House of Commons, 20 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

885 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 886
[...]which should have been the same in the French version. I beg to ask, Whether it is the intention of the Government to allow the public to use the dam connecting the mainland with Grand Ile, at Valleyfield, as sanctioned by custom since the first existence of the said dam, which is the only highway available for traffic; and in view, also, of the intention to build an iron bridge thereon, which expense would not be justifiable unless the Government would promise that such use would be continued?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. There does not appear to be any objection to allow the dam connecting the mainland with Grand Ile at Valleyfield to be used as a roadway, if the municipality binds itself that such use would be continued.


Mr. EDGAR asked, Whether the Government has yet received a report from Mr. Wood, who has been investigating certain matters connected with the Welland Canal? If it has been received, will it be at once laid before the House?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. A report has been received from Mr. Wood in reference to the Welland Canal, and, if it is moved for, it will be brought down.
Mr. EDGAR. Will the hon. gentleman allow this to go as a motion?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I have no objection to that. Put in the motion.


Mr. DAVIN asked, What have been the receipts from the North-West Territories Registry Offices during 1889? and what have been the expenses during the same period?
Mr. DEWDNEY. The receipts from the Registration Offices of the North-West Territories during the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1889, amounted to $8,179.41. The expenses for the same period were $14,367.08.


Mr. KIRK asked, Whether it is the intention of the Government to revise the regulations so as to permit fishing for and canning lobsters in the autumn of this year on the southern and eastern coast of Nova Scotia?
Mr. TUPPER. It is not the intention.


Mr. JONES (Halifax) asked, Whether any appointment has been made to the Bench of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late Mr. Justice Smith? If not, when will such appointment be made?
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. No such appointment has been made, but it will be made at an early day.


Mr. EISENHAUER asked, Whether it is the intention of the Government to replace the lighthouse at Mahone Bay, in the County of Lunenburg, which was destroyed by fire? Mr. TUPPER. It is not the intention of the Government to replace the lighthouse that was destroyed in 1887 by fire, it being considered that a floating house sufficiently answers the requirements of the place.


Mr. LANGELIER (Montmorency) asked, Whether the Government are aware that a number of their employés are members of the Branch of the Imperial Federation Association at Ottawa; If so, is it their intention to allow them to take part in that political movement?
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The Government have no official information that their employés, or any of them, are members of the Branch of the Imperial Federation Association at Ottawa; but if they are, I do not think that they are doing any harm to anybody.


Mr. SUTHERLAND asked, Whether it is the intention of the Government to furnish helmets to the non-commissioned officers and men of the Active Canadian Militia?
Sir ADOLPHE CARON. The subject-matter of this question is now under the consideration of the Government.


Mr. JONES (Halifax). Before the Orders of the Day are called, I wish to call the attention of the House to a reply given by the right hon. gentleman the leader of the Government a few days ago, to the member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell), When he stated that the matter of the Behring Sea fishery negotiations was then under consideration at Washington. On a subsequent occasion, in reply to an enquiry of my own respecting the modus vivendi, the hon. gentleman stated that both the Behring Sea fishery question and the question of the fisheries generally, were under consideration at Washington between the British Minister and the United States Government. Now, this is a question in which the people of the Dominion naturally feel a very great interest, and, therefore, I would ask the right hon. gentleman whether, in view of the negotiations which he has announced are proceeding at Washington, it is the purpose of the Government to have a representative of Canada at Washington to look after Canadian interests, as on previous occasions? I think the people of Canada would naturally expect, in a matter of so much interest to this country, that the views of the Government and the people of Canada should be represented there.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. I would ask the hon. gentleman to give due notice of his question.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of Bill (No. 10) further to 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 887 [COMMONS] 888 Sir John Thompson in amendment to the amendment.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Speaker, I feel that on an occasion like this even an old Politician like myself might rise with a good deal of hesitation to address this House, and through this House, the country, upon, perhaps, one of the most important questions we have had before us since 1867. It is no ordinary matter that has been brought before our attention in this country, in which the population is composed of various races, and especially of two leading races, the French and the English, comprising, also, a population of different religious convictions, and having various interests in respect to education and language, and in respect to other matters which many large sections of the population consider of the most vital importance. Under these circumstances, it is natural that a member getting up to address this House should feel under considerable reserve and restraint in the expression of his opinions. Sir, I have felt that during the course of this debate a good deal of unnecessarily strong language has been used, and I will take this opportunity of saying in the beginning—as my remarks will not be long on this occasion—that I think a good deal of unnecessary severity has been shown in regard both to the motives and the language of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I do not sympathise with those who find fault with that hon. gentleman, if he has acted on his convictions, in taking the course he has done; and while I dissent from the Bill which he has introduced, and shall vote against it if an opportunity is offered, I am .not one of those who would blame that hon. gentleman for taking the course that his convictions impel him to pursue; I am not one of those who would find fault with his having the courage of his convictions and bringing this matter before the House. Sir, if there is one thing that recommends the onduct of a statesman to myself it is when he has he courage of his convictions, no matter whether it results in his unpopularity, no matter whether it results, as has been the case with that hon. gentleman, in his having had to sit under the most scathing denunciations and the most brilliant sarcasm, such as have been directed against the hon. gentleman from both sides of the House for the five days that this debate has lasted. I must say that I admire the courage and pluck which be displayed, and I admire the ability which he showed in fighting the matter out to the bitter end. I entirely dissent from the spirit and intention of this Bill, and, while I agree with those who believe that its introduction at the present time is calculated to do harm in the country and raise strife,I can find no fault with the hon. gentleman—if he believes, as he has stated to this House he does believe, that this course should be adopted and this Bill introduced—in regard to the course he has followed, for it was his duty to bring the matter before Parliament in order that the uestion might be discussed and decided. Some of the hon. members of this House have a peculiar responsibility in regard to this matter; I refer to those who took part in forming the Constitution of the country. The right hon. gentleman opposite (Sir John A. Macdonald), and the hon. gentleman who sits at his left (Sir Hector Langevin), with myself and one or two others not now in this House, met with considerable difficulty many years ago, in dealing with the questions of language and schools. One of the great difficulties we experienced in London, when we were preparing the Constitution of this Dominion to submit to the British Parliament for its approval and enactment-and the right hon. leader of the Government will agree that I do not exaggerate the facts when I say that these questions almost broke up the conference-and those difficulties arose out of these questions of language and schools. We felt the importance of conciliation and concession, the importance of conceding to the minority certain rights which they should enjoy, and the difficulty connected with this subject very nearly, as I have stated, broke up the conference in London. I realised then, that the people of Canada were composed mainly of two races, and, I admit, that I was not so liberal-minded then as now, and did not realise the difficulties as strongly as I do to-day. With respect to the amendment submitted by the Minister of Justice, I have come to the conclusion, that, while I do not entirely concur with it, I am prepared to adopt a similar course to that which I followed in 1867 in England—to accept it as probably the best solution presented of the question under consideration. I have, myself, given this matter some little consideration, and several days ago I prepared a resolution which I thought would meet the wishes of the House. I may state, that I should prefer this resolution to be adopted rather than that of the Minister of Justice, but I do not see any chance of this being done, and, therefore, I am prepared to give my approval to the motion of the hon. Minister of Justice, not as affording a perfect solution, but as one affording a temporary solution of these difficulties which now stare us in the face in this Canada of ours. If the amendment of the hon. Minister should fail, and I should have an opportunity to submit my resolution to the House, I will do so. It is in the following terms:—
That all after the word "Resolved" be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
That at present it is inexpedient to further amend the Act relating to the Nort-West Territories, but the question should be left until Parliament is prepared to grant to the said Territories a full measure of Provmeial Government such as is enjoyed by the existing Provinces of the Dominion.
I do not suppose I will obtain an opportunity to present my motion, for I believe there is sufficient good sense in this House and sufficient desire to promote harmony and community of feeling throughout this country, to induce hon. members to accept, as a compromise, the amendment moved by the Minister of Justice. What I am prepared to do is, to throw the responsibility of dealing with this matter on the Administration. They have chosen that amendment, after five da s discussion, as a means of solving this difficulty, and upon them I would place the responsibility. I would have preferre not to vote for this amendment, if I could see any other way out of the difficulty, but I do not; and therefore I am prepared to accept it, not as a perfect measure, but as a solution—and it is a temporary solution only—of the difficulty that resents itself. Some views have been expresse during this debate with which I am not in accord. The question of schools has come up. It has been contended by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) that a community of language 889 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 890 should prevail throughout the Dominion. I quite agree with my hon. friend that, if it were possible to have a community of language from one end of the country to the other, it is most desirable; but it is impossible. Not only in the North-West and in the Province of Quebec, do racial difficulties exist. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, there is a large French Canadian and Acadian population, a population which I regret to say is not in as affluent circumstances as many of the Anglo-Saxon people there, a population which has not had the same facilities for educating their children and themselves as are possessed by many of us in the more advanced and older communities. If the hon. gentleman's community of language were to be applied in those schools, the result would be, first, teachers could not be found to educate the pupils in English; and second, the scholars themselves would be unable to understand anything except French. The effect would be that the poor children would remain ignorant and would have to go without an education. For that reason, I do not believe the proposition of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), would work satisfactorily throughout the country. Again, the hon. gentleman has referred to alleged difficulties which would arise respecting Provincial rights. I fail to preceive that any difficulty would occur regarding Provincial rights in the North-West Territories. That country will receive its charter from this Parliament. It will come in on an entirely different footing from the original Provinces of the Dominion. They came in as independent Provinces with laws and rights recognised by the British North America Act, which were in existence at that time, and which were to remain in existence until altered. The North-West Territories, however, were purchased by the Dominion, and when they receive their Provincial constitution the Canadian Parliament will decide the terms upon which it will be given. No question of Provincial rights can come into this issue. When this Parliament creates a Province or a number of Provinces in the North-West, Parliament will define and particularise in the constitution of those Provinces the powers they will exercise. I differ with the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) as to what rights can be accorded to those Provinces, the hon. member for Bothwell taking the ground that we cannot give less or more extensive powers to the new Provinces we create than are ossessed by the old Provinces under the British North America Act. With all due deference to the hon. gentleman's view, I do not agree with it; but I admit that it is a question open to discussion. But I will say this, that if the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), who introduced the Bill now under discussion, had allowed the matter to remain in abeyance for ten years and had not introduced this Bill, the question would have settled itself. Either the French population in the country, which is now admittedly very small, would have increased sufficiently to have enabled them to have demanded the exercise and use of their language, at if the Anglo-Saxon population or a foreign population had increased, the French population there never would have demanded it, and the consequence is that the language would have been eliminated by the operation of time and by the natural course of events. That is the view I take of this part of the question. While I quite recognise the power of the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and his right to bring this question before Parliament, I regret that he should have raised it at this time, because I believe that if he had not raised it, not five years—certainly not more than ten years—would have elapsed before, by the natural operation of events, the question would have settled itself. Now, Sir, after the very elaborate speeches which have been made on this question, and almost every branch of the question having been exhausted by the different very able speakers, I think it will be unnecessary for me to take up the time of the House longer. What I rose to do, was not to make a speech, but to give utterance to the views which I entertain on the matter, in order to justify the vote I gave the other day, and to explain the vote which I will give on the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice. I would say that I have lived among the French people for very many years and I can vouch that they are, as an almost universal rule, good citizens, living peaceably amongst themselves and in friendship with the people of other races, and most friendly in their relations with their English-speaking fellow countrymen. Where they are in power, as they are in the Province of Quebec by a large majority, they deal with the English-speaking people with a liberality which does credit to them. In that Province the Protestants have their separate schools and their separate eleemosynary and benevolent institutions, such as insane asylums, which receive Government aid in proportion to that given to the French and Catholic institutions. The English minority has all these privileges freely accorded by a Legislature in which there is only a fragment of English speaking representatives. If where the English- speaking people have the power, as they have in the North-West Territories and in this Parliament, we deal less liberally with the French minority than they do with the English minority, what kind of position will we place ourselves in? One thing is certain: that in the interest of peace and harmony in this country, and in a mixed community such as ours, there must be compromise. If there are not concessions on both sides, it can only end in the disruption of the Dominion, and the breaking up of what, when we laid its foundation, we believe would be a great nation. I again repeat that while voting for the amendment of the Minister of Justice, although I do not entirely approve of it, I throw the responsibility for the measure on the right hon. gentleman at the head of the Government.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. After the remarks which I made on a previous occasion during this debate, and the suggestion which I then offered across the floor to hon. gentlemen opposite, I think it right that I should at once address this House on the resolution presented by my hon. friend the Minister of Justice. I should have then moved this resolution myself, but it was late at night and I was fatigued, and my hon. friend the Minister of Justice has moved it at my special request. The hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell), in the calm and wise speech he has delivered just now, has made the statement that he threw the responsibility for action on this question upon the Government. Mr. Speaker, the Government accepts that responsibility.
891 [COMMONS] 892
Mr. MITCHELL. Hear, hear.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The Government think that the resolution moved by my hon. friend the Minister of Justice is a measure of peace, and a means of getting over this unfortunate feeling of irritation which has grown up between the two great races that make the strength and power of Canada. This resolution is for the purpose of getting rid of the temporary feeling—because it will only be temporary—which threatens for the moment to disturb the quiet of Canada, and thereby to hurt its prestige and its credit and to hamper its development. This resolution of the Minister of Justice is, as I have said, a measure of peace, and I implore and urge all my hon. friends on both sides of the House who look with anxiety for the future peace of Canada to accept it as such. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), in his speech, and in the resolution which he suggested, stated that the time had not arrived for the solution of this question and that it ought to be postponed. In my short reply I stated that while I accepted the greater part of his resolution, yet I thought that while the first portion of it would quiet the irritated feelings of the people in the eastern part of Canada, the postponement of this question for an unspecified time would, perhaps, arouse feelings of irritation in the western portion of this Dominion. I suggested across the floor that for the sake of peace we ought, after the people of the North- West had an opportunity of expressing their opinion, throw the responsibility upon them. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), casting aside all partisan desire of triumph, accepted— although, perhaps, against his own opinion—the proposition that I then made. If we examine and compare the resolution which my hon. friend the Minister of Justice has moved with the suggested motion of my hon. friend for West Durham (Mr. Blake) it will be seen that the first portion of it is in his exact language, a little condensed, and it concludes with the proposition which I made and which that hon. gontleman accepted. It was a compromise, and in a question of this kind involving racial feelings, and prejudices, and arousing a sense of pride of race and nationality, such a course is wise and patriotic. I hold that this resolution is one which meets the case, and I implore the House that it may be accepted. Some of my hon. friends think that the power to deal with this subject should be at once given to the Assembly of the North-West Territories. Now there are great political considerations against that course, and, looking to the future, I think it would be a mistake. As my hon. friend from West Durham (Mr. Blake) says, the present Legislature of the North-West Territories had no commission from the people to pronounce upon this subject of the two languages; they had no means of knowing what the opinion of the poople was upon that point, and therefore, they did not speak with the authority of representatives in regard to the wishes and opinions of the people of the North-West. Those who look at history will see that the great and grave errors committed in France at the time when the people arose against the despotism of the Bourbons, and from which most of the evils following the revolution of 1798 arose, were due to the fact that the representatives of the people who were elected for the purpose of reform under the laws of that day resolved themselves again and again into constituent assemblies, assuming for themselves the power of altering the constitution under which they were elected, instead of trying to effect reforms under the constitution as it existed, and with the powers which had been conferred upon them by the people. Now, there is no power conferred upon the Legislative Assembly of the North-West to alter their constitution. The members of that body are all, I believe, respectable men; they are all men having the interest of the North-West at heart; but not one of them had ever before sat in a Legislative Assembly or knew the limits of their powers. If you look at their various ordinances, you will find that they attack ever limit conferred upon them by the Act of 1888. They assumed that having been once elected they could do as they pleased; and in some of the resolutions passed at that time, they have asserted rights and powers which we do not exercise or venture to exercise in this Assembly. Therefore, it is of the very greatest importance that we should draw a distinction between a constituent assembly and a Legislative Assembly. The North-West Assembly is a Legislative Assembly with certain powers conferred upon it by the Act which brought it into being; but it has no right to represent the people on questions which were not before the people at the time it was elected as a Legislative Assembly with limited powers. It is of the very greatest importance that we should observe that distinction, and, therefore, I quite agree with all those hon. gentlemen on both sides who have said that any action taken in this matter should be deferred until the people of the North-West have an opportunity of saying to their representatives what they want. There is a difference of opinion on that point. Some hon. gentlemen who have come from that part of the country say that they believe that after the next general election the abolition of the dual language will not be pressed. I do not know how that may be; but we can afford to wait until the people of the North- West have seen and read the discussions which have taken place in this House, and have seen in the press of Canada how much this question has excited the attention of the people of the Dominion; they will then go to the polls fully charged with this question, having made up their minds what they will instruct their representatives to carry out. Then, Sir, not before, ought we to act upon the representations of the Legislative Assembly of the North-West. Now, Sir, an objection will be taken, I have no doubt, to the fact that this resolution of my hon. friend the Minister of Justice does not allude at all to the printing of the ordinances of the North—West. Sir, it ought not in any way to allude to that, or to bring that subject into the consideration of this question; and why? Because the printing of the ordinances of the North-West Assembly is no matter of concern to that assembly. It has no more authority with respect to the printing of those ordinances than this House of Commons of Canada has with respect to the printing of the statutes which we, in conjunction with the Senate, pass. The resolution which my hon. friend proposes says:
"That at the same time this House deems it expedient and proper, and not inconsistent with those covenants, that the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Terri 893 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890] 894 tories should receive from the Parliament of Canada power to regulate, after the next general election of the Assembly, the proceedings of the Assembly, and the manner of recording and publishing such proceedings."
That gives them the whole control, the sole regulation of every proceeding and every paper with which they have anything to do, from the time they meet until the time they present the Bills which they have passed to the Governor for his sanction. The Journals, the Votes and Proceedings, the motions and resolutions, the Bills, the first, second and third readings, can, under the resolution of my hon. friend, be limited, if they so choose to limit them, to the English language. This resolution, if passed, gives them the whole authority to decide whether those things shall be printed in English, in French, in both English and French, in German, or in any other language. But, Sir, as here, so there; from the moment the Bills are passed, and presented to the Governor for his sanction, from that moment all their authority over them ceases. Here we pass Bills, we send them to the Senate, and then, so far as we are concerned, our power is ended. We know we could have them, if it were not for the clause in the British North America Act, printed in any language we like; but after they are sent up to the Senate and the Senate passes them, they are then handed over to the representative of the Sovereign, and from that moment they cease to be the property of the Legislature, and become the laws of the land, to be published by the Governor. Our statutes, when they are published, are published not by virtue of the authority of this House or both Houses together; they are published by the representative of the Sovereign, who, after having given his sanction to them, publishes them under constitutional rule. So in the North-West. We will suppose that under the authority given by this resolution the Acts of the North-West Assembly are presented to the Lieutenant-Governor in English, and in English alone; he gives his assent, and then, and not before, do they become ordinances, and the moment they become ordinances, it is the Crown that publishes them, and the Legislative body, which initiated the legislation, has nothing more to do with it. The consequence is that, so far as that Legislature is concerned, it can carry out its wishes by printing its measures in one or in both languages. Let them adopt their ordinances under the present system, and the Lieutenant-Governor, being a Dominion officer, will see that they are published certainly in the language in which they are presented. The Assembly, however, will have nothing to say as to whether they may not, by instructions from the Government here or the Dominion Parliament, be published in half-a-dozen languages. This resolution, Sir, is a measure of peace. This House will, by a large majority, I believe, reject the measure, presented as it has been, the harsh measure of my hon. friend from North Simcoe. Then, if this resolution be adopted, the matter will stand over for the opinion of the people of the North-West. If they declare that all the proceedings of their Legislature are to be in English, so let it be, and so it will be if this House adopt this resolution. But, after they have exercised their full right of limiting their documents, their resolutions, their Bills, their Journals, and their Votes and Proceedings, to the one tongue, it will be left to the Lieutenant-Governor to order, under instruction from the Dominion Government —and that Dominion Government acting under instructions from the representatives of the people here—them to be printed in any other language as well as in English. Should, however, this House choose to say that any portion of the people of the North-West are to be deprived of the means of reading their laws in their own language, they will have to submit; but, in the meantime, we will have conferred full power and authority on the North-West Council to act on this unfortunate question just as they please, after having received an amended warrant from the people. Now, I must again say that it is of the very greatest importance that we should bury this question as soon as possible. It is quite true, as the hon. member for Durham (Mr. Blake) said, that a small spark may kindle a great conflagration, and we will be wilfully, on a question of sentiment—on a question of feeling, which does not deserve to be dignified by the name of sentiment—hazarding the future of the country, arousing the feelings of race against race, which I hoped had been forever buried in 1867, and ruining the credit of Canada in foreign countries. Aye, and in the mother country too. For, what credit can we, financially or otherwise, hope to obtain if it is known in England, if it is known especially on the Stock Exchange—the most fearful and timorous of all bodies—that the two races which inhabit Canada are drawn up against each other, on matters of sentiment, feeling and prejudice, which are more important and less easy to be soothed than mere material questions. It will stop the development of this country. It will prevent its future progress, and if this country should fall from the proud position it now holds in the eyes of the world, it will be because by our own insensate conduct we have destroyed our credit, destroyed our prestige, and ruined our future. In the few remarks I made the other night I intended to have called the intention of my hon. friends from the Province of Ontario to what was the action of the Province of Upper Canada in 1793, but I was tired, and held it over for another opportunity. I will call attention to it now, to show what was the feeling of the people of Upper Canada a century ago. By a very unwise measure, although introduced by a very great man, Mr. Pitt, in 1790, the old Province of Quebec was divided into two—Upper and Lower Canada. It was thought that matters would be simplified by keeping the French in one corner of this vast country, and the English in another, and they divided the Province of Quebec into two provinces. From that unwise measure came most of our troubles. The Legislature met in 1791 at Newark, afterwards Niagara, and was composed of Englishmen. They were severed from the French, but they had a colony of French on the western frontier of the Province of Canada, what is now the County of Essex. These Frenchmen were few in number, but their rights were protected at the second meeting of the Legislature of Upper Canada. The Province was a small one and poor, and could not afford even to print the proceedings of its Legislature; but its people regarded the feelings of their fellow-countrymen. Let me read the resolution, which is still in manuscript. The original volume will be found in our Library. This is the order of June 3, 1793:
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"Ordered, that such acts as have already passed, or may hereafter pass the Legislature of this province, be translated into the French language for the benefit of the inhabitants of the western district of this Province and other French settlers who may come to reside within this Province and that A. Macdonald, Esq., of this House, member or Glengarry be likewise employed as a French translator for this or other purposes."
Are we, one hundred years later, going to be less liberal to our French Canadian fellow-subjects than the few Englishmen, United Empire Loyalists, who settled Ontario? No, Sir. This resolution would cast shame on men who tried to deprive our French friends in the Province of Ontario of the privilege given them a hundred years ago by a body of men altogether speaking the English language. There may have been among them one member from that western district, of French origin—perhaps Monsieur Baby, who for years was the sole representative in the Province of Upper Canada of that portion of the French race who were living in Upper Canada. Are we going to be less liberal? Forbid it, Mr. Speaker. In the name of humanity, in the name of civilisation, in the name of the progress of this great country, I appeal to all our friends in this House, without reference to party, to forget what may be an inconvenience when they go back to their constituents on both sides, to forget that for a moment, and to merge everything in the great desire to make Canada, French and English, one people, without any hostile feeling, without any difference of opinion, further than that which arises from the different literatures and the different strains of mind that run always in different races, and which sever the Scotchman and the Irishman from the Englishman as much as it severs the Frenchman from the Englishman. Let us forget this cry, and we shall have our reward in seeing this unfortunate fire, which has been kindled from so small a spark, extinguished for ever, and we shall go on, as we have been going on since 1867, as one people, with one object, looking to one future, and expecting to lay the foundation of one great country.
Mr. EDGAR. I think it is a fortunate thing that this debate has taken so wide a range. If there is one thing more than another which should make a man feel proud of being a member of this Assembly, it is to have listened to a great debate like this. The questions which are before us for discussion are those which underlie our national existence, and upon the peaceful settlement of these questions depends our hope for the future of Canada. The speakers in this debate have, for the most part, been equal to the occasion, and they have displayed the courage to grapple with the real issues, they have shown a breadth of statesmanship to look at the lesson which history has taught us, and I do not think I am going too far in saying that they have dealt with the whole subject with an eloquence which could be found in few deliberative assemblies in the world. I think it is well that this debate has taken so wide a range for another reason. It has gone to the country. Day after day the Opinions of the wisest statesmen of Canada, the most experienced of our public men, have been sent abroad by the press to educate the people on this subject before it shall have got into the hands of the uninformed and irresponsible platform craters who might use it to inflame thepassions of race and of creed. Why has this debate, commencing from so very small a Bill, and so very small a matter on its face, taken so wide a range as it has? There are several reasons for it. One is to be found in that unfortunate preamble. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has told us that he was surprised to find that the preamble was the occasion of so great an explosion of alarm and wrath in this House. I dare say he was surprised, because he says so, but it seems to me that he is making the same excuse as the boy made, in whose hands the fire-arm exploded, when he said that he did not know it was loaded. But the hon. gentleman not simply knew that that preamble was loaded, but he loaded it himself, and, therefore, he has no such excuse to make. The next reason that I find for the wide range of this debate was the speech by which it was introduced in this House by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). My judgment might be wrong, if I only depended on it to tell me that the hon. gentleman's introductory speech was sufficient to cause this widely extended debate. I do not depend upon my judgment alone, but upon that of an experienced parliamentary hand, the leader of the House and the leader of the Government. It is not the custom of the leader of the Government to introduce an unpleasant subject into this House when he can avoid it, but I can show that the speech of the First Minister, made a few minutes after the introductory speech of the hon. gentleman, was ample ground for the range the debate has taken. On that occasion, referring to the speech of the hon. member for North Simcoe on the first reading of the Bill, the First Minister said:
"The line of argument my hon. friend has taken raises questions of such anature, his whole line of argument is of such a kind, as to involve most serious and grave questions—so grave that I think we must take full time to consider what his arguments are, what they tend to, in what direction they lead, and what consequences may follow if the measure is persisted in."
I will say no more in reference to the hon. gentleman's speech in this House after that quotation, but, when a public man of the prominence of the hon. member for North Simcoe brings forward a measure in this House, it is impossible for any of us or for the country not to have regard to the discussions which the hon. gentleman has taken part in before the people of the country, at a recent date. If we had had no preamble to this Bill, but the simple terms of the Bill itself, if we had had no speech from the hon. gentleman in introducing it of such a character as the First Minister has described, we still had a cause for alarm. Our French friends in this House and in the country had cause for alarm when they had read—as I fancy all the members of this House had read—the speech which the hon. gentleman delivered almost under the shadow of this building, in Ottawa, on the 12th December, 1889. I am not going back to any 12th July speeches of the hon. gentleman. On that exciting occasion, I suppose, he ought to be allowed a little latitude, but I was lad to find that my leader on this side of the House compelled the hon. gentleman to withdraw or to explain away some of the language he used in one of those 12th July speeche made before the assembled brethren. However, we will not go into that. Let us see what the hon. gentleman promised the ple of Ottawa he would do in the way of egislation; let us see 897 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 898 what he stated our grievances were. In this speech, he quoted with approval the report of Lord Durham in reference to the French language. Now, whether this report was written by Lord Durham himself, or by Mr. Charles Buller, or by Mr. Turton, whose reputation was very unsavory in his own country, or by Mr. Gibbon Wakefield, who was also in the entourage of Lord Durham, and whose reputation was even more unsavory than that of Mr. Turton, it is certain that this report was never accepted by the French people as a policy which was likely to reconcile the different people of this land. However, my hon. friend thinks that he will disinter Lord Durham's report and make it do service again in this country. Again we read in his December speech:
"Lord Durham realised that so long as the use of the French language was permitted, so long as they were permitted to be educated in their schools in the French language, to be instructed in the literature of France, instead of the literature of England, they would remain French in feeling."
Then he says:
"Is there any shadow of doubt that Lord Durham was right?"
The hon. member goes on, and says in the next sentence:
"There must be the obliteration of one of these languages."
Now, this was not applied to the North-West, this was not applied to Manitoba, it was applied to what Lord Durham applied it to, the Province of Quebec, and, therefore, the hon. gentleman, in that public place, advocated—and I am sure he is not the man to shirk responsibility on the floor of this House for what he advocates outside; at any rate, we do not expect it of him— he advocated the obliteration of one of these languages, and I do not think he meant the English language. Again, he says in that speech, speaking about the material progress of the country:
"While we were advancing at this sufficiently rapid pace of prosperity, we were forgetting the one thing needful to the consolidation of the Dominion; but all this time we were forgetting that this great trouble—"
That is to say, the use of the French language.
"—which was an enormous difficulty in 1837—"
That was certainly not in the North-West Territories, that was in the old Province of Quebec.
"—had quadrupled itself in 1867, and that we were leaving for our children to settle that respecting which I used the expression, on will remember—I did not say in our generation—but said that in the next generation the bayonet would do it, if we did not settle it by the ballot in this."
Now, Mr. Speaker, he has laid out for us a programme for the next generation, which, I hope, we will never see carried out. I am sure that I do not want to see any of my children in the next generation have to shoulder their muskets in a war of races in Canada; but that is the programme, unless—what, Mr. Speaker? Unless we settle it by the ballot in this. What does he mean by the ballot in this? Does he not mean by legislation, by the votes of the people acting upon the legislators in this Parliament; and does he not mean by the act of this, or of a future Parliament, under the direction of the ballot? That is what he promises, that is what he threatens in that speech— legislation or war. No wonder our French friends were a little alarmed at it. Then he says:
"This trouble was already lifting up its hideous head while we were fighting over matters of comparative unimportance,"
"Lifting up its hideous head." The beautiful French language is described in that way. Why, Mr. Speaker, when the occupant of that chair, every alternate day in this Chamber, before the doors are opened, lifts up his voice in the French language, in supplication to the God of both the French and the English, I suppose the hon. member for Simcoe feels that this language is then lifting up its "hideous head." He goes on and says that the Legislature of 1844
"Undid the good work which Lord Durham's wisdom had given us in the year 1840 or 1841."
But, Sir, he goes beyond that. He does not postpone this thing for the next generation, he does not even postpone it till there is another general election, when the ballot can be brought into force; but he proposes to do it in this very Parliament, if the words of the English language mean anything. What does he say?
"I will point out to you that this may be a very useful precedent—"
That is, the action of the Legislature at Kingston in 1844, when they introduced the French language unanimously again:
"That if, in 1844 or 1845, the Parliament of United Canada petition for the repeal of a clause of the Union Act, I do not know whether in 1890 or 1891, if the necessity arises, the Parliament of the Dominion of Canada, cannot petition for an amendment to the British North America. Act also."
Therefore, he promises that even in this Parliament, in the year 1890 or 1891, an Address may be presented to the Crown in England asking the Imperial Parliament to alter the British North America Act. Now, remember that course is not necessary, in order to affect the language in the North—West; it is only necessary to attack, what he thinks so terrible, the French language in Quebec, and the French language in this House, and, perhaps, the French language in Manitoba. He knows perfectly well that if he has the courage of his convictions he can put a notice on the paper to-day for an address from this House to the Queen, asking her to introduce legislation to amend the Imperial Act in this particular. Sir, when this solemn threat was read, no wonder the members of Parliament felt alarmed. Why this speech of 12th December last, which I hold in my hand, was sent to me, unless as a member of Parliament, I cannot say. I do not know whether the hon. gentleman sent copies to all his fellow members, in order to give them full notice of what he was doing; but if he did not, some of his friends did, who were anxious that the whole Parliament and country should know what the hon. member for Simcoe was so ostentatiously proposing to do. His programme is a large one, larger, he admits, even than the programme of the Equal Rights Association which he was addressing, because he says this:
"Are we to have Separate Schools in Upper Canada, tithe assessments in Lower Canada, dual language in the Dominion Parliament, and dual languages in Quebec, the North-West and Manitoba?"
His programme is an extensive one. No wonder the French speaking people thought that this was but the entering o the small end of a very large wedge, to be driven home by the hammer of the eloquence of the hon. 899 [COMMONS] 900 member for North Simcoe. Now, however, a change has certainly come over the hon. gentleman; and I congratulate him upon it. His first speech in this House was not quite as brave as the speech he had delivered in the opera house here; and his last speech in the House was not nearly so aggressive as the first one he delivered here. He has been convinced by something during the course of this debate. I do not know whether it was his opponents who convinced him, or his own friends; I think he must have heard enough from his own friends and supporters to convince him that whatever they might think or say about the merits of this question of language in the North-West, they had no sympathy whatever with the larger crusade which the hon. gentleman pointed out to them on former occasions. Now, I listened to most of the debate, and I looked over the Hansard, and I find that, on this subject, the hon. member from West Toronto (Mr. Denison), who seconded the introduction of this Bill, does not hold out much encouragement to his leader. For he says he is talking of the case of Switzerland, the hon. gentleman says:
"I am not referring to Quebec; it is out of the question to speak of Quebec."
Then another, the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Cockburn) also fired a hot shot at that unfortunate preamble; and he went still further, and disclaimed any idea of interfering with the French language in the Province of Quebec or in the Dominion. The hon. member for Albert (Mr. Weldon), who spoke, as he said, for one million of his fellow-subjects down by the sea, advocated the substance of the hon. gentleman's Bill, the one clause which it contains; but he also took occasion to say that the people in the Maritime Provinces, the million of people for whom he spoke, were truth-loving and treaty-keeping people, and they would never be a party to breaking a treaty under which the French language was established in Quebec and the Dominion. Another of the hon. gentleman's followers, the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. McNeill), also repudiated the preamble—and he not only repudiated the preamble, but he poured a torrent of his turgid invective upon the head of his hon. friend, and denounced any clause abolishing the French language as "unjust, un-English, tyrannical and cruel." The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), who also sympathises with the one clause of the Bill, spoke as follows with respect to the treaty rights of the French:
"We do not propose—"
I do not know who the "we" means; it certainly does not include the hon. member for Simcoe,—
"—to interfere with any rights that exist in Canada by the virtue of the provmions of the British North America Act; not with one of them."
Then, the hon. gentleman said further:
"There is not a right guaranteed to the race under the constitution which I wish to see impaired; there is not a right the integrity of which I wish to see impaired in the slightest degree."
Yet, the programme of the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr.McCarthy), was—I do not think it is so now—but a. short time ago it was, to do what the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Denison) says, is "out of the question;" What the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. McNeill) said would be "tyrannical and cruel, un-English and unjust," and to destroy rights which the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) says he does not wish to impair in the slightest degree. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) now says he will strike out the preamble. That is all very well, if the Bill ever reaches the House in Committee; but it is too late now to back down in that fashion, and it is a rare sight to see in this Parliament or in the courts of Ontario one of the brilliant leaders of the bar, which the hon. gentleman is, back down from any position he has boldly taken; yet the hon. gentleman backs down and says he is willing to withdraw the preamble of this Bill. It is too late to say that now; he should have thought of that before; he has sown the whirlwind and must reap the storm. I am glad to have heard so much from the other side of the House in favor of Provincial rights. It is proverbial that fresh converts are always a little over-zealous, and I think we have seen a display in this debate of a good deal of zeal a little misdirected on that subject. The question, of course, I know is a new one to those hon. gentlemen, and we can scarcely expect that they should understand it very well. They appear to have forgotten that there are two kinds of Provincial rights. There are the rights of the majority of the Legislature in the Province to pass such laws as come within the scope of the British North America Act. Those are the Provincial rights of the majority. But there are rights, also, be onging to the minority, guaranteed by the British North America Act, which are just as sacred as the rights of the majorities to govern themselves. Such rights would prevent the French majority in Quebec from taking away Protestant schools from the minority, for example. That is a question of the Provincial rights of the minority, which hon. gentlemen opposite, who are now advocating Provincial rights, have forgotten in their definition of that term. I think when the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) better understands this country and its citizens, he will know that Confederation, as was pointed out by the First Minister and by the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell), is a compromise. Confederation is a compromise in itself, and without Confederation what is Canada, where is it, or where would it be? Canada, therefore, is a compromise, and I believe if Confederation were broken up into its original fragments on a financial question, for example, it is just possible that the scattered members of the old Confederacy might remain in some sense connected with Great Britain and in some sense united to one another; but if this Confederation were torn to pieces by a war of races, there would be no hope of any harmony among its scattered members, there would be no hope of continuing the connection, which so many people desire, with Britain; and there would be no chance, which I feel to be an even more important thing, to build up a great Canadian nation. The hon. gentleman repudiates the idea of being an annexationist. He says, and I do not deny he thinks so too, that he is not working for annexation; but I tell him that if his speeches were not answered on this floor, if his sentiments were not repudiated by the great majority of this House, if this Bill were not voted down, he would maketens of thousands of annexationists in the Province of 901 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 902 Quebec. If the hon. gentleman will read the history of Canada, even for the last thirty years, he will learn that this very point, which is the object of his attack, formed one of the compromises agreed upon, in which the rights of the minorities were established. Perhaps the hon. gentleman will not acknowledge the authority of the late George Brown on that question, but I think that name will be acknowledged as a high authority in the Province of Ontario, and the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) will acknowledge it too. What did George Brown say on that point during the Confederation debates? He put the matter in a nutshell:
"The framers of this scheme had immense special difficulties to overcome. We had the prejudices of race and language and religion to deal with. To assert, then, that our scheme is without fault would be folly. It was necessarily the work of concession."
The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) expresses the hope that in some mysterious way or other our French Canadian citizens will become Anglo-Saxon. Now, I do not know whether he means Anglo-Saxons of America or Anglo-Saxons of England. A great many attempts have been used, by promises and threats, and even by force, to make the French Canadians Yankees, but they have all failed, and I do not think that by legislation my hon. friend can hope to make the French Canadians English either. What is, I think, more important to us, is, that by proper and fair treatment we can keep the French people of this country true and loyal Canadians, loyal to the only form of Government which we have in Canada, the Government of Canada by Canadians, under the name of the Sovereign Lady, around whose throne the free people of England also govern themselves. There is no country under the sun in which fanaticism in politics or bigotry in religion is more dangerous than in Canada. Our materials are most inflammable, and it is not only culpable, but it is indeed a political crime for any public man to set the spark to that inflammable material. We must frown down fanaticism, whether it be shown on the floor of this House or on the streets of Hull, for if it be allowed to take its course, this country would not only be an impossible one to govern, but an unfit one to live in. In view of the present position of affairs, in view of the feeling which has been aroused in this House—necessarily aroused, as I have shown— and in view of the fact that there was no real pressing grievance to be remedied by this legislation, that there was no outcry from the North- West, that there was no unnecessary tax put upon the people of the North-West for printing the proceedings in French; this question could have well been left in abeyance. I will not say that the whole thing originated with my hon. friend, for he says it did not, but I know that if the hon. gentleman did not cause the petition to be sent from the North-West Council, it was, at all events, not sent until after he visited the North- West Territories. I think the origin of the trouble may be very naturally traced to the same source as the origin of the trouble we are now dealing with in this House. The grievance in the North- West Territories was a small one, an infinitesimal one, and I think it might have been borne with a little longer rather than that bitter feelings should have been aroused. I think We could have waited until the question of a new Constitution for the North-West came up in its natural course before this Parliament by a proposition for creating one or more Provinces in the North-West. If this delay were allowed, I do not see that either the people of the North-West or the Canadian Constitution would have suffered. I believe that there is no necessity for this Bill at present, and holding this view, had I been within sound of the division bell the other evening, I should have voted for the amendment moved by my hon. friend from Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil).
Mr. MCCARTHY. Hear, hear.
Mr. EDGAR. Yes; I would unquestionably have so voted. I would have moved the six months' hoist, or anything else which would have postponed this Bill, not altogether because of the character of the Bill itself, but because of its preamble and surroundings, and chiefly of the speeches made by the hon. gentleman, and because the question would settle itself at no distant day. The hon. gentleman says "hear, hear," and appears to be surprised that I should make that announcement, but I again repeat that I am sorry I was not here to vote for that amendment. In taking this course, I cannot be accused of trying to gain French votes in my constituency, because, so far as I know, these is not one French Canadian in it. The fine constituency which I represent is largely English and Protestant, but at the same time it is largely liberal, and I shall be very much disappointed if the broad and liberal sentiments which I am tryin to express here, will not meet with the approval of the liberal English-speaking Protestants of my riding, which is in the heart of the great Province of Ontario. I do not hope to catch votes, nor am I afraid of losing votes by the course which I take. While I may not have any claim or right to do so, I will venture to make an appeal to my French fellow members in this House. I do hope that they will receive a proposition of a conciliatory character, such as that contained in the amendment of the Minister of Justice, without alarm. Although they may not like everything that is in that proposition, they have no ground for alarm, in my opinion, when they hear the sentiments expressed towards them by the majority on both sides of this House. I shall also take the liberty of counselling them not to ask for anything unreasonable, or for anything which will give their enemies an excuse for open and continued hostility towards them.
Mr. WHITE (Renfrew). At this stage of the debate, and after the many lucid and able arguments that have been advanced on both sides, I cannot hope to add anything to the information of the House, or to interest it on this question to any degree. Nor, Sir, would I have ventured to have said a word were it not that I do not wish to record a silent vote upon the question now before the House. In the debate that has taken place during the last five or six days, I have been struck with the great unanimity with which hon. members who opposed the proposition of my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) have opposed, not the Bill itself, but the preamble with which that Bill has been introduced. It has been stated by many hon. gentlemen who have spoken upon this question, that the Bill itself was an innocent measure, but that its preamble is one calculated to excite the feelings of 903 [COMMONS] 904 the community, and, therefore, that the Bill ought on that account to be opposed. I have also been struck with the fact that the hon. gentlemen who have opposed the proposition of my hon. friend for North Simcoe, have criticised, not so much the speeches which he has delivered on the floor of Parliament in reference to this measure, as the speeches he has delivered outside of this House. I may say, Sir, frankly, that with many of the aspirations of my hon. friend for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) I have no sympathy whatever. There were many things said by that hon. gentleman during the recess which, perhaps, might as well have been left unsaid, and with which I do not at all concur; but I think every hon. member in this House must admit that the hon. member for North Simcoe has presented his case on the floor of this Parliament with a degree of moderation that ought to commend itself to the House, and which is in marked contrast to many of the speeches that have been delivered in opposition to his measure. Sir, the few words I have to say on this question and the will be very few indeed—will have particular reference to the proposition now before the Chair, namely, the amendment moved by the hon. Minister of Justice. I have just stated that the greatest objection offered to this Bill refers to the preamble; that was one of the objections urged by the Minister of Justice in the speech he delivered here the other night. Well, Sir, we had before us last year the consideration of a Bill, the preamble of which was obnoxious to a very large portion of the people of this country—a preamble calculated to arouse the prejudices, if I may so express it, of a very large number of people, of whom I myself was one. I listened to the hon. Minister of Justice on that occasion taking the ground that the preamble of a Bill was no essential part of the Bill at all. During the recess following the last Session of Parliament, many of us were called to account by our constituents for the position we had taken on the question I have just referred to; and I undertook to justify the position I took on that question because I believed that the Government were right and did what they ought to do in the interest of the country. In doing so, I took the ground that the hon. Minister of Justice had taken, that the preamble formed no essential part of the Bill, and ought not to be considered in reference thereto. But we find the hon. Minister of Justice now laying down a new principle and taking the opposite view; he says he has a very strong objection to this Bill because of its preamble. Well, Sir, the hon. member for North Simcoe has stated distinctly that if this Bill passes a second reading, he has no objection to changing the preamble—that the House can amend it in any direction they please, or they can strike it out if they please. The whole question presented to this House, divested of all sentiment, and of all appeals to the Province of Quebec or to any other section of the country, is whether it is desirable that that particular clause of the North-West Territories Act should be continued on the Statute-book or not. I have no sympathy with those hon. gentlemen who say that the hon. member for North Simcoe ought not to have moved in this matter, but that it ought to have been left to the members representing North-West constituencies. If the hon. member for North Simcoe believed, as he evidently does believe, that this clause of the North-West Territories Act should be expunged from the Statute-book, it was his bounden duty to bring the question before Parliament, whether he represented a con. stituency in Ontario, in the North-West Territories, or in any other portion of the Dominion. Now, let me say that with the first part of the proposition submitted by the hon. Minister of Justice I concur to a very great extent:
"That this House, having regard to the long continued use of the French language in old Canada, and to the covenants on that subject embodied in the British North America Act, cannot agree to the declaration contained in the said Bill as the basis thereof, that it is expedient in the interest of the national unlty of the Dominion that there should be community of language amongst the people of Canada. That, on the contrary, this House declares its adherence to the said covenants and its determination to resist any attempt to impair the same."
Why should we make that declaration, Mr. Speaker? We are not called on to deal with that question at the present time. My hon. friend from North Simcoe, with all his ardor in the direction he is moving, declared in the speech he made the other night, that it was not his intention to interfere in the slightest degree with the rights conferred on the minorities in the different Provinces by the Act of Confederation. The recognition of those rights is, to a very great extent, the basis of Confederation; it was because of the concession of them to the minorities in the different Provinces that Confederation was made a possibility; and, therefore, I would be one of the last to interfere with them in the slightest degree, whether in the Province of Quebec, the Province of Ontario, or any other Province in this Dominion. But I take it that we are not called upon, on the present occasion, to deal with that question at all. No proposition has been submitted to this House to interfere in the slightest degree with the rights of the minorities conferred upon them by the Act of Confederation, and, therefore, in my judgment at any rate, the recital in this resolution is entirely unnecessary. Then, I come to the other part of the question. The hon. Minister of Justice has laid down the proposition here that certain matters should be left to the final decision of the North-West Legislature, after the next general election. Well, Sir, if he had enlarged the scope of his proposition I do not say I would not agree with him; but he has confined it to two points. The first, refers to the use of the French language in the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories; but, in the speech he delivered here the other night, the hon. Minister stated, that if a number of French gentlemen were elected to represent portions of the North-West Territories in the Legislature, they would be permitted to use their language on the floor of that Legislature, as a matter of courtesy if not as a matter of right, so that it seems to me that the concession proposed to be made by this resolution is no concession at all. The second point refers to the printing of the roceedings of the North-West Legislature in the French language. Why, Sir, we have the authority of my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), who ought to know, perhaps, better than any other man in Canada—almost as well even as the Regina Leader itself— what is the practice in that section of the 905 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 906 country; and he stated as a fact that the proceedings of the North—West Legislature were not printed in the French language at all. So that it seems to me the proposition submitted to the House by my hon. friend the Minister of Justice will confer on the North-West Legislature practically no benefit whatever; and, therefore, while they have been asking this House for bread, we shall, if we pass this resolution, be giving them a stone. What does the hon. Minister say with regard to the use of the French language in the courts? He says that it would be a manifest injustice to the people of that country if they were precluded from using the French language in the courts. What argument did the hon. Minister use in respect to that contention—leaving aside altogether the constitutional argument, with which I do not propose to deal, but to speak of the injustice which he declared would be perpetrated upon the 1,500 French people and upon the 3,000 odd French half-breeds, a large proportion of whom, it has been stated in this debate, are incapable of speaking the French language at all, and only understand their mother tongue, the Indian? I say there would be no greater injustice in not allowing them to have the use of French in their courts than there is in not allowing the use of the French or the German language in the courts of the Province of Ontario, where there are over 200,000 Germans, and upwards of 100,000 French people. Can it be argued for a moment that any greater injustice will be perpetrated on the people of the North-West Territories by preventing the use of the French language in the records and proceedings before the courts, than is perpetrated upon the French; or Germans in the Province of Ontario by not using the languages of these people in that Province? I have yet to learn that any miscarriage of justice has occurred, or that there has been any complaint of any miscarriage of justice because of the non-use of the French or of any other foreign language in the courts in that Province. It seems to me, therefore, that the argument of the Minister of Justice in that respect has very little force. I would have been pleased, I frankly admit, because I have the greatest respect for the opinion of my leader, if I could have agreed to the proposition which the Minister of Justice proposed to this House; but holding the views I do on this question, and believing, as I do, that the opinion of the people of the North-West Territories, as shown by their petitions to this Parliament, ought to have some force and effect, I find myself incapable of voting for that resolution.
It being six o'clock, the Speaker left the chair.

After Recess.

Mr. BARRON. When, before recess, I had the pleasure of hearing my hon. friend the member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell) rise in his seat and say that he, an old parliamentarian, an old member of this House, rose to speak on this serious and important question with a good deal of diffidence, I confess to having then experienced some feeling of regret that I, a young member, had made up my mind to speak on this burning question; but I hope the hon. members of this House will see that, in rising to speak, notwithstanding my youth, I do so solely under a keen sense of duty to my constituents, who expect me in this matter to give my decided views one way or the other. I do not think any hon. member of this House feels more conscious than I, of the great necessity we are under to say nothing to-night. or hereafter during this debate, which may in any way continue the ill-feeling that, perhaps, has been engendered during this debate. I am conscious of this necessity, not only out of respect for the high official position which you, Sir, so worthily occupy, not only out of respect for our own individual selves, and not only out of respect for the French members from the Province of Quebec, representing a great and free electorate, but because, Sir, I know full well that a harsh or hasty word spoken to-night, however true its text may be, is more calculated to repel than to induce a calm and dispassionate judgment; and so I hope, when I shall have resumed my seat, that I shall be able, on looking back over what I have said, to conclude that I have spoken calmly and dispassionately, although already words have been spoken which have grated somewhat harshly on the ears of hon. gentlemen who may think as I do, and who may vote as I intend to vote on this important question. But if I do give offence to any creed or to any person, I hope hon. gentlemen will see it is because I am now in the years of enthusiasm, because I believe in the assertion of free speech and free thought, knowing. as I do, that in past history these two elements have led to the highest kind of legislation— legislation tending to peace on earth and goodwill towards men. I have said that words have been spoken during this debate which fell unpleasantly on the ears of hon. gentlemen in this House. Need I say to whose language I refer? Need I say that the hon. the Minister of Public Works, more than any hon. gentleman in this House, has, during this debate, made use of language calculated to do serious harm throughout the country at large. I say, Sir, that his language was most fanatical, most inflammatory, and not justified at all by that of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy); but, assuming for a moment, which I do not now admit, that the hon. member for North Simcoe did say what, perhaps, in his calmer judgment, he would not have said, two wrongs do not make a right; and, therefore, the hon. the Minister of Public Works ought not to have used the language he did, and, coming from a gentleman in his exalted position, it was most dangerous to the peace and the welfare of the community at large. Bad enough would that language have been had it come from an ordinary member; bad enough would it have been had it come from a member of the Government, sitting behind the hon. gentleman, but, infinitely mischievous was it coming from the Minister of Public Works, who is second in command to the right hon. gentleman who leads this House. The hon. the Minister of Public Works spoke of the loyalty of the French Canadians. I admit, and I rejoice in the fact, that there are no more loyal men in the community than the French Canadians, but I do not propose to admit, as worthy of our admiration—if I may be allowed to speak for a moment in their behalf—the example set us by the hon. the Minister of Public Works in the gentleman to whom he referred, for British Canadians cannot see much loyalty to admire or respect in a gentleman, who one moment re 907 [COMMONS] 908 joiced in the tricolor of France, and the next gave three cheers for the British Crown. The loyalty I admire is that of such a man as Montcalm, who fought to the bitter end. The loyalty I admire is that of the French Canadians, who, when tempted by the Americans, refused to yield to temptation and remained loyal to the British Crown. Then, I cannot but recall the remarks made by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) when he undertook to criticise the remarks of the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake). He devoted half an hour to abuse and vituperation against the hon. member for West Durham—against the very gentleman whom the right hon. the First Minister asked to come to his assistance in this serious and important matter. What must have been the feelings of the hon. member for East Grey when, after abusing that hon. gentleman, he heard, a day or two later, his leader ask him to come to his assistance, in order to bridge over this difficulty? When I heard the hon. member for East Grey presuming to criticise the course of the hon. member for West Durham, and when I saw the dignified, stately form of the hon. member for West Durham, and contrasted his hearing with that of the hon. member for East Grey, I could not help thinking of the cartoon in which asinged cat was depicted as hissing and spitting at a great Bengal tiger. But, much as I respect and admire the hon. member for West Durham, exalted as is his ability, I regret to have to say that, in some particulars, I cannot follow him in the speech he addressed to this House a few nights ago. It is not my fault, but my misfortune, and no one regrets it more than I, that the constituency which I have the honor to represent did not send a gentleman of greater ability and of more astute mind to follow the hon. member for West Durham in the vote he proposes to give, and in the language he addressed to this House. But I shall refer to his remarks a few minutes later, when I come to that portion of my speech. For the present I wish to refer to the remarks addressed to this House last night by the hon. the Minister of Justice. It is with pride and pleasure that I see that hon. gentleman rise to address this House. It is with delight that I look forward to a literary treat when I see he intends to speak; and it was with pleasure that I saw him rise to move, as he did move, the amendment which is now before the House. But I confess to a feeling of great disappointment when he sat down; I confess that my idol was struck to the ground, because we found that the Minister of Justice had actually swallowed himself; that he, who within one year since declared that the preamble to an Act was of no moment, now declared that it was of the greatest possible importance. In the debate on the Jesuits' Estates Act, he said:
"Now, let me again, before I leave the subject of the Act, call the attention of the House to the fact that all the argument which has been made with regard to the necessity for disallowance is based on objections to the preamble of the Act. In the history of disallowance in this country, in the history of the disallowance of our own statutes in the mother country—and we know that scores of them were disallowed—the records will be searched in vain to find one which was disallowed because the preamble was not agreeable to anybody. I do not retend to dispute the statement of my hon. friend from Muskoka (Mr. Brien) that the preamble is a part of the Act. So is the title a part of the Act, and so are the head-notes of sections; but has anyone ever heard of a Government being asked to disallow an Act because they did not like the wording of the title or of the head-notes. The preamble is understood to be a part of the Act for the purpose of interpreting the Act, but there is nothing in this Act for which interpretation is needed, and I distinguish, in referring to this the most trivial and technical objection which could be taken to a statute, between those parts of the preamble which assert that certain correspondence has passed, such as this between the Premier and the Cardinal at Rome, and those preambles which recite certain agreements which the statute validates."
Then, further on, he says:
"I assert, without fear of contradiction among people who will consider this matter in a calm and businesslike way, that that part of the preamble which is the only part relevant to the purposes of the Act itself, is utterly harmless, entirely businesslike, free from the slightest suspicion of derogating from any right of Her Majesty, and from the slightest suspicion of infringement of the constitution."
These were the words spoken a short year ago by the hon. the Minister of the Justice, when it appeared to be his purpose to minimise the importance of a preamble to an Act. But it will be in the recollection of hon. members that, on that occasion, the preamble was made, by a special enacting clause, part and parcel of the Act itself; and, therefore, it was that some hon. gentlemen opposed, as I did, the Act, because the preamble which was made a part of it was most offensive. What lawyer in this House will assume that the preamble is of any importance so long as the Act itself is clear and beyond doubt? First, however, let me draw attention to the fact that the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), having heard the objections made to the preamble, said at once, in effect, I do not consider it offensive, but, if any hon. gentleman does so, I will consent to have it struck out in Committee. The Minister of Justice, the other night, did not take a particle of notice of the concession or offer made by the hon. member for North Simcoe. It appeared to me that he refused to take notice of that offer or to comment upon it. It appeared to me that he was anxious that this apparently offensive preamble should continue in the Bill, so that he might have some argument and grievance on which to build an argument in this House. I say that there was nothing in the preamble to this Act. I mean by that, that no matter how offensive it might be—and I am not going to argue that just now—this House has no right to consider the preamble so long as the enacting clause is beyond any doubt, and I think there are very few lawyers in this House who will deny the truth of that proposition. I will not venture, young as I am, to address a legal argument to this House coming from myself, and I prefer to read authorities proving my contentions. I shall read from Maxwell on Statutes, an authority which, I think, will be acknowledged as sufficient. On page 56, Maxwell says:
"But the preamble cannot either restrict or extend the enacting part when the language of the latter is plain, and not open to doubt either as to its meaning or its scope."
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Hear, hear.
Mr. BARRON: The hon. member for Bothwell. interrupts me by saying "hear, hear" —meaning, I suppose, that the language of the enacting clause is not plain. The hon. gentleman can read English and so can I, and neither he nor anyone else can contend that the enacting clause of this Bill is not so plain that any child can understand it. What 909 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 910 is the Bill? Simply that the 110th section of the North-West Territories Act shall be repealed, so there can be no ambiguity about the enacting clause, and therefore the preamble is a matter of no possible moment. The authority I have quoted goes on to say:
"It is not unusual to find that the enacting part is not exactly co-extensive with the preamble. In many Acts of Parliament, although a particular mischief is recited, the legislative pro visions extend beyond it. The reamble is often no more than the recital of some of the inconveniences, and does not exclude any others for which a remedy is given by the statute. The evil recited is but the motive for legislation; the remedy may both consistently and wisely be extended beyond the cure of that evil; and if on a review of the whole Act a wider intention than that expressed in the preamble appears to be the real one, effect is to be given to it, notwithstanding the less extensive import of the preamble."
But it may be said that in this case the preamble is more extensive than the enacting clause, and, if I stop there, it would be said that I had not answered the question as to the importance of the preamble. But, on page 62, I find:
"Where the preamble is found more extensive than the enacting part, it is equally inefficacious to control the effect of the latter, when otherwise free from doubt."
Then on page 61, this work proceeds:
"It has been sometimes said that the preamble may extend but cannot restrain the enacting part of a statute. But it would seem difficult to support this preposition. * * * In a word, then, it is to be taken as a fundamental principle, standing, as it were, at the threshold of the whole subject of interpretation, that the intention of the Legislature is invariably to be accepted and carried into effect, whatever may be the opinion of the judicial interpreter of its wisdom or justice. If the language admits of no doubt or secondary meaning, it is simply to be obeyed, without more ado. If it admits of more than one construction , the true meaning is to be sought, not on the wide sea of surmise and speculation, but 'from such conjectures as are drawn from the words alone or something contained in them;' that is, from the context viewed by such light as its history may throw upon it, and construed with the help of certain general principles, and under the influence of certain presumptions as to what the Legislature does or does not generally intend."
Great as my respect is for the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), great as is my admiration for the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), much as I respect and admire the hon. the Minister of Justice, I prefer to take the views of Maxwell as to the meaning of the preamble to an Act. Let me give the House an instance where the preamble to an Act proved entirely inefficacious. There was a statute under which the question was raised as to the legality of the Orange Association in England, in or about the year 1832. The preamble to the Act recited that it was "directed against secret or oath-bound societies," and the argument was made that by reason of that statute, 29 George III, and by reason of that preamble, the Orange society was illegal. But it was found that the enacting clause did not go to the extent of the preamble, and the opinion was given by such gentlemen as Sergeant Lewis, Sir Wm. Howe, Sir Robert Gifford, Mr. Gurney, Mr. Gasalee and Mr. Adolphus, men, some of whom afterwards adorned the bench, and reached high positions in the service of their country; all of them gave the opinion that by reason of the enacting clause not going to the extent of the preamble, therefore the society itself was not illegal. Now, the hon. Minister of Justice proposes an amendment, and I must say that it struck me that that amendment was as inconsistent and as incongruous as the far-famed autumn leaves of Vallambrosa; but after all, what does it amount to? It admits the principle of the hon. member for North Simcoe as advanced by his Bill; it admits that the time may come when dual language must be abolished in the North-West; it says in effect that we will not do to-day what we shall do to-morrow; therefore I say that when the Minister of Justice brings in his amendment proposing to do this a few days, months or years hence —perhaps not by this House, but to give others the power to do it—why, Sir, he practically gives away the case to the member from North Simcoe. What is that amendment?
"That all the words after 'Resolved' be expunged, and the following substituted:
"That this House, having regard for the long continued use ofthe French language in old Canada and to the covenants on that subject embodied in the British North America Act, cannot agree to the declarations contained in the said Bill as a basis thereof, namely, that it is expedient in the interest of the national unity of the Dominion that there should be unity of languuge amongst the people of Canada. That, on the contrary, this House declares its adhesion to the said covenants and its determination to resist any attempt to impair the same."
Now, it seems to me that the hon. member for North Simcoe has never disputed these premises. So far as I am concerned, I here declare that if the member for North Simcoe attempted in any way to interfere with the rights of our fellow-countrymen in the Province of Quebec, so far as the use of the French language is concerned, I would resist that attempt to the utmost. But we have heard it here declared by the member for North Simcoe, time and time again, both in his speech in introducing this Bill and in his speech the other night, that that was not his intention, and, therefore, it seems to me that we may agree with these premises. The amendment of the Minister of Justice then goes on:
"That at the same time this House deems it expedient and proper, and not inconsistent with those covenants that the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories should receive from the Parliament of Canada power to regulate, after the next general election of the Assembly the proceedings of the Assembly and we manner of recording and publishing such proceedings."
Sir, I was prepared to take the objection that that amendment did not go far enough, that it did not include the ordinances, it did not include the statutes, it did not include the proceedings in the courts; but this objection, on my part, was anticipated by the First Minister when he spoke to-night, and explained that it was no matter, that the reason they were not included in this amendment was that the ordinances were published by this Parliament, or were under the control of this Parliament, and, therefore, this amendment went far enough. I confess that that answer of the First Minister is a complete answer to the objection I would have raised to this amendment not including the ordinances and the statutes. But the Bill of the hon. member for Simcoe may be passed, and still the ordinances and statutes will be published in both languages. Why? Because, what the Bill of the member for North Simcoe proposes is simply to repeal the 110th section of the North-West Territories Act , which has nothing whatever to do with the publication of the ordinances and the statutes which, as the First Minister stated this afternoon, were under the control of this Parliament, and therefore would be published in both languages. Now, if the Bill of the member from North Simcoe were to become law the statutes and the ordinances relating to the North-West Territories would still 911 [COMMONS] 912 be published in both languages for the reason I have stated. Now, I stated in the opening of my remarks that I would be compelled to refer briefly to the remarks of the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), and in doing so let me state that no one has any idea of the reluctance with which I do so, because I have such an unbounded respect and high admiration for that hon. gentleman, and I am always ready and willing, so far as I can, to bend my will to the will of the hon. member for West Durham, so long as my conscience and my better judgment allow me to do so. But upon this occasion I am unable to do so, and I want to refer to one or two matters upon which he has spoken, and upon which, to my mind, he appeared to me to take up a wrong position. He said that the North- West Council had no right to speak upon this important matter, and he used this language:
"The North-West Assembly had no permission or authority from this Parliament, its creators, to deal with this question at all, and the electors to that Assembly had not before them, when the Assembly was elected, any proposition upon that subject. So, neither was there an authority in the body, nor was there the provision in the constitution."
Now, Mr. Speaker, there can be no possible doubt of the truth of that proposition, nobody ever denied it; but at the same time, to say that the North- West Territories had no right to speak out upon this matter, is setting forth a proposition which cannot possibly be accepted. Why, Sir, if it is correct that the North-West Council had no right to speak out upon the subject-matter of this Bill, then how much more are we stultifying ourselves in this House in the action we have taken, when, during my short period in Parliament, we have already spoken out upon matters relating to the entire Empire, more especially the subject of Home Rule. Sir, if the hon. member is right in his contention, then we never had the right to do that; still we did it, and if we did that, with still greater reason may the representatives of the North-West Assembly speak out upon that question which peculiarly affects themselves. But in addition to the fact that the North-West Council have, by the resolution forwarded to the member for North Simcoe and placed upon the Table of this House, spoken out in very strong and plain language upon this subject, we have also other means of information whereby we know that it is the almost unanimous wish of the people of the North- West Territories to abolish the dual language. The hon. member from North Simcoe read, I believe, some telegrams the other night which were questioned by the hurried interruption of the Secretary of State. He read one, I believe, signed by a gentleman named McCaul. I happen to have the pleasure of knowing that gentleman, and I am quite confident from my knowledge of him, he being a son of the late Dr. McCaul, President of the University Of Toronto, that he is utterly incapable of sending such a telegram as was read by the member from North Simcoe, unless the statements contained in it were accurate in everyparticular. Let me read from the Calgary Harold, February 7, in regard to the dual language in the North-West:
"Here is a system which none of us ever asked for, which was imposed upon the North-West without its pre- knowledge or consent; a system which we have no need of, which we most decidedly object to as useless and costly; and the opportunit bein offered of assisting a movement to rid the North-West of the system, our duty is plain."
Then I have a quotation from the Calgary Herald of 13th February, sent by a gentleman whose position ought not to be disputed, because he is one of the Queen's Counsel lately appointed by the Minister of Justice himself. I refer to Mr. James Bruce Smith, of Calgary. He has sent me the Calgary Herald of the 13th February, containing certain resolutions passed at a public meeting at Calgary on the evening before, which I shall read to the House:
"Resolved, That the use of a dual language in official proceedings in the North-West Territories is unnecessary, expensive, and calculated to prevent the complete union of the several nationalities who reside in the Territories, and that to bring about a united Canadian people in this part of the Dominion, the English language alone should be legalised for use in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, the courts, and all other official bodies.
"Resolved, That this meeting heartily endorses the action of the Legislative Assembly at Regina, in reference to the dual language, and requests that the petition presented to the Dominion Government in pursuance of such action be granted.
"Resolved, That a copy of the above resolutions be forwarded to D. W. Davis, M,P., Dalton McCarthy, M.P., the Hon. James A. Lougheed, and the Dominion Government, and that D. W. Davis, M.P., be requested to forward in every way the movement for the abolition of French as an official language in the Territories."
I may, perhaps, be allowed by way of interjection, to read a statement prepared by Mr. Cayley, a gentleman well known to the First Minister, who, speaking of the cost of publishing the ordinances, resolutions, proceedings, and so forth, in the French language, says:
"The estimated population of the Territories is 100,000, of whom French an Half-breeds form one-fifth. The cost of French printing in 1883 was $350: in 1887 it had risen to $1,000 for printing and $1,000 for translation. The latter cost $3,000 for three years. Of 500 copies of the Territorial ordinances printed, 126 were distributed; the balance lay on the shelves at Regina and a large proportion of the 126 went to persons (official and others) who could speak English."
So I think we have sufficiently heard from the North-West Territories as to their views regarding this important matter. But I have heard it said that there have been counter-petitions presented by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Davis), petitions purporting to be very numerously signed, asking for the retention of the dual language. I do not doubt that if any one takes the trouble to examine these petitions he will be very much impressed with some of them. There is a great similarity of writing between the signatures to those petitions, and I think we all know that about the easiest thing in the world is to get up a petition. I recollect perfectly well that petitions were sent here very numerously signed against the Franchise Act, that iniquitous measure to which the First Minister is so strongly pledged, and upon an examination of the petitions it appeared that among the names of those asking for the repeal of the Franchise Act was the name of the First Minister himself. The celebrated Chartist petitions contained the signatures of Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Albert, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell. We find also that upon an investigation into the question of petitions addressed to the House of Commons in England, it was found that numerously signed petitions contained only two or three different forms of handwriting. I read somewhere that a petition was addressed to ex-President Cleveland, when he was Sheriff in the State of New York, purporting 913 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 914 to have been signed by the friends and relatives of the ex-President himself, asking Mr. Cleveland as Sheriff that instead of hanging a criminal he would hang himself. So, I think, we see that very little importance is to be attached to any petitions, no matter how they are prepared, but especially petitions coming from the North-West Territories, containing prayers against the wishes of the representatives of the people there. I think all hon. members must have been greatly impressed with the speech of the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), and I certainly was so impressed. I read it with a great deal of pleasure and care, because, as a literary effort, it could hardly be excelled; but I think that his whole speech from the beginning to the end was based on a wrong assumption. It appears to me that the hon. gentleman started with wrong premises entirely on which he built his argument; that his contention from the beginning to the end of his speech was that it was the intention of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) to entirely eradicate the French language.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). So he says.
Mr. BARRON. And upon these premises the hon. gentleman built his argument. The hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) says, so the hon. member for North Simcoe says. If he says so, I have not heard it; and if he says so now, I will take my seat and not support his Bill, because I say it would be criminal, indeed, to endeavor to shut the mouths entirely of the French people, and eradicate the French language. What did the hon. member for Bothwell say?
"The hon. gentleman proposes to act towards the French population of this country in much the same way that the brother of Robert, Duke of Normandy, acted towards him. He proposes to put out their eyes. He says: Forget your mother tongue, forget the craters and statesmen, the novelists and historians, the poets and philosophers of France, and then you will begin to qualify yourselves for becoming good British subjects. If you understand the language, if you appreciate its beauties, if you admire its expressmn or its wisdom, or its elasticity, then it is impossible that you can be a loyal subject, it is impossible that you can be devoted to the maintenance of the Federal union. This is the position that the hon. gentleman has taken."
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Hear, hear.
Mr. BARRON. The hon. member for Bothwell says "hear, hear." All I can say is this, that I do not understand that to be the position of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy); but, on the contrary, if language means anything, if the English language can be comprehended, I understood him to say the direct opposite—that he has no desire to eradicate the French language or destroy it, but that, simply for purposes of convenience, he desires that in the North-West Territories, as his Bill says, section 110 of the North-West Territories Act, providing that the proceedings be printed in both languages, should be repealed.
An hon. MEMBER. Ask him.
Mr. BARRON. We have asked him; we have his speech.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Did the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) not argue that there could be no such thing as national unity without one language, and did he not quote Freeman and Max Miiller for the purpose of establishing that proposition?
Mr. MCCARTHY. I disclaim having argued any such ridiculous proposition. I argued that community of language tended to unity, not that it was necessary.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). That it was necessary.
Mr. BARRON. But the member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) says it is the same thing.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). I did not say it was the same thing. I stated he said so.
Mr. BARRON. Well, he argues, as I understand, that the proposition of the member for North Simcoe is the same thing almost as if he proposed to reject the French language entirely. That contention reminds me of a story in a little book called "Alice in Wonderland," which all hon. gentlemen who may be happy enough to have families, no doubt, have read. Little Alice was seated at the head of the table, and there were present a hatter, a March hare, and a dormouse. An argument announced by little Alice did not seem quite to suit the hatter, and so the hatter said: "You might just as well say, little Alice, that because 'I see what I eat,' that it is the same thing as 'I eat what I see;'" and the March hare also rejoined: "You might just as well say that because 'I like what I get," it is the same thing as that 'I get What I like;'" and the dormouse said: "Because, little Alice, I breathe when I sleep, you might say it is the same thing as that I sleep when I breathe;" and the hatter, summing up the propositions, said that little Alice must expect such inconsistent propositions as these, if she was to stand by the argument she advanced a few moments ago. I think if the hatter in the story were in this House he would have addressed the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) regarding his argument in much the same way as he admonished little Alice on the particular occasion I have spoken of. It is impossible for me, not being a historian, to follow the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills) in his historical crusades throughout the universe. He travelled up and down longitudes and back and forward over latitudes to find authorities to show that it is in the interests of the unity of the Empire and of the country that dual language should be retained. The hon. member introduced us to the Jews, to the Gentiles, and to the Greeks; he then took us among the Parthians, the Medes, the Alamites; then he brought us to dwell in Mesopotamia and Judea, and back again to the reign of Ahasuerus; then he asked us to travel with him mentally among the Italians of Malta, and then jumped across the Atlantic to take us among the French of Quebec. Then he introduced us among the Dutch of the Cape, took us to Calcutta among the Hindoos, and then among the Chinese of Hong Kong. He talked of the Helots of Sparta, and travelled in and out among the Ionian Islands. He took us back to the Roman Empire, and then with one stupendous bound brought us among the Algonquin tribes of the North-West. All this for the purpose of showing us that dual language is not harmful, but that it is, in fact, rather desirable to have a variety of languages, and thereby the unity of the Empire is perpetuated and secured. But, Sir, the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), from the Alpha to the Omega of his speech, never said one word about that great exam 915 [COMMONS] 916 ple shown us by the country to the south of us— I refer to the United States. Although the hon. gentleman referred to almost every country of the universe, he never once said a solitary word about the example shown us by the United States. There is not a doubt that in that great country their stupendous advance in civilisation and their immense advance in national strength and power, have been to a very great extent secured by the fact that they have one common school system, and one language from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Gulf of Mexico to the boundaries which separate them from Canada. I do not propose to follow the different members of this House who have given us the examples of Germany, Poland, Finland, Russia and other countries. I prefer to take the statement of the hon. gentleman from Albert (Mr. Weldon), a gentleman whom this House recognises as a great student of history and as one more able to speak on this important matter than gentlemen who within the last three or four months have refreshed their memories and secured new information with the object of addressing the House on this question. The member for Albert says:
"I concur in the opinion that it is desirable, other things being equal, without breaking faith, 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 jealously preserving their own nationality, and nearly equal in strength which is at all commensurate with her resources and population as compared with a homogeneous nation."
I listened to the remark of the hon. the Premier himself when he replied to the leader of the Opposition—a leader for whom we all have more than ordinary respect and towards whom we entertain feelings akin to love and affection. This makes it all the harder for me to speak on this occasion, for I know that in saying what I do say and in feeling as I do feel, I am not in accord with the views of the Liberal leader; but, on the contrary, I am doing that, and I am saying that, and I shall vote that way which is contrary to his wishes, and perhaps shall hurt his feelings in a way I would not like. I think that the hon. the leader of the Opposition was right when he said that at all times in the history of Canada the rights of the minority were disregarded by the Conservative party. We have only to go back to the times of the "Family Compact." We have only to go back to the seigniorial tenures—the abolition of which the right hon. gentleman took credit for the Conservative party, to prove this. Why, Sir, everything in the way of reform which has been done by the Conservative party (if my reading of history is correct) has been brought about by the bayonet of argument addressed by the Reform party to the Conservative party of this country. The Conservatives have been forced time and time again to do that which they say now they did willingly, but which they only did willingly because it was done for the purpose of preserving themselves in power. We find now that the Conservative party in this House are actually, partially acceding to the proposition of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). If the hon. the First Minister regards the rights of the minority, why did he not support the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil)? No; on the contrary, to please a certain portion of the community, he goes against that which he has spoken for this afternoon, and brings in a clear amendment in favor of abolishing the dual language. The only difference between the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice and the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe is that the hon. Minister refuses to do to-day that which the hon. member for North Simcoe wants done to-day, but he says he will do it to-morrow, which after all, becomes, except in point of time, practically the same thing. The hon. Minister appeals to this House, not to be possessed of animus, not to create racial or creed animosity. We know that the right hon. First Minister is the general-in-chief of Mr. Meredith, who is carrying on a crusade against Mr. Mowat in respect to Separate Schools and the alleged use of French in the schools in Ontario; and if the right hon. gentleman is consistent, after the language he used this afternoon, he will write to Mr. Meredith and tell him to stop this crusade; and not only so, but he will support Mr. Mowat in his efforts to do what is right and just to the French minority in that Province.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Follow the example of the Opposition here.
Mr. BARRON. Yes; he has had to appeal to the hon. leader of the Opposition here, and to the hon. member for West Durham, and they, being possessed of patriotic feeling, desire to help the Premier in this great difficulty; but the right hon. the Prime Minister cannot be consistent so long as he assists and upholds Mr. Meredith in Ontario in his present crusade, and addresses the House as he did this afternoon. I was surprised, Sir, to hear the right hon. gentleman stigmatise the resolution of the hon. member for North Simcoe as the sting of a gnat. I do not know whether he meant that the resolution itself was a gnat, or that the hon. member for North Simcoe was a gnat; if he referred to the hon. member, he made a very unhappy reference. Let me tell the House, what the gnat really is—I suppose he meant the common gnat, because that is the animal that does the stinging:
"The usual special representative of the family is the common gnat, whose blood-sucking propensities have rendered it too well known. It pierces the skin with the needle-like lancets of its rostrum, which are barbed at the tips, and gradually inserts the whole of these organs, at the same time liquifying the blood by some fluid secretion, which apparently adds to the subsequent irritation."
And the hon. First Minister spoke of the irritation caused by the sting of the gnat. But here is the peculiar part of it. If the hon. member for North Simcoe is a common gnat, he must be a female gnat, because it is only the female gnat that inserts this irritating fluid which is spoken off:
"The female alone attacks man, and in default of her favorite food will feed on the honey of flowers."
But there is danger in calling my hon. friend from North Simcoe a gnat, because the gnat has a very numerous family and it increases very rapidly, and if there are very many of them produced, it will be a very serious matter for the Government:
"One little gnat will produce millions of its kind in a single summer. So short a time is occupied by the entire series of metamorphoses that many generations are perfected in a single season. Their spontaneity and ease in their evolutions is such that they will fly untouched in a shower of rain."
917 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 918
But here is some little comfort for the hon. First Minister. I think it is the poet Spencer who states that when gnats collect numerously around steeples firemen have been called out, only to discover that the alarm was not for a real fire, but only for the appearance of smoke; so that I may offer this consolation to the First Minister, that, perhaps, all the efforts of the hon. member for North Simcoe will only end in smoke.
Mr. LISTER. You should have left that part out.
Mr. BARRON. I do not say that, but I want to give the First Minister some little comfort under the circumstances. Now, I want to refer to a point made by the hon. member for Albert (Mr. Weldon), for whom, as a constitutional lawyer, we must have the greatest possible respect, and I refer to it more particularly because the point was also raised by the hon. Minister of Justice. The hon. member in his speech said:
"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 anada 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."'
The hon. Minister of Justice advanced the argument that the Bill would not be effectual in destroying the use of the French language in the courts of the North-West Territories, because those courts were courts of Canada established under this Act. I deny that proposition. I say the courts in the North-West Territories are simply local courts. It is true, they were created by the Parliament of Canada; but they are not the courts to which this section refers. It refers to the Supreme Court and the Exchequer Court in the city of Ottawa; but, you might as well say that the different courts in the Province of Ontario were courts of Canada under this section, as to claim that the courts of the North-West Territories are courts of Canada established under this Act. Now, Sir, I desire to thank the House for the patient hearing they have given me speaking on this question, which has been discussed for four or five days, and which must be more or less threshed out at all points. But I may be permitted in closing to read from a little work on the Upper Houses published by the late Senator Trudel in 1880, an extract which I think justifies me in coming to the conclusion that it would be well indeed, in the North- West Territories, not to perpetuate the social, the religious, and the national feelings which Mr. Trudel says must be perpetuated in the Province of Quebec. What I am about to read is my own translation, and, therefore, I read it subject to correction. At page 6 Senator Trudel says:
"And if the Federal idea prevailed, it was owing to the Province of Quebec which at no price would have accepted 'Legislative Union.'
"In the case of Quebec, there was a host of social, religious and national distinct interests, which she could not dream, for an instant, of entrusting to a maiority of race, creeds, and customs essentially differ ent from those of the greater part of her population, however well disposed this majority might be towards us.
"That she would not have desired, on any consideration, to accept such a union, our Province has evidenced by contending, with all the energy of men fighting to the death, against representation based on population.
"The Federal sytem might have been organised by concentrating, under the general Government, all matters of pre-eminent importance, or of superior social and economic interest, leaving to the control ofthe Local Legislatures matters of inferior moment, in such a way as to leave them only large municipal councils.
"But then Quebec would have refused to enter the Union, because this federation would have been equivalent, so far as she was concerned. to a Legislative men, and then, good-bye to Confederation!
"Because it was not in matters of lower importance, and of merely municipal interest, that our Province wished to have under its sole control. What Quebec desired, was to see placed under the jurisdiction the Provincial Legislature, and consequently under its exclusive protection, all its interests the most dear in a social, religious and national point of view, that is to say, the greater portion of interests of importance, which it is of consequence that a people should preserve inviolate."
The sentiments and the views expressed in that article I think are such we ought not to desire to perpetuate in the North-West Territories; and I— therefore, say, in conclusion, that I am glad to be able to support the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe, believing that if there is anything offensive in it, it will be amended in Committee, so as to make it satisfactory to the keenest sensibilities of any hon. gentleman in this House.
Mr. COOK. Some days ago, when the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), was making an arrangement with the right hon. the First Minister to set apart a day for the discussion of this question, I stated that I would not be able to be present on account of an engagement which I had, and would, therefore, be prevented, if the question then came to a vote, giving expression to my opinions before this House; and I took occasion to state, in view of this possibility, that I intended to vote against the Bill of the hon, member for North Simcoe. Fortunately, however, I was present last night to give my first vote on this question. I may add that as the hon. member for North Simcoe was engaged in a matter pertaining to his profession in which I happened to be on the side opposite to him, and which was postponed by arrangement, he is here, I may say, at my will. But the hon. gentleman stated, when I declared my intention of voting against his Bill, that I had made up my mind to vote without hearing the discussion. Well, the hon. gentleman forgot that he had made a speech in this House, and several speeches in the country, foreshadowing his measure, and he forgot also that I had read the Bill and the preamble, and was, therefore, in a position to come to a decision. The Bill of itself, without the preamble, was sufficient ground for me, without hearing any further discussion—without hearing any of the speeches made—to determine to vote against the Bill; because I am opposed to the extermination of the French language in any part of the Dominion. I must confess that I was somewhat surprised when I first heard of the hon. gentleman's intention to move in this direction. This discussion has taken a very wide range. It has travelled from one end of the world almost to the other, and references have been made during it to questions affecting many other countries, somewhat similarly situated to ours. I do not propose, even if I deemed myself sufficiently versed 919 [COMMONS] 920 in historical knowledge to do so, to follow hon. gentlemen who have so ably discussed this question from a historical point of view, but shall confine myself more particularly to our own country and to the antecedents of my hon. friend from North Simcoe. I have said that I was considerably surprised to see my hon. friend moving in this direction; for I well remember the time when he was bowing the knee to the French people of his constituency, and professed to be as true and loyal a supporter of theirs as any man in this House or out of it. I well remember the time when that hon. gentleman, instead of being in line with this crusade against race and religion, which has been mapped out by the Mail newspaper, and is supported by a few of his friends throughout the country, took the opposite course; for I well remember when that hon. gentleman, one Saturday night in his constituency, when he found he could not reach Toronto the next day, Sunday, engaged a special train to go to that city, and arrived there in the morning, in order to interview Archbishop Lynch on Sunday, to obtain His Grace's support in that county. I well remember then how loyal the hon. gentleman was to a paternal ancestor of his of a more remote date than his immediate paternal ancestor, who supported a different religion from the one the hon. member for North Simcoe does, or the one his father did. The hon. gentleman was then holding out his hand to a certain class; or it might be said that he was bowing the knee to Rome, and at the same time, on the other hand, bowing the knee to Ulster. In each case he was true to his blood. In the one he was true to his paternal ancestor of a more remote date, and in the other to his father. Therefore he could, with some show of fairness, say that he was true to both of his paternal ancestors. I do not know how far the hon. gentleman went himself in both directions; but I know that in the contests in which I had the honor of being his opponent in North Simcoe, my hon. friend did receive the support of a large number of the Roman Catholics and of the French people in that riding. But the gerrymander has removed a certain portion of these people from his riding, and he is not now quite so dependent on them as he was on that occasion.
An hon. MEMBER. Not so dependent.
Mr. COOK. Not so dependent. I believe they were all gerrymandered out. I have no doubt hon. members will recollect the Act that was passed by the First Minister, by which he placed my hon. friend in a safe Tory constituency, but I warn my hon. friend from North Simcoe to look out for his political hide at the next election. Formerly he had the support, as I have said, of the French, the Catholics and the Orangemen, and so well did he carry on this warfare, and so ingeniously did he proceed, that he had a member of his family leading the singing in a Roman Catholic church at mass every Sunday. Then we have the hon. gentleman's exemplification of the way in which he did things. You all remember the way in which he acted in reference to the dismissal of Mr. Letellier from the Lieutenant Governorship of the Province of Quebec. At that time the hon. gentleman's heart was still "true to Poll." He stood by his friends, he stood by the Ultramontanes, and assisted to dislodge the Lieutenant Governor of that Province. Now, what is the meaning of this crusade? There are a great many opinions given by a great many different people. Some say that the hon. gentleman is in league with the First Minister. Some say it is a Tory dodge, that he is appealing to the Ontario portion of the electors and that some other parties are appealing to the Quebec portion of the electors of this Dominion so as to prepare a jumble for the next election. I do not pretend to say which opinion is the correct one. It is stated that a certain newspaper would like to have some assistance from places in high quarters, the newspaper which, within a few years, has been feeding pretty liberally at the Tory crib, since the hon. gentlemen have been in power, even since they have pretended to abandon it, the Mail newspaper, and have built up the Empire, in order to show that they had the two organs. Now, they have the two organs. The hon. the leader of the Government is backed up by the Empire; the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has the Mail at his back; and it is said that the Mail demands that a new party should be formed to force matters upon the attention of the Government; that is, that they should have the balance of power in this House. We know what use would be made of it by some gentlemen in this House. I am sure my hon. friend from North Victoria (Mr. Barron) would not be a party to that, though he criticised very freely the speeches of some of the members in this House. They were principally on the Liberal side, because he did not find anything in the speeches on the other side worth criticising, and he wanted to make a speech. Then there is another theory. The Mail newspaper had an agent at Washington not long since, and it appears that he was giving some extraordinary views and statements to the Congressional Commission who were sitting there at that time. This gentleman, who is the editor of the Mail newspaper, declared that there was a strong annexation feeling in this country, and even went so far as to say that it would be found in this House. When the loyal motion of my hon. friend from North York (Mr. Mulock) was voted upon and unanimously adopted here, I think that Commission would come to the conclusion that the statements of that man were fallacious. I must say that I would have preferred if that loyal resolution had contained a clause showing that we were to be more loyal to Canada. I think some hon. gentlemen need a little training on the score of loyalty to Canada. I think a little advice on that subject would not hurt the leader of the Government.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD.I would like to have the advice.
Mr. COOK. I think the right hon. gentleman who supported that resolution, would do better to show a little more of that loyalty to his own country which he expressed in his speech. I regret exceedingly that I have to refer to one matter which I dislike very much to refer to. I have to refer to my hon. friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), a gentleman who, I admit, stands high in this country, a man of great intellectual ability, a man who made a very strong and well reasoned speech from his point of view. It was not such an inflammatory speech as that made by my hon. friend the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) in introducing his Bill. That was a speech which was intended to set the people by 921 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 922 the ears, to set the Protestant element against the Roman Catholic element, to throw a torch into the magazine, a speech which showed that the man who wanted to get his Bill through the House had no other object than that. I cannot believe that any man of common sense-and we know that the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has a great deal of common sense-would have introduced the Bill in the way in which he did introduce it without such a motive. But my hon. friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) referred to the French Half-breeds and held them responsible for the rebellion. I remember when that hon. gentleman stood up in this House, and made a charge against the Government in that respect, and exonerated the Half-breeds from the charge of bringing about the rebellion. The hon. gentleman should not attempt to remove so important a matter from the shoulders of a Government who are distinctly responsible for that, and to place it on the shoulders of the Half-breeds who had been suffering for seven long years without obtaining redress.
Mr. CHARLTON. I referred to the Half- breeds of the North—West as having been in rebellion, and I said the question to be settled was whether they were more to be blamed or the hon. gentlemen who sat upon the Treasury benches.
Mr. COOK. I read the hon. gentleman's speech, and thought I was correct, but of course I accept his statement. I regret also to have to refer to the speech of the hon. the Minister of Public Works. I have been supporting the cause which he supports. I believe it is the proper and just course to take in this House; but I am afraid that, notwithstanding the usual calmness of the hon. gentleman, he was too inflammatory on that occasion. It was not the words so much as the manner, and the manner was very bad. The hon. gentleman should be a little more cautious, and if he had only read carefully and pondered over the speech made by the Governor General at Quebec, when he received the committee of Equal Righters there, and told them to be tolerant and go home and be good boys and not to do it again—if he had only used a little tolerance in his language, I think it would have been better for his cause in this House. I am very sorry to say that I believe that it was the means of diverting from the cause he has at heart some members on both sides of this House—although I will not say so, because, probably, I am not entitled to say much on that point. Sir, I would just refer, while we are upon this French question, to the fact that a great many members in this House and people throughout the country who read the Mail newspaper, speak of the French in very slighting terms-I will not say the members of this House, but I know that many people in this country speak of the French in such terms. Now, I have been associated with the French more or less all my life, and it is not necessary for me to vindicate their habits and course of life, or anything of that sort, or their motives. But there is one thing that we owe to the French people of this country, and it is a debt of gratitude, after passing the loyal resolution to Her Majesty that we had the privilege of doing here a short time ago. If it had not been for the United Empire loyalists, of which I am a lineal descendant, and the French people, we would not have any Canada to-day, we would have been annexed to the United States, and we would not have had the privilege of passing that loyal resolution. Sir, nothing good can come from the attacks upon the French, nothing but had blood, rebellion and civil war. As the Premier said to-night, supposing anything of that sort should arise, where would we be? Why, Sir, we would be nowhere; we would be nowhere as Canadians, as a British dependency; we would be in the hands and in the arms of the United States in a very short time.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh; hear, hear.
Mr. COOK. The very hon. gentlemen who are now screaming out at the top of their voices, the very men who claim to be patriots in this country to-day, are the men who would drive Canada to annexation. I do not say they would do it intentionally, but they would do it in ignorance of the facts of the case. We. do not want a repetition in this country of the difficulties that have beset Ireland for the last few centuries; we do not want any of their fire-brands in this country, we do not want any of those agitators coming over here to ruin our country. The Secretary of State has passed an Act to prohibit the Chinese; perhaps he had better include gentlemen of this class, gentlemen who are agitators; but my hon. friend, when he was imported, was so small that we could not have told whether he was an agitator or not. Now, Sir, it has been said that the Premier of this country is very desirous that the Local Government of Ontario should not be sustained. It has been stated that "Mowat must go." That is an old saying, an old by-word, but as yet he has not gone. Now, some people are wicked enough to say that even Mr. Meredith is included in this controversy. We know he made a speech on this very line in the city of London; but, if he takes that ground, I will guarantee that he will not be successful at the next general election. Sir, it has been stated by some of our friends—and I differ with the greater number of my friends in that respect—that we, as a party, are provincial rights men. We go for provincial rights, but, Sir, I draw the line at this race question; most of my friends do not. I say that if this House passes that Bill, and difficulties arise in the North—West, the minority in Lower Canada may be in jeopardy some time, and not very far off, because we know the intention of the hon. gentleman. However he may disclaim his intention to the House, we know from his organs, and from his speeches all along the line, that unless his words belie his meaning, he proposes to exterminate the French language throughout the length and breadth of this Dominion. Now, suppose that provincial rights were extended to cover this question of race. In Lower Canada the English language might be expunged, and what would be the result? The result would be that the English people of Ontario would not submit to that, and civil war would be sure to take place, and the result would be disastrous. Why, Sir, this is a wicked thing, when you come to look at it. When you come to look at it in all its phases, when you see that the hon. gentleman intends to set race against race, and religion against religion, and when all men will have hold of each other's throats, you see that it is a wicked thing. Now, I do not like the motion 923 [COMMONS] 924 of the Minister of Justice, because this question is only to be left until the next election in the North- West, and then a decision is to be given, and I believe hon. gentlemen know pretty well what that decision is going to be. They want to put off the evil day, and I believe that it would have been better to have met the thing boldly and moved the six months' hoist, and so do away with the matter altogether. I believe that is the best way to put down these fanatics. I was somewhat amused at the hon. leader of the Government this afternoon. He was a very bold man this afternoon, he was very courageous, and he held the sword over his head and defied those gentlemen who are opposing him in reference to this matter. But he was quite mild the other day. When he made his two speeches before, they were just as tame and mild as a sucking dove's speech. But the hon. gentleman was quite bold to-day, for, after making arrangements, by which hon. gentlemen on this side of the House would help him through the difficulty, he gets up in his place and he declares here: "We will stand or fall by this, we are going to make this question"— well, he did not say a Government question, but he meant that. His speech reminded me very much of an Irishman that came to this country when it was first being settled. One day there came a bear into the house while the Irishman and his wife were there. He ran up stairs and cried out "Biddy, kill the bear." So Biddy killed the bear, and he came down very courageous, and when the neighbors came in he says: "Look what Biddy and I did: we killed the bear." Now, the Irishman had a good deal more—I will not say honor, but he had a good deal more generosity; for, although he took credit to himself, he gave Biddy a share of the credit. But the hon. gentleman took all the credit to himself; he did not even give my hon. friends on this side of the House any share of it whatever, and I hope before this debate is through the hon. gentleman will announce, so it may go to the country, that he did not do this thing all alone. I am a great admirer of the hon. member for North Simcoe, and always have been so. I know he is a great lawyer and an astute politician; it is claimed that he is a man of undoubted pluck and determination. The hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell) said the hon. member for North Simcoe was full of pluck and determination, and although he had been castigated by almost all the members of the House, he had never yielded. The hon. member has not shown so much pluck in the past as the member for Northumberland imagines. If we refer to the past we find that on one occasion he introduced into this House a Bill to prevent people being injured on railways. He was not successful, and he did not introduce it the next year. Determination is shown by a man keeping introducing the same measure year after year, if it is a good one until he succeeds. Next, the hon. gentleman introduced a Bill for the appointment of a railway commission. He was sat upon by the Premier, and he finally withdrew it. Then he had some litigation for a gentleman in the matter of patents, and he thought it would be a good thing to regulate the Patent Office. He introduced a Bill for that purpose, but the late Minister of Railways sat on him, and that was the last of the Bill. I do not know how often the hon. gentleman has been sat upon in this House. It is also said by people outside that the hon. gentleman endeavored, in his legal profession, to make people believe that he ran the late Minister of Justice, and that he had a great deal of influence with him; but since the present Minister came into office his influence has vanished, and that is one of the reasons why he is not now in happy accord with the Government. It has been stated by the Minister of Public Works—I have great confidence in the Minister of Public Works, although he sometimes gets a little excited; I have great confidence in his integrity, and I do not believe he would wilfully make an untruthful statement to the House; the hon. gentleman stated that all the French printing for the North- West Territories had cost only $400 a year, and he was so magnanimous as to say that if any one objected to the amount, he would put his hand into his pocket and pay it every year. That was a generous proposition from the hon. Minister, and no doubt he is sincere and will do it. Let me refer, for a moment, to the St. Catharines Milling Company. They obtained, from this Government, a license to cut timber in a territory where they had no right, and the result was they had considerable litigation, and the Government stood sponsors to the company for their costs. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) was selected solicitor for the company, and he received a total sum of $33,500 for legal expenses. The hon. gentleman is afraid that this country will be ruined because of the enormous expenditure going on; but I will give the hon. gentleman this assurance, that at the rate the hon. Minister of Public Works stated as the cost, the French printing in the North-West could be maintained for 84 years for the costs in that suit. The hon. gentleman wants to do something as a patriot, and I have no doubt he is sincere in his wish. I was a little impressed, however, with the story, which is going round, that there is collusion between the hon. the First Minister and the hon. gentleman, because the hon. the First Minister never said an unkind word to him, or even had a look of scorn; in fact, he was as pleasant with the hon. gentleman as if they were both sailing in the same boat. It looked very much as if the report was true; still, one may be deceived by the very fact that hon. gentlemen opposite look so pleasantly confident, especially when they have got into a tight place. I have known some of the antecedents of the hon. member for North Simcoe. We had four contests in North Simcoe, and probably we would have had another, except for the fact that the hon. the First Minister gerrymandered the constituency. I am very sorry he did so, because I would have liked to have beaten the hon. gentleman just once more. In almost every address made to the electors by the hon. gentleman during the time I was an opposing candidate he always strongly advocated the cause of temperance. Although he was a great temperance a vocate, almost the first thing he did on coming into this House was to introduce an intemperate ill, which he had no right to introduce, and which cost the country a quarter of a million of dollars. In order to be able to estimate the value of an hon. gentleman's promises and pledges you must know the man, and judge what he will do by his past conduct. Some people also say that the hon. gentle 925 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 926 man has not been received as kindly in court as formerly. It is also well known that in those four contests large sums were expended, and the hon. gentleman thought he should be reimbursed in some way. He was once president of the Pacific Junction Railway, but he abandoned that position and is president no longer. He received only $3,000 a year salary; but it is stated that three or four gentlemen friends of his divided somewhere in the neighborhood of $700,000 or $800,000 between them. That should satisfy almost any individual, particularly one who, like the hon. gentleman, is in favor of economy. The hon. gentleman has stated that there is a parti national in Quebec, led by Mr. Mercier, and he is supported by the leader of the Opposition in this House. But what is the hon. gentleman himself endeavoring to do? He is trying to raise a parti national in Ontario. Is that not the true object of the hon. gentleman? We desire a great national party in Canada, but the hon. gentleman is not going to obtain it in that way. We all desire to have a great national party in this country and one great Canadian nation, and I hope the time will come when we will untie the apron strings and go out on our own account, but at present it is best to maintain our present relations. The hon. gentleman is not going to work in the right way. As he wishes to be leader of a great national party, he should not collect around him a small circle of Protestants of Ontario and a few Conservatives and endeavor to draw them away from his leader. That is not the correct course, and the hon. gentleman should be actuated by higher motives in such matters. He should endeavor to earn a reputation as a great constitutional lawyer and legislator. His name should be handed down to posterity, but I am afraid he is sailing in a boat that will carry him down there degraded. Much has been said about the different creeds in this country, about Protestants, Orangemen and Roman Catholics. But I say this, that in Quebec the English speaking people are one-tenth of the entire population, and yet they have ten English speaking members in their House. I think that is a very liberal provision on the part of the French Canadian people towards the minority. In Ontario, where we have a large Protestant majority, one-sixth of the population are Roman Catholics, and yet there are only six Roman Catholics in the Ontario Legislature. It appears to me that there is a good deal more liberality among the Roman Catholic Frenchmen of Lower Canada than there is among the Protestant English speaking population in Ontario.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Hear, hear.
Mr. COOK. That is my view of the matter, and I am glad to know that the hon. leader of the Government endorses what I say, because when I have got such a distinguished backer as he is I need not be afraid of any man who may oppose me in my constituency. If that right hon. gentleman would only support me in Simcoe next election I will guarantee that I will double my majority, but I suppose I can hardly hope for that. I see the right hon. gentleman rubs the palm of his hands as if he intimated something about money. Well, I will tell the right hon. gentleman a little secret. There is a Tory living in East Simcoe who told a certain gentleman that he knew of $20,000 which came to that constituency, and he was pretty certain it came from Ottawa. There was in addition $5,000 given by the Dodge lumber firm and $1,500 raised by local subscriptions. so that his friends had $26,500 against me in the last election. The right hon. gentleman knows so well how these things are done that he cannot afford to impute motives to others. Of course we will say openly and fairly that when we meet a man of that sort we do not intend to give him many advantages over us. If he endeavors to fight us with such weapons we are ready to meet him with the same.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh.
Mr. COOK. I don't wish to be understood as using this in the plural, and, therefore, I must not say "we." At all events I trust that there will be sufficient patriotism among the members of this House, to squelch these attempts of the member for North Simcoe for all time to come.
Mr. BECHARD. Mr. Speaker, whilst I strongly object to the Bill which is now before the House, yet, like most of the gentlemen who have already addressed you, I have still stronger objections to its preamble. Although the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), in the second speech he delivered in this debate, has told us that he would assent to have that preamble set aside if it did not suit the House, and in order as he said not to offend the susceptibility of the French members, yet the fact remains that the Bill would be voted, on account of the principle laid down in the preamble, and invoked by the hon. member and propounded in his speeches. It has been already said, and correctly said, by several hon. gentlemen, that if you couple the preamble of that Bill with the speeches the hon. gentleman has delivered in this House, and outside of this House, you are forcibly led to the conclusion that this Bill must be regarded as only the first step in a crusade against the French Canadian race. Any man who reads that preamble, and the speeches of the hon. gentleman in connection with the Bill, can come to no other conclusion than that the hon. member does not intend to confine his present course to the North-West Territories. By the enacting clause of this Bill he proposes to suppress the French language in these Territories, but by the spirit he has evinced, and by the speeches he has delivered, he gives notice, as I understand it, that it is his intention to continue the same warfare against the French language wherever it is spoken in this Dominion. In his second speech in this House, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) complains that he has been misunderstood, that his speeches have not been fairly read, and that his intentions have been misinterpreted. The hon. gentleman, however, has repudiated nothing of what he had previously said, and told us that whilst he admitted that the time might come when the French language should be suppressed in the Parliament of Canada, yet he would not interfere with vested rights which are guaranteed to the people of Quebec by the British North America Act. Has the hon. gentleman forgotten so soon the bearing of the speech which he pronounced in introducing this Bill? Has he forgotten the meaning of the speeches he has delivered on this question outside this House, and notably his speech at Stayner, in which he is reported to have said:
"That the present generation would have to settle this question by the ballot-box, or, otherwise that the next generation would settle it at the pomt of the bayonet."
927 [COMMONS] 928
Did not this language mean that if the French Canadians succeeded during the present generation in preventing by the ballot-box their language from being suppressed in Canada, the admirers of the hon. gentleman in the next generation, if they fulfil their duties, would have to take up arms to subdue, to drive into the sea, or to exterminate these odious French Canadians? Let the hon. member and his principal follower in the House, the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), succeed in their present attempt to suppress the French language in the Territories, and I venture to say that before long you will see them, assuming the presumptuous attitude of conquerors inflated by victory, incite an agitation in the country for the suppression of the French language in the Parliament of Canada, and at the same time preparing their arms to carry the war into the Province of Quebec, for the purpose of abolishing the French language in the Legislature of that Province, in its courts of law, in its schools, and wherever it is taught or spoken in Canada. Sir, during last summer, in a speech which I addressed to a number of my constituents, I uttered a few words which I will take the liberty of repeating here as an answer to the threats against the French Canadians, contained in the speeches of the hon. member for North Simcoe. After having given some explanations with regard to the Jesuit question, which had been debated in this House last Session, I referred to the threats uttered by the hon. member for North Simcoe in his Stayner speech, and also to newspaper articles containing the most violent, abusive, injurious, offensive, provoking and threatening language against my French Canadian countrymen; and I told them: My friends, notwithstanding those threats, I strongly believe that we have nothing to fear from that quarter. The enjoyment of our rights and our peculiar institutions is guaranteed to us by the constitution of this country, and by what I consider to be a greater power—the good sense and love of liberty and fair play of the vast majority of our English speaking fellow-countrymen. They will never permit the peace of this country to be disturbed and its prosperity jeopardised by any fanatical action. But, I added, after all, we do not know what may happen in the life of a people, and history teaches us that sometimes damagogues have succeeded by appeals to passion and popular prejudice in throwing their country into revolutionary convulsion and causing a great deal of evil. If such should be our misfortune, if this country should be thrown into a civil war, we should be placed in the cruel alternative, either of submitting cowardly to the annihilation of our race, and all the institutions that are dear to our hearts, or of standing up like men in their defence; we should have to appeal to our courage and to the (protection of the British flag. But if chance shoul turn against us, if the British flag should be found to be powerless to offer us adequate protection, then, my friends, there would be no other alternative offered to us than to turn our eyes towards the stars and stripes, which would, I believe, offer to us full protection against the rage of our enemies. Sir, for having uttered these words I was denounced by part of the public press of this country as an annexationist; but I old that there is nothing in the language I used to justify the charge. An annexationist I am not, although I am one of those who believe that this country is not destined to remain forever in the clothes of childhood. Sir, I do not hesitate to say that it would be my pride to see my country taking rank among the nations of the globe. But the annexationists, those who push towards annexation, are to be found among those turbulent men who, being never satisfied with the actual state of the country, would not hesitate, for the satisfaction of a mere prejudice, to throw their country into a civil war, which could end in nothing less than the breaking down of Confederation and the dismemberment of this country. Now, Sir, the hon. member for North Simcoe finds fault with the French Canadians because they endeavor to perpetuate their language and their literature, while he says they should understand that the best interests of the country require that they should abandon their own language and speak the English language. Sir, does he suppose that the French Canadians, just to suit his fancy, will become renegades to their language, to their literature and to their peculiar institutions? Indeed, Sir, they cultivate their own language, but at the same time they do their best to acquire a knowledge of the English language, knowing, as they do, that any man to-day, who wants to do some business, must know that language; and you have a good evidence of this fact in this Chamber, where the French representatives speak the English language tolerably well. No young man in the Province of Quebec considers that his education is sufficiently complete until he can speak, read and write the English language. But the hon. member considers that the French language in this country is a danger to the state, and that so long as the French Canadians are allowed to cultivate their language they cannot be assimilated to the Anglo-Saxon element of our community. On this point the hon. gentleman has been well answered by several hon. members who mentioned different countries where two or three official languages exist, and which, notwithstanding that fact, are inhabited by a homogeneous people living together in a perfect political union. But the hon. gentleman seemed to cherish particularly the policy suggested by Lord Durham in his celebrated report on the cause of the troubles in 1837. It is said in that report that the cause of those troubles was not misgovermnent, but a feeling of hostility existing between the two races; and Lord Durham suggested as a remedy that the French language should be suppressed as an official language in Lower Canada. How long did that policy last? The right hon. gentleman at the head of the Government informed the House. the other night that it lasted but during the short period of three or four years, and that it was set aside at the request or the prayer of those who were most interested in the question, the Parliament of Canada, under the Union, in which there were as many English as French members. Now, supposing such a. policy were adopted to-day, how long do you think, Sir, it would last? No one could tell, but every one can see the disastrous consequences which would follow its adoption. Sir, the policy suggested by Lord Durham proved to be an unsound policy, and the wisdom of his advice was as disputable as the accuracy of some of the facts relatedin his report. To say that the cause of 929 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 930 the trouble in 1837 was an existing feeling of hostility between the two races is a misconception of the case. If such had been the cause of the troubles then, would we have seen among the leaders of the popular movement which then took place such good Englishmen as Wilfred Nelson, Robert Nelson, O'Callaghan, D. S. Brown, and others? No; the real cause of the trouble was well stated by the hon. the Minister of Public Works and by my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition. The Governor General surrounded by a clique of evil advisers—office holders—attempted to dictate to the Legislative Assembly in that Province. He went so far as to spend the public money without the assent of that Assembly, and in that unconstitutional course he was supported by the then Legislative Council, whose members, on account of their unpatriotic conduct, were branded by the appellation, which then became so popular, of "vieillards malfaisants," which may be translated by the term "mischievous old men." The report of Lord Durham, it is well known, was never considered in Lower Canada as an impartial document with regard to the French Canadians. The hon. member for North Simcoe has made an assertion from which I entirely dissent. He has said that the French Canadians are not a sympathetic people, that they are exclusive in their affections, that they do not sympathise with their English- speaking countrymen; and, in support of that proposition, he has quoted, from I do not know what obscure authority, an extract stating that the Irish Catholic and the French Canadian, although they profess the same religious faith— a circumstance which ought to create a bond of union and of mutual sympathy between them— are the bitterest enemies? If there was a time when a feeling of hostility existed between these two elements of our people it was when they were first brought face to face, and before they knew each other. But those days have long since gone by, and from the moment that those people began to know each other better, and to appreciate each other better, they have lived on terms of the best friendship, and, wherever they are seen living today in the same settlements, at least in the Province of Quebec, their relations are of the most cordial character. It is well known that their sons and daughters frequently intermarry. But, while I am on this point, let me indulge for a moment in reminiscences of the past, by referring to a solemn period of our history, when the French Canadians displayed towards their Irish brethern the feelings of the most devoted sympathy and benevolence. Men of my age, and older than I, in this House, can well remember that during the summer of 1847 we had an Irish immigration into the Province of Quebec. These immigrants were landed on our shores in the most destitute condition, the one-half of them suffering from that very contagious disease, typhoid fever. When they were landed in our harbors, a feeling of Stupefaction overcame the sympathies of our people for amoment. What were they to do? Were they to send back to the ocean that importation of death into their midst? Did not the supreme law of self- preservation seem to demand that? But suddenly the voice of those men who for nearly nineteen centuries have been repeating the words of the Gospel and preaching the divine teachings of charity was heard. Those immigrants are our brethren, ex claimed the French Canadian pastors; they must be received and they must be assisted. Immediately people of all classes rushed to the assistance of the poor destitute immigrants, and many of them were themselves stricken down by the dire contagion. Priests, Sisters of Charity, physicians, the mayor of a great city, and a number of other people fell victims to their devotedness, but the poor immigrants received the assistance which their destitute condition demanded. A large number were preserved to life, and those who died received in their last moments all the consolation that can be given by Christian benevolence. And those numerous children who, by the deaths of their parents, became orphans, what became of them? They were adopted by our citizens, who raised them as the members of their own families. It has been my good fortune to be acquainted with some of them, who, thanks to the education given them by their protectors, occupy to-day distinguished positions in our social life. Ah, the French Canadians are a sympathetic people, endowed with generous hearts and instincts, and magnanimous qualities. I regret the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) does not know them, for if he did know them as they are he would change his present attitude towards them, as he would soon find his own heart kindle with feelings of the warmest admiration for that noble people. The hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), in the two speeches he has delivered in this House since the beginning of the debate has referred each time to Mr. Mercier, and he seems to look upon Mr. Mercier as the founder in the near future of a French Canadian nation on the shores of the St. Lawrence. In order to justify his apprehensions in this regard he reports a few words which were stated to have fallen from the lips of Mr. Mercier in a speech which he pronounced at a banquet in the city of Quebec on the celebration of St. John's Day, the 24th June last. Mr. Mercier is reported to have appealed on that occasion to his countrymen, to have endeavored to induce them to give up the old party flags of rouge and bleu and to rally under the tricolor, which would lead this country to the brilliant destiny which it would reach in the future, or some words to that effect. To draw from these words an inference that Mr. Mercier intends that an independent French Canadian nation can be founded in the Province of Quebec is to give to these words a greater significance and a greater importance than they have. No serious man in the Province of Quebec would think of the realisation of such an idea, which he would consider as nothing but Utopian; and Mr. Mercier himself is too intelligent and too clever a man to have meant in pronouncing those words that a nation could be established in the Province of Quebec independent of the other Provinces of this Dominion, and independent of England. But we know that all men, on the occasion of the celebration of great festivals, are apt, more or less, in the course of a speech delivered at a dinner in answer to toasts, to give expression to some sentiment with no other purpose than to provoke applause, and I do not believe that the words which flowed from the lips of Mr. Mercier on that occasion have any other importance. The hon. member has spoken of the National party, and, in his second speech, looking at the French members sitting on this side of the 931 [COMMONS] 932 House, whom he called the band of Nationalists, he stated that he did not expect and did not want any sympathy from them. Well, that is a matter of mere personal inclination, and surely no man would be guilty of such folly as to expect from his fellow men more sympathy than he feels disposed to grant in return, and thereby inspire. But the hon. member seemed to think that this National party has been formed in opposition to the English speaking population of the Dominion. There is nothing of the kind. It is well known that Mr. Mercier, when in Opposition, led the Liberal party in the Quebec Legislature, and that, a short time before the elections of 1886, he made an alliance with a certain portion of the old Conservatives, who had repudiated their former leaders; but, as these gentlemen would not call themselves Liberals, they took the name of National Conservatives. Since Mr. Mercier has taken possession of power, as he had one wing of his party composed of Liberals and another wing composed of those who called themselves National Conservatives, they agreed to call the party in Quebec the National party. But that has no other significance or hearing. The hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) must not think that the old Liberal party in the Province of Quebec is dead. Our leader, our illustrious leader in this House, still calls himself a Liberal. I see my colleagues sitting around me, representing the Province of Quebec, who still call themselves Liberals. I see my old friend from the county of Vercheres (Mr. Geoffrion), who has been in Parliament for about twenty-five years, who has been a Minister of the Crown, and whostill continues to call himself a Liberal and not a Nationalist. Here is my venerable friend the member for St. Johns (Mr. Bourassa), who has passed thirty-six years in Parliament. What does he call himself? A Liberal. He was born a Liberal, he has lived a Liberal, and, depend upon it, he will die a Liberal. Your humble servant, after twenty-two years passed in this House, still continues, and intends to continue in the future, to call himself a Liberal. The old Liberal party in the Province of Quebec, as represented in this House, still exists, and you may be sure that it will not disappear from the sphere of action. Before I sit down I want to refer to a regret expressed by the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) in his first speech on this question. He said he regretted, or it was to be regretted, that England, after the cession, had adopted so liberal a policy towards the French Canadians; and, if another policy had been adopted, we would not have in this country the evils which he thought were created by the existence of two official languages. On this question he was well answered by my hon. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), who told him that if a different policy had been adopted this country would not have long remained a British colony. Sir, the liberal policy of England on that occasion conquered the hearts of the French Canadians, and in her days of trial they stood by her and remained faithful to their allegiance. Less than twenty years afterwards they resisted the seducing appeals of the American patriots and of General La Fayette to join in the great revolutionary movement for liberty and independence. In 1812 the same temptation was again held out to them, and again they resisted those allurements; they did more, they gallantly shed their blood on battle-fields for the honor of the British flag, and they clung to England with more than filial affection. Now, Sir, I ask, after these great deeds, what more could be done, what remains to be accomplished by French Canadians, to prove their loyalty, when I find that it is still suspected by such men as my hon. friend from North Norfolk? Mr. Speaker, let me say in conclusion, that, notwithstanding this passing storm, I do not despair of the future of my country. I have faith, I have confidence in the good sense, in the practical common sense, of the great majority of my English speaking fellow-countrymen. I have no doubt that when an opportunity is given they will rally together to defeat the nefarious designs of those who do not hesitate to swing the torch of discord in this country. Sir, since the different Provinces of this country have been brought into a federal union we have accomplished great things, upon which we look with a just feeling of pride. We will continue to work together, English Canadians as well as French Canadians, to promote the prosperity of our country, the welfare of our countrymen, endeavoring to deserve, at the same time, by our considerate action, the moderation of our views, and, if I may say so, the wisdom of our conduct, the blessings and gratitude of future generations.
Mr. DEWDNEY. I should not have attempted to rise at this late period of the debate did I not feel that, on account of my long experience in the Territories, and occupying, as I did, two of the most responsible positions in those Territories for some years, I might speak with some authority in reference to some portions of the matter which is now before this honorable House. As you are aware, I went to the North-West Territories in 1879 as Indian Commissioner. During that year I travelled through the length and breadth of the land, for the purpose of visiting the Indians who were under my special charge. When I arrived in the North-West Territories the Hon. Mr. Laird was then Governor of that country. At that time the North-West Council was composed of the stipendiary magistrates of the Territories, with one or two unofficial members who were appointed by the Governor. The meetings of Council in those days were held in the Government House at Battleford; the proceedings were of a very limited character. The Council sat for a few weeks, passed a few short ordinances, and then adjourned. For two or three years this continued, and year after year, as opportunity offered, the Government had the ordinances printed in French. In 1881, when I became Lieutenant Governor of that Province, the headquarters of the Government were removed to Regina. When I took charge of the administration of affairs the Council which met me was composed of the gentlemen I have just mentioned. Settlers were coming into the country, which was settling up from one end to the other, and although up to that time the population had been principally French, or people of French extraction, when I took charge the majority was already English, and I was able, almost at once, in accordance with the power which I had under the North-West Territory Act, to form electoral districts and to bring representative members into that Council. Up to 1885 the ordinances passed by the North-West Council had been printed by myself, and also by my predecessor, in French and 933 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 934 English. But, as you know, the moneys voted for the North-West government were voted in a lump sum, and as the country settled up it was necessary that public works should be constructed, and it was found necessary to use all the available money we could possibly get on the public works. Up to 1885, although the ordinances had been printed in French, there were virtually very few applications made to me or to my officers for copies of the French ordinances. In that or the subsequent year, on account of the demand made upon me for moneys for public works, I neglected to have those ordinances printed in French, but in 1887, when I found a demand was being made for those ordinances, and finding that I had not the money with which to have them printed, I came down to this honorable House and asked for a vote for the purpose of having them printed in French. This House voted the sum of $3,000 for that purpose. Let me here call the attention of the House to a remark which was made by the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Barron), where he stated that he was informed by Mr. Cayley, one of the members of the North-West Council, which is now the North-West Assembly, that while in 1883, I think he said, the cost of printing the North-West ordinances was only some $300, in 1887 it cost $1,000 for printing in French and $1,000 for translation. Well, Sir, Mr. Cayley was a member of my Council before it became a Legislative Assembly, and he ought to have known that the reason of the large expenditure of 1887 was that the money was voted in this House to print the ordinances which I neglected to have printed in 1885 and in 1886. I had in my hands a day or two ago a statement of the cost of printing those ordinances, and it corresponded with the statement made by the Minister of Public Works that since 1881 the average expense was $400 or $500 a year.
Mr. MCCARTHY. Could the hon. gentleman give the figures for the different years?
Mr. DEWDNEY. I have not that statement now with me. If I had it here, I could show the hon. member for North Simcoe that the large expenditure for translation and printing of the French ordinances from 1887 to 1889 was on account of my neglecting to publish them in 1884- 85. Not only did I publish the ordinances of those two years and those of the year in which the sum was voted, but I also thought it advisable to have the Journals of the House, which had never before been published in French, published from the first year of Mr. Laird's appointment as Lieutenant Governor up to the time I left the Territories. I believe they will prove interesting in the future, in the same way as the old Journals of Ontario and Quebec are interesting to me whenever I look over them. So when I left the Territories the whole of the ordinances up to that time were printed in French, and also the Journals of the House. I think I may claim to be able to speak with authority with respect to the sentiments of the people of that country in respect to this matter. During the ten years I lived in the North-West Territories I never, on one single occasion that I recollect, heard any objection to the printing of the ordinances in French, except an occasional remark that it would be as well if we spent the money on public works instead of on printing French ordinances, as the demand for those ordinances was very small. These observations were made at the time when farmers coming in from the north and south of the railway were often obliged to unload part of their loads, and go back for the part so left, before they could reach the railway. Every one, however, knows the difficulties experienced in a new country; but those were the only remarks I heard mentioned in regard to the printing of the French ordinances. I have also, since the gentlemen who constitute the present Legislative Assembly were returned, run an election myself. I have also travelled through the country, and as late as last year I travelled through it from one end to the other. I followed in the wake of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and I must say that from one end to the other there was no indication of any excitement on this question. Perhaps the House will permit me to give my opinion with respect to the population in the North-West to-day. One-third of the people in the Territories comprise Ontario farmers and Ontario settlers; the balance is made up of English or old country settlers, French, German and other nationalities. I think very likely among the Ontario settlers there may be some who fought this battle over before in their younger days, and have strong feelings on the subject; but I do not believe that feeling exists to any great extent among that class. The old country settlers rank next in number to those from Ontario, and I believe not seventy—five per cent. of them ever heard of the British North America Act, or of the Manitoba Act, and the bulk of them do not know of the clause in the North-West Territories Act providing that the ordinances and proceedings shall be printed in the two languages. But I can understand that interested parties, those who within the last few weeks have taken a great interest in this question and are engaged in getting up the petitions to send down to this House stating their views should go to those ignorant people, ignorant so far as this matter is concerned, and obtain their signatures to petitions asking that money should not be wasted on the printing of French ordinances, but should be spent on useful work in other directions. But, I believe, if I know what British fair play is and how Englishmen feel on such matters, that these same men, if they had heard the speech of my hon. colleague on Tuesday night, woul say: "This is a small matter; let the French have the records printed in their own language." With regard to the other nationalities, I may say there are a large number of Germans. On my visit last summer to Whitewood I was invited to meet a lot of settlers who had established themselves 16 miles north of that place. Many came out to meet me, and I found in two townships, Nos. 18 and 19 on Ranges 1, 2 and 3, the people were representatives of nine nationalities—Bohemians, Norwegians, Danes, Slavonians, Polish, Swedes, French and English. My opinion is that when we invite foreigners to come to our country we should endeavor to allow them, whether English, French, Germans or other nationalities, to have the laws under which they live printed in their own language, especially the school ordinances and laws of that character. I should like to say a word or two in regard to the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I can echo the sentiments expressed by the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. 935 [COMMONS] 936 Mitchell) in regard to that hon. gentleman. I believe he has taken up the work which he has now on hand from purely conscientious motives. I believe myself that he has done so on his own responsibility, and I, for one, think, as the hon. member for North Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell) thought, that any man who occupies the position he did when he took this stand is a man of whom his country should be proud. I do not agree with everything that hon. gentleman has said, I do not agree with the Bill he has introduced, but I believe he has taken this course from purely conscientious motives. If that hon, gentleman had the same ground to go over again I believe he would very likely have introduced his Bill without this preamble, which appears to have been unfortunate, and not in sympathy with the opinions of the majority of the members of this House. I believe also that if he had again to make the speech which he delivered in introducing this Bill he would be more moderate in his tone. But I do not believe that the hon. gentleman, as he stated himself, intended to hurt the feelings of any member of this House. I do think that the hon. gentleman spoke rather intemperately in his first speech, but no one can complain of the manner in which he responded to the venemous attacks made on him during the last five days of this debate. There are one or two remarks in the speech of the hon. member to which I would like to refer. He stated that the Lieutenant Governor of the North- West Territories in opening the session of the Legislative Assembly the year before last, made a mistake in that he read his speech in French, which had never been done before. If any one can give a reason why that speech was not previously read in French I am in a position to do it. As Lieutenant Governor I opened the Assembly for the seven years previous to that, and I can give him the reason why I did not read the speech in French. Unfortunately I was not able to read the French language sufficiently well to warrant me in doing so. If I had undertaken that task I have no doubt that my audience would not know whether I was speaking in Blackfoot, Cree, or French, and Ithought it better to leave it alone. In my opinion where the Lieutenant Governor made a mistake was, when last year he met his council and did not read his speech in French. The reason given by the member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) for this was that it had been reported that if the Lieutenant Governor attempted to read his speech in French members of the Assembly would have left the building. If I had been Lieutenant Governor at that time I would have read that speech in French if I had to read it to my clerk and to empty chairs. It was his duty to do so and a man should never neglect that. I know every one of the representatives of the North-West Assembly personally, and I can hardly believe there could be any foundation for that report. If the Lieutenant Governor had read his speech I do not believe there would have been any excitement, and if any members of the House left their seats for that reason they would not be fit to represent the people who sent them to the Legislature. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) also spoke of the Lieutenant Governor getting a translator to translate the ordinances which he states created some dissatisfaction. When I was Lieutenant Governor the clerk of my council was a French lawyer and he was able to do the translating himself, but when the present Government took office this gentleman was transferred to the Indian Department, and the present clerk, not being a very good French scholar, is unable to do the translation. Any gentleman who knows anything of the translation of French in connection with legal work knows that a man must have a legal mind and legal experience before he can make a fair translation of such documents. Therefore the Governor had to take up some man to do the translation for him. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) when he addressed the House the other evening referred to the spark which is liable to break out into a great blaze. The hon. gentleman might have gone a little further in his comparaison. If he had lived in a wooden, mossy country as I have, he would have seen that on many occasions when it was thought the fire was out a small spark still remained working gradually and surely under the surface and when fanned by a slight breeze breaks out again and creates a conflagration greater than the original one. What I want to see done in the present instance is some measure taken by this House which will extinguish the spark forever. I believe that the amendment proposed by my hon. colleague the Minister of Justice will effect that object and will be satisfactory to the people of the North-West. I am quite certain that what the people up there require is peace and prosperity. If they can raise their 25 bushels of wheat, their 70 bushels of oats and their 300 or 400 bushels of potatoes to the acre, they will be contented and happy. If this House can settle the question in the manner proposed by my hon. colleague I believe it will be satisfactory to the people of the North-West.
Mr. MASSON. At this late hour in the evening, and at this late stage of the debate, I would not take up the time of the House in speaking on this subject were it not that I consider it a question of very great importance, and were it not also for the fact that it has taken such a very wide and varied range. I consider it important, as a subject likely to affect the peace and the prosperity, yea, even the existence of this Dominion. It is true that the Act before the House is a very brief one, but it is also one that has a very wide scope. Especially is this Bill important when we consider it in connection with the preamble by which it is prefaced, and interpret that preamble by the speeches, made not only in this House but in different parts of the country during recess, by the hon. gentleman who has introduced the Bill. He says that the preamble does not mean what some hon. gentlemen say it does—a declaration that the French language should be obliterated, and that we should have only one language throughout the whole Dominion, in this House, and inall the Provinces of this Dominion; but if it does not mean that, I would ask, what does it mean? If it does not mean that, is it ambiguous? If it is ambiguous, read it in the light of the speeches made by the hon. gentleman during the recess, and we can find no ambiguity about it. The hon. gentleman in one of his speeches stated in emphatic words that he would not rest until the French language was stamped out. He admitted that he had great work in hand, but he said: "Let us begin with that which seems 937 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 938 most possible of accomplishment—let us deal with the dual languages in the North-West." With that declaration from the hon. gentleman, it is impossible for any person to put but one interpretation on the clause in the preamble regarding unity of language, namely, that it is expedient and his desire that it should be so, not only in the Territories of the North-West, but in the Dominion of Canada and in all the Provinces thereof. We might ask, if that is not the meaning of the preamble, why was it placed there? It has been whispered in the corridors that the hon. gentleman has stated that it was only introduced for the purpose of filling out the Bill and making it a little larger, as it looked too small without it. But I can hardly think that was the hon. gentleman's intention. If he wanted to extend the Bill and make it larger, he had many facts which he could have used in the preamble for the purpose. He could have stated that the North-West Territories Act had passed the House without the clause in question in it. and without any request to place it there; he might have stated that that clause was placed in the Bill by the Senate, and that when the Bill came back from the Senate, the Minister of the Interior, who had charge of the Bill, expressed regret that it was there; he might have quoted from the Hansard of that time the whole speech of the hon. Minister of the Interior; if he wished still further to swell his preamble, he might have placed in it the resolution of the North-West Council and the petition founded on that resolution. These would have been matters of fact, and fair material to put in the preamble. They would have had the effect of strengthening the hon. gentleman's hands and of assisting him in passing his Bill, instead of the effect which the preamble he has placed there is likely to have, namely, that of preventing its passing. The hon. gentleman says he is willing to abandon the preamble, after he has made a speech saying that he would not abandon the cause until he had attained his object. He said he would abandon it, after having made a speech introducing his Bill based entirely on that preamble. It is too late, however, for him now to say that he will abandon it. He says he will abandon it, not now, but after the Bill passes its secon dreading. He wishes the House to put itself in the false position of passing the preamble, which he said would amount to nothing, although I think it is generally admitted that passing the measure is endorsing its principle. The hon. member for North Victoria (Mr. Barron) referred to the expressions used by the hon. Minister of Justice in the debate on the Jesuit Estates Act last Session, in which he contended the hon. Minister had held an entirely different view with regard to the importance of a preamble. The views of the hon. member for Yorth Simcoe and the hon. member for North Victoria were certainly very different last Session from what they are this Session. They then laid great stress on the preamble, while they make little of it to-day; but it is impossible for those hon. gentlemen to suppose that this House will not take account of the great difference in the two cases. It may be very interesting to place on record the legal argument of the hon. member for North Victoria, that in a decision on the interpretation of a statute, the preamble has no weight or effect; but it is equally true that a preamble is often refer red to in explanation of a statute. But I can see, and I think every hon. gentleman in this House can see, a very great distinction between those two cases. In the one case the Government were asked to disallow a Bill because it had an offensive preamble, and the answer to that was that the Administration, in reviewing the Bill, had to consider its meaning and its consequences, and not statements contained in the preamble. In this case we are asked to enact a Bill containing a preamble, and in enacting that Bill we are enacting the principles set forth in that preamble. The preamble of that Bill is as much a resolution of this House as the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice or any other resolution formally put before us. Therefore, when this House is asked to pass that Bill to a second reading, we are asked to vote for the resolution contained in the preamble. That is an entirely different thing from the Administration dealing with a Bill which had been passed by a Local Legislature. I am not going to follow that part of the discussion any further, because I wish to be brief, and I am willing to admit at the outset what I think is admitted by a majority of this House, that it would have been better if the clause in question had not been inserted in the North-West Territories Act; but it was inserted, and a gift, a privilege, a right was given to the people of the North-West Territories by that enactment. Now, a gift once given, I hold, cannot be ruthlessly taken away; a gift once given remains in the donee until he chooses to relinquish it; and, therefore, those people, being granted this privilege, whether rightly or wrongly, wisely or unwisely, should be allowed to retain it until they voluntarily abandon it. Now, it has been said by some that this Parliament, having given the power, has certainly the right to take it away. That can only be done by treating the Parliament as paternal to the North-West Territories, and in that View I suppose, they would say that a father mighttake from his child the gift he had given him. He might give his child a toy, and then, when he found that child making too much noise with it, he might take it away from him. That right may be granted, but the gift, even such a one as that, is never taken back without a pang; and I do not think it would be wise, even if lawful, for us to take back a privilege of that kind which has been given. There are certain distinctions though which must be drawn. There may be things which should be taken back, and there may be things that we ought properly not to have given. The people in this case have been granted a privilege, and these people, I submit, should be consulted before this privilege is taken away. It is said, however, that they have already expressed themselves on this subject. Well, I think the remarks of the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) are conclusive on that point. I think that every legal mind must agree that his reasoning in that case was perfectly correct, that these members, not having been elected to deal with this subject, are not, as regards it, the constitutional mouthpiece of the people of the North- West. When they were elected there was no such cry before the people, and no such question at issue. They had received no such instruction whatever from the people on that subject, and, therefore, it cannot be contended that theirs was a proper representation of the people. But 939 [COMMONS] 940 one hon. gentleman says it would be dangerous to refer a question of this kind to the people, that it would be dangerous to go among them and freely discuss whether they should abandon the printing of their Journals and their debates in French; yet, in the same breath, that hon. gentleman has told us he was willing to refer to them the question of separate schools. He holds that it would be quite safe to discuss before the people the question of taking away their separate schools, but that it would be dangerous to go among them and discuss a question as simple as this. It is argued by some that this is a question affecting the rights of minorities, and that, therefore, this House should deal with it. Well, I think that a very great distinction lies as to what are the rights of minorities and what are not. Minorities have rights, it is true, but they must be limited, because if they are to be co-extensive with the majority, then the minorities would in all cases rule. The rights of a minority must be those important rights which belong to civilised people an are recognised by the laws of nations. They are the rights relating to civil and religious liberties, and the protection of life, liberty and property. These are matters in which the rights of a minority should be protected, and which this Parliament should keep under control. It is in accord with that principle that the amendment moved by the hon. the Minister of Justice proposes that this Parliament should continue to maintain power over the printing of the ordinances and over the courts of the country. But as to the other question of what language the debates should be conducted, the Journals of the House printed in, that is a question of pure expense and convenience which should be left, as the amendment proposes, to the people of the North-West Territories for decision so soon as they shall be heard from. I do not think that either the hon. member for North Simcoe or the hon. member for South Victoria, who are both lawyers, would object to a court of which the judge was either French or acquainted with the French, the jury French, and only acquainted with the French language, or some of them only acquainted with it, and the prisoner and witnesses only acquainted with that tongue, having its proceedings conducted in French. It would be highly inconvenient, and, perhaps, effect a miscarriage of justice if they were not. Therefore, I do not believe that any of the hon. gentlemen who support the measure of the hon. member for North Simcoe, looking at the question in that light, would say that there should be no French used in the courts in the North-West. Why, Sir, you might have all the parties from the judge to the prisoner, the jurymen, the witnesses and the prosecutor, acquainted only with French, or a portion of them not conversant with any other language. How could such a court be conducted solely in the English tongue? Could the prisoner in that case be sure that he was getting justice, since he could understand nothing that was being said? Could the evidence be thoroughly sifted and the witnesses thoroughly cross-examined, if the lawyers did not understand the language the witnesses spoke? the hon. member for North Victoria spoke of ordinances and statutes of the North-West Council. I understand there are no statutes, properly so called, in the North-West Territories, and I must suppose he referred to the statutes of Canada. Would any hon. gentleman contend that our statutes, which are circulated among our people for the purpose of educating the people as to what the law is, should be placed in the hands of magistrates and officers throughout the country printed only in the English language, which to many of them is an unknown tongue? How could these magistrates, how could the people learn them if published only in a language they did not understand? As to this question of the rights of the minority, I would say that in these matters, such as appertain to a court, where a man's life and property may be brought in question, it is right that this House should retain its protectorate, and in the other matters, such as the internal economy of the council it is only just that the council should deal with them just as soon as the people are consulted in the matter. But the hon. member for North Victoria said that this amendment amounted to a put off, that it was a promise to do to-morrow what we would not do to-day, and that when that to-morrow came it would not be carried out, or he insinuated as much by saying we knew what would be done. If I interpret the language of the resolution rightly, it implies nothing of the kind. It says in plain language that this House admits it to be expedient and proper, and not inconsistent with the covenants, that the Legislative Assembly of the North- West Territories should receive from the Parliament of Canada — not to-morrow, but now — the power to regulate, — to regulate when? — after the next general elections of the North-West Assembly, the proceedings of the Assembly and the manner or recording and publishing such proceedings. But the declaration is that they should not have that right after the next general elections, but now. I believe the objection taken by the hon. member for North Victoria is perfectly met by the language of the amendment. But the hon. member for North Simcoe claims for his measure that it is one which will promote national greatness. He says that the nation should be greater, and that he does not see how a nation could become great in which there were several official languages. He said that he had not stated that a nation could not be great under those circumstances, but that a a nation would become greater and more united if all the people spoke the one language. It does not follow, and the hon. gentleman admitted to-day that it did not follow, that a nation might not become united and loyal to their constitution and government because they used more than one language, and history does not assist him in setting forth that a nation would become greater if it spoke only one language. We have only to cast a rapid glance back on the nations of the past to find that they attained greatness where they spoke many languages, and that they attained their highest point of greatness while speaking many languages. It never happened that any great nation has lasted long enough to be reduced to one language only. Therefore history virtually rebuts the proposition that a nation may not become greater while speaking more than one language, because those nations of the past became great while speaking many languages, and it was only when, in some cases, in their greatness, they exerted paternal treatment of the conquered or annexed countries, these very forces became a weakness to the state and caused them to crumble and fall away. We 941 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 942 are told by the hon. the leader of the Opposition that there were those in the Province of Quebec who had a dream of establishng a French nationality on the banks of the St. Lawrence, but the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) informed the House—as is well-known—that in the Province of Ontario there are those who have a dream of a greater nation, a nation speaking the Anglo—Saxon tongue, not confined to the banks of the St. Lawrence or to any one country, but extending over the whole world. Such is no doubt the dream of many in the Province of Ontario, and elsewhere, that there may be a nation with a community of language extending from pole to pole. Such dreams may be indulged in without doing any particular harm to anybody. They may please the dreamer without hurting his neighbors. Such questions, however, I think are not for us to discuss here. Such questions should be left to Him who moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, and who, for His own wise purposes, has created different nations and given us different languages and taught us different creeds. In His hands I think we can leave the future which is certainly so far away, but for the present, let us each and all do what we can to maintain the patriotic sentiment of our people and to establish unity among the different classes of this Dominion, the different races and the different creeds, to establish peace, harmony and good fellowship; let us become a nation great, glorious and united—united not only by interest but by love; and then, Mr. Speaker, as long as the old St. Lawrence rolls his course unto the sea, so long shall Canada remain great, glorious and free.
Mr. DAVIES (P. E. I.) Had the resolution submitted by the Minister of Justice and introduced, as I understand, as the expression of the Government's views on this question, proposed what I considered to be a fair, and just, and final settlement of this question, it would have received my support and it would have received that support in silence; but, inasmuch as that resolution does not, in my opinion, offer to this House a fairly just and final settlement, I feel myself obliged to state in a few words wherein I differ from it, and the course I deem it proper to pursue. We have had a very lengthened debate and I am sure, after five days' debating, it is not to be expected or desired that any hon. gentleman should make a long speech. We have had the question viewed from an historical aspect, and from I do not know how many other aspects, but to my mind the importance of the question has not been minimised by the manner in which it has been treated on both sides of the House. At first it did not appear to be a matter of such wonderful importance, but it has been magnified by the press outside, and by hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House, until now, no doubt, it has assumed a position of national importance. I must frankly say that the House need not be ashamed of the debate. It has been maintained, on both sides of the House, at a higher standard than any debate I have listened to for many years in this Parliament. As to the historical aspect of this question, I will make only one remark. We have had learned gentlemen referring us to precedents in Europe in days gone by, and even in the present—to precedents in Austro-Hungary, in Switzerland, in Italy, in Spain, and in I do not know how many other countries. No doubt there are lessons to be derived from each and all of these countries, but I think it must have struck many hon. members of this House that there is very little application of the case of an old country such as Switzerland, made up of different nationalities, inheriting traditions of centuries— traditions of hatred, traditions of loyalty, traditions of language and traditions of religion—to a great lone land such as we have here unpeopled, and for which we have to legislate. It seems to me therefore that, although you may deduce certain lessons from the historical references that have been made to these countries, weare starting out as it were on a new plane altogether, and must determine this question which is before us on practical data which we can gather for ourselves from the circumstances and condition of the North-West Territories. We had from the hon. and learned gentleman who sits beside me—Mr. Mills (Bothwell)—the other night a speech replete with information, a speech in which he argued the question in a very calm and logical manner, enforced with a world and a wealth of illustration which was remarkable, a speech which was very concise and lucid, and which, I think, maintained the hon. gentleman in the high position which he has in this House as one of its most profound thinkers and most able debaters. But what was the conclusion which he drew? I think the conclusion was based on common sense, and it was that whether we should or should not have in this country one language or two or three languages was simply a matter of convenience. That was the practical conclusion which he drew, and I think it is a very fair and just conclusion. If that is admitted, the next question is, who is to determine the question of convenience? That is the stage which we have now reached. Is it to be the Parliament of Canada, composed of men from the Maritime Provinces, from the Province of Quebec and from British Columbia, more than half of whom, I venture to say, have never set foot in the North-West Territories at all, who know nothing of the wants and desires of the people there, or is it to be the people of the North-West themselves? I think any practical man would give an answer to that question in a very short time. The answer which I give to that question is the one which leads me to the conclusion to which I have come, and which I will support with my vote. In the first place, we have before us the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), which has been so much discussed. But I will say this frankly and fully, that divorced from its preamble, disassociated from the speeches of its introducer, both in this House and outside the House, disassociated, if you can disassociate it, from the crusade which he is charged with carrying on, that Bill would offer a solution of the question not very unfair. But it has two defects in my mind, and they are fatal defects. One is that no man, in my humble opinion, who has followed the course of events in this country for the past five or six months, who knows the promises and the pledges that that hon. gentleman gave to the public, who knows the circumstances under which he gave those promises and pledges, and who witnessed the introduction of that Bill, and heard the speech with which it was introduced ——no man, I say, can disassociate the enacting part of that Bill from its preamble or from the inter 943 [COMMONS] 944 pretation of that preamble which was given in the speech with which it was introduced. The Bill and the preamble must stand or fall together; and it is all nonsense for the hon. gentleman to come into this Chamber after five days of debate have taken place, after passions of creed and passions of race have been aroused, not only in this House but through the country, by his Bill and by his speech—for him to come into the House now and say: "I find I have made a mistake, and I am willing to withdraw the preamble if you will allow the Bill to go into the Committee and carry it." I venture to say that style of action will not commend itself to the common sense of the House. The hon. gentleman attempted to make the House believe that the meaning of that preamble had been magnified that the preamble did not mean that which a man of common sense would imply from its language. Well, Sir, I can put but one meaning upon it, and that is the meaning which, if I did not derive it from the Bill, I would certainly derive from the preamble when read in the light of the speech with which the hon. gentleman introduced his Bill. What does the preamble say?
"Whereas it is expedient in the interest of the national unity of the Dominion that there should be community of language among the people of Canada."
Well, Sir, does the hon. gentleman think this House is a debating club? Are we to put in our Bills more abstract propositions? The hon. gentleman is too old a parliamentarian not to know that when a proposition of that kind is placed in the preamble of a Bill it is placed there for the purpose of taking legislative action upon it, and when he places it there he places it as the key to the enacting part which is to follow; and to say that he asks Parliament to carry a mere abstract proposition on which legislation is not to be based, is merely to turn this House into a debating club. But, Sir, that was not the object of the hon. gentleman. His speech was plain, and although the closing speech which he delivered to this House has been commended so much, those who followed the hon. gentleman clearly could see that he pledged himself that the crusade which he had taken up, which was now beginning, was to take up the rest of his political life. He is now upon the threshold of the work which he is engaged in, and he is not going to stop by repealing section 110 of the Revised Statutes of Canada relating to the North- West Territories, but he is going to carry out that principle which he has enunciated in the preamble of his Bill, and, therefore, those who vote for his Bill to-night, who prefer that solution of the question, cannot divorce the preamble from it, and they cannot vote for the Bill divorced from the preamble and the speech made by the hon. gentleman who introduced it. But, Sir, the hon. gentleman talked as if in this House—and that language is re-echoed in very many parts of this country to the discredit of those who use it—he talks as if, in this House, hon. gentlemen are divided by race and creed distinctions; indeed, one would suppose that in the House of Commons of Canada, to listen to some hon. gentlemen here, and to listen to their organs in the public press, this House is divided by a broad line, French gentlemen on one side trying to carry out their opinions, and the English- speaking members being on the other endeavoring to enforce their opinions. Sir, I believe, in relation to this question of languages, that the social forces, the commercial forces, and the political forces which are at work in this Dominion, are slowly but surely—and none the less surely because slowly—working out to one end, so far as language is concerned, to make the English language in the future, the vehicle of communication in Parliament and outside Parliament. It is not by legislative enactments, it is not by preambles declaratory of intentions such as are expressed here, but by the impulse of natural forces, by necessity and convenience, that this great result will be achieved. What did we hear in the House the other day? We heard from the hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. Robillard) a confession, which was re-echoed from this side of the House, that every French gentleman in the country—such are the forces at work in this community—is convinced that he would not be doing justice to his children if he brought them up in ignorance of the English language and English literature. The fact is, as he told us, that the French boys of the present age are being educated in both languages, so that when they grow up they will be able to take their place, not only in the parliamentary arena, but in the commercial circles of the great commercial centres. Is there discord between races and creeds in this House? What sight do we behold in this Parliament to-night? We see one of the historical parties of Canada led by whom? Led by a French gentleman who was elected as leader of the great Liberal party—because he was a French Canadian? No; but because his ability and his experience, his tact and his urbanity, fitted him for that high position; and I will venture the assertion that the choice made by that party two or three years ago has been more than justified by the experience we have had of his leadership in the House. Sir, I will venture to say, although he is a French Canadian, that he enjoys the confidence of his followers to as large an extent as his distinguished predecessors did. We have every confidence in him, we know his breadth of view, we know that he is not animated by racial or creed antipathies, but that he desires to build up a nation in this country upon broad and generous grounds. Sir, I venture this further remark that, after two or three years' experience of his leadership, he not only enjoys the thorough confidence of those who follow him, but he has earned, and has deservedly earned, the respect of his political opponents. Well, we heard that hon. gentleman charged here the other night by the hon. member who introduced the Bill —and I know why he charged it, he charged it from the basest of motives—that that hon. gentleman was a party to certain treasonable language which was used down on the banks of the St. Lawrence, or language alleged to be treasonable, by the Premier of Quebec; and he charged that the leader of the Liberal party had sanctioned by his presence and by his silence, the use of that language. Sir, that was ignorance on the part of the hon. member, and it was unjust, also, because he knew, he could not help but know, that the hon. gentleman Who leads the Liberal party had not only taken occasion at the very time to rebuke the language, or to dissent from the language, or from some of the extreme expressions which were made use of on that occasion; but, afterwards,in the great city of Toronto, before an English speaking audience, he had read his disclaimer from the paper which printed it at 945 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 946 the time, and had then declared himself as true and as thoroughly a British Canadian as any man in Canada. Sir, I have this further to say, and I hope before this debate is closed that it will be proved conclusively that the language which it is alleged Mr. Mercier used on that occasion, has been foully and falsely misrepresented. I was shown to-night by an hon. gentleman who sits near me a correct transcript of that language, and I do not think it is right that an hon. gentleman holding the high position of Premier of one of the greater Provinces, should be held up to public scorn and contumely for having used language which he never used, and for having preached treason which he never preached, but when as a matter of fact the sentiments he uttered were not stronger than those embodied in the preamble of the resolution which the leader of the Government asks this House to endorse. The language which Mr. Mercier used on that occasion was as follows:—
"Whilst protesting our respect and our friendship, too, for the representatives of other races and other creeds, whilst declaring ourselves ever ready to grant to them their rights everywhere and at all times, on all occasions and in everything; whilst offering to divide with them as between brethren the immense territory and the enormous wealth which Providence has laid before us; whilst willing to live with them in perfect harmony under the shadow of the flag of England and the sceptre of a Queen loved of all, we solemnly declare that never shall we renounce the rights guaranteed to us by treaties, by laws and by the constitution.
"Treaties, law and constitution secure to us the right of remaining Catholic and French, and Catholic and French we will remain.
"Let us proclaim it ahigh and aloud, so that among our opponents there be no false hopes, so that in our own ranks there be. no weakness; the persecution of the first years of English domination succeeded not in crushing our fathers; no more shall the persecutions, which now threatens, succeed in crushing us, their descendants.
"We are now two millions and a half of French Canadians in America, proud of the past, strong in the present and confident of the future; we scorn and laugh at the threats of our enemies."
I see nothing in that language to condemn, there is no treason in it; there is nothing about building up a French nationality on the banks of the St. Lawrence.
Mr. RYKERT. What is the date of the speech?
Mr. DAVIES (P. E.I.) It is Mr. Mercier's speech, delivered before St. Jean Baptiste Society on 24th of June.
Mr. AMYOT. 24th of May, I was there.
Mr. MCNEILL. Where did the hon. gentleman get that report?
Mr. DAVIES (P. E.I.) I am told it was not an extempore but a carefully written speech, and one which was read from the manuscript. It is a copy from the manuscript I have read, and the hon. gentleman who sits behind me was present on the occasion, and so far as his memory serves those were the words used.
Mr. AMYOT. I was there myself, and it was the same speech.
Mr. DAVIES (P. E. I.) Let me pass from that point. None of the resolutions and amendments proposed commend themselves to my judgment so much as that submitted by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). It is short, and while it might perhaps be improved and made a little more definite in some of its phrases, it proceeds upon the correct lines. It proposes that this whole question should be relegated to the people of the North-West Territories, that they, at the next general election, should instruct their representatives how they should vote and act, and that the representatives of the people after being instructed by the people at the polls should decide for themselves what languages should be used in the House, in debate, in the votes and proceedings, in the ordinances and in the courts. That resolution proceeds upon broad, liberal lines. It commends itself to my mind, because it shows faith in the people, a desire to leave that which concerns those people, more immediately than our people, to the people of the North-West themselves, to the people who are the best judges. What do the people of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick know of this matter? I have never set my foot in the North-West, and I am not as competent as are gentlemen living there, to judge as to whether one, two, or three languages should be used. It is a question which they should determine; to them it should be relegated, and I never found yet, if you put full and ample trust in the people, that the people will fail you. The Liberal party have proclaimed time and again their belief in Provincial rights. But it is said there are no Provincial rights mixed up in this matter because there are no Provinces. That is a mere quibble. The basis underlying Provincial rights is the same whether the people belong to a Territory or belong to a Province. What is that basis? It is, that upon all matters of purely local concern the people more immediately affected should determine how the matters should be decided. It is the same principle either applied to a Province with full political rights or to the North-West Territories with partial political rights; the underlying principle is the same in both cases. It is said that the people have spoken, and that the North-West Council has already told this House what is the opinion of the people of the North-West. But that argument has been sufficiently answered. The North-West representatives were not elected to do more than legislate within the bounds of the constitution under which they were elected; they were not elected to change that constitution or to express to this Parliament the voice of the people with respect to any such change. The question never came before the people at the last election, and if I am correctly informed, not two, three or four, but six or seven representatives, when the question came before them, expressed a desire that the question should be relegated to the people, and that they should receive instructions from their constituents. This Dominion has had enough of forcing a change of constitution on Provinces by the action of the Legislature, irrespective of the people. It was done in Nova Scotia and you have an open sore there to this day. You have had a partially discontented Province, and why? Simply because the people, when their constitution was proposed to be taken away, had not an opportunity of declaring whether they wished that course to be followed or not. We should not try to repeat that experiment, even on a small scale. I desire to follow on the lines of the Liberal party, laid down here years and years ago; in all local matters to refer the questions to the people more immediately interested. I have never found that solution of the difficulty to fail; it has always proved equal to 947 [COMMONS] 948 the occasion. Provinces have been driven almost to revolt; there has been discontent in Ontario and in Quebec; but when you apply the principle of Provincial rights, when you allow the people to deal with their own local affairs as they please, the question is settled always in the way the people desire it to be settled. So it should be in the North-West Territories. They have an equal right to speak with the people of the older Provinces, and I, for one, will not be a party to taking away that right, which, if my own Province was interested, I would expect to have given to it. I believe if we apply the principles of provincial rights we are treading upon safe ground, upon ground we have travelled before, upon a well tried and beaten path which has always led us out of difficulties; but, if you abandon that, and take up some other ground and say that Parliament should deal with this subject, whether competent or not, or whether it possesses the requisite information or not, you are entering a sea of difficulties, from which I, at least, see no safe haven. The hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), who made an able and brilliant speech the other night, did not deal in many historical arguments, but he gave us two from modern history: the one with respect to the question of the use of the dual languages in Schleswig-Holstein, and the other with respect to their use in Poland, and he asked us to pay great respect to the recommendations of the English statesmen in those two cases. I have no doubt that any recommendation by English statesmen, experienced in matters of this kind, would carry great weight. Upon what lines did they go? Just on the lines that we are asking you shall go now: to leave it to the people to decide how many languages they shall have, or if they shall have but one. That was the proposition which the English Secretary of State made in his despatch with reference to the Schleswig-Holstein question and that was the same proposition which the great powers of Europe made with reference to the settlement of the language question in Poland. Therefore, if these great English precedents are to have any weight, if hon. gentlemen opposite, some of whom I have in my eye now who pay very great respect to the opinions and recommendations of English statesmen, will pay weight to these opinions I have referred to, they will vote for the resolution of the member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) and leave this matter to the people, who are best qualified to judge of it themselves. I wish to say a few words with reference to the amendment of the hon. the Minister of Justice. I am opposed to that amendment, as I stated in my opening remarks, upon the ground that it is a half-and-half measure, for it gives with one hand what it withholds with the other. By it you declare that you have a half belief in the right of the people to decide this question, but that you have not full confidence in them. It seems to me to be a hesitating, half-hearted Tory proposition. You say: "We will give them the power to determine whether their proceedings and speeches shall be in one or two languages, but, oh, we cannot trust the eople to decide as to whether their ordinances shal be published in one or two languages." That is all nonsense. Why withdraw from the people of the Territories the right to determine whether one, two or three languages shall be used? It may be that the Germans will go to those Territories in sufficient numbers to justify the Legislature of that country in determining that the ordinances shall be published in German. Should any objection be offered? Certainly not. I object to this amendment, because it leaves this question which has given rise to so much trouble, so much heartburning and so much turmoil in the same position as it is now, namely, on the Table of this House. If this amendment of the Minister of Justice is adopted the question will come up next year. You will have the same debate, and you will have more bitterness imported into it than now. We have had on this occasion the restraining influence which comes from the fact that the great leaders occupying the front benches on both sides of the House have united to give us wise counsel, to commend us to be prudent, to be cautious, to refrain from exciting language, and to remember that underlying this question there are others which may result in the disruption of the whole Dominion. The debate, so far, has been conducted with an abstinence from exciting language which is certainly commendable, but if you keep this question open, what guarantee have you that this commendable abstinence from violent language is going so be repeated next year? The hon. member for North Simcoe will doubtless bring up this question again next year, for he would be inconsistent in his course if he did not do so.
Mr. MCCARTHY. Hear, hear.
Mr. DAVIES (P.E.I.) The hon. gentleman will move next year that the right which was given to the people of the North-West with reference to their votes and proceedings, shall also be extended to their ordinances, and on what ground could you withhold it? I, for one, can see no logical or just reason for going half way in this matter. If we are going to trust the people let us trust them fully, and let us show them that we have confidence in them. The hon. Premier cited an instance from Ontario nearly one hundred years old, to show that the people of Ontario, United Empire Loyalists as they were, were not unworthy then to be trusted with the disposition of a matter similar to the one now before us. Did these people a hundred years ago act harshly or tyrannically? No. The First Minister showed that they acted in a broad and generous spirit, and that they published their ordinances and their debates in the languages which were understood by the two races of the people. Are their descendants to-day, who have gone to the North-West, less broad or less generous than their forefathers were a hundred years ago? Not at all, Sir. The precedent which the hon. gentleman has cited is directly against this half-hearted resolution, and if it is good for anything it is good to prove that the people of the North-West are as qualified to-day—nay, if we judge from the spread of education; if we can judge from the increase of toleration which has been going on among the people of North America for the last hundred years—they are more qualified to deal with this question in a broad, generous and free spirit than were their forefathers. I see nothing but procrastination, delay and danger, in this amendment of the Minister of Justice, and I oppose it upon the ground that I do not believe it will give satisfaction to the people more immediately interested, or will work effectively or justly if carried into law.
949 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 950
Mr. LANGELIER (Montmorency.) (Translation). I do not desire to detain the House very long, Mr. Speaker; nor have I the pretention that I have anything very new in the shape of argument to offer upon the important question which concerns us at the present moment. Nevertheless, the speeches delivered by the member for North Simcoe contain assertions so unjust, so destitute of foundation, that I wish to arraign some of them. What is the object of the Bill of the member for Simcoe? Is it the interest of the public which urges him on? Is it really a sincere desire to consolidate the Canadian nationality in the Dominion? I answer emphatically, no. His sole object is to continue to excite the various races which inhabit this country, the one against the other; his sole end is to enflame religious prejudice, and to build for himself a small political party on the ruins which he shall have made, to the injury of political peace and religious tolerance in Canada. His Bill, I say, is an outrageous provocation to the French of this country. Last year, it was the Catholic sensibility which the member for North Sinicoe wished to wound with the Jesuit question; this time it is the French nationality which he attacks, wounding in this way the two strongest and most sensitive feelings which exist in any nation proud and courageous. For months and months the member for North Simcoe and the press at his command have not ceased to insult and vilify us. Have you seen any agitation in the Province of Quebec? No. Have you seen any tumultuous meetings gathered together in order to protest again these insults? No. Have you seen brought into this House any petitions asking for the rejection of this Bill? None whatever. Why so? It is because, in spite of what they think in certain quarters, we understand constitutional rule. We have remained calm,—confiding in the justice of this House; and this justice will be meted out to us. In a few moments this anti-French Bill of the member for North Simcoe will be crushed by the same humiliating majority which crushed out his motion against the Jesuits. In face of this display of narrow fanaticism, I ask whether we of French origin have done anything to justify it? I think not. Our history is there, to show on the contrary our spirit of tolerance, our spirit of friendliness. I asked a moment ago: Have we provoked our fellow Citizens of English origin? No. I shall quote to this House an eloquent witness to our spirit of tolerance,—and this evidence has fallen from the lips of a qualified man, from the lips of an English Conservative who played a no mean part in this country and who died a baronet in England; I mean Sir John Rose. What did this politician say, during the debates on Confederation? I shall allow him to speak for himself:
"It is a very grave and anxious question for us to consider —especially the minorities in Lower Canada—how far our mutual rights and interests are respected and guarded, the one m the General and the other in the Local Legislature. With reference to this subject, I think that I, and those with whom I have acted—the English-speaking members from Lower Canada—may in some degree congratulate ourselves at having brought about a state of feeling between the two races in this section of the rovmce which has produced some good effect. There has been ever since the time of the union, am happy to say—and every body knows it who as any experience in Lower Canada—a cordial understanding and friendly feeling between the two nationalities, which has produced the happiest results. Belonging to different races and professing a different faith, we live near each other: we do not trench upon the rights of each other; we have not had those party and religious differences which two races, speaking different languages and holding different religious beliefs might be supposed to have had: and it is a matter of sincere gratification to us, I say, that this state of things has existed and is now found amongst us. But if, instead of this mutual confidence; if, instead of the English-speaking minority placing trust in the French majority in the Local Legislature, and the French minority placing the same trust in the English majority in the General Legislature, no such feeling existed, how could this scheme of Confederation be made to work successfully? I think that it cannot be denied that there is the utmost confidence on both sides; I feel assured that our confidence in the majority in the Local Government will not be misplaced, and I earnestly trust that the confidence they repose in us in the General Legislature will not be abused. I hope that this mutual yielding of confidence will make us both act in a high-minded and sensitive manner when the rights of either side are called in question—if ever they should be called in question—in the respective Legislatures. This is an era in the history of both races—the earnest plighting of each other's faith as they embrace this scheme. It is remarkable that both should place such entire confidence in one another: and in future ages our posterity on both sides will be able to point with pride to the period when the two races had such reliance, the one on the other, as that each was willing to trust its safety and interest to the honor ofthc other. This mutual confidence has not been brought about by any ephemeral or spasmodic desire for change on the part of either; it is the result of the knowledge each race possesses of the character of the other. It is because we have learned to respect each other's motives and have been made to feel by experience that neither must be aggressive, and that. the interests of the one are safe in the keeping of the other * * * A feeling of distrust between the French and English races in the community would have rendered even the fair consideration of the scheme of union impracticable. Would the French have, in that case, been now ready to trust themselves in the General Legislature, or the English in the Local Legislature, of Lower Canada? No; and I pray God that this mutual confidence between the two races which have so high and noble a work to do on this continent, who are menaced by a common danger, and actuated by a common interest, may continue for all time to come; I pray that it may not be interrupted or destroyed by any act of either party; and I trust that each may continue to feel assured that if at any time hereafter circumstances should arise, calculated to infringe upon the rights of either, it will be sufficient to say, in order to revent any aggression of this kind: 'We trusted each other when we entered this union; we felt then that our rights would be sacred with you: and our honor and good faith and integrity are involved in and pledged to the maintenance of them.' I believe this is an era in our history in which in after ages our children may appeal with pride, and that if there should be any intention on either side to aggress upon the other, the recollection that each trusted to the honor of the other will prevent that intention from being carried out. Feeling as I do thus strongly that our French fellow-subjects are placing entire confidence in us, in our honor and our good faith, we the English-speaking population of Lower Canada, ought not to be behind hand in placing confidence in them. I feel that we have no reason as a minority to fear aggressions on the part of the majority. We feel that in the past we have an earnest of what we may reasonably expect the future relations between the two races to be. But although this feeling of mutual confidence may be strong enough in our breasts at this time, I am glad to see that my hon. friend the Attorney General East, as representing the French majority in Lower Canada, and the Minister of Finance as representing the English- speaking minority, have each carefully and prudently endeavored to place as fundamental conditions in this basis of union such safeguards and protection as the two races may respectively rely upon."
On the same occasion the hon. gentleman said further:
"We the English Protestant minority of Lower Canada cannot forget that whatever right of separate education we have was accorded to us in the most unrestricted way before the union of the Provinces, when we were in the minority and entirely in the hands of the French population. We cannot forget that in no way was there any attempt to prevent us educating our children in the manner we saw fit and deemed best; and I would be untrue to what is just if I forgot to state that the dis 951 [COMMONS] 952 tribution of State funds for educational purposes was made in such a way as to cause no complaint on the part of the minority. I believe we have always had our fair share of the public grants in so far as the rench element could control them, and not only the liberty, but every facility for the establishment of separate dissentient schools wherever they were deemed desirable. A single person has the right, under the law, of establishing a dissentient school and obtaining a fair share of the educational grant, if he can gather together fifteen children who desire instruction in it. Now we cannot forget that in the past this liberality has been shown to us, and that whatever we desired of the French majority in respect to education they were, if it was at all reasonable, willing to concede. We have thus in this, also, the guarantee of the past that nothing will be done in the future unduly to interfere with our rights and interests as regards education, and I believe that everything that we desire will be as freely given by the Local Legislature as it was before the union of the Canadas."
This is the handsome eulogium of the tolerance of the French Canadians, made by an Englishman who had passed his life in their midst. And today as a reward for our justice towards the English minority, behold an Englishman, a distinguished member of this House, comes and asks us to deprive of their language the French minority in the Territories of the North-West. I appeal on its behalf to the sentiment of justice in this House whose most noble prerogative is the protection of the weak. Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to answer some of the assertions made by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) in the last speech he has made in support of the Bill. This hon. member looks as if he believed that the Protestants are frightfully maltreated in the Province of Quebec— that we render their existence very bitter. Let us settle at once this point. There are in our Province 188,309 Protestants and 1,170,718 Roman Catholics according to the census of 1881. The Protestants, therefore, only represent 13 per cent., or one-seventh of the total population of our Province. They are only in the majority in the Counties of Compton, Stanstead, Brome, Missisquoi, Huntingdon and Argenteuil. Nevertheless, they have ten representatives. In these six counties the Protestants have only a majority of 2,136 and are in the minority in Sherbrooke, Montreal West, Pontiac and Megantic, so that they would have a right only to six members instead of ten, if they were excluded from representation in those counties where they are in the minority. I may also add that, since Confederation, several counties, whose population is wholly Catholic, have elected English Protestant members. I can mention the following names: Mr. Clarence Hamilton was elected in the County of Bonaventure; Mr. W. Price, for Chicoutimi and Saguenay; the Hon. Mr. Joly for Lotbiniere; Mr. Heinming and Mr. Watts, for Drummond and Arthabaska; the Hon. Mr. Church for the County of Ottawa; the Hon. Mr. Wurtele for the County of Yamaska; the Hon. D. A. Ross for the County of Quebec; and Mr. Pozer for Beauce. This shows that the French- Canadians are not prejudiced in the matter of their representatives. It is the same thing in the Legislative Council, which is composed of 24 members. According to population, the Protestants, only forming one-seventh of the Province, would only have a right to but three Legislative Councillors out of the twenty-four, but notwithstanding, they have five, that is to say, one-fifth. But there is more to say. In the five divisions represented by Protestants the majority is Roman Catholic. The Protestants are only as 34 to 100 of the population. In 1878, we had, in the person of Mr. Joly, a Protestant, as First Minister. The Hon. Mr. Joly is a man among the Protestants who occupies the best position in the Province of Quebec. Was there ever complaint made that a Protestant was at the head of affairs in the Province of Quebec? No, Mr. Speaker; but the English Tories endeavored to excite the national prejudices of the French Canadians, by throwing into their teeth the sneer that they had a Protestant at the head of the Government. Now, turning to the school question, let us see in what manner Protestants are treated in the Province of Quebec. I will not give my own opinion, but I am going to quote an opinion which will not be gainsaid by any one. It is that of the Rev. Mr. Rexford, the secretary of the Protestant section of the Council of Public Instruction in the Province of Quebec. In the course of last summer in the Province of Ontario they carried on an anti-French and an anti—Catholic campaign. At this juncture, they represented the Government of the Province of Quebec as a Government which wished to drive out all the Englishmen from the country. The leader of the Government addressed a letter to the Rev. Mr. Rexford, in which he asked him for certain imformation respecting Protestant public education in the Province of Quebec. Mr. Rexford answered by the following letter dated the 4th of July, 1889:—
"QUEBEC, 4th July, 1889.
"To the Honorable the First Minister of the Province of Quebec:
"DEAR SIR,—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th June last, containing questions reSpecting the Protestant schools of the Province of Quebec, and I take the liberty of submitting the following declarations to serve as answers to these questions:—
"First question—What is the condition of the Protestant se arate schools in the Province of Quebec?
"Answer—The Protestant schools of the Province of Quebec are either schools controlled, by the minority of the ratepayers of the municipality in which they are situated, under the control of five school commissmners; or they are dissentient schools belonging to the minority of a municipality, under the control of three school trustees. ere are in the Provmce 916 of these elementary schools, thirty-eight, model schools, and nineteen academies, forming a total of nearly 1,000 schools attended by 34.440 scholars. These schools, in a number of cases, suffer somewhat from the density of the dissentient element on which their support depends; but they enjoy all the rights and privileges of the schools belonging to the majority of the inhabitants of the Province as regards school regulations, class books, the course of studies, and the capacity of the teachers; in the last connection they are perhaps slightly more favored than some of the schools belonging to the majority of the people of the Province. It is a fact that the Protestant Committee, having a smaller number of schools under its control, is in a condition to take, when matters make it necessary, measures to improve the condition of the Protestant schools, before similar measures can be adopted with regard to the Roman Catholic schools of the Province."
"Second question—Please give me an abbreviated statement of the law bearing on this subject, and upon the rights given to the Protestants to support separate schools in our Province.  
"Answer—For school purposes, the Province is divided into sections. called school municipalities. The schools of these municipalities are under the direction of five commissioners elected by the ratepayers. If the majority of the inhabitants of the municipality are Protestant, the schools of the municipality are conducted comformably to the regulations issued by the Protestant Committee, respecting the course of study class-books, teachers, &c. When the Protestants form the minority in the municipality and they are not satisfied with the government of the schools, they have the right to record their dissent, and to notify the school commissioners that they are either in whole or in art dissentients. They then elect three trustees, evoted to the govern 953 [February 20, 1890] 954 ment of their dissentient schools. These dissentient schools enjoy all the rights and privileges of the schools of the majority of the inhabitants of the municipality save in this one point, that the dissentient trustees cannot levy school taxes upon duly incorporated companies. This power belongs to the school commissioners of each municipality, who are bound to place in the hands of the trustees a portion of the taxes levied on the companies legally constituted as corporations, in proportion to the number of scholars attending their respective schools. In other respects, the dissentient trustees have the same powers as the school commissioners in all that respects the schools placed under their control. If the dissentients of a municipality are too weak in numbers to support a school they can unite with a neighboring municipality of their own religious belief, with the object of supporting these schools. Every head of a family residing in a municipality not provided with a dissentient school, may (1) if he belongs to the minority,   (2) if he has children of an age to attend school and (3) if he lives within three miles of a school of his own religious faith situated in another municipality, pay his taxes towards the support of this school, and send his children there.  
"Any person belonging to the religious minority may, at any time whatsoever, become a dissentient by giving the prescribed notices, but he is subject to the payment oi the ordinary taxes imposed by the school commissioners for the current year and having reference to the existing debts of the school corporation. In every case, on the formation of a new municipality, if the notice of the dissentients is given within the month followmg the erection of the municipality, the dissentients are not subject to the taxes imposed by the school commissioners.
"When, in the municipality, the minority is a dis,sentient one it has a right to a portion of the property of the school corporation from which it is dissentient. This portion is determined pro rata according to the value of the taxable property represented by the dissentients. The Protestant Schools, dissentient or under the control of school commissioners, are placed under the superintendence of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction, at the present time composed of ten members appointed by the Government, of five members appointed by the committee, and of one member elected by the Provincial Association of Protestant School Teachers. This committee has the power of making regulations respecting Protestant schools, normal schools, boards of examiners, school inspectors, class-books, as well as all matters respecting the organisation, the government and the discipline of Protestant schools, and the classification of schools and teachers. The McGill normal school educates, under the control of regulations made by this committee, the teachers for the non-Catholic portion of the Province.
"The central board of Protestant examiners, acting in accordance with the regulations of the committee, has alone the power of issuing certificates to act as teacher in the Protestant schools. Five regular inspectors and three special inspectors, appointed on a recommendation of the Protestant committee, perform the duty of inspection as regards the Protestant schools of the Province.
"Third question.—Please tell me the number of Protestant separate schools that there are in this Province and the sum of money which they receive from the Government?
"Answer:—1st. There are about one thousand separate Protestant schools in the Province; 2nd. The subsidy granted by the Government for elementary instruction is $160,000.   This sum is distributed among the school municipalities of the Province, in proportion to their total population, as ascertained at the last census. In each municipality where there are dissentient schools in charge of trustees the portion of the grant coming to the municipality is divided between the school commissioners and dissentient trustees in proportion to the number of children attending their respective schools. As this grant is, in the first place, divided according to the total population, and then, where there exist dissentient schools, on account of the variable assistance given to the school, it is impossible to state the exact amount of the grant received by the Protestant schools. Nevertheless, it is evident that approximately these schools receive in proportion to the population, say about one-seventh of the whole grant.
"Fourth question—Can you give me the number of the Protestant English-speaking population of the Province?
"Answer.—I have not the means of ascertaining the number of the Protestant English-speaking population of the Province,— distinguishing it from the Protestant population speaking other languages. According to the last census there were in the Province:
Roman Catholics.................... 1, 170, 718
Protestants................................... 183, 900
No Religion.................................... 4, 319
Total............................ 1, 358, 937
"I have the honor to be, dear Sir,
"Your obedient servant,
"Secretary of the Department of Public Instruction."
Well, you see with what liberality the Protestant minority is treated in the Province of Quebec. It is of little consequence whether it be English or Protestant, it is treated with the liberality and justice which are due to minorities. There is another question which we know agitates the hon. member for North Simcoe. It is the question respecting the Jesuit Estates. This question has come again to be threshed out before this House. Complaint is made of the famous preamble of the Bill respecting which so much noise was made last year. I shall not quote, in reply to what has been said, any other authority than that of a Protestant who occupies one of the highest positions in our Province, and who is looked upon with the greatest respect by the Protestants of the Province of Quebec. I mean the Hon. Mr. Joly. This is what he said on this matter in a letter addressed to the Montreal Witness on the 7th of January last:
"The Jesuit Estates Act has become the signal for a strong agitation throughout the Dominion. Men who for so many years lived together in confidence and friendship, in spite of the differences of origin and creed, have now become suspicious the one of the other and are gradually separating more and more. * * Every effort ought to be brought to bear in order to preserve this time-honored sentiment of confidence and mutual tolerance, which has allowed us, Canadians as we are, English and French, Roman Catholics and Protestants, to live happily and in peace, side by side, in days when there is but little peace in the world. Such efforts deserve to be supported by all men endued with good will. * * If I had been a member of the Legislature at the time, and the name of the Pope and his consent might have been omitted, I would have insisted in placing them in the Bill before allowing it to be adopted.
"* * * At first sight, a great portion of the preamble of the Bill appears to be out of place and subject to objections or superfluous: but after re-examination the attentive reader, especially if he is possessed of some legal knowledge, will be struck with the display of minute precautions which have been taken to obtain on behalf of the Province, a final and non-appealable judgment."
This is how, Mr. Speaker, a Protestant holding the position which Mr. Joly does, appreciates the preamble of the Bill respecting the Jesuit Estates, which has been so severely criticised in this House. Another assertion on the part of the hon. member which has astonished me, is that which he has made when alleging that La Vérité is the organ of the Quebec Government. He appears to me to be a close reader of this journal, because he constantly quotes it in his speeches. Probably because he takes delight in it and reads it on Sunday in order to keep holy the Sabbath day. I protest, Mr. Speaker, against the statement of the hon. member. One must be a complete stranger to what is going on in the Province of Quebec to make such an assertion. La Vérité is not the organ of any political party; not more the organ of the Conservative party; not more the organ of the hon. Ministers who are sitting on the Treasury benches, than the organ of the Quebec Government. And, Mr. Speaker, I do not desire any other proof of this than an article in this journal published on the 26th October, 1889. This is what La Vérité said:
"We have never abandoned the Conservative leaders, for the excellent reason that we never marched under 955 [COMMONS] 956 their banner; for the same reason that we do not follow Mr. Mercier to-day. From the first day of its publication, La Vérité has always been, what it is now, and what it will be so long as we have the control of it, a journal absolutely independent of party politics."
We see by this article how very unjust was the statement of the hon. member in wishing to excite prejudices in the Province of Quebec, by making it believed that this newspaper reflected the opinion of the great majority of a population of the Province of Quebec, and that it reflected above all, the opinion of the Government of Quebec. And, finally, La Minerve addressing itself to La Vérité asked it several questions with regard to the Government of Quebec. And what did Mr. Tardivel answer in his journal? He said that he accepted Mr. Mercier as the lesser evil. He paid us the compliment of saying that we were worth more than our adversaries,—which is, by the way, but a poor compliment. I can cite, Mr. Speaker, a more recent example of the liberality of Mr. Mercier towards the Protestant minority of the Province of Quebec, No further back than fifteen days, a representative in the Legislature of Quebec, Mr. Hall, presented a Bill on the subject of university degrees. This Bill could only have passed the Assembly and the Council through the grace and influence of the head of the Executive of Quebec. I shall quote touching the estimation in which the Hon. Mr. Mercier is held; a newspaper which I am convinced the hon. member for North Simcoe should read as attentively as La Vérité, and whose statements he cannot doubt. This is what the Mail said three or four days ago:
"The Mail is not often able to commend Mr. Mercier's political acts, but it would be domg him an injustice if it failed to congratulate him upon the course which he has taken with regard to Mr. Hall's B. A. Bill, which has now passed both Houses of the Quebec Legislature. He made a vigorous speech in support of it in the Assembly, and exercised his great powers in the Council in order to secure its passage there. He deserves credit, therefore, for thus assisting in the removal of one of the disabilities under which the Protestant minority in Quebec has long been laboring. * * It is not difficult understand the intense satisfaction with which the friends of Protestant education in Quebec regard the removal of a disability which has weighed heavdy upon them for many years. "
I am now going to cite, with regard to this Bill, what La Vérité, so often quoted by the hon. member from North Simcoe, has said. These are the reproaches which that newspaper cast upon the leader of the Government in connection with the adoption of this measure, of date the 8th instant:
"And at the time of the third reading had it not been for the scandalous intervention of the First Minister in favor of the Bill, the majority of the members would have rejected this exceptional legislation. We say scandalous intervention.
"In fact, contrary to all parliamentary usage, Mr. Mercier quitted his seat, while the members were entering the House in order to vote, and ran about the hall of meeting, openly bringing to bear the weight of his influence as leader of the party, upon certain Liberals well known on accountof their hostility to the Bill. This was an unseemly act which the Speaker of the House did not prevent, as he might have done and ought to have done."
This is the manner in which the newspaper, which the hon. member of North Simcoe says represents the opinions of the Government of Quebec, treats the leader of this Government. I trust that in the future the hon. member will give himself the trouble to read other newspapers in the Province of Quebec, in order the better to inform himself about what is passing there. For along time past this hon. member, and those other members of his own kidney, have taken a. consi derable interest in our affairs. The proper mode of making himself well informed in all that respects us would be to read trustworthy journals, like the Electeur for example, which is perfectly up to the mark in the affairs of the Province, and La Justice, in whose columns my hon. friend the member for Bellechasse (Mr. Amyot) often writes. He would obtain through these newspapers all the information possible respecting our affairs. Another of our crimes, Mr. Speaker, is the case of Miss Maybee. It would seem that, eminently respectable as this young woman is, she has made herself latterly much talked about. It has been sought to make it believed that the objections against the appointment of Miss Maybee, to the post office at Quebec, were owing to the fact that she came from the Province of Ontario and that she was a Protestant. I say that this is entirely false. In this connection I will quote what has been said by a Conservative newspaper in Quebec, the Evènement. This is how this journal looks upon this appointment:
"As the business of this lady will be merely to work a small caligraphic machine, in the post office, we do not see why they go so far to look for an employé when they could easily have found one in our own city. It is not to our knowledge, and not to the knowledge of any one, that in any public office in the Province of Ontario did they dream of bringing from Quebec or Montreal a French Canadian woman to fill any employment whatsoever. Are we bound to be more generous, more complaisant than our neighbors. especially when we possess already persons who are fitted to do the work required in the present case?"
Well, I must say this to the hon. member: The gallantry of Frenchmen is proverbial; and certainly there is nobody among us who would not have been delighted to keep within our walls this Miss Maybee, who, by the way, they say is very pretty, as are, moreover, all English ladies. If my hon. friend, the member for North Simcoe, would visit our Province he would discover that the English and the French Canadians live on the best possible terms; he would see that in many cases Englishmen marry French Canadian women and that French Canadian men marry English women. If one may judge by the fruit of their affections, it is certain that they make good matches, for it does not appear that, either on the one side or the other, they are disposed to break the bonds of union. In order to conceal somewhat the sentiment which overrules him—and this sentiment is nothing else but fanaticism—the member for North Simcoe tells us that it is necessary that the nation should speak but one language, if it wishes to become homogeneous. He has quoted, to this effect, several extracts from newspapers in Ontario and elsewhere. I will quote for him a work which, I think, possesses fully as much authority as these newspapers. This is what on this point the great dictionary, of Larousse says at the word "nationality":
"NATIONALITY: And in the first place what is a nationality? What is it which gives it its character? What is it that makes a nation? Is it the community of origin and race? By no means for there is no people which has not been more or less mixed during the course of ages with foreign elements, and there is no race which is not sub-divided into several nationalities. Is it unity of language? Community of language is one of the greatest characteristics of a nation; but it is not alone sufficient to stamp it, because a nation perfectly united and homogeneous may include populations speaking different languages. Can it be said, for example, that Brittany, Provence and Alsace at the present time separated from us, do not belong to the French nationality, cause they Speak in those countries languages which are not those of 957 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 958 Touraine and the Isle de France? If this point of view is taken it must be affirmed that Alsace ought not to be French but German."
But the hon. member will perhaps say: You quote in this connection French authorities, but in my eyes these authorities have hardly any value. Well, I will quote for him other authorities, which have much more weight than the newspapers which he has read to this House. I will read to him the words of a Governor who has left behind him a very great popularity among us, and who has gone to gather in the Indies, and whereever the English Crown may send him, new laurels. I refer to Lord Dufferin. This is what he said about the French Canadians:
"At this moment the French Canadian race, to which you belong, is engaged in a generous rivalry with your fellow-subjects of English origin,the end of which is to see which of the two will contribute most to the moral, material, and political advancement, as well as to the prosperity of the country. There is not one student, man of business or of science, politician, or writer, of either origin, who does not feel himself inspired by this noble emulation. The issue of this conflict depends on the success of your efforts, on the efficiency of your discipline and of you education upon the character of the moral, and intellectual atmosphere which you create in this region."
These words were spoken in reply to any address, which was presented to him by Laval University in Quebec. On another occasion the same noble Lord expressed himself as follows:—
"I think that Canada should esteem itself happy in owing its prosperity to the mixture of several races. The action and the reaction of several national idiosyncrasies, the one upon the other, give to our society a freshness, a coloring, an elasticity, a vigor, which without them would be wanting to it. The statesman who would seek to obliterate these distinctive characteristics would be truly badly advised.
"Whatever it may be elsewhere, the French race in Canada has learned to appreciate the advantages of moderation, this golden rule of societies, and the necessity of arriving at practical results by sacrificing the demands of a too inexorable logic, and by settling grave difficulties by generous compromises."
There is something more yet. If we go further back still in the political history of our country, we find that those who made the Constitution, which governs us since we have been under British rule, have always taken scrupulous care not to wound the prejudices, or the national or religious susceptibilities of the various peoples who inhabit Canada. I have taken the pains to read the debates which took place in England when they gave us the Constitution of 1774. Immediately after this Constitution was given us, a Constitution by which they took away the trial by jury and the writ of habeas corpus; a petition was siged at Quebec, addressed to Her Majesty, asking for the restitution to the citizens of Canada, of the trial by jury and the writ of habeas corpus. Very interesting debates took place in the English House of Commons, at this period, and we find in the Parliamentary History, in volume 18, what follows. It is Sir Robert Smith, a member of the House of Commons, who is speaking:
"Whoever reflects upon the excellencies of the British laws, whoever considers them in theory, or sees the daily advantages of them in practice, whoever justly admires them for their peculiar lenity, moderation, equity, and impartiality, would wish to see them extended over the whole face of the British Empire; but if there are local and circumstantial reasons, arising from the national character of the people, their language, customs, usages, institutions, and I will even add their prejudices, which in this case ought to be consulted, and not only consulted but, in some measure, indulged; but if there are reasons arising from these various Circumstances, that make it impossible for the English laws to be adopted in their original purity, I will venture to affirm, that a legislator is not only justified but that it is an essential part of his duty, so to alter and modify these laws as may best adapt them to the peculiar genius and temper of the people, so as to become the best rule of civl conduct possible, and the best calculated to promote their general happiness. It was ever the maxim of the greatest legislators of antiquity, to consult the manners and dispositions of the people, and the degrees of improvement they had then received, and to frame such a system of laws as was best suited to their then immediate situation."
Such were, at this epoch, the precautions taken in order not to wound the religious sentiments and the national sentiments of the various races which then peopled Canada. When the English Parliament itself gives such an example of conciliation and moderation, I think that it is in very bad part for the hon. member for North Simcoe to wish today to bring to an end the old traditional British fair play, and to oppress the minority, as he desires to do by this Bill. I may say also that it was not because the English population was fairly large that so much care was taken of Canada at this time; nor was it because she was very influential I am going to quote what was said then before a committee of the House which, before passing the Act to amend the Quebec Bill, summoned before it General Murray and General Carleton, and heard them respecting Canadian affairs. This committee sat on the 2nd June, 1774. A question was put to General Carleton and this is how he answered:
"The Protestants in Canada are under 400, about 360; but the French inhabitants who are all Catholics amount to 150,000.
"Lord NORTH. Are those 360 men of substance?
"Gen. CARLETON. Much the greatest art of them are not. There are some that have purchase seigniories, some in trade and some reduced soldiers; but the majority are men of small substances."
"Mr. JENKINSON. Is there much intercourse or communication between those 360 and the rest of the Province?"
"Gen. CARLETON. Very little.
"Lord NORTH. Are these people, upon the whole, proper and eligible for an Assembly to be chosen from them?
"Gen. CARLETON. I should apprehend, by no means."
Well, Mr. Speaker, as we see when those precautions were taken, about which I spoke a few moments ago, it was not merely in order to protect the English minority, because Gen. Carleton answers that the English population which dwelt in Canada at that period was far from being influential and important. But if at that time there were men of elevated views, practical men, who asked that the people of the Province of Quebec might be placed on a footing of equality with the other British subjects; there were also at that time, men of narrow minds, men wishing to excite prejudices, as there exist such at the present day. I discovered while making the researches, which I have given to the House, a remarkable incident which I must relate. There happened to live, at the time in question, a certain Richard Whitworth, who was probably one of the political ancestors of the hon. member for North Simcoe, if one may judge from his remarks. The House of Commons had returned from the House of Lords, where they had attended to hear the sanction of the Bills. These are the words, which I again borrow from the history of England:
"SIR,—I have often wished that some member would take notice of the language in which the King's assent is given. We are just returned from the House of Lords, and I think this a very proper time to move, that by an 959 [COMMONS] 960 address, or Bill, whichever may be thought most proper, His Majesty be desired to give his assent in his own language. I hate a dishonest language. Le Roi le veut. Let the royal assent, sir, be given in the language of truth. We have sir, even in our proceedings, Die Martis, Die Lunae. I could wish they were abolished. The ceremony of the King's assent being given in French, is the remains of Norman slavery; a disgrace to the British Parliament, and which I hope will induce some member to move that either an address or Bill be forwarded to obtain the royal assent for the future, to be given in good honest English. I am fully satisfied it would make the people much happier. (The House was in a continual laugh.)
"The speaker replied very gravely that, as the matter was of a very weighty nature, he thought it would be proper that the House should take time to consider of it. This occasioned a second flow ofgood humor. The House, however, was adjourned immediately."
I am convinced, Mr. Speaker, that the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe is going to meet with the same fate as the proposition made by this Mr. Whitworth in the House of Commons of England. It was in 1774, that this destroyer of French made his speech in the English House of Commons. In the speech delivered by the hon. member for North Simcoe, when introducing the measure now under consideration, he quoted a portion of Lord Durham's report on the affairs of Canada; he has only quoted that portion which applied to Lower Canada. He spoke of the troubles and difficulties which existed in Quebec in 1837 and in 1838. We know that at this period the people of the Province fought in order to obtain those liberties of which we are so proud to-day. Several of them ascended the scaffold; others were exiled, and the constitutional liberties acquired with the price of the blood of our ancestors, are to-day shared in by the English who live in Canada. After listening to the speech of the hon. member, one would be led to believe that difficulties existed only in Lower Canada. Nevertheless, We find in Lord Durham's report that difficulties existed also in Upper Canada. This is what he says:
"The Irish Roman Catholics complain loudly and with reason about the existence of Orangeism in this Colony. They are justly indignant that, in a Province, which their loyalty and their bravery has effectually aided in preserving , their feelings are outraged by the processions and the banners of this association. The leaders probably hope to make use of this sort of standing conspiracy, of this illegal organisation in order to win for them political power: it is an Irish—Tory institution, having rather a political complexion than a religious one. The organisation of this body allows its leaders to exercise a powerful influence on the populace: And it is stated that at the last elections the cries carried several seats by means of the violent acts committed by the rabble thus placed at their disposal. But it must not be a matter of surprise, if the existence of such an institution, wounding one class by its scornful hostility to its religion, and another class by its violent opposrtion to its policy, should excite among the two classes a profound indignation, and should seriously contribute to the want of confidence with which the Government is regarded. "
It is seen, therefore, Mr. Speaker, that if the hon. member had desired to be impartial he would have quoted that portion of the report which concerns Upper Canada. But no, he has taken good care not to do that; he has limited himself to quoting what may be stated to the discredit of the Province of Quebec. He has designedly omitted the other side of the question, because a man possessmg his vast knowledge could not but be aware of all that is contained in Lord Durham's report, but he has only read the passages which might be of use to him in the battle which he is now carrying on in Ontario. But, Mr. Speaker, Lord Durham is not the only person who mentioned these difficulties, Lord Metcalfe himself in letters which he sent to England, while he was living in Canada, found occasion to relate the manner in which this political contest was carried on. This is what he said:
"The strife of parties is much keener in Upper Canada than in Lower, because in the latter the French party is so overwhelming, that no popular movement in favor of their enemies could be incited; but, in Upper Canada, the strength of the Conservative and the Reform parties being more evenly balanced the contest is more lively and occasionally, gives an opportunity for disorders. It is under conditions such as these, that the Orange lodges do much michief. Organised at first, I think , as political associations, rather than as religious combinations, they nevertheless tend to excite religious dissensions. If an unscrupulous Conservative desires to carry an election or to get the mastery in a public meeting, he gathers a party of Orangemen or he collects a party of Orangemen, or Irish Protestants, armed with clubs, Orangemen being always on the Conservative side, although many Conservatives are not Orangemen. Lately a cross was planted here to point out the place where a Roman Catholic church was shortly to be erected; during the night the cross was cut down, and there was substituted for it a placard declaring that no Roman Catholic church should ever be built there."
Well, if we admit that we are not absolutely perfect in the Province of Quebec, people will acknowledge that they are not altogether angels who live in the Province of Ontario. Respecting the right of minorities, I desire to quote, to this House, the words uttered by the Hon. Mr. Mercier in a speech which he delivered in Montreal on the 6th of November last; and in which he has traced with a master hand, like a great politician as he is, the rights of minorities:
"Some people with evil intent have desired to profit by the settlement of the question, respecting the Jesuit Estates, to excite prejudices against the majority in this Province, by accusing them of being unjust towards the Protestant minority; and it is alleged very falsely that this minority was ill-treated, and that it had not the complete exercise of its rights. The rights of a minority may be looked upon from four pomts of view: 1. From the religious point of view; 2. From the civil point of view; 3. From the educational point of view; 4. From the political point of view. Surely it will not be alleged that the Protestant minority does not exercise, and does not claim with success, all its rights in our Province, from the religious, political, and civil points of view. Nobody will dare to say that Roman Catholics prevent Protestants from practising their religion in as free a manner as they practise it themselves. There are Protestant churches everywhere, even in centres which I might call exclusively Roman Catholic; and we have it yet to learn of the smallest insult having been offered to Protestant congregations, when they judge fit to assemble together. As to political and civil rights, they are recorded in our codes and our constitution; and it has never entered the mind of anyone to say that the Protestants had any reason to complain, in this respect. As to the rights respecting education, it is but right to state exactly what they are, in order to make to disappear any ambiguity which might exist in this respect. But, before doing this, let us state plainly that the law declares the two languages —French and English—to be official: that in practice all our public documents are printed in these two languages: that in the Legislature both are spoken; and very often we French Canadians answer in English the speeches made in English by our colleagues of another origin; and that we take special pains to render to them, in this connection, all possible assistance, in order to remove any pretext for complaint. The same thing is done in our courts of justice, where, very often, French Canadian advocates plead in English, out of courtesy to their brethren of foreign origin; and, although we are not bound to do so, each time when in our public departments we have to write to a person speaking the English language, we do it in his own tongue. This is an invariable rule, which I believe has no exception, or at least if there are exceptions they are so rare that it would not be reasonable to take any notice of them.
"As to the education question, I do not think that there is a minority better treated, in this respect, than that of the Province of Quebec; and, as I do not desire to have my own evidence accepted, I have taken care to summon that of the Rev. Mr. Rexford, the Protestant Secretary of the Council of Public Instruction. Let 961 [FEBRUARY 20, 1890.] 962 them know, once for all, that the Protestant minority is well treated in this Provmce; it is treated generously, liberally, and there is no country in the world in which the majority has less of religious and national prejudice than in the Province of Quebec. The letter of the Rev. Mr. Rexford makes us acquainted with the situation: let us hope that it will produce salutary effect in the other Provinces where they seem dispose to forget the rules of justice by threatening the minority with the loss of those rights w ich they possess here. * * * In conclusion, let me beg of you numerous as you are, not to forget that we have forme the national party with your consent, with your support, with the consent and support of all Liberals in the Province of Quebec; that this party is the outcome of an honorable alliance and has enabled me to form the present Government which in its inception was called national, has remained national since, an will remain national so long as I am at its head.
"That is to say, we have broken from old party lines, we have given up certain traditions, looked upon as dangerous, and certain ideas condemned by respected authorities, in order to publish a new programme, sufficiently liberal to assure the public prosperlty, but also sufficiently conservative not to disturb good citizens. This programme will be respected, this, Government will be maintained, and this party will live under these conditions. and not otherwise. I reckon upon having all honest people on my side to enable me to keep this promise and to make this decision respected."
These are the terms in which the Hon. Mr. Mercier established the principles on which the national party in the Province of Quebec is based. These are the few remarks which I desired to make. I have endeavored to make them with all possible moderation, and I trust that I have not wounded any feeling which deserves respect. Before con- eluding, let me be permitted to thank the English members in this House for having taken up the defence of this beautiful French language, which we all love so much. One of them, the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), has delivered, in this connection, an admirable speech. At the risk of loosing his own personal popularity he has not been afraid to lift up his voice in maintaining the defence of the French minority in the North- West Territories, and in proclaiming at the same time the imprescriptible rights of the French language. We have in this courageous proceeding a new proof of his grand character, which enables him to rise above all narrow prejudices in order to render to every one what is due to him, without regard to consequences. Besides such noble conduct is not without precedent; we always will remember that it was his illustrious father who, in the old Parliament, raised his voice and asked for an indemnity in favor of the victims of the troubles in 1837 and 1838. For this reason, the names of both are written in ineffaceable characters on the ever grateful hearts of the citizens of the Province of Quebec. The abolition of the French language is asked for. Why? Is it because it was the first to awaken the echoes of the virgin forests of this country? Is it because French discoverers opened up to civilisation these vast Territories at the present time peopled by the English? Is it because French missionaries went and poured out their blood, in order to teach the Indians, who dwelt in these places, the first rudiments of Christianity and civilisation? The county represented by the member for North Simcoe is situate on the shores of the same great lake which formerly heard the moans of the French martyrs, whom the Indians put to death with most horrible tortures. These were cries of Frenchmen, and at this time there were not there any Englishmen to protest against the use of the French language. These unfortunate Jesuits, who in this way shed their generous blood, were far from suspecting that later on a member representing a county bearing the name of this great Lake would rise in this House to insult the French language They were far from dreaming that this soil which they had watered with their blood would yield so bitter a harvest; they little thought that their great work would be in this way so quickly sent into oblivion by those very people, who, this very day, reap the fruit of their labors, as well as of their heroic courage. If the member for North Simcoe wishes to abolish the French language let him commence by tearing off from the coat of arms of the English monarchy these extremely French words: "Dieu et mon droit,"—"Honi soit qui mal y pense." These extremely French mottoes blaze above the heads of the judges on their bench. What does the member for North Simcoe mean by not having asked for the disappearance of the remainder of this barbarous old custom? How does it happen that he has not yet protested against the use of the French language in sanctioning the Bills in this country, as well as in England? You can never abolish the French language; for if, unfortunately, there are to be found men who desire its abolition, there are also men with honest hearts who know how to respect stipulations made in the past, and to place themselves above prejudices of race and religion, to whom is visible nothing but holy and immutable justice. Evil be to those who come forward in this way to light up the fire of discord and to appeal to the most dangerous prejudices. History will hold them severely accountable for their want of wisdom and patriotism. One of our poets, Fréchette, who has won so much honor for the French language in Canada, has, in some admirable verses, given advice which I recommend to the serious consideration of the member for North Simcoe:
"He whose glance governs the universe, in His wisdom gave this fruitful soil to the various nations, as a father's free gift. Christian feeling should maintain the equilibrium of peace among all the children in this common cradle. Their peaceful occupation has lasted for fifty years—the twig has become a great tree and spreads itself afar over the plain. Evil be to those serpents whose baleful breath spreads throuahout its branches pestiferous breathlngso hatreds, conflicts and rivalries,"
Mr. AMYOT. Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the debate.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. This is the sixth day of this debate, and, certainly, I think my hon. friend opposite will agree with me it is time it should be finished. I should like to ask my hon. friend whether he thinks We cannot have the division to-night.
Mr. LAURIER. I am quite sure, that unless we sit until 6 o'clock in the morning, we cannot have the division at this sitting. I will, however, do my very best, without committing myself at all, to bring the debate to a close to-morrow.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. It is usual that there should be some understanding of this kind across the floor, and if I had some assurance from my hon. friend that we could close the debate tomorrow, I would not object to an adjournment.
Mr. LAURIER. The hon. gentleman will understand that this is a debate in regard to which it is more difficult than usual to have an understanding across the floor. However, I will say this: I 963 [COMMONS] 964 have every reason to hope that we shall close the debate to-morrow, and I will do my very best to bring it to a close then.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Under these circumstances, I will not oppose the motion of my hon. friend for the adjournment of the debate, and I will move that it be made the first Order of the day to-morrow.
Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to; and Hous eadjourned at 1 a. m. (Friday).


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



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