory of their country, and so it was with the people of every race throughout that awful time. And is there no word to be said for these few unhappy men, these hunters of the plains, who animated by their native gallantry and believing they were injured, deceived as they were by an ignorant man who preyed upon their feelings, went down into these rifle pits and faced death as calmly and as bravely as ever men did? Is there not one word for these hunters who were swept away by the bullet and the resistless charge of the Canadian volunteers? Sir, we have the elements of a great country. We have noble, generous and patriotic feelings animating the great body of our people, and there is no need for discontent. At any rate one can see by the votes which have been given in this House what the concensus of opinion of the great majority of the people of Canada is. They are determined that our Confederation shall be built up and shall not be destroyed. Sir, we have one thing on which we must rely. We must hold our faith towards each other. For one, I cannot consent, under any circumstances, to any step towards the destruction of that magnificent French language and literature. I believe that with me the great body of the people of Canada share that sentiment. We have one way of building up that country and one only way; it is the grand old English system of justice, fair play and equal rights; and, Sir, the angels of light which will build up our country and make us a great nation will be "justice, fair play, love, truth and faith in each other."
Mr. LANDRY. I join with a great deal of pleasure in the general expression which has been given this evening to the sentiment that there is great satisfaction in finding that the leaders on both sides of the House believe they can arrive at a settlement of this vexed and difficult question. Inthe meantime I desire the indulgence of the House for a short time to express what I, as an humble member of this House, believe to be the true position on this question. Before proceeding to do so I will call the attention of hon. members of this House to an assertion made the other afternoon by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), when he was urging to this House how well it would be for this Dominion to follow the example of the United States and their mode of dealing with the languages of the people in the different territories they acquire. He told us that in the colonisation of Louisiana the United States of America had simply held out to that country to come with them and partake of the institutions of the United States as they existed, and that they would make no concessions to them as to their language. He told us the same applied to Florida, Texas, and I believe Mexico. I have looked at the constitution of Louisiana and what do I find? If the hon. gentleman is as incorrect in all his other assertions as he is in reference to Louisiana then I say that no credence can be attached to his statements, for I think that he did not take the trouble of looking up the facts before he made the statement to this House. I find that in the Revised Statutes of Louisiana down to 1856 a constitutional provision of the General Assembly, section 101, says:
"The Secretary ofthe Senate and House of Representatives shall be conversant with the French an English tongues, and members may address either House in the French or English language."
Now, if I read aright the constitution of our Dominion, they went farther in Louisiana, in relation to the French language, than we do in the Dominion; for not only do they give the privilege of using the two languages in Parliament, but they require that the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives should be conversant with both languages. Article 129 of the same constitution says:
"The constitution and the laws of the State shall be promulgated in the English and French languages."
And that continues down to 1856. I repeat that if the hon. gentleman is as incorrect in the other statements he made as he is with reference to Louisiana, he did not take the trouble to inform himself. We were told to-day, Sir, by some gentleman who addressed this House, that the true principle is to leave this question to the North-West Territories or to the Council. As an humble member of this House I am willing to make some sacrifice of my opinion in order to join the majority of this House for the purpose of securing peace and prosperity and establishing our unity on a solid basis, but I cannot conceal the fact that my opinion is in an entirely different direction from theirs. I believe we ought, in this Parliament, to retain the power invested in us and deal with this difficult question of education and languages. We have done so in regard to the other Provinces, and why should we not do so in the North-West Territories? The principles laid down by the constitution and laws of this Dominion since 1867 all point in the direction in which I speak, namely, that these difficult, delicate, disquieting questions the Parliament of Canada has retained the power to deal with. I do not believe it would be right to leave the Council of the North-West Territories? question so difficult of solution. If a majority of this Parliament believe that it is not in the interests of the North-West Territories to have the use of both languages, then I say that this Parliament ought to take the responsibility of saying so, and giving those Territories such laws as they think are avorable to the development and welfare of that 771 [COMMONS] 772 country. The legislation of this Parliament has not left that question to be dealt with by the other Provinces when there has been any legislation on it at all. We find that section 133 of the British North America Act of 1867 reads thus:
"Either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Houses of the Parliament of Canada and of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec; and both those languages shall be used in the respective records and journals of those Houses; and either of those languages may be used by any person or in any pleading or recess in or issuing from any court of Canada established under this Act, and in or from all or any of the courts of Quebec."
Now, Sir, if it was important to establish by this Act that the two languages should be used in the Province of Quebec, as well as in the courts of Canada, in the interest of the people of those Provinces, it is just as important that the Parliament of Canada to-day should decide the question for the North-West Territories. If it were left to the people of the North-West Territories to decide whether it would be in their interest or not to use both languages, what would be the result? The result would be that all the excitement consequent on the decision of a question of this kind would be transferred to the people of those Territories.
Mr. McCARTHY. Hear, hear.
Mr. LANDRY. And a gentlemen with the ability of my hon. friend might go into the country there and make the speeches he is capable of making on one side, and a gentleman with the ability perhaps of the leader of the Government of the Province of Quebec might go and make speeches on the other side, and we should have in all probability a war of races among the people themselves in their attempts to settle this very disquieting question. The spirit of our laws has not been to leave such question to the settlement of the people either in the Province of Ontario or in the Province of Quebec. It has been to settle them in this Parliament. Then, why leave this question to the people of the North-West Territories? Let us suppose that their decision would be that they do not want the dual languages; then we should be bound to enact laws here in pursuance of that decision, and to carry out the will of the people as expressed by them at the polls, and if the time came, as it must come, when the North-West Territories will be divided into Provinces, should we not be bound by that decision, in framing the constitution of those Provinces, whether there Were three or four or ten —because the territory is very large—to give to each one of those Provinces a constitution such as decided upon by the present population of the North-West? My impression is that we should be bound to act by the decision the people of the North-West should give on this question today, in framing the constitutions of all those future Provinces. If it were then thought in the interest of one Province that it should have the use of the dual languages, and in the interest of another Province that it should not, depending entirely on the number of French people who might be there, I do not think that is the proper course to follow now to leave that decision to the people of the North-West Territories. I say that the right policy is to retain in the hands of this Parliament the power of dealing with this question. When the Provinces come to be formed, we should look to the conditions then existing, to the number of people there, and give them a constitution in accordance with those conditions and the desire and best interests of the people. The British North America Act not only takes the subject of legislation with regard to languages out of the hands of this Parliament, but also a subject which is of perhaps as much, if not greater importance, namely, the subject of education. We find that section 93 provides:
"In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according tothe following provisions:—
"Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the Province at the Union;
"All the powers, privileges and duties at the Union by law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and school trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic subjects, shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic subjects in Quebec."
Now, Sir, there was another question considered by the Fathers of Confederation as one of great difficulty, on which the people might divide with a great deal of animosity and feeling, and they took it entirely out of the power of the Provinces and placed it, not even in the hands of this Parliament —because this Act cannot be disturbed by a vote of this House. If it was considered so important with regard to these Provinces, why is it not of equal importance with regard to the North-West Territories? So jealous were the Fathers of Confederation of the rights of the minorities in the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec that they went even a great deal further than I have yet pointed out. We find in section 80 of the same Act, this provision:
"The Legislative Assembly of Quebec shall be composed of 65 members, to be elected to represent the 65 electoral divisions or districts of Lower Canada in this Act referred to, subject to alteration thereof by the Legislature of Quebec: Provided, that it shall not be lawful to present to the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, for assent any Bill for altering the limits of any of the electoral divisions or districts mentioned in the second schedule to this Act, unless the second and third readings of such Bill have been passed in the Legislative Assembly with the concurrence of the majority of the members representing all those electoral divisions or districts, and the assent shall not be given to such Bill, unless an address has been presented by the Legislative Assembly to the Lieutenant Governor stating that it has been so passed."
So jealous were the framers of this Act of the rights of the minority, that in the case of some twelve counties in the Province of Quebec which were considered Protestant counties, it was not left even in the hands of the Legislature of that Province to alter the limits of these counties at any time thereafter. And yet to-day it is said that we must relegate to the people of the North-West Territories the authority to legislate upon this question which is similiar in fact to the question dealt with so judiciously in the British North America Act. At that time and previous to Confederation there were in what were then called Upper and Lower Canada questions similar to the one now being discussed, and these questions were debated with, perhaps, even greater animosity than is the present one, and the differences of opinionthey excited had a great deal to do with bringing about Confederation; and I will take this opportunity of referring to the questions then at issue, not so much for the purpose of recalling the discussions thereon, as for the purpose of i ustrating the position I take, that the questions which are raised to-day are similar to those which created excitement then, and 773 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 774 should be dealt with in the same manner. In 1851, and while the two Canadas were united, I find in the Toronto Globe of the 17th July of that year, the following language:—
"The Reform party are in power now—they have been so for four years. * * These four years have been palmy days of priestcraft. *
"The sectarian grants which should have been swept away, have been increased. * * * When the present party came into power, the common school system was free rom sectarian elements—but they introduced the wedge which threatens to destroy the whole fabric."
In 1853, two years afterwards, the same agitation was going on, and we find this language used in that same newspapers which was then one of the most, if not the most, influential newspaper then published in Ontario. The article is dated 6th September, 1853, and contains the following language:—
"When we have freed our schools from Popish control, when Protestants are eligible to office, and when the people are no longer taxed for the support of the Roman Catholic Church * * * it wlll then be time to cry out, should we go further and touch upon the just rights of Romanists, but not till then."
In the same year we find in the Globe, the following remarks:—
"The Quebec Journal says 'that Mr. Brown gave notice on t e last day of the session, that he would on the first day of the next session introduce a Bill to abolish tithes and compulsory taxes for ecclesiastical purposes in this Provmce. It is a bold step, but it is made necessary by the circumstances of the time. It is desirable that as soon as possible, an issue may be raised upon which to try the great question of Catholic and Protestant, and we could not have a better test than this of Lower Canadian tithes.'"
I call attention to this state of things to show that the arguments then used were on a par and almost the same as those now used by the promoter of this Bill and by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). One could almost imagine, in listening to the speeches of these hon. gentlemen, that time had retraced its course, and we were back again in the old days when the Hon. George Brown led the Liberal party and the Toronto Globe trotted out the Protestant horse. To remedy the state of affairs which then existed and the intensity of which is shown by the Globe, Confederation was brought about, and these vexed questions were settled by the British North America Act, in the way I have pointed out. As I again repeat it, it was necessary then to put those vexed questions out of the arena of both local and Dominion politics, and it was considered that by the British North America Act they were laid at rest forever. Today, however, a revival of the same discussions will bring about the same results that were brought about then. I would ask who received credit at the hands of the people of this country? Was it those who were engaged in the discussion of this question on the lines laid down by the Toronto Globe, or those who resisted the prejudices that were sought to be excited by the party whose views that organ represented? Those who received credit at the hands of the people were not those who raised the issues such as are being raised today by the hon. member for North Simcoe and the hon. member for North Norfolk, but they were those who resisted the prejudices and the appeals to passion which were then being exploited. Among those who were thus rewarded was the right hon. gentleman who leads this House. We find him in those times of eat disquiet and most violent and bitter discussions always resisting the party of prejudice; we find him, from 1851 down to Confederation, in the councils of his country, a member of the executive council when not a leader of his Government. We have found since Confederation down to the present time that he has been at the head of affairs for seventeen or eighteen years out of the twenty-three which have elapsed since then. This shows that the sound common sense of the people gave credit to him and the others who resisted these appeals to public passion and these appeals of the majority to crush the minority — appeals made on grounds similar to those taken to-day by the promoter of this Bill; and I venture to predict that, perhaps not for six months or a year —because these strong and loud appeals which are being made by gentlemen of the ability of those who are promoting the measure, to the prejudices of the people, must run a certain course—but I say in the long run those who will resist that wave of fanatiscism and the appeals made to prejudice, are the ones who will represent the great body of the electorate just as those who resisted similar appeals in the past have represented them from 1851 down to the present time. I was sorry to hear the leader of the Opposition, in the beginning of his beautiful address this afternoon, try to make political capital out of this question, but history shows that the party who resisted these prejudices in the past and the party which resists them now is after all the Conservative party. To-day, however, different from the past, we must give credit to some members of the Liberal party who have joined with us in opposing this fanatical crusade; but the fact remains unchanged, that, in the past, it was the Conservatives who resisted these influences to a much larger extent than did the Liberal party. From Confederation down to the present, there has been relative peace in this country. And why? Because these disquieting questions were set at rest by the British North America Act, but unfortunately they were not settled, in so far as the North- West Territories are concerned, and, therefore, it is that they are being brought to the front again, and the attack is made on the only vulnerable and assailable part which is left. But I will call the attention of the House to this fact, that the British North America Act of 1871 provides that while we are at liberty to make laws and constitution for the North-West Territories, yet when once those laws are made by this Parliament, those laws have the same force as the British North America Act itself. I will read the section. Section 6 of the British North America Act, chapter 28, reads as follows:—
"Except as provided by the third section of this Act,it shall not be competent for the Parliament of Canada to alter the provisions of the last mentioned Act of the said Parliament in so far as it relates to the Province of Manitoba, or of an other Act hereafter establishing new Provinces in the said Dominion, subject always to the right of the Legislature of the Province of Manitoba to alter from time to time the provision of any law respecting the qualification of electors and members of the Legislative Assembly and to make laws respecting elections in the said Prevince."
This is the point I wish to make—that this Parliament has the power to make laws and a constitution for the North-West Territories and to divide the North-West Territories into Provinces. Down to this time it has not been thought advisable to divide the North-West Territories into Provinces, perhaps because the population has not been sufficiently numerous, but the time will come, and it may not be 775 [COMMONS] 776 far distant, when this Parliament will be called upon to exercise that power. This Parliament can wait, and it will be time enough, when it is asked to make a constitution and laws for the different Provinces which may be established there, to consider the circumstances of the Territories and the Provinces to be established, and to see then whether it is advisable that the two languages should be preserved, or to provide that only one language shall be used. At present, I ask what great harm is the dual language doing to the North-West Territories? Let all hon. gentlemen who have taken the other side of this question or have listened to the speeches of the promoter of the Bill, and the other hon. gentlemen made both in and outside of this House, let all those who may have felt excited because it was held out to them that a great wrong and injustice was being done to their fellow countrymen in this matter, consider this question. The other day my hon. friend from North Bruce (Mr. McNeill) said he was willing to go a long distance to meet the views of his French fellow-citizens, but he was not willing to sacrifice his own flesh and blood. that sacrifice of his own flesh and blood is he asked to make? I ask this House and the people of this country, who have studied this question and who may be somewhat excited in regard to it, what sacrifice of the hon. gentleman's flesh and blood is made by leaving the constitution of the North- West Territories such as it is, until this Parliament is called upon to divide those Territories into Provinces and make a constitution for each Province? It simply leaves them in those Territories the liberty, if they desire, to use the two languages. They are not forced to use the French language. The English speaking people there are not obliged by law to learn that language, or to use it in the Legislature or to study it. They may use the English language if they will. There is no compulsion. Then, what great harm is it to them? And, further, they are not even called upon to pay for the translation of the public documents into the French language. Then, where are they injured, where are their rights and privileges interfered with, because the law says that those who desire to do so may use.the French language in the North-West Council, or that their public records shall be printed in both languages? Does that do any harm to them, or take away from them any right? If this matter is looked at calmly and in a proper spirit, it will be seen that this provision does no harm to anyone, takes away no privilege, imposes no hardship, and does not make the English speaking population do what they do not wish to do. If it should have the effect of diffusing more knowledge amongst some part of the population of the North-West Territories, would it not be of some benefit to them to have these documents printed in the French language. I repeat— and this is a point which I strongly feel—that this time is inopportune; that this discussion should not have been raised either in the country or in the House on the question, because the time has not arrived when Parliament is called upon to frame a constitution for the North-West Territories or for any Provinces which may be created there. If the leaders on both sides were to come together and adopt some common basis of amendment or motion which, although, perhaps, it might not be in entire accord with my views, would restore peace and accord in the Dominion, I do not say that I would not vote for such an amendment, even at the sacrifice of my views, but at present my views are that we should not interfere at all in the matter, and that we should not do so until the time is opportune, and we are called upon to legislate for those Provinces. For a few moments, I desire to reply to some of the assumptions which are to be deduced from the speeches of the hon. gentlemen from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), and North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). These hon. gentlemen are kind enough to say that they entertain no hatred to the French people of this Dominion, they are kind enough to say that they have even a great liking for the French people of this Dominion, they are kind enough to say that they wish them no harm; but I ask any unprejudiced man who has followed the speeches which have been made in this House, or who has read the speeches which have been made on the public hustings in the Province of Ontario, and one in the North-West, if he can arrive at any other conclusion than that these hon. gentlemen declare that at present the French people of this Dominion are not desirable subjects in this country? It may be said that is a strained conclusion on my part. I do not think it is. If it is necessary, in their opinion, to have the French population—I will not say annihilated—but gradually made other than they are to-day, that must be their opinion. If they are desirable subjects, why should they not be left as they are, and why should any attempt be made either by legislation or by speeches to change them from what they are? They are blamed by these hon. gentlemen because they cannot be delighted by the same literature which delights these hon. gentlemen, because they are not delighted by the same pages of history which delighted these hon. gentlemen, because they are not moved by the same noble aspirations which move these hon. gentlemen in their actions. No other deduction can be drawn from that than the deduction which I have stated. If you take the facts as they exist, what do you find? We, the French people of this Dominion, are accused by these hon. gentlemen—not by the majority of the English speaking people, but I believe by a small minority, as I am sure it would be found if it were tested, but by a sufficiently large number to create disquietude and some amount of excitement—of combining together as a nationality or people in order to obtain that which we have no right to obtain. That has been advanced upon the public hustings, and, in effect, on the floor of this House. The records show an entirely different state of things. These hon. gentlemen have not brought forward any proof in this House or in the country to justify that statement. I would ask on what particular question, since 1867, have the French people united on a matter of this kind? They have not united in any vote in this House or in any election in this Dominion. Look at the last general elections for the Dominion. There are some 45,000 French people in Nova Scotia, and there is not one representative of that nationality from that Province in this House. Is that any evidence of their uniting in order to get influence and power to use it to the detriment of the English speaking people of this country? In Prince Edward Island, the population is not so large as in Nova Scotia. I think the population is about 109,000 or 110,000, 777 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 778 and there are about 10,000 or 11,000 French there. It is true that they send a worthy representative of that nationality here, but have you found him advocating anything but what he believed to be in the true interests of the people of this Dominion any more than you have found his English speaking colleagues? In New Brunswick, there are 56,000 French people, but, where they could send three representatives of that nationality to represent three counties there, what do you find? Your humble servant is the only representative of the French race from the Province of New Brunswick. Does that show that the promoter of the Bill (Mr. McCarthy) and his friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) were right in trying to impress upon the people of Ontario that the object of the French people of this Dominion is to dominate and to combine together in order to get a dominant influence and use it to the detriment of English speaking people and to their own advantage? I say, when you look at the three Maritime Provinces in the elections I have mentioned, we do not see any such desire to form a combination; they have not acted in the spirit which is attributed to them. Then let us go a little further and look at the Province of Quebec in the last election, and what do we see? The facts show us that, instead of combining, the people divided. In that large Province, so exclusively French, if I may say so—although there are a large number of English speaking people—if the French Canadians had been actuated by the motives attributed to them by the hon. gentlemen, we would not have seen the result which actually took place. If my memory serves me well, I think that 26 French speaking members were returned from that Province to support the Opposition in this House, and 25 were returned to support the Government. Does that look as if there was no division among the French people? Does that look as if there was unanimity of feeling of a hostile character against the English people? Does that look as if they were isolating themselves from the rest of the community, and working in harmonyfor the purpose of obtaining things prejudicial to the English people and advantageous to themselves? The facts do not show that they were actuated by any such spirit; on the contrary, they were divided nearly half and half between the two great parties of this Dominion, and, Sir, have you observed in their votes in this House that feeling which is spoken of? I say you cannot point to a single vote upon the records of this House since 1867 that supports the assertion made by my hon. friend. If there ever was a question upon which the people of the Province of Quebec and the French speaking people of this Dominion could be united by national feelings, and, if you will, national prejudices, it was the Riel question, that came up in 1886. And what was the result of that vote? Speaking from memory again, I think there were twenty-four French members voting one way, and twenty- seven voting the other way. Does that show that there was a combination of the French people for any purpose hostile to the rest of the Dominion? Sir, you will appeal in vain to the records of any of the elections held in the Dominion of Canada since 1867, to find any proof whatever of the assertions made by my hon. friend who is promoting this Bill in this House, and who tried to promote the excitement that has been raised dur ing the last year in the Province of Ontario and in the other Provinces. It is true, the assertions are made, but no evidence is brought forward to prove them. These hon. gentlemen not only accuse us of combining in this House, but in their speeches they assert that we are endeavoring to combine the French people of the country together. I say those gentlemen do not study the effects of their speech, they do not consider the influence of the appeals that they make to their own people. They say it is wrong to have these combinations, it is wrong for the people of one race to combine against another, but if they would carefully study the effect of their own speeches, they will see that they are infinitely more calculated to bring together a certain portion of the people belonging to the majority in Canada in opposition to the French people. We need not go very far to find an example of this kind of appeal. I will quote from a speech made by the hon. member for North Norfolk, I think, on the 12th July last, in which, speaking to Orangemen, he said among other things:
"Set the mark of your mission as an order at a higher point than to keep a particular set of men in ofiice, and when Mr. Bowell and Sir Hector Langevin lie down together, study the situation and be wary, for the net result will not be set down to the credit of the Orange Order."
Sir, here is a strong appeal to the people to combine together in opposition to the French, because he takes the trouble to point out that the Minister of Customs and the Minister of Public Works, if they have sufficiently community of feeling, and sufficient community of interest in this Dominion to work together politically for the interest of our common country, it is a fact which he asks the people to be aware, he tells them that it means evil to them, it means ill to the English people of this Dominion; it is a danger when French Canadians unite in the Government with English speaking Canadians. What other deductions can be drawn from his language? What other evil can he mean when he points to the fact of the Minister of Customs and the Minister of Public Works being in the same Cabinet? He goes on to say:
"The issue is important, our foe is sleepless, resolute and unscrupulous."
Now, what does that mean? If we were to use such language to an assembly of French Canadians and tell them "the issue is important, our foe," the English speaking people," is resolute and unscrupulous," would we not be accused of using language of an inflammatory character, and of trying to arouse the prejudices of our compatriots; would we not be accused of trying to rally together the people of our nationality for the purpose of resisting the people of another nationality? We would be so accused, I think, and very rightfully. And if these gentlemen say that, do we go too far, if we accuse them of having similar motives, if we say that by their language they are trying to form a. combination of the English speaking people against the French speaking people? Let me say that I do not, myself, approve of everything that I have read as having been said in the Province of Quebec by gentlemen calling themselves Nationalists; I do not myself approve of everything I have seen in some newspapers I have read in that Province, upon the subject of French nationality, when they go so far as to intimate a desire to see upon the banks of the St. Lawrence French na 779 [COMMONS] 780 tionality, as contradistinguished from a British nationality. I do not approve of that; but I would point out to these hon. gentlemen who are promoting this Bill, and to the hon. member for North Norfolk who sympathises with them, that there is this inference between their speeches and the speeches of those public men I have referred to in the Province of Quebec. Those men who have spoken thus in the Province of Quebec, and those hon. gentlemen Who have spoken on that subject in this House, have made these speeches, so far as I have read them, only in self defence. The purport of their speeches have been this: If the English people attack us We are prepared to resist them; if these people attack our nationality we are prepared to resist them; if these people attack our language we are prepared to resist them; if these people attack our school system we are prepared to resist them; if they attack our religion we are prepared to resist them. But they have never gone so far as to say: We must go to Ontario and pluck from the English speaking people the rights and privileges which they enjoy. Their speeches have always, so far as I have seen, been in answer to attacks made upon them by those entitlement speaking in the Province of Ontario. But the speeches of these gentlemen promoting this Bill have not been on the defensive. The hon. member for North Simcoe and his friends, on the contrary, have spoken in an aggressive tone, as aggressive as the preamble of the Bill of my hon. friend is aggressive. It is not necessary that I should quote from the speeches delivered by hon. gentlemen, for they are fresh in the memory of the House. It is only necessary, in order to emphasise my view, that I should read from the preamble of the Bill, which is as follows:—
"Whereas it is expedient in the interest of the national comity of the Dominion that there should be community of language among the people of Canada, and that the enactment in "North-West Territories Act" allowing the use of the French language should be expunged therefrom."
Is this not an attack upon those rights which have been secured to the French people of the Province of Quebec, primarily by treaty, and also by the Act of Confederation, and secured in such a way that not even the legislation of this House can interfere with them? When such an attack is made, and when it is embodied in violent speeches, it is not unnatural that the French members from Quebec should, in reply, say that if an attempt is made to interfere with the French language in the North-West Territories, we will resist it to the utmost of our power. There is not so much fault to be found with the attitude taken by the people there, irrespective of the points to which I have alluded. Some hon. gentlemen did not appear to wish to go so far, and they stated they had no intention of interfering with vested rights. That is not the attitude taken by the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), who introduced the Bill. He intends to interfere with vested rights; he intends to secure this entering wedge, and follow it up by attacking the Separate School system and the use of the French language in Quebec, if we have to attach any credence to the speeches delivered by the hon. gentleman outside this House and within its walls. Other members, however, say they do not intend to go so far. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) will not go so far, but where the French are weak, as in the North-West Territories, he intends to attack them there, and to accomplish the purpose he has in view. But he should remember that an injustice to one is a menace to all. If it is an injustice to 10 or 50 people, it is a menace to any number. Holding those views, I consider it is not expedient to-day to pronounce an opinion upon this question, and I hold that this is an inopportune time to bring it forward, and I am prepared, if no better resolution is submitted, to vote for the sub-amendment before the House, and vote squarely against the Bill. I do not think I am prepared to vote for the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), because it is not, to my view, the proper one. We should not revert to the people the power to deal with this subject, but we should keep it in our own hands, and when the proper times comes for legislation, we should, speaking for the whole Dominion, say what we belieVe to be right for the North-West and for the great Provinces to be established there, and we should consider the circumstances, the population, the different nationalities there, and we should legislate in the best interests of all. Believing that to be the proper policy, I am not disposed to vote either for the Bill or for the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia.
Mr. WELDON (Albert). At this hour of the evening and in view of the great length of the discussion, I will speak very briefly and follow the most excellent example of moderation and of courtesy shown to-day by hon. gentlemen who have spoken, and most prominently by the leader of the Opposition. I have waited for four days in the hope that some English-speaking representative of the Provinces by the sea, older in parliamentary experience than I am, who could have spoken with more authority regarding the feeling of the eastern Provinces, would rise and take part in this debate. If such an hon. member addressed this House I would gladly resume my seat in silence. But, perhaps, in the course of remarks occupying a few moments, I may be able to contribute some points to this discussion which will enable us to arrive at a mutual understanding. The questions before the House are two: one, which seems to me to be relevant and a comparatively narrow question; the other, which seems to be irrevelant, is one which has taken a very broad range. In the very few remarks I offer I will sharply distinguish between these two questions; one of which grows out of the enacting clause of the Bill of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and the other which grows out of the inconsequential and ill-constructed preamble of the Bill. The first is with respect to the simple and narrow question as to whether, all things considered, in this year of our Lord 1890, it is wise in this Parliament to strike out section 110 of the North-West Territories Act, which was inserted in that Act thirteen years ago. I do not propose to review the reasons given by those who are opposed to the policy of expunging this section. I understood the hon. leader of the Opposition to say that the Bill, coupled with such apreamble, and heralded with such a speech as was delivered by the introducer of the Bill in this House, and still more by speeches outside this House, was one they could not approve; but if that simple Bill had been introduced, without 781 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 782 the preamble, in a moderate speech by a member from the North-West, he would not have regarded it as one that was very objectionable. It is said that those who favor the preamble of the Bill are endorsing the action of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), but those who endorse only the Bill itself occupy a different position. It has been said, and it was said by the hon. member for Assiniboia West (Mr. Davin), that it was unjust to the people of the western Provinces to strike out section 110. I come from a Province where, as the member for Kent (Mr. Landry) has said, there are a considerable number of French-speaking people. We come from a Province which has not the dual language, from a Province where we live on terms of good-will with each other; and no better evidence of the good-will of the English and French speaking people in that Province can be furnished, than the fact that a great party in that Province, mainly an English-speaking party, some years ago, chose as their leader the hon. member for Kent (Mr. Landry), whom we all respected and knew to be a capable administrator, and he held for some time a. very important portfolio in the Government of that Province. The argument of the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), that the continuation of section 110 would have the effect of attracting emigrants from the New England States and leading to emigration westward seems to me to be not well founded on fact. Thirteen years ago this House passed section 110 as a bid for emigrants for the North-West; but that section has not had the effect of drawing emigrants there, and any French Canadians who have emigrated have gone to the factories and farms of the New England States. Many of my French Canadian friends have said to me since this discussion began: Be reasonable and endeavor to understand the present situation; suppose a hundred years ago the French had obtained possession of the northern part of the continent, and you and yours were in the minority, how would you feel about this question? I said: I would hope that the French Government would deal as generously as the English have been disposed to deal with the French people in the Provinces; but I would say frankly that in the matter of carving out new Provinces, however much I might desire the English language to be retained, I must accept the facts of history and could not hope for the perpetuation of my own language as an official language. I have only this to say in favor of repealing section 110, and it is this: that I agree with ever argument made in its favor. I thought a powerful ar ument was made by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) in the earlier part of his speech, in which he appeared to devote close attention to the precise question before the House; and I concur in the opinion that it is desirable, other things being equal, without breaking faith, to have but one language, that Government is easier and that friction is less among a people in a country which has a homogeneous people. This remark is made by one whose duty all his life has been to study history, and I venture to say there is not in Europe a single example of a nation, with two rival races jealousy preserving their own nationality, and nearly equal in strength, whose power is at all commensurate with her resources and population as compared with a homogeneous nation. I will not follow that out in detail, because it has been discusssed fully by gentlemen on both sides of the House. In Switzerland, where there are three languages, the people live in good-will; but the force that holds Switzerland together is the iron band of pressure from the outside. If we had on the north and west of us, as we have on the south of us, jealous nations whom we felt were quite willing to eat us up at an hour's notice, I think we would have better feelings of brotherly love than we have now. The case of Austro-Hungary was different from that of Switzerland, but I have not time to enter at any great length into the question of why Austro-Hungary, since that great duel on the field of Sadowa, has not an influence consistent with her large population, her fertile soil, and her great resources. Germany on the north, with far less population, is, beyond all question, themore powerfulnation; that is, the nation with a comparatively homogeneous race is stronger than the other, although nominally the smaller. My hon. friend from Noth Bruce (Mr. McNeill) made a very pertinent argument in the case of England, when he pointed out that when England was occupied by two rival races, the Saxons and the Normans, she made very little progress; but when these nations were fused together she went forward by leaps and bounds. The most pertinent of all the arguments advanced, to my thinking, is the argument based on facts with which we are all acquainted. We know something of the course of events in the great Republic to the south. Her success is something phenomenal in the history of nations; and what is the policy which that great, progressive and sensible people have pursued in this matter of founding a new colony? Have they not stood by the one language? Have they not stood by the public schools? Have they not stood by the common law of England, those just and clement laws, those institutions of government which guarantee personal liberty? Have they not held those out to the foreign nations, saying: "Come and share these laws with us, enjoy this liberty with us." And have not their most enlightened men, ever since they planted this policy in the land, discovered that these laws were a mighty force of assimilation and tended to make a people compact? To secure this homogeneity, it seems to me that, in this new commonwealth, it will be unwise to allure immigrants from France, from Denmark, from Germany, from Sweden, and from other foreign countries, by the hope that when they come into this Dominion, in our courts of justice, in our Legislatures, they will be entitled to the free use of their own language. I think, if we do so, we are holding out to them an illusive hope. I think it better to say to the Danes, Germans, Prussians, French and others who come here: we welcome you all; there are our fertile lands, occupy them; and there are our mighty English laws guarding your lives and property. There are schools in which your children may be taught; there are representative institutions of Government. If you wish, you can have equal rights with all of us; and then we may hope that in one or two generations the great difficulty of governing these western Provinces will be removed, and they will be united into one. In my judgment, there is no single force within the range of Government——I am not speaking of the almost unlimited force of religion, which is beyond the 783 [COMMONS] 784 range of Government in our happy country—there is no force so subtle, so insidious, so powerful to effect this unity of races as the force of language. It is like the primary forces of nature. It makes a people like each other who did not like each other before. I agree with so many French members that it is a pity we cannot all speak the French language. If we could I am sure we would like them better, and they would like us better, and if I were a younger man and could learn as fast as I could in my earlier days, I would learn to speak that beautiful language as I long ago learned to read it.
Mr. LANDRY. And then you would pass a law to prevent yourself using it.
Mr. WELDON (Albert). Far from it. I will deal with that remark of my hon. friend later on. I do not wish to recall past memories. I do not wish to speak of the events of 1877, but I do feel, in all soberness, that he who threw the apple of discord was not the hon. member singled out for condemnation by my friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). It Was that man who inserted in the Upper House, late in the Session of 1877, that ill- fated section of the North-West Territories Act, which provided for the official use of the two languages. It was he who planted the baleful cypress tree by the cradles of those young commonwealths between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains. A few words more and I have done. I will refer now to the somewhat irrelevant and larger question as to whether we should not consider that this Act is only a wedge by which its promoters commence to break up the institutions of the French Canadians, and that after they have succeeded in this, they are to go on and petition the Imperial Parliament to strike out section 133 of the British North America Act which guarantees the French language in this chamber, that they will go further and agitate for the repeal of the civil law in Quebec, and possibly endeavor to strike out that portion of the Act of Confederation which guarantees the freedom of the Roman Catholic religion in the Province of Quebec. Coming from the Lower Provinces as I do, and without any authority to speak for any but myself and the county which I represent, as one who has been in the habit of meeting the public men of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and studying the opinions of the press in that country, I desire to say, that, so far as I know, the one million people of the Lower Provinces sending forty-three members to this House are an absolute unit in believing that when we came into the Confederation there were agreements between the two Canadas and the Lower Provinces which should not be broken. The understanding was that our people were called in to keep the peace between those people on the St. Lawrence. We knew that a treaty in substance had been made. We knew that treaty has been crystallised and made lawful and bindin upon us by the Parliament at Westminster. We know that that treaty guaranteed the perfect freedom of the Catholic religion in Quebec, the use of the French language, the perpetuity of the civil law of Rome included, and I desire to say that the people down there, who are mostly English, love the truth and keep their faith. Long ago our old King Alfred was called the "truth teller," and we English people boast that we are truth tellers and boast that we keep our faith. It is a quality we are proud of. We are not faith breakers; we are faith keepers; and I think the one million people in the Provinces by the sea are one man in saying that it is our bounden duty, in good faith and honor, absolutely to preserve inviolate those provisions of the treaty, those guarantees of the constitution, which have been referred to by my hon. friend. That is the answer I give him when he asks me if I wish to strike out the French language. Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for its patience in indulging me thus far. As I sit down my attention has been called by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Girouard) to a constitutional point which, I think, might be very well stated at this juncture, namely, that whatever we desire to do in the North-West Territories in regard to the schools or the Assembly or the printing of papers or judicial proceedings, we have no power under the constitution to deal with the use of the French language in the courts; for section 133 of the British North America Act reads as follows:—
"Either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Houses of Parliament of Canada and of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec; and both those languages shall be used in the respective records and journals of those Houses; and either of those languages may be used by any person, or in any pleading or process in or issuing from any court of Canada established under this Act, and in or from all or any of the Courts of Quebec."
And if we turn to section 101, which gives to this Parliament the power to establish Canadian courts, we find that it reads as follows:—
"The Parliament of Canada may, notwithstanding anything in this Act, from time to time, provide for the constitution, maintenance and organisation of a general Court of Appeal for Canada, and for the establishment of any additional courts for the better administration of the laws of Canada."
Reading these two sections together, I think they are conclusive that the courts of the North-West Territories are courts of Canada, and whatever we wish to do we cannot touch them. Let me sit down by saying that it makes a young member proud of his country, and proud of his Parliament, and proud of the French race, to observe the dignity and order which have been maintained throughout this debate; and if the hon. member who leads the Opposition will forgive me for saying so, and not think it improper, I should like to express the delight I have, as a peace lover, to see the increased dignity of debate and the elevated tone of discussion in this chamber during the four years that I have been here, for which I think the unfailing urbanity of the hon. gentleman himself is largely to be credited.
Mr. DESSAINT. (Translation) As a French Canadian, Mr. Speaker, representing a county most essentially French, I think that it is my duty, under the circumstances, to raise my voice in protest against the resolution which this House is asked to adopt. The North-West Territories were definitely organised by statute in 1877. The repeal of section 110 of chapter 50 of Revised Statutes of Canada is asked for, by which section it is enacted that:
"Either the English or the French language be used by any person in the debates of the Council or Legislative Assembly of the Territories and m the proceedings before the courts; and both those languages shall be used in the records and journals of the said Council or Assembly; and all ordinances made under this Act shall be printed in both those languages."
785 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 786
The hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) proposes by his Bill, now before the House, to repeal section 110 of "The North-West Territories Act." I will ask at once what can be the object which the hon. member has, and must necessarily have, in presenting such a resolution? If the Act which is now before the House, has but one particular object, namely, to have justice done to the people of the North-West Territories, I ask what is his mission, what is his mandate, to thus take the part of these people? If there are any persons in the North-West Territories, who find themselves injured, let them make their voices heard in this House, through their authorized representatives. The object of the hon. member seems clear enough in the preamble of the Bill:
"Whereas it is expedient in the interest of the national comity of 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 expunged therefrom: Therefore her Majesty, by and with the advice and comment of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:-
"1. Section one hundred and ten of the Act of the Revised Statutes of Canada, initiated 'An Act respecting the North-West Territories,' is hereby repealed.
After reading this preamble, it is easily ascertainable that it is not merely to redress the grievances in the North-West that the hon. member has brought in this Bill. It has quite another object. It is not a piece of partial and local legislation which he undertakes to carry out, but general legislation attacking everything which is French Canadian in Canada. If the hon. member has local legislation in view, I ask what is his commission, what is his mission? I do not see that he has any, and I consider that he is meddling in what does not concern him, that he is meddling in the business of other people. It is said that many American citizens have made fortunes in minding their own business. This is the line of conduct which should be adopted by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). When the North-West Territories Act was passed in 1877, it will be remembered that the section which is sought to be repealed was adopted first by the Senate; this section was then submitted to the House of Commons. The Government of Mr. Mackenzie was then in power. The hon. member for North Simcoe was then in the House, and he consented with the others—he had not then the mission which he has to-day,——he consented, as did the other members, to the adoption of this section, which passed unanimously. Later on, in 1880, this North-West Territories Act again came before the House, and this section is found imbedded in the Revised Statutes, and never did the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) think it proper to complain of it. Last year, he set out on the war path, and he was seen careering over Ontario and the North-West Territories. He thought himself charged with a special mission to regenerate the population, and to rub out from the map of Canada all that belonged to the French Canadians. I would not wish to insult the hon. member by comparing him to the celebrated knight who roamed over Spain and the other European countries in order to fight windmills. I certainly would not desire to compare him to this renowned knight of the sorrowful figure, who, in his moments of sanguinary instinct, disembowelled armies of sheep; because the comparison would not be fair. The illustrious Don Quixote fought from pure gallantry and he sought always to protect the feeble and the oppressed, whilst the hon.. member for North Simcoe seeks to persecute them. This is the difference I make between the two personages. Now, Mr. Speaker, the intention always shown by the hon. member, is not only, as all the world is perfectly convinced, to abolish the French language in the North-West. If this were a Bill of limited effect which we are discussing at the present moment, one might perhaps consider for moment the seasonableness of such a measure; but the Bill extends much farther. The aim of the hon. member—he has not concealed it in his speech, and all those who followed him have preached the same doctrine,—is the destruction of the French language not only in the North-West Territories, but throughout the Dominion of Canada. Further, he would like to abolish the separate schools; he would equally like, if it were possible, to abolish the Roman Catholic religion, which has been attacked in a furious manner for some time past. I think that the movement which has now been set going throughout the country is far from being a patriotic one, but I am certain that those who intend such a persecution will not succeed in their efforts. History gives lessons which must not be disregarded; lessons which we should make use of, and which we will certainly put into practice. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has told us that by the Act of Capitulation of Quebec and by the Act of Cession of 1763 the use of the French language was not guaranteed. If the Catholic religion has been preserved to us, if a guarantee for all our privileges has been given to , us, if we possess to-day the French civil law, the Code Napoleon, which is the admiration of the whole world, a system of law which goes back as far as the Costume de Paris and the old coutumes of France, we owe these to the guarantees given by the Treaty of Paris, and to our privileges granted by the Treaty of Capitulation. Well, when we have the right of exercising our religion as we understand it; when we have preserved for ourselves the coutumes, the laws in force in the country, by capitulation, are they going now to tell us that we have not the right of speaking our language? When they allowed us the use of our language before the courts, because they could not do otherwise, is this not a formal guarantee that we should have the enjoyment, along with our civil rights, of this beautiful French language, of which we are proud for more than one reason? The attempt made by the hon. member for Simcoe will not succeed, and I trust that he will not return again to the charge. At the time of the cession of Canada— as he has himself stated,—the population of Canada, which was entirely French at the time, was about 65,000 souls. A great number quitted the country to return to France, notably the nobles and oificers, and the educated persons generally. They deserted the new country and we remained there in small numbers under the shield and guardianship of the priests, who were at that epoch the only people of education. Well, since 1763, until Confederation in 1867, and even up to the present time as is now proved, they have tried by every means in their power to prevent the French Canadians from speaking their language and practising their religion. This people which originally reckoned only 65,000 souls resisted the storm and presented a 787 [COMMONS] 788 hold front to all attacks. It has preserved its privileges, its language, its religion, and its rights. How can it be imagined to-day, Mr. Speaker, that with a population of one million and one-half of French Canadians, settled in the Province of Quebec and the other Provinces of Canada, and about one million in the United States, how can it be imagined, I say, that the hon. member for Simcoe and the companions who support him, can hope to be able to destroy the French race, and take away from it the right of using its language, when there exists to defend it a population of more than one million living in the Dominion of Canada? The persecutions which have with intent been carried on against the French Canadians have not been confined to the Province of Quebec, but before the cession of 1763, the English who at that time peopled the thirteen colonies which later on made up the United States, already carried on before the warfor independence had been declared, a bloody war upon everything that was French, and they attacked the Acadians, who then dwelt in Nova Scotia. In order to show the dishonesty with which they acted towards these Frenchmen, it will be sufficient for me to cite an extract from a work by Mr. Jacques de Baudoncourt, at page 309:
"The Acadians asked to be exempted from carrying arms a ainst France in case ofwar (for it must always be remein cred that war had not been declared). This mark of attachment was never forgiven and served as a pretext for the carrying out of a measure the most brutal among all that history has recorded. The English fleets surrounded Acadia and the most profound secrecy was maintained in order that no one might escape. The ofiicers and the Protestant clergy had already exhausted. against the unfortunate Acadians. all their insults and annoyances. The supreme iniquity was about to be consummated. To take seven or eight thousand men by force was impracticable, recourse was had to a ruse. A general proclamation from Moneton,invited all the men under the severest penalties, above the age of ten years, to assemble in the church of their respective villages, in order there to listen to the orders of the Grovernment. The day fixed was Friday the 5th day of September. In order to give an idea of what took place in the other Acadian villages, let us recount what passed in the village of Grand Pré, where 483 men, 337 women and 1,107 children were grouped. when they were shut up in the church, the approaches to which were guarded by the Bostonnais, Col. Winsloy having taken his place in the middle of the meeting, made this announcement, one worthy of Nero and Caligula: 'You are gathered together here in order that I may make you acquainted with the final resolve of His Majesty, respecting the French population of this Province. Your lands, your cattle, and your provlsions of all kinds, are confiscated tor the benefit of the Crown, and as for yourselves you will be transported from the country. You owe to the goodness of His Malesty the right which I am going to allow you, namely, that of carrying off all your money and household stuff. provided always, that it will not encumber the vessels in which you are going to embark. From this moment I declare you to be prisoners of the King.'
"And the unhappy Acadians without arms, were escorted in six ranks, at the bayonet's point, from the church to the ship where the men were to embark; they passed along groaning With grief in the midst of their Wives and e ildren, who were on their knees and calling down the blessings of heaven on the poor exiles from whom they were going to be separated. The Americans were pitiless, and took no pains to unite families; they had not even prepared a place for the reception of the exiles. the colonies were not forewarned. 0n the same day and hour all the other villages were treated in the same manner. and the seven thousand captured Acadians were embarked for an unknown destination."
The greater part of these poor wretches were deceived in this manner and despoiled of their goods; this act of cruelty will be a shameful blot on the history of British North America. These poor Acadians were embarked forcibly on board the vessels. They were scattered along the coasts of the United States; and they were deprived of all, in order to prevent their return to their country where they possessed fertile and well cultivated lands and a fair amount of property. In spite of this persecution, Mr. Speaker, the Canadians so loved their soil; they so loved their country, that it ended in their repatriating themselves, and at the present day this population of 7,000, which had thus been scattered to the four winds, has come together again and numbers at least 110,000 Acadians, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. All this proves that there are certain feelings which cannot be driven out of the heart of man. The Canadians may be expelled from the country, but no one can succeed in stifling their national sentiment. I shall not enter upon all the historical incidents which followed this gloomy period, between 1760 and 1837. I shall only remark that the Government, every time the occasion presented itself, being then hostile, took all the means possible to deprive the French Canadian nation of their privileges. They tried to prevent our speaking the language peculiar to it. Our fellow-countrymen had not the right to speak officially the French language in the Legislative Assemblies, nor even in the courts: they robbed them of their just rights. They had judges who understood not a word of French, and who were third-class men. They endeavored by this means to prevent their having access to the courts,—and our countrymen chose the oldest men among them to adjust their differences; it was certainly the best way to bear up as they have done. The hon. First Minister has spoken to us about a memorable epoch; he spoke to us about the year 1844, the year in which he entered public life for the first time. He told us that if the French Canadians were protected in that year it was by a Tory Government. I think that the hon. the First Minister makes a mistake in this connection, for the Government of the day was not Wholly Tory; and the measure to which he alluded, that is to say the restoration of. the French language in Canada, was not proposed by a Tory, but by the Hon. Mr. Papineau, who certainly was not a Tory, but a Reformer and an advanced Liberal. This measure was a protest against the Union Act of 1840; for it is known that in this Union Act a section had been interpolated by which the French language was completely forbidden in the legislative debates. In 1845 the Hon. Mr. Papineau, moved a resolution and based a Bill upon this resolution, re-establishing the use of the French language in the Legislative Chamber. This resolution was unanimously adopted by the members present. Consequently the Conservative party of to-day, or the Tory party, cannot claim to have given us the benefit of such a measure. But if the hon. the First Minister had gone a little- further and had come down to 1849, he would, perhaps have been able to have made us see what were the intentions of the Tories of that day. We can remember that, in 1849, the Tory newspapers declared war to the death on everything in the. shape of a French Canadian. We can recollect that at that time it was a Liberal Government which asked the House to vote a sum of money as an indemnity to those French Canadians who had suffered losses in the rebellion of 1837. The proposal of the Government was warmly debated, and the hon. the First Minister of the present moment, 789 [FEBRUARY 17, 1890.] 790 who was then in the House, was one of those who made the most revolutionary speeches that can be found in the history of our country. The press also discussed the question. It is necessary, said the Tory organs, that the French race should disappear from Canada. The hon. the First Minister was a Tory then, as he is now, and he was at the head of those who waged war upon the French Canadian race. We remember the disorders which were caused by this law. The Governor was insulted; stones and rotten eggs were thrown at him. An organised body laid siege to the Parliament House; threw in a shower of stones even into the Council Chamber; they drove out the members; they broke the desks and chairs; they carried off the mace; one of their leaders seated in the Speaker's chair proclaimed in the name of the people the dissolution of the Parliament. At the same time the building became the prey of the flames, as did the house of the Hon. Mr. Lafontaine. And who were at the head of this revolutionary movement? They were the Tories of the day, and I venture to say the political ancestors of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). And who, setting aside Mr. Lafontaine, took up the defence of the French Canadians? It was a man whose name will live in the history of our country. It was the father of the Hon. Mr. Blake, who, in a most eloquent speech, demanded, as a good patriot, as a philosopher, their rights for the French Canadians. We have discovered in this House, within the last few days, that the son of this great patriot has followed the traditions of his father, and has adopted the same line of conduct by praising the French Canadians. He has placed himself above the considerations of party; he has taken the side of the persecuted, and the French Canadians will owe him an eternal acknowledgment, as they preserve a precious remembrance of his illustrious father. I am perfectly convinced, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) does not hope to obtain the result which he has in view, when proposing the measure which is now offered for our consideration. He knows that it is impossible to secure the abolition of the French language in the North- West, and still less in the Province of Quebec; and I tell him frankly that he is dashing his head against stone walls by endeavoring to secure the adoption of this measure. Before abolishing the French language, and taking from us the privileges which we enjoy, he will find, if need be, thousands upon thousands of breasts presented as a defence for the liberties which we enjoy. Mr. Speaker, recriminations are indulged in against the hon. the First Minister of the Province of Quebec. I do not know why they are continually attacking a man who is not in this House to defend himself; it would appear that there is a mad rage against him; it would appear that he has excited the prejudices and the hatred of certain persons in the House. I am not commissioned to take up the defence of Mr. Mercier; but when they accuse him of fanaticism; when they 'state that the Government of Quebec desires to ostracise the English minority in that Province, I say that a statement is made which is not true. Let us examine the facts as they really are: There are in the Province of Quebec, ten members speaking the English language out of sixty-five who form the total membership of the Legislature. There are in the Ministry two English Protestant Ministers. Consequently these two English Ministers represent one-third of the membership. If Mr. Mercier had only granted to the Protestant minority the number of Ministers to which they were entitled with regard to the population and the body of representatives, he would have given them but one Protestant Minister. Now, let any one cite one single act,—I do not refer to a word spoken in a patriotic speech where one may go beyond the usual bounds of prudence, —let them cite one case where Mr. Mercier has not done justice to the Protestant minority, then I will admit that he has made himself blameworthy. Again, lately, during the session now in progress, he has shown his justice towards the Protestant minority. Mr. Hall presented a Bill to the Legislature asking for a privilege favoring the Protestant minority, in the matter of the admission to the study of law of the bearers of University degrees. The Hon. Mr. Mercier was the first to impress upon his followers his own personal ideas, and he in this way made the Bill of Mr. Hall to pass in triumph. This is what the Sherbrooke Gazette says on the subject:
"We are quite aware that we are going to give the Sherbrooke Examiner an opportunity of delivering himself once more of his stupid jests, but we must render justice to Mr. Mercier for the statesmanlike act he has done in taking up the defence of the rights of the English Universities. in causing their diplomas of B.A. to be accepted as evidence that the bearer of the degree has received a sufficiently liberal education to enable him to commence the study of the law. Prejudice—blind irrational prejudice—is so spread over Quebec and possesses the Legislature to such a degree, that the chief of such a party as the National Party must have a large portion of moral courage to rise above the narrow and paltry ideas of the party, and render justice to the minority."
This is what Mr. Mercier has done in the case before us. His support, his pleading and his eloquence have assured the passing of Mr. Hall's Bill, and his efforts ought to be acknowledged to his face.
"Honor to whom honor is due. Mr. Mercier deserves the gratitude of all true believers in equal rights."
That is what an English newspaper said, quite recently, on the position taken by the Hon. Mr. Mercier towards the Protestant minority. This is not all: during the past few days a question of privilege was raised before this House by making allusion to certain disorders which have taken place in Hull. One hon. member allowed himself to make a furious tirade, not only against Mr. Mercier, but against French Canadians in general; he took advantage of the occasion to hurl upon the French Canadians an insult which I will not repeat, but which we have felt keenly and which has wounded us in our most private feelings. He went so far as to recall the sad remembrances of the battle on the Plains of Abraham and the battle of Waterloo. He went so far as to tell us that the time would come when great Salvation Armies would march through the streets of Quebec. Why provoke in this manner the French Canadians, who only ask to live like brothers, hand in hand with their fellow-citizens of whatever race or origin? This brand of discord is hurled in order to create a programme, in order to pick up at the next elections a certain number of fanatics. I have nothing to say about the Salvation Army nor the battle of the Plains of Abraham. If the history of our fellow-citizens of English origin has some dates of honor and victory, I can say that we French Cana 791 [COMMONS] 792 dians have some glorious pages in the history of our country. If we have suffered losses, if we have experienced checks, we can in any case march with head erect; we can look behind with pride and be proud of our ancestors. I say, Mr. Speaker, that it is not generous; I say that it is despicable to make illusions like that to the ancestors of a nation which has a glorious past. Occasion has been found to speak of the Salvation Army. I ask what has the Salvation Army to do with this case? I frankly admit that I have no very great admiration for this army, which may have a cause for its existence from its own point of view; but is, in my opinion, only a gathering of parasites, which I find simply ridiculous. I might say more, but as there may be found among those people some well-intentioned individuals, I wish to give them the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, there is one thing very certain, which is, that the Salvation Army, like many other fanatical religious organisations, has no justification for its existence, and I say that the law does not permit scandalous and noisy processions in the streets. We live in a free country; I respect all religious denominations, and we desire that our religion should be respected; but the liberty of creed in a country does not authorise license. This is what the first section of the Act respecting rectories says on the subject:—
"The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, so as the same be not made an excuse for acts of licentiousness, or a justification of practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the Province, are by the constitution and laws of this Province allowed to all Her Majesty's subjects within the same."
Well, all creeds have free access to this country; all religions are respected; but this must not give an opening for license which may disturb the public peace. Will they say that the noisy demonstrations, of which we were witness on the streets of Quebec, are not of a kind to break the public peace? I say: yes, they are; and, further, I find in these processions a provocation which should be avoided by all legal methods. To show the goodwill of the Hon. Mr. Mercier, who is always working in the interest of peace and harmony in our country, I shall cite the answer which he made to the Hon. Mr. Taillon in reference to the troubles which have occurred lately in Hull. This is What he said:
"At the opening of the Session the Hon. Mr. Taillon drew the attention of the Government to the regrettable disorders which took place recently in Hull,and asked whether it was their intention to take steps to put an end to them.
"The Hon. Mr. Mercier said the question of the leader of the Opposition was in every way an opportune one,and in reply the would inform the House that the Government had etermined to maintain peace and order, and to protect those who deemed to spea ,no matter on what subject, provided that while so doing they did not violate the laws of the country."
.I think, Mr. Speaker, that the Hon. Mr. Mercier has in this instance only done his duty, and I trust that the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and the other members who have spoken in the same strain as he has, will be satisfied with the attitude which he, Mr. Mercier, has taken on this occasion. Well, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the French language, they tell us that in this country it is impossible—if we wish to be a homogeneous people, a true nationality,— that it is impossible that there should exist different languages. The learned researches of several of my co leagues have shown that the thing not only is not impossible, but that it is found to be practical and advantageous in several countries, notably in the United States, in the Island of Jersey, in Switzerland, and in several other countries. I will venture to remark to the hon. member for Simcoe that, if he expects by this means to make the English language spoken by all British subjects his breath will be a long time out of his body before this end is reached; because Canada is not the only country where another language is spoken: there are other British possessions where English is not spoken at all—thus, the East or English Indies, where the people speak different languages and have different customs. I should like to think that the hon. member for Simcoe does not entertain the hope that England can impose her language upon all the peoples who make up her empire:
"The races which compose the population of India are as diverse as the climates" says Larousse, "the tribes, which are distinct as to language, creeds, and by their social organisation are innumerable."
I do not know whether the hon. member for Simcoe wishes to carry on his crusade in favor of the English language into these regions. Let us see now what goes on in the Island of Jersey. It has been stated here that the French language was spoken there. It has been an English possession for many ages. The population is 56,078, of which 2,000 are Frenchmen. Notwithstanding, what do we see? We see the French language there is held in high esteem; that it is spoken by the well-to-do people, and that it is the official language of the country. This does not prevent the inhabitants of Jersey from proving in many instances their deep attachment for their new nationality, that of Great Britain. One can recollect that several. years ago, France being at war with England, the people of Jersey took up arms against their old mother country, and fought for the Crown of England. This did not prevent them from preserving their customs, their privileges and their language up to the present time. This shows that one can be a patriot and a good British subject though speaking a foreign tongue. Let us look again at the Island of Ste. Lucie. It is a small island, exclusively, I think, or in great part peopled by French. Nevertheless for a great number of years the only language spoken in this island has been the French one; it is the official language. Several years back, when the Hon. Judge Armstrong was Governor of this island, which possessed French laws, they adopted the greater portion of the Code of Lower Canada. This does not prevent their being loyal subjects of Her Majesty, and if need be they would take up arms to defend the British Crown. I will not recall the glorious deeds of arms in which the French Canadians took part. These facts have already been mentioned in the Course of this debate, and it is sufficient to recall them to show the loyalty of the French Canadians under all circumstances and in all places. Now, in order to prove the qualities of the French language, which has been so violently attacked, and which it is desired to see disappear, I will venture to quote a page written by Mr. Oscar Dunn, who, I think, is of British origin. This is what he says:
"The French language is a diamond of inestimable value; it is a work of gol worked on for centuries, of a beauty like to none other. All the world admires her; she charms every body: although she reveals her secrets to but few, one must love her, love her much, and court her assi 793 [FEBRUARY 18, 1890.] 794 duously and long; she only yields to him who knows how to conquer by per-severing labor and unshaken constancy; but what a treasure does she reveal to her favorites. Her exquisite delicacy ravishes the understanding: she is all love and all gaiety; full of nobility and enthusiasm; accessible to the sciences as to fancy; to all elevated ideas as to all worthy sentiments; she understands your heart and assists your wit. If you once gain possession of her, nothing will persuade you ever to give her up. You will keep her as your very best treasure."
Well, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has allowed himself, in the course of his remarks, to allude to the antipathy existing between the French Canadians and the Irish. He has received in this House the most solemn denial of this statement that he could obtain. We have seen the hon. member for Montreal Centre (Mr. Curran) rising and speaking in French, in the name of the Irish of the Province of Quebec, bearing witness, in this way, to the sympathies which his fellow-countrymen have for us. This is the most ample vindication which we could adduce as to this matter. This sympathy, Mr. Speaker, exists not only between the Irish and the.French Canadians; it exists and will exist in spite of the obstacles raised by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) between the French Canadians and the thinking Englishmen. We have had evidence of this in this House. They wish to respect our institutions, our laws, our customs and our religion. On the other hand, we return the reverence which they pay us, and we respect likewise their institutions and their religion, their language and their character. We are capable of living in peace in this country. We have but one only object—to form a stronger Dominion, a great nation. But to reach this end it is not necessary to cast a brand of discord among us, as has done the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Mc Carthy). We wish to live in peace, we desire harmony, we desire to be calm and unexcited. But I affirm that the proposition of the hon. member for North Simcoe is an act of tyranny, which will show, if it is sanctioned, that they are not so patriotic as they would wish us to believe. Before closing, Mr. Speaker, let me be allowed to say that we look upon the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) with calmness and tranquility. We are strong in our rights, and we fear nothing, even if this Bill were a declaration of war. We are strong in our rights and we are proud, at the same time, of our ancestors, whose memory we know how to make respected. I shall say no more. I am convinced that the Bill which is now before you for consideration will obtain the fate it deserves, and I am certain that all true patriots in this House will join hand to hand in order to give a lesson to the author of this Bill.
Mr. CHAPLEAU moved the adjournment of the Debate.
Motion agreed to.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved that this debate be the first Order of the Day to-morrow.
Motion agreed to.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to; and. House adjourned at 11.30 p.m.


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



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