House of Commons, 21 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

963 [COMMONS] 964


FRIDAY, 21st February, 1890.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.


Bill (No. 95) respecting Agricultural Fertilisers (from the Senate)—(Sir John A. Macdonald.)


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. McCarthy for second reading of Bill (No. 10) to further amend the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter 50, respecting the North-West Territories; the motion of Mr. Davin in amendment thereto, and the motion of Sir John Thompson in amendment to the amendment.
Mr. AMYOT. Owing to the fact that this House consented, on my motion last night, to adjourn the debate, and owing also to the fact that a great many members desire to leave to-night, I will shorten my remarks as much as possible. Before entering into the merits of the amendment, which we have to discuss and upon which we are called upon to vote, I will say a few words in answer to the speech of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). That hon. gentleman persists in saying that the treaties never insured to the French Canadians, or to those speaking the French language in this country, the use of that language. He has repeatedly said that the language is the essence of a people's existence, so it must be the first privilege of a people. I will call the attention of the hon. gentleman to the Articles of Capitulation of Quebec, dated 18th September, 1759, where we find the following as having been demanded and granted:-—
"That the inhabitants shall be preserved in the possession of their houses, goods, effects and privileges—"
The word "privileges" is there. What privilege is greater than the language of the people?
—"granted upon their laying down their arms."
They laid down their arms, to take them up again for the defence of the British flag. They knew only one language then, but, with their old gun and their old French language, they succeeded in the better preservation and due distribution of the keeping this country in the possession of the British Crown. Now, if the hon. gentleman looks at the capitulation of Montreal, signed in French and English, he will find that it is stipulated that
"The French Canadians shall continue, as subjects of the King, to be governed according to the custom of Paris, and the laws and usages established for this country."
If that does not include in the first place the language, I do not know what it includes. Then I will refer the hon. gentleman to the Treaty of Paris, which was written only in French. It was signed on the 10th February, 1763. I have had the first article translated, because we do not find it in English. This is what it says:
"There will be an universal, and perpetual, Christian- like peace, as well over land as over sea, and a sincere and immovable friendship will be established between their Britannic Majesties * * * and between their heirs and Successors, Kingdoms, States, provinces, countries, subjects and vassals of whatsoever kind and condition they may be, making no exception for rank or fortune; so that the High Contracting parties will bestow the very greatest attention upon the maintenance between themselves and said States and subjects of this friendship and intercourse, without permitting from henceforth, on one side or the other, the commission of any acts of hostility, either by land or sea, on any pretext whatever; and they will carefully avoid all that which might tend to impair for the future the union so happily established: endeavoring, on the contrary, to secure for each other in turn on all occasions, all which may contribute to their mutual glory, interests and advantages. * * * There will be a general forgetfulness of all that may have been done or committed before or since the beginning of the war now put an end to."
You must not lose sight of the events of that time. There had been a fight; both armies had behaved most gloriously; we had about 12,000 men against 60,000 on the other side, and sometimes the fortune was for us and sometimes against us. The last battle, which was fought on the field of St. Foye, was in favor of our arms. But then the Governor de Vaudreuil, one of the most miserable creatures that ever came to this country, gave us up. After that our troops went to Montreal; our brave generals were discouraged at seeing such cowardice and such treason on the part of the Governor. But the Governor went up to Montreal and there again capitulated. Then our troops went back to France, and afterwards there was signed in France, a treaty between England, France and Portugal, which was a treaty of peace. The different countries that had been the subject of dispute were divided between these kingdoms, and it was a cession of peace and nothing else. That is the reason why, the other day, when the hon. gentleman spoke of the conquest, I said it was a cession, and not a conquest. I will now draw the special attention of the hon. member to chapter 18 of 14 George III, 1774, which is "An Act to make more effectual provisions for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America." The preamble says:
"Whereas His Majesty, by His Royal proclamation hearing date 7th October in the third year of his reign, thought fit to declare the provisions which had been made in respect to certain countries, territories and isles in America, ceded to His Majesty by the Definitive Treaty of Peace concluded on the 10th of February, 1773."
I will not take up the time of the House in reading the Act; but I will quote, for the satisfaction of the hon. member for North Simcoe, sections 4 and 8 of that statute. In those times the use of the French language was looked upon as so important that in 1790 an ordinance was passed "for the better preservation and due distribution of the ancient French records." In the face of that I 965 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 966 wonder how the hon. member can pretend that the use of the French language is not fully recognised by the treaties and the ancient laws. I will not take up the time of the House in reading any of these statutes, but I will remark that the British North America Act virtually makes the English and French languages official in this country. Then we have the Act which erects the North- West Territories and which establishes the use of the French language. Now, my hon. friend says that the perpetuation of a race is only possible by means of one language. I admit that there is a great deal in that, though I will not admit it fully. But in his mind thelanguage is the essence of a nation. The second proposal is this: "We have the right to destroy you French, and we will do it." Well, I wonder where he gets that right. Is it in Divine law, or human law, or in the jus gentium? Perhaps he gets it out of some wicked hearts, as I do not know where else he could get it. I do not find any source or trace for such a right. He says: "Why do you get excited when I say that? I am calm," he says, "I am moderate, but you get excited." Mr. Speaker, a big man may come to you and calmly say, "Please give me your money." He may take a man by the throat and say, "Keep quiet and I will choke you;" and he will be calm, but he will not be just or right. It is perfectly astounding to hear the representatives of three or four millions say to the representatives of one million and a half, "We are going to make you disappear, we are calm, be calm." Well, a man who makes such proposals deserves simply to he laughed at, and that is the only answer I will give the hon. member on that point. Now, he says that we only want one language. Why? Is it for the good of the country? I presume that when there are two or three, or four races in a country, it stimulates them to good objects. Every one wants to do as well or better than his neighbor, and it is for the good of the nation. Is it for the peace of the country? Sir, we have had the two languages here since 1760, and have we had any trouble, have we had any fighting? In the United States they have only one language, it is true, but within a century they have had a war that cost more lives and more money than any other war the world has seen during the last 400 years. I do not see that any good reason has been given for the use of one language only. At all events, if it is necessary, it is now too late to say so. Confederation has gone into effect, and if one language only was necessary we should have been warned of it before we entered Confederation. It is too late now to tell us that we want only one language, one nation. If we want to change the terms and condition of the charter, we shall have to begin over again. If we are not willing to stand by the treaty that has been made, if we desire to change the conditions, then we shall have to begin at the beginning; because in law the consent of the parties is given upon certain facts, and when those facts are erroneous the convention is null and vonl. My hon. friend is too good a lawyer not to know that. Every time the hon. gentleman has a chance he brings up the Riel affair. I wish the hon. gentleman was in his seat; at all events, I will say what I intended, and he will be able to read it in the Hansard. What is the Riel affair? He does not seem to have understood it since it occurred, although it is a very simple matter. I shall not undertake to discuss the merits of that affair, but I want to state how, as a matter of fact, it occurred, and how it presented itself to the country. Riel had had his trial and had been recommended to mercy. For my part, I had always looked upon Riel as having been a madman, working for a noble cause, if you will, but still a madman, who, when he spoke of religion or politics, became perfectly insane, so much so that he wanted to go to Rome and be made a pope. He wanted to rule over the whole world. After his condemnation and the recommendation to mercy, it was stated that the man was mad, and the Government became anxious about it, and sent doctors up to examine him, and we know what report they made. Under the circumstances, petitions were signed to obtain his pardon, and his pardon was promised us. Then, Mr. Speaker, there is this point to which I wish to draw the attention of my hon. friend: when the Government was ready to grant the pardon, or to confine the man in an asylum for the rest of his days, what occurred? Petitions were presented signed by those whom the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) represents. The question then rested between those petitions and the promises of the Government and the Province of Quebec. It had been promised by the Ministers, that if we prayed for Riel's release it would be granted. The Government preferred to accede to those people who signed those petitions, and that was the origin of the trouble to-day. The Government preferred to grant the request of those petitioners, and we felt insulted. That is the whole case in a nutshell. If my learned friend cannot understand it, I am sorry; but these facts cannot be changed. Immediately afterwards the ministerial papers and many others joined hands to form a new party, and, as we had to give it a name, we called it the National party. There is no more harm in calling it by that name than there is in calling our fiscal policy the National Policy. We had a right to use the word National as other men in other countries use it. We chose that name, and since then that party has existed in the Province of Quebec. It commands a majority in the Province, even although my hon. friend opposite (Mr. McCarthy) calls it a bastard party. I do not know anything regarding his domestic habits; but I may tell him that, in our Province, if a man used such an expression, we would say that he had been very badly brought up; and if he were to say that in a private house, he would be put out. I will not give the hon. gentleman any other reply, except the emphatic statement that our party is not bastard. It has for its parents, love of country and self-respect; but we would prefer that it should be bastard rather than it should have a father like the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). It was under those circumstances that we broke away from our allegiance to our old chiefs. It pained me to leave the ranks of those with whom I had been fighting for twenty years; it was hard to give up all my old friends; but my conscience dictated my action, and I accepted the consequences. That party exists; and I must say to the hon. member for Iberville (Mr. BĂ©chard) that, if he does not know it, he reminds me of the old Frenchmen who are still working for Napoleon I.
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Mr. BÉCHARD. I did not say this party did not exist. I said it did exist; but that the old Liberals still existed too.
Mr. AMYOT. There may be a few—there were not enough at all events, to get power. But please remember it is a political party, whatever there may be in a name. I trust that certain parties will cease presenting the position of that party under false colors. I presume we have the right to form a party, and if it should not please us we have the liberty to give it up and form another. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) attacked our schools; I wonder if the hon. gentleman has ever read any of the books which are given to our scholars; I wonder if he knows what is taught in our schools! He seems to ignore the fact that in the Province of Quebec we have Protestant schools which are conducted on the same lines as ours, except that the Protestants teach Protestant doctrines and the Catholics teach Catholic doctrines; but as regards the rest they are the same. If the hon. gentleman wishes to visit our schools we will admit him with French politeness, with which we are trying to equalise British politeness; and if the hon. gentleman sees what is taught there, he will see that we teach our children to obey the laws of God and man, to be faithful to the Crown and to the laws which ensure the welfare of man and of a country. It is a singular habit on the part of that sect—I do not see there is any other name I could give it—to be always making an attack. We never attack. In the Riel matter we were on the defensive. The members of that sect undertake to attack our schools, but we never attack the schools of Ontario. Why do they not leave our schools alone, when we let their schools alone? let everybody mind his own business. Next, the hon. gentleman attacked Mr. Mercier. The politics of Mr. Mercier are discussed in the Legislature three months, and every day of the year in the press, and some persons hold that he is very good, while others say that he is very bad. The hon, member for North Simcoe, however, imagines that in two words he will condemn that hon. gentleman in the face of the universe. I only wish he would meet Mr. Mercier on the stump, and then the hon. member for North Simcoe would find that, in spite of his talents, it would be very hard work to convince his audience that Mr. Mercier is guilty of half the sins with which he is charged. Mr. Mercier has done more for the good of his country since he has been in power than the hon. gentleman will ever be able to do harm. I now come to the Bill which is at present under consideration of the House. I desire to say a word or two in regard to the preamble. There is a great difference between the preamble of this Bill as compare with the preamble of the Jesuit Bill. The preamble of the Jesuit Bill was a recital of facts and nothing else, and we had either to accept the Bill as a whole or to reject it entirely. The preamble of the hon. gentleman's Bill, however, is a preamble for which this House will be responsible, and contains a declaration of principle. As the Bill is unacceptable to the House, an amendment has been proposed. The hon. member for North Simcoe wants to take away the whole of the French language in the North-West; but the amendment says: no; we will take only part away. It occurs to me that we are legislating to take away from the half-breeds rights secured by statute, without even allowing them to be heard or without consulting them, and without their being represented in any way; and this is done at a time when no one expected that any such legislation would be proposed. The amendment seems to be unjust to the people of the Province of Quebec. If we diminish the strength of the French language in any part of the Confederation, we reduce the strength of the language as a whole. That is unjust, because when we entered into Confederation it was promised that we would receive full justice and never lose any of our rights. Since that time we have been asked to contribute millions to open up the North-West and to build up magnificent railroads. Yet that is the way we are recompensed now. I think it is both unjust and unfair. I believe, further, that the passing of this Bill would establish a bad precedent, for if we once declare that we will change either the Imperial or Federal charters, the door will be opened for all kinds of trouble and confusion. Every year we will have petitions sent to England, or forwarded here, asking for repeals and changed, and there will never be peace in the Confederation. We should lay down the rule that our constitutional charters shall never be changed except by the unanimous consent of the parties concerned. The first change in those charters is to do injustice to these four or five thousand Canadians of French origin who live on the prairies of the North-West, and who have no representative in this Parliament. By the Bill proposed we do not confer any favors on them; we take away from them important rights without any reason whatever. I warn my friends from other Provinces who are in favor of the Federal system, that this first change may lead to other changes and that the end will result in legislative union. There is a germ of legislative union in the Bill of the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). It is an insult to nearly half the population of Canada; it contains false principles; and, unfortunately, the Government, to a certain extent, yield to it. The Bill is unjust to the half- breeds, because it takes away from them vested rights granted to them by this Parliament in the Act of 1877. If you give a man a hundred dollars, you have no right to take twenty dollars back from him; and yet this is exactly the way in which Parliament proposes to treat the people of the North-West. This Bill, if adopted, would be unfair to the half-breeds, to whom we owe much, because through them we have been enabled to make treaties with the Indians and to enter peaceably into the North-West. I have documents here, which, if I could detain the House by reading, would show that our possession of that territory is due in a great measure to the half-breeds. For all these benefits we have received, the recompense proposed by the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) is that we should take away their language and their rights. For years we have ill- treated this people. We sent a legion of surveryours amongst them to change the form of their lands, against their wishes, and when they complained we laughed at them. We pushed them to rebellion. When they held indignation meetings to protest against the conduct of the Government, we took that for a declaration of war and we sent our Mounted Police to fire upon them. Then we 969 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 970 sent four thousand troops against them, and at a cost of a hundred lives and six million dollars we managed to destroy their property and to kill many of them. There were the claims of Indians and half-breeds. To the Indians we gave land which was not transferable, but to the half-breeds we offered land or scrip. These children of the prairie naturally preferred this scrip, and besides the men who gave the scrip were the speculators with money and whiskey, who cheated them out of their property. This I know from my own knowledge, because I have seen it done. I shall not at the present time refer to the letter of Monseigneur Grandin, but we all know his complaints. It is our duty as a nation, having some respect for itself, that we should cease to inflict evils on the people of these Territories, and that we should not inflict another one on them by depriving them of their language. In the prayer you have just read, Mr. Speaker, we prayed God to have peace and harmony, and we should remember that peace and harmony are as desirable for these poor people as for us in this House. If we want to be just, if we want to be proud of being Canadians, we must see that this injustice shall cease. I do not say that it is altogether the fault of the Government, for probably they are not acquainted with the fact that this injustice is inflicted, but they should ascertain it, and I believe that if they did know the facts they would see that justice should be dealt out to these weak people. There is also another grievance to the effect that when the country was divided for election purposes, the division was such that the French people could not elect a representative. The member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) states that there is unanimity in the Council on this question. That is a very poor argument, when it Is remembered that we began by preventing the half-breeds from electing the representatives they were entitled to. Such an argument will, I am sure, have very little weight with an intelligent body of men, such as compose this House. Do you not think, Mr. Speaker, that there is a national danger in abolishing the French language, as is proposed by the member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy)? Do not you think the French language is the best safeguard against annexation? If the people of this country were all English-speaking, annexation would come in a very short time. What will prevent annexation is the determination of the Province of Quebec to maintain its own language. The people there are not willing to give up the present state of affairs and risk going elsewhere. If we were not a loyal people, if we were not devoted to the Queen, if we were not loyal to the Confederation, does it not strike you, Mr. Speaker, that we might apply to our neighbors in the United States, and to our million of French Canadians there, for help? The United States never took any country by force. but at the same time they never refused a country which wished to be annexed to them. We do not want annexation, however. We want to remain Canadians. We want to form a grand nationality composed of the different races. We want Canada to remain a great country, and we want to form a part of it; but do not abuse that sentiment. You who believe in divorce, do not suppose that we are disposed to endure constant Insults such as those thrown at us by certain por tions of the English press, especially when they are repeated on the floor of this House by a party, led by a man of talent who stands at the head of the bar of Ontario. We are loyal, and we want to remain loyal. I repeat the words I quoted the. other day, that the last gun which will be fired in defence of the British flag on this continent, will be discharged by a French Canadian; but there is another sentence which we must not forget. littered by a traveller, who said that the first gun that would be fired for the independence of Canada, would be discharged by a French Canadian from the States. There is no danger with us. We are frank and loyal and just—just to the minority and just to every one; we never attack; we only want to keep what we have. Under the eyes of God, we want to grow and prosper with our neighbors and friends in this country, peaceably and harmoniously, and I implore that faction to stop their attacks, and to leave us to the peaceablc enjoyment of our rights. What harm is done to them if our farmers speak French in their homes? When we come here as representatives of the people, do you find anything wrong with us—any dishonesty, any tricks, any complots against you? Are we not loyal subjects? Then, why not let us alone? What harm will it do you if the ordinances of the North-West Council are printed in French, so that the priests may read them to the loyal subjects who only understand French? What need is there to save a few paltry dollars, if, thereby, you throw the country into an immense danger? The responsibility of that faction is very great, but I know that the good sense of the country will soon put an end to their agitation. I am not threatening; I am only exposing the facts. If we want to form a large and compact country, let us not constantly be putting in the hands of one part of the population weapons which must be opposed by another part. Now, Sir, the hon. Premier through the hon. Minister of Justice, for whom I have the greatest personal respect, proposed the compromise amendment which has been offered to us. That compromise, I believe, is dictated by sincere and patriotic views. Whether I accept it or not, I am happy to see that both parties can forget their differences and join hands, in order to try to put a stop to this harmful agitation. It is true, the amendment itself attacks one of the roots of the tree of Confederation; but I am happy to see that the chiefs of both parties can agree to this compromise, without saying whether I can sanction it by my vote or not. In concluding my remarks, which I abridge so as to accommodate my hon. colleagues, I will repeat, that if we want the Confederation to go on, if we want harmony and prosperity in this country, we must cease to attack each other, we must respect the rights of each other, we must leave each one to the enjoyment of his aspirations, his religion and his language; we must give full liberty to everyone, so that all will be free to work for the common good of the country.
Mr. CHARLTON. Mr. Speaker, I ask the indulgence of the House for a few minutes, while I refer to some matters which I deem it proper to refer to before this debate closes. I can endorse, most heartily, the sentiment given utterance to by the speaker who has just preceded me, as to our regard to the mutual rights of the inhabitants of 971 [COMMONS] 972 the various Provinces. If we should treat each other in a spirit of disregard for those rights, it would be a misfortune, a calamity, to the country. I am not able to understand, however, that the rights of the French-speaking community of the North-West, with regard to language, are vested rights. They certainly are not vested rights in the sense of the rights conferred by the British North America Act on the French inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. These rights were granted by the North-West Territories Act in 1877, and, in my belief, it is quite competent for the Legislature which granted those rights to repeal the enactment by which they were granted. Now, I have noticed, in the treatment of this by almost all the speakers opposed to the Bill under consideration, a disposition to magnify the evils which are likely to result from this discussion, and to place on false ground the object sought by the Bill, and the consequences likely to result from its passage. It is asserted that the Bill is conceived in a spirit of enmity to the French race, and that the effect of its passage would be to set the two races at each other's throats and to disturb all the good relations existing between them-that, in short, it is a public calamity, that the subject of the retention of the dual languages in the North-West should be mooted at all. If this is the case, we are unable to approach this subject in any sense without the consequences to which I have alluded. The real subject before us is not a design to assault the inhabitants of a great Province in this Dominion, to abridge their rights or to attack their languages or their institutions, or to interfere with vested rights that exist in accordance with the provisions of the British North American Act. That is not the design of this Bill. The hon. gentleman who brings this Bill before the House expressly disavows any such designs. The design of the Bill is to retrace the false setp which, in the estimate of some members of this House, has been taken in forming the institutions of a new land, be repealing clause 110 of the North-West Territories Act and leaving to the people of those Territories the full and free exercise of Provincial rights in establishing their own institutions, without being handicapped by us by any legislation here, and thus replace them in the position of doing, as they should have had the right to do in the beginning, what they please is this matter.
Now, there are three plans before this House: There is the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy); there is the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin); and there is the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice (Sir John Thompson). The first of these plans is a direct one, and the one which I prefer. It proposes to settle this question at once, so far as this Parliament is concerned. The second is in some respect of the same character as the first. It proposes to recognise the assertion as true that the existing state of things in the North- West Territories shall not be insisted on as permanent by this House; but it proposes to remove from our shoulders the responsibility of dealing with this question and to relegate it to the Assembly of the North-West Territories after the next elections, when that assembly shall have power to deal with the whole question. Plan number three is not only indirect but partial. It proposes, in the same indirect way, to shift the responsibility from our shoulders of dealing with this question and to place it upon the shoulders of the North-West Assembly, but it proposes to deal with only one feature of the case, namely, the use of the French language in the Legislative Assembly, leaving untouched the use of that language in the courts of the North- West and in the printing of the ordinances. In my opinion, the plan proposed by the hon. Minister of Justice is the least worthy of our consideration and support; and I must say that, after listening attentively to all the arguments advanced during the long debate on this question-which I do not consider a question that ought to create that degree of bitterness of feeling which exists-I am persuaded that we ought to settle this difficulty promptly and peremptorily in our capacity as the sovereign source of power in this matter, by retracing the steps we took in the year 1877. I cannot understand that the use of the French language in the courts, provided for by the 133rd clause of the British North America Act, contemplates the use of the language in courts such as these established in the North-West. The language of that section is as follows:—
"Either the English of the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the House of the Parliament of Canada and of the House of the Legislature of Quebec; and both those languages shall be used in the respective Records and Journals of those Houses; and either of those languages may be used by any person, or in any pleading or process in, or issuing from, any court of Canada established under this Act, and in, or from, all or any of the courts of Quebec."
Now, here is a remarkable difference in the language used regarding the courts of Quebec and the courts of Canada. Either language is to be used in any and all of the courts of Quebec, but they are both to be used in any court of Canada established under this Act only. What is a court of Canada established under this Act? The 101st section explains that:
"The Parliament of Canada may, not withstanding anything in this Act, from time to time, provide for the constitution, maintenance and organisation of a general Court of Appeal for Canada, and for the establishment of any additional courts for the better administration of the laws of Canada."
So that reference is had in this 133rd clause to such courts as may be established in virtue of the authority conferred under section 101—such as the Court of Appeals, the Exchequer Court, or any court established as a Court of Canada for the settlement of questions pertaining to the Dominion of Canada in which our French subjects and English subjects will meet for the purpose of trying cases from all the Provinces. But this clause does not, in my opinion, interfere with or apply to the courts of any Province in this Dominion, except the specially named courts of the Province of Quebec.
We have had a great deal of talk about Provincial rights in connection with this matter. In my opinion, any action but that proposed by the hon. member for North Simcoe would be a violation of the fundamental principle of Provincial rights. The hon. member for North Simcoe proposes to repeal clause 110. He proposes to give the inhabitants of the North-West Territories the right to form their own institutions when they become a Province; he proposes to leave them in the full and unrestricted possession of Provincial rights. But the amendment of my hon. friend   973 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 974 of the hon. Minister of Justice do not propose to do this; they only propose to make the condition, that we shall retain this authority and power which we have exercised and this law on the Statute-book until we have consulted the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories. The amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice proposes further, that we shall absolutely retain a portion of the abuse complained of, and only remove it in so far as it may apply to the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories; and neither amendment meets so fully the principle of Provincial rights as the proposition of the hon. member for North Simcoe, the essence of which is that we shall withdraw our interference, and allow the people of the North-West to deal with this matter themselves. That is the proper and the direct way to deal with this question. I see no reason to change the opinion I have formed, or to withdraw my support from the Bill, which I announced I intended to support. The use of the dual language and Separate Schools are local institutions, which we have no right, as a Parliament, to impose upon any section of this country. They are institutions which should be established, which should be arranged for, which should be legislated upon, by the Provincial authorities of the Province in which they may exist. I do not say that I would not consider that the Governor in Council has not the power to veto a Bill of this kind on the ground of general advantage or in the general interests of the Dominion; but I do say that, in my belief, the Government has no right to establish local institutions in any portion of the territories of Canada. For that reason, I believe that this clause 110 should be repealed. We must remember that Canada was formerly a military colony; we must remember that divergencies existed between the old French colonies and the English colonies in America; and these differences of opinion, these differences of institutions, and these differences of instincts, have, to a certain extent, come down to the present day. Canada was a military colony; it had feudal institutions; and the thirteen colonies were quite different from Canada. The Saxon colonies are quite different in many respects from the colony of Quebec; it is natural, therefore, that friction should arise between these two systems, and it is in the last degree unwise to extend the area of that friction. It would be much better to restrict it to the Province where the question under debate was first at issue, as we would do by repealing this clause and leaving the people of the North-West to settle the matter by themselves, than to set ourselves by the ears, from one end of the Dominion to the other, as we have been doing.
The hon. the leader of the Opposition has made a speech, which, I can say most sincerely, was, in my estimation, a most able speech, one which I admired exceedingly both for its spirit and tone, and for the tact displayed in it by that hon. gentleman in dealing with that question; and one which I admired also for the sentiments it breathed in defence of his race and native tongue, in respect of which I could almost respond to the sentiments he uttered; but I think he was mistaken in saying that this Bill necessarily provokes enmity between the two races, that it necessarily sets them against each other in a spirit of hostility. I do not think it is necessary to take that view. I do not think the scope of the question extensive enough or the issues involved great enough to warrant the two great races setting themselves by the ears in this matter. It is a local question, a question affecting a certain locality in this Dominion, it is in one sense a small question at this moment, affecting only a few thousand people. It may be a great question as to the future, but at present it is a small question comparatively, and it is a question we may as well settle at once and take out of the way.
In the course of the speeches which have been made, I have been severely criticised in some respects. My hon. friend the member for Kent, N.B. (Mr. Landry) took up an extract from a speech made by me at Essex Centre on the 12th July, in which I rather facetiously alluded to the alliance between my hon. friend the Minister of Customs and my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works as being rather incongruous, and said that, when they were lying in the same bed, the representative of the French nationality and the grand master of the Orange Order, that the friendship was rather a peculiar and suspicious one; and that I thought they could not both be acting according to their principles, and that I thought my hon. friend the Minister of Customs would be the one who would be sold. I do not know that that remark should be considered as offensive. We have seen other incongruous spectacles; for instance, during this debate, Pilate and Herod have been made friends together for we have seen the leaders of the two political parties, no doubt from patriotic motives, acting in concert; and that is a very unusual thing to see. They have been endeavoring to arrange this matter in certain ways, whereas I think the simplest way would be to repeal the clause to which I have referred.
My hon. friend the member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), in the course of his very able speech, advanced the argument that it was necessary to keep up the French language in the North-West for the purpose of encouraging immigration; and the First Minister said he would be willing to have German made an official language there also, in order to encourage immigration. No doubt, he would be willing to go further and adopt the Gaelic or any other language for that purpose. The question is: is the retention of that language or any other necessary to encourage immigration into that country? In the year 1871, the hierarchy of your own Province, Mr. Speaker, issued a joint letter warning the French Canadians against emigrating to the New England States, which, it was said, would imperil their spiritual interests, which would prove very dangerous to themselves, and which was something they ought not to do. At the same time, the hierarchy requested the people of that Province who might desire to emigrate to migrate to the Canadian North-West. What was the effect of that letter; what was the effect of that warning and of those arguments; what was the effect of these mandates, in the name of the Church, upon the Canadian French of the Province of Quebec? Did they quit going to Massachusetts and flock in large bodies to the North- West? Did the existence of the dual language in the North-West draw thousands of the French Canadian people there, or did the fact that there was no dual language in Massachusetts and Vermont 975 [COMMONS] 976 prevent them from going to those States? On the contrary, there are to be found in the New England States more French Canadians than there are inhabitants in Manitoba, the North-West and British Columbia together, with a score or more thousand added to that number. They have gone to New England in spite of that mandate; they have gone to a country where English is the only language spoken; they have refused to listen to their own hierarchy; they have done what they were entreated not to do, and they have not done what they were entreated to do. I think that is a fair argument to show that the retention of the French language in the North-West is unnecessary to promote immigration to that country. The Germans go there, and the Icelanders go there, though their languages are not official there, and I do not think that the absence of their language as an official one is the slightest bar to their immigration to that country.
In connection with this question of the anxiety of our French friends for the continuance of their rights —and it is a most natural anxiety on their part—it is, perhaps, a little significant that, one after another, the municipalities of the Province of Quebec are abolishing the use of the English tongue. I am informed that the great majority of those municipalities have already abandoned it. Wherever a municipal council petitions for power to abolish the use of English in its proceedings it is very soon obtained; an order is issued in the Official Gazette, and the use of English ceases. In view of this fact, I think our friends should not raise so much trouble in reference to the abolition of the use of French in a country which probably has no more population than an ordinary municipality in the Province of Quebec.
The hon. First Minister warned us of the terrible consequences of drawing up two races against each other. He said this was a question which could afford to wait, and a moment afterwards he said: For Heaven's sake, bury this and get it out of sight. It is certainly lamentable that two races should be drawn up against one another; but, if one race is drawn up, if that race is acting and aiming at a common purpose, it may become necessary to have some organisation in the other race, and our French friends have never, in my recollection, or, so far as I know, in the history of Canada, failed to press their own claims and to stand by their own interests. It may be necessary to watch the opposite party, because their devotion to their language, their religion and their race—which may be perfectly proper in their case and from their standpoint—may lead to demands, which, in the view of an impartial observer, ought not to be granted. In that case, the exhortation of the First Minister to beware of arraying one race against another, is out of place, because the English-speaking population in this country have always acted in a spirit of generosity and a spirit of magnanimity; necessary to take some precautions for the future, it is not in a spirit of enmity to the French population, but, looking at the great North-West with all its resources, regarding it as the foundation of a great empire, we are justified in doing so if we have arrived at the conclusion that it is better at the outset to have the institutions there formed on the proper basis, when it can be done without any great con tention, and to say that we will start with the English language and go on there with that language as the official one. I do not think it can be properly said by the First Minister that those who are in favor of that obviously common-sense arrangement are arraying one race against another.
Some of our speakers on this side appear to me to lack judiciousness. My hon. friend from West Ontario (Mr. Edgar), for instance, warned the French to beware of their enemies. Who are their enemies? I deny that they have an enemy in this House, or in this country, or that any demand is made in this Bill which indicates enmity to the French race in this Dominion. The hon. member from Iberville (Mr. Béchard), last night, in his temperate speech, spoke of the demagogues, whose designs were to provoke dissension and disaster. Was the hon. gentleman warranted in classing as demagogues those who seek for abolition of the dual language in the North-West? Is there anything like the spirit of the demagogue in this proposition to undo what we sincerely believe to have been a wrong step, and to place upon a proper basis the institutions for the future of a great country? If there is an act which is worthy of being characterised as an act of statemanship which has come under my observation in this Parliament of Canada, it is an act of that character. Then the hon. gentleman read an extract from a speech delivered to his constituents last summer in which he proposed, as a remedy for all these unendurable evils which the French race was suffering at the hands of those who asked for equal rights—he proposes as a remedy annexation to the United States. Well, Sir, how much better off would his race he in that position? Would there be any less pressure that would tend towards unification of race and language? Would the influence brought to bear upon them be of a less aggravating character, if they wished to retain their isolation? Would the United States treat with a greater degree of forbearance than the Saxon population of this country does, the peculiar institutions of Quebec? Why, there would be danger of their being denied admission to the Union as is the case with Utah until they had adopted a Republican form of government and had rid themselves of medieval institutions.
My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior says: "Oh, this is a small matter; what is the use of making this row over a cost amounting to $1,000 a year, or so? Let the whole thing go. Do not make the trouble you are making about this question." As I said before, it is not a matter of the cost; it is not a matter of the pressing importance of the question at this moment in any respect whatever. We are looking to the future, we are looking to the consequences in the future, and it is, because it is a comparatively small and trifling matter in itself, that we can now deal with it with so much greater facility and ease than we can by-and-bye when it becomes a great matter, involving great issues in the North-West. My hon. friend from the Queen's (Mr. Davies) tells us that the preamble is a matter of no great account. I agree with him. He says: Let the people decide. I agree with him most fully. The only fault I have to find with him is, that he will not act upon his assertion. He says: Let the people decide the question; and then he proposes to refuse to allow the people to decide the question. I say, let the people decide the question. Repeal the 110th clause, leaving 977 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 978 them perfectly untrammelled; let them start de noco and decide whether they will have the dual language or not; leave them perfectly free to deal with their local institutions, without interference or meddling with them on our part.
My hon. friend, the Secretary of State, who, I see, is in his seat, had some strictures to make on my remarks, and I will ask the attention of the House for a moment while I refer to one or two of them. The hon. gentleman told us that the Protestants of Quebec did not complain. Well, I do not know that the Protestants of Quebec have any great reason to complain; it would be, however, only natural, as they are in a very small minority in that Province, that they should be cautious about making complaints, because the evincing of a spirit of captiousness, or what is termed such by the majority, might lead to their having greater reasons for complaint. But I have heard complaints from the Province of Quebec. For instance, I heard complaints last year about the degradation of the degrees of Protestant universities.
Mr. LAURIER. That has been remedied.
Mr. CHARLTON. Yes, these complaints led to the remedy of that evil. A Bill has been passed to remedy the evil, and the passage of that Bill is equivalent to a confession that the Protestants had, in this matter, just cause of complaint.
Mr. LANGELIER (Quebec). They have no other cause of complaint.
Mr. CHARLTON. I believe that all the grievances and the difficulties between the two races: might be settled in the same spirit. Then we have the question of the division of the school funds. I do not know if that has been settled or not, but there have been some complaints about that—
Mr. LAURIER. That is before the Council of Education.
Mr. CHARLTON—taking the school funds paid by corporations, such as the Bank of Montreal, the Grand Trunk Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, of whom the great majority of the stock holders are Protestants, and dividing the taxes paid by these corporations between Protestants and Catholics in relative proportion to the population, whereas they ought to be divided in proportion to the religion of those who paid the taxes.
Mr. LANGELIER (Quebec). Is that done in Ontario?
Mr. CHARLTON. Not now, but I understood that it was the case once. Complaint was made, and I think the evil has been remedied, although I speak under correction with regard to that matter. Then, the hon. gentleman makes an allusion to something which I have said in one of the speeches I made in the country, and which he thinks was of the most insulting character to the French population—something, I think, with regard to cutting a road tothe St. Lawrence with the sword. Well, Mr. Speaker, upon one occasion, I forget where, when we were somewhat warm over these declarations in Quebec—and, by-the-bye, let me state that I am happy to learn that the language attributed to Mr. Mercier has been very much modified by a more authentic report of his remarks—but when we were somewhat roused by the talk about a French nationality, and French national institutions, and the building up of a French state at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, I did say, I think once, in one of my speeches, that if the French inhabitants of Quebec attempted to create a separate nationality. planting themselves upon the St. Lawrence and denying the western Provinces access to the sea, in that case it would lead to an attempt to cut a road to the sea with the sword. I have nothing to retract upon that score. If that attempt were made, such a result would unquestionably follow.
Now, Sir, a few words with regard to my hon. friend from West Durham (Mr. Blake) and the criticisms made by that hon. gentleman upon the remarks I had made just before he spoke. I may say that I spoke without due preparation: I had only the time between ten o'clock in the morning, and three in the afternoon to prepare my brief, and in the haste of preparation I probably did fall into some inaccuracy, and amongst these inaccuracies was one, technical rather in its character, with regard to the course adopted by the United States Government when Louisiana was purchased in 1803. I stated that the United States Government, from the inception, had sought by every means to secure a single language, and had abolished the use of the French. But I find that for the first few years that policy was not so rigorously enforced as later on, and the use of French was permitted, to a limited extent, and in that sense my hon. friend had me at a disadvantage; for I had gone upon the assumption that the well understood general policy of the Government had been more vigorously enforced than probably was the case at the outset. But so far as the policy of the United States Government was concerned, with the new states along the Mississippi where French settlements were established, and in all these settlements outside of Louisiana proper, the French language was never used officially at all.
Mr. CHAPLEAU. The Civil Code of Louisiana was printed in French in 1825.
Mr. CHARLTON. I am referring to the territories away to the north along the Mississippi and the Missouri. But I am free to admit that in this criticism upon the policy of the United States with regard to Louisiana, I fell into a technical error, although the position I took in regard to the general policy of the United States with regard to Louisiana and to all other portions of the country originally settled by foreign nations and incorporated with the United States, was perfectly correct. Then the hon. gentleman indulged in some criticism about the use of the pronoun "we;" he seemed to be under an apprehension that I would convey the impression that he acted with me, or believed with me, in this matter. Now, Mr. Speaker, I always desire to avoid giving ground for the charge of egotism, and, consequently, avoid, as far as possible, the use of the pronoun "I." I do not like to see a large "I" used too freely. But, on this occasion, I find that the hon. gentleman himself used the word "we" in his speech, and used it on several occasions. In speakin upon this occasion when I used the word "we," I used it, not as including those who disagree with me, but referring to those, be their numbers great or small, who agree with me in this matter. Perhaps, if it suits the hon. gentleman, I may use the personal pronoun "I" and ignore the "we"—ignore all who are associated with me in this or other matters. But, iin my opinion, this part of the hon. gentleman's 979 [COMMONS] 980 criticism was a very "wee" matter indeed, and the spirit in which it was made was not one I admire very highly.
In the course of the speeches made by different members of the House, the motives of those who engaged in the Equal Rights movement during last summer have been very severely criticised. We have been termed fanatics and demagogues, and there is scarcely a term of disrespect in the political vocabulary that has not been applied to those gentlemen who saw fit to associate themselves in this movement in this House and in the country during last summer. I feel bound, under the circumstances, as the question has been raised, to say a few words in regard to this matter. What, probably, were the motives, I would ask, that actuated these thirteen men who stood up in this House and voted against the 188 members? What were, probably, the motives which actuated those men in the course they took after the prorogation of Parliament? Do you think, Sir, they were seeking after popularity? Was it with any desire to gain political advantage that those men united and embittered their foes and made foes of their friends? You, Sir, sat in this House on the night that vote was taken. Do you think any one of the thirteen stood up under flattering and encouraging circumstances or because there was a great advantage to be gained? No; no one will suppose that such was the case; and whatever may have been the motives which actuated those men, you can scarcely, under the circumstances, attribute that action to base, mercenary or dishonest motives. We felt that having taken that stand, it was perfectly proper to defend our position in the country. We felt that we were standing on principles that were just, and it was as proper to vindicate them upon the platform as upon the floor of the House of Commons. We thought we were resisting the investing of a dangerous order with special advantages and privileges. We may have been mistaken, but we believed that was the case, and, acting on that view, we submitted to the country similar arguments to those we had presented on the floor of this House. We believed we were resisting an unconstitutional reference to a foreign potentate. I believe it now, and believing it we felt bound to act on that belief. We believed we were resisting sectarian endowment from public funds. We believed this, and we held that it was establishing a precedent of the most dangerous character, and believing that we acted honestly before the country in denouncing it. We believed we were resisting a dangerous encroachment by clerical power. Believing this we denounced it. We did not propose, no man who has taken part in this agitation ever proposed, to deprive any subject in this country of any rights he possessed. No man has ever proposed to ask for himself what he was not prepared to give to every citizen of this country. We ask no special privileges; we merely resist the granting of special privileges. We ask equal rights for all, special privileges to none, a guarantee of the fundamental principle of liberty to the subjects of this country. I understand the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) said he did not sympathise with the movement made by the Equal Rights party in discussing this question on the platforms of the country. I believe it was a proper way to influence public sentiment, and that it was necessary.
Mr. MCCARTHY. Perhaps the hon. gentle man will allow me for a moment to say that I do not think I said that; I did not mean to do so. I said I took no part, because I realised that no object would be gained.
Mr. CHARLTON. I understood the reason why the hon. gentleman refrained from doing so was because he disapproved of it, and I am happy to receive his explanation. This movement, which is decried and condemned in this House, has, I believe, accomplished something; and, I believe, what this movement has accomplished is of the most salutary character. It has certainly awakened public attention to the existence of a great public danger. I believe it is due to this movement that the agitation exists in Manitoba with respect to the dual language and the Separate Schools; and the abolition of both of those evils, as I deem them to be, may be justly attributed to the agitation that commenced with the vote taken in this House on 29th March last. I believe this agitation has succeeded in arousing public sentiment in the North-West with respect to the dual language, and the fact that we are discussing to-day a Bill with respect to the abolition of the French language in the North- West, and that we have in the North-West a sentiment so pronounced as to have demanded the introduction of this Bill, is due to the agitation of the question of equal rights up and down throughout the country since the prorogation of the House last Session. The harvest is satisfactory; the results so far are abundantly satisfactory, if nothing else is accomplished; and if this Bill passes, or if the North-West is relieved of the burden of the dual language, there is nothing else to ask for, because the Constitution grants the rest.
Mr. LAURIER. What about the agitation in Quebec?
Mr. CHARLTON. We do not expect to have any. I do not say there has been such an agitation. I say there has been an agitation in Manitoba against the dual language and separate schools, and there has been an agitation in the North-West Territories, and it is a foregone conclusion that in some way or other the dual language will be removed there. On broad principles we are dealing with this question, and our sincere desire is to secure homogeneity and assimilation. We desire it, we do not expect to force it, or that it will come immediately; we hope it will come some time by the force of circumstances, and we hope, when the day comes, that solution will be reached by a concensus of opinion among the people of the Dominion. We hope for this, and anything that will exert influence in this direction without trampling on the rights of other is something we may properly make use of. The North-West is virgin soil, and any seed that is undesirable should not be planted by us there. Our first Act with respect to this question was wrong; I believe we cannot do better than change that Act, and in doing so we will act strictly in consonance with the principle of Provincial rights. With respect to vested rights in the Province of Quebec, I repeat that, so far as I am concerned and my influence extends, I have no idea, thought, desire or purpose to deal with the Provincial rights of Quebec in any sense whatever. I may entertain my opinion as to whether 981 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 982 it is desirable for Quebec to have different institutions, and I may, in a proper way and on a proper occasion, express that opinion, I trust; but so far as regard dealing in any manner with the vested rights of Quebec, I would not be a party to such an attempt or countenance it in any way whatever. The proposal to divide the continent between the two races is unreasonable. I consider this country is under British institutions, and although the French language prevailed when the country was ceded to the British, and although the French language has been recognised and certain vested rights have been granted, yet the proposal to divide this great country between the two races and the two languages is unreasonable and unsatisfactory and not calculated to promote the future good of the country. The issue I think we all recognise is inevitable; no matter in what way we may deal with this question the dual language in the North-West is doomed. It is doomed, whether this Bill passes or not, whether the motion of the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), or even the motion of the hon. the Minister of Justice passes; in either of these cases it is useless to propose that the French language in the great North-West will be retained for any length of time, and to remove a source of irritation we may as well meet the inevitable to-day, and expunge clause 110 from the North-West Territories Act, and leave those Territories in a position so that when they frame Provincial institutions they may deal with the question as they may choose on the basis of Provincial rights.
Mr. HOLTON. I wish in a very few words to emphasise the position whichI have so far taken, and in which I propose continuing, with respect to the measure now under the consideration of this House. And at the outset I would say that I fully agree with the majority of the speakers who have preceded me, in regarding its introduction under existing circumstances as a grave public calamity. The principle involved in this measure is, of course, a fairly debatable one. Yet after listening very attentively to the discussion of the past week, and more particularly to the speeches of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), I am unable, in my own mind, to separate the Bill now submitted to us from those speeches, or from the utterances of himself and friends upon the public platforms during the past twelve months. In fact, Sir, the hon. member's advocacy of the proposed enactment is but the fulfilment of the promise or threat repeatedly made by him on the occasions referred to—the first step in his utopian scheme for welding and cementing the inhabitants of this whole country into one harmonious English- speaking people. I do not wish to impute motives to the gentlemen of the Equal Rights Association? Many of them are personal friends of my own; and, whatever I may think of their movement, I very cheerfully credit them with all the sincerity of purpose in it which they claim for themselves, or to which they are entitled. Still, Sir, we cannot blind our eyes to the fact that, as a most lamentable result of the agitation which they have promoted and so persistently maintained throughout the country, the prejudices and animosities of the different elements of our population have been unduly aroused, so that to-day we find the public mind inflamed to a degree that has probably not been equalled since the unhappy period of half a century ago. And, Sir, with the public mind thus excited and disturbed, this measure is forced upon the attention of the House, and in no sense as oil is poured upon the troubled waters; under such circumstances, the cool, calm deliberation to which a question of this importance is entitled cannot possibly be had. In this fact alone, I find good and sufficient reason for supporting any proposition having for its purpose the postponement of the consideration of the measure. There is one matter to which I now feel it my duty—as it certainly is my pleasure—to make brief allusion: that is, the gross misconception which unfortunately obtains in many quarters outside the Province of Quebec, as to the true relations existing between the two races in it—a misconception for which I believe the present agitation is very largely responsible. I may possibly be told outside of this House, if not in it, that I am neither qualified nor authorised to speak here, for the minority of that Province. Still, Sir, I am one of that minority; I have lived all my days in that Province; my acquaintance with its people is pretty extended. And, I do think, and believe, that I fully represent the great majority of my co-religionists there, when I say that on the whole we have not very much to complain of. I, Sir, am as staunch and pronounced a Protestant, as loyal to my faith, as true to my race, as jealous of my rights, and as fully determined to defend them at all hazards, as any man sitting in this House. But, Sir, I have never yet had reason or occasion to imagine for a moment that my civil or religious liberty—my life, property, or any of the sacred rights which are mine, as a free-born subject of Her Majesty—ever have been, or are ever likely to be, in one whit in greater jeopardy in my native Province, than if I were a resident of any other portion of the Dominion. Of course, Sir, (and more particularly in those parts of the Province where we of the minority are numerically weak) we do labor under certain disadvantages; the inevitable incidents, I presume, of being in a minority. Yet, aside from the inconveniences flowing from that source, and aside from the friction engendered by such movements as the present one, our troubles are but few, and it may be truthfully said that the two races do dwell harmoniously together.
Mr. LAURIER. Hear, hear.
Mr. HOLTON. Further, Sir, I feel it is but due to my neighbors and fellow-citizens of French origin to declare here on their behalf, that they are not, as a people, the intolerant bigots and fanatics that too many people in certain quarters are inclined to suppose them to be, judging them, as they unfairly and improperly do, from the unwise utterances of excited politicians, the intemperate writings of obscure newspaper people, or the occasional unlawful acts of an ignorant mob. These things are truly and sincerely deplored and deprecated by the vast majority of French Canadians, and in no sense or degree reflect their real sentiments towards their English and Protestant fellow-citizens. The French people are devoted to their church, loyal to the traditions of race and family, and attached to their country in a manner and to a degree which we would do well to emulate. And in these things they are entitled to our 983 [COMMONS] 984 deepest respect. Moreover, they are as peaceable, law-abiding, moral and kindly-disposed citizens as are to be found in any section of the Dominion; and I find that in the same measure that we respect their rights, feelings, opinions, and prejudices even, will they be found to respect ours. And just here, Sir, I would say that the true friends of the minority in the Province of Quebec are not those who, for any reason, seek to stir up religious or racial prejudices on the one side or the other, and that about the most dangerous foes we of that minority have to dread are those, from without the Province, who busy themselves discovering grievances which we do not feel to be such—or, perhaps, of which we know nothing,—and for which they are ever ready to prescribe heroic treatment. I would warn such to leave us to ourselves, for we are quite capable of protecting our own interests. And, for one, I have confidence enough in their sense of fair play and justice, to believe that, if left to the free exercise of their own impulses, the French Canadian majority will do all that in them lies — by legislation or otherwise— to render our position still more pleasant and secure. The French Canadians are, as a rule, quite as tolerant as their neighbors; and, at times, I am forced to the conclusion that in some things they are, perhaps, even a little more so. In illustration of this I would like to refer briefly to my own personal experience with them in public life; and my statement may, perhaps, prove a revelation to many to whom the idea of French domination is such a terrible bogey. Notwithstanding that about two-thirds of the electors of the County of Chateauguay are French Roman Catholics, that constituency has been represented in the Parliament of Canada for 30 years by English Protestants, my late father and myself. In my own three elections, my opponents were Roman Catholics; yet, in no instance was there any attempt on the part of residents of the county to raise the race or religion cry against me, and I have yet to learn of the first vote in any of these contests that was influenced by such considerations. I am naturally very proud of this record of my electors; but I must go still further, and say that, since I have enjoyed the honor of a seat in this House, no French Canadian priest or layman has ever intimated to me, directly or indirectly, the faintest whisper of a suggestion as to the course it might he wished I should pursue on any public question whatsoever. Having repeatedly sent me here as their representative, without exacting pledge or promise, they have left me absolutely to the exercise of my own discretion and best judgment. I am, of course, aware that my remarks have been a little aside the question actually before the House—
Some hon. MEMBERS. No, no.
Mr. HOLTON— but the debate has taken a very wide range, including the matters to which I have reference, and I wished, before its close, to say at least this much as a simple matter of justice to my French Canadian friends.
Mr. LARIVIERE. Mr. Speaker—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Question, question.
Mr. LARIVIERE. That is just what I am going to talk on—the question. After this long debate, I rely on the indulgence of the House to allow me to make just a few remarks. Coming from the west as I do, I hope I am entitled to a certain consideration, because I am very well acquainted with the people whose cause is now to be dealt with. I need not make any reference to the short Bill which has been offered to this House, because we have heard so much about it that I believe it is not now in existence; at least, after all the remarks that have fallen from the lips of the hon. members of this House, I do not believe that we shall ever be called upon to decide upon its merits. The cause of all this, Mr. Speaker, is undoubtedly the agitation which has been aroused since last year. When the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), the other evening, denied that he should be styled an agitator, I believe he did not say exactly what was correct, for anyone who peruses the speeches that hon. gentleman has made on different occasions must see that the expressions he used in those speeches are proof that he is the principal promoter of this agitation. I have in my hand a copy of a speech delivered by him in the city of Ottawa before the Equal Rights Association, from which I take the following extracts:—
"We have a record for eight months, Mr. Chairman—I mean the Equal Rights Association—which no olitical party could oast of in a decade of years, and if there are men among us now who want to go back to their old political alliance , I say, shame on them! They ought to be satisfied with what we have accomplished in so short a time. (Loud cheers.) What have we accomplished? Go to the Province of Manitoba. and what do we see there? Why, that Government is going to deal, not only with the dual language question and the iniquitous Act which would fasten it upon them, but with Separate Schools. I had the honor to stand upon the same platform at Portage la Prairie with the Attorney General of the Province"—
This is an honor that I do not envy the hon. gentleman—
—"when he announced his intention, in anticipation. of the action of his Government, that he would cease to sign the official cheque for the publication of the statutes in the dual language, or cease to be Attorney General. (Cheers.) Do you tell me that the Equal Rights Association had nothing to do with that?"
Nor Mr. McCarthy, I presume—
"Of course, the feeling was there; the grievance existed. People's minds had only to be directed to it, and the moment attention was drawn to it the Province of Manitoba rose to a man and said, 'We want no dual language, and away with Separate Schools as well.' (Applause) Let me prove what I say is correct. There ought to be no sympathv between Attorney General Martin and myself, according to old political doctrines. He is a Reformer and I a Conservative; therefore we should be sworn foes."
But I believe both can be put in the same sack. The hon. gentleman came to Manitoba and he made a speech in the constituency represented by my hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. Watson). I did not see him in my own constituency, because the reception might have been pretty cold there. Hear what he said then:
"He was glad to notice that at last the Protestant minority in Quebec had waked up, and at an early date he hoped to have the pleasure of addressing them in Montreal on the question. They all had their hands full. In Ontario they would have to contend with the question of French teaching in the schools. In Manitoba they had the dual language to deal with, and in the North West they had the same question."
This is the key:
"As soon as the work had been accomplished, they would then be in the position to master the same difficulties in the Province of Quebec."
Well, Mr. Speaker, if, after uttering such speeches, the hon. gentleman cannot be called an agitator, I really do not know what an tutor is. This question of the language as we as that of other privileges, which certain classes of the community 985 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 986 enjoy under the Constitution, is a very old question: and we have had, in the course of that debate, the history of all those privileges; but on account of the similarity of the case, I will refer to an Address which was passed by the Legislature of Canada, in 1844, to the Queen, asking that the French language be restored to the country. This Address was moved by the Hon. Mr. Papineau, and seconded by the Hon. Mr. Moffatt, on 20th December, 1844, and reads as follows:—
"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, renewing the expression ofthe faithful attachment of this House to Her Majesty's person and Government.
"Setting forth, that sensible of the advantages we enjoy from Her Majesty's care and protection, which this House trusts may long be continued to us under Her Majesty's parental sway, it is, at all times, the duty of this House to submit for Her Majesty's most gracious consideration, such matters as may have a tendency, with any class of Her Majesty's subjects, to diminish that contentment which this House is well assured. Her Majesty desires should exist in every portion of Her domains.
"Representing, that the French is the native language of a very large class of Her Majesty's subjects in this Province; of this class the great mass indeed speak no other language. In it the largest portion of their laws and the books on the system of jurisprudence are written; their daily intercourse with each other is conducted: it is the language in which alone they can invoke the blessings of Heaven on themselves and all that are dear to them. A language indispensable to so many of Her Majesty's faithful people, cannot, they will believe, be viewed by their Sovereign as foreign, when used by them.
"Stating, that Her Majesty's royal predecessors placed the languages spoken by the two great classes of Her Majesty's subjects in this Province on the same footing, affording, in this respect, equal justice and equal facility to all.
"Pointing out, that this principle was never departed from until the Act re-uniting these Provinces was passed; that this House do not question that the best intentions and designs influenced the minds of those who enacted the provision which declared:—
"'That all writs, proclamations, instruments for summoning and calling together the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly for the Province of Canada, and for proroguing and dissolving the same; and all writs of summons and elections; and all writs and public instruments whatever, relating to the said Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, or either of them, and all returns to such writs and instruments; and all journals and entries; and written and printed proceedings, of what nature soever, of the said Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, and of each of them respectively; and all written or printed proceedings and reports of Committees of the said Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, respectively, shall be in the English language, only.'
"Stating, that in the very first session of the Legislature, under that Act, it was indispensable to translate into French every public record and document; that the debates were not and could not, unless a portion of the representatives of the people were silenced, be carried on without its use; that in courts and judicial proceedings, it was found equally necessary as before the Union, and for every other practical purpose, it is as much used as it ever has been.
"Urging, that the only distinction which exists, then, is, that the French is not permitted to be the legal language of Parliamentary records; a distinction of little value perhaps in itself,—one that cannot produce any beneficial result on the feelings or habits of the people using it; while it gives rise to a feeling among them injurious to the peace and tranquillity of the Province, namely, that this limited prescription of their language convoys, however undesignedly, an imputation of unfavorable distinction towards themselves.
"Representing, that desirous that the hearts of all men in this Provmce may be joined in unity, in attachment to, and support of Her Majesty's person and Government, this House humbly petition Her Majesty to endeavor to remove this cause of discontent, and to recommend to Her Imperial Parliament, the repeal of that portion of the law which has given rise to it; assuring Her Majesty that such a course will he hailed, by Her Majesty's loyal Canadian people, as an additional mark of her solicitude for their welfare."
This was the position at the time when the French language had been abolished, and, acting upon the request of the Legislature, that language was reinstated upon the Statute-books. I have here the translation of a despatch of Lord Elgin on the same subject, in which he said:
"I am very anxious to hear that you have taken measures to abrogate this part of the Union Act that impose restrictions against the use of the French language.
"The delay happening in the execution of the promise made, I believe, by Mr. Gladstone upon this subject, is one of the paints urged by Mr. Papineau to promote this agitation.
"Again I must avow that I am profoundly convinced of the impoilitic character of all intentions of this kind to denationalise the French. In general it produces the opposite effect to that we have in view, and inflames national prejudices and animosities.
"But supposing it revives, what will be the consequences? You may be able to Americanise them, but believe me, with the same means you can never make Englishmen of the French population of the Province.
"On the other hand, they feel that their religion, their customs, their sympathies, and their prejudices, if you will, are taken more into consideration and more respected here than in any other part of this vast continent. Who would dare to say that the last arm that will raise the English flag on the American soil will not be that of a French Canadian?"
These are the words of Lord Elgin when it was asked that the French language, which had been taken away, should be restored. What is the position to-day? We have in the North—West a small population, it is true, but a population with the same rights as if they were much larger. These people have addressed this House in petitions which have been received here, and which, I must say, in spite of what has been said to the contrary, convey the expression of opinion of a large number of the people. I will read one of them, which is as follows:—
"Whereas, under the 'North-West Territories Act' the French is, equally with the English, an official language, the suppression of its use, as such in the North- West, would be a flagrant injustice towards the settlers of French origin, who were the pioneers of this country, and towards those of the same race who, upon the faith of the Constitution and existing laws, came and established themselves in the North-West, and have contributed, with other citizens of other nationalities, to the development of the resources of the country.
"Be it resolved, &c., &c. "
I say, therefore, there is a similarity in the two cases, and I hope there will be a similarity in the results. The hon. member for North Norfolk has told us this afternoon that this measure of the hon. member for North Simcoe is not an attack on the rights of any section of our community, nor on the constitution, because, he says, the French have no vested rights in the North-West. Well, Sir, that is a question which may be subject to a certain amount of discussion; but there is no doubt, in my mind, that there are vested rights for the population of the North-West, as well as there are for the French population of the Province of Quebec and other parts of Canada. It is admitted that the British North America Act has restrictive clauses whereby the minority are protected in their rights, and these rights are acknowledged in the letter of the Constitution. They are of divers kinds. For instance, as has been stated by an hon. gentleman in this debate, in the British North America Act there is a provision whereby a certain number of counties in the Province of Quebec, which are supposed to be populated by English inhabitants, will retain their present limits until the representatives 987 [COMMONS] 988 of those counties decide otherwise. This was a sort of protection for the minority. Then we have protection for the minority in the Province of Quebec, in regard to the Protestants, and in regard to their schools, and in regard to their language, and we have protection in the Province of Ontario for the minority in regard to their schools. All through the Dominion of Canada we have protection in regard to Federal legislation, for the French language, and, in Manitoba, which was created by a subsequent enactment, protection is given to the minorities in regard to schools and in regard to language. But, astonishing to say, when the Province of Manitoba was organised, it was not the Catholic or the French minority that was protected by the enactment, because at that time the Catholics and the French were in the majority. Therefore, the laws which were passed in order to give a constitution to the Province of Manitoba, were passed with the view to protect the Protestant and English minority. To-day the reverse exists. The Protestant and English-speaking population has increased, so that now the minority is on the other side. What do we see now? During the existence of the former state of things, did we ever see the majority attempt to take advantage of their position to take away the rights of the minority? No; but to-day we see that the majority, acting on the views which have been enunciated by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), are passing enactments to abolish the French language in Manitoba; and we are also threatened with an Act to abolish the Separate School system there. I may quote from a letter which was recently written by His Grace the Archbishop of St. Boniface on the subject of the Separate Schools, and also on the question of the dual language. It is dated the 22nd September, 1889, and in this letter the history of the negotiations which took place at that time between the delegates of the North-West Territories and the Canadian Government here is given in full:
"I may be permitted to review certain portions of our history perhaps not too well known. In 1868 two delegates of the Canadian Government, Sir George Cartier and the Hon. Wm. Macdougall, were sent to England to negotiate with the Imperial Government and the Hudson's Buy Co. for the acquisition of Rupert's Land and the North-West, Territories. After long eliberations, the conditions of the transfer were agreed to by the interested parties.
"Meanwhile Earl Granville, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, though rejoicing at an agreement he had so largely contributed to secure, felt a little uneasy about the future condition of the old inhabitants of the country, and, to relieve his anxiety, addressed to Sir John Young, then Governor General of Canada, a despatch dated 10th April, 1869, from which I quote the following paragraph:
"'I am sure that your Government will not forget the care which is due to those who must soon be exposed to new dangers, and in the course of settlement be dispossessed of the lands which they are used to enjoy as their own, or be confined within unwontedly narrow limits.'
"'That Government, I believe, has never sought to evade its obligation to those whose uncertain rights and rude means of living are contracted by the advance of civilised men. I am sure that they will not do so in the present case, but that the old inhabitants of the country will be treated with such forethought and consideration as may preserve them from the danger of the approaching change, and satisfy them of the friendly interest which their new governors feel in their welfare.'"
We all know, Sir, what took place at that time on the banks of the Red River. I now proceed to quote from the same letter:
"To remedy the evil, Lord Granville telegraphed to the Governor General, advising the issue of a procla mation in the name of Her Majesty, in order to quiet the minds of the disturbed. In that proclamation of the 6th Dec., 1869, we read:
"'Her Majesty commands me to state to you that she will always be ready through me, as her representative, to redress all well-founded grievances and any complaints that may be made or desire that may be expressed to me as Governor General.
"By Her Majesty's authority I do therefore assure you that, on union with Canada, all your civil and religious rights will be respected.'
"Lord Granville, having heard of the proclamation and of the good-will of the Canadian authorities, wrote as follows to Sir John Young on 8th January, 1870: 'I observe with great satisfaction the anxiety manifested by the Canadian Government to avoid any collison with the insurgents in the Red River settlement and to exhaust all means of explanation and conciliation before having recourse to force.'
"Unfortunately the difficulties of communication prevented the knowledge of the proclamation being imparted to the interested parties at Fort Garry, and, on the other hand, the same difficulty of communication left the Canadian officials at Pembina in the greatest uncertainty. Expecting that the affairs were rogressing, as understood when they left Ottawa, they thought they had but to proclaim the transfer and secure by force their entry in the North-West. They acted in accordance, but the result was altogether contrary to their hopes, and the difficulties were increased to such a lamentable extent, that Lord Granville expressed his regrets to the Governor General in a despatch dated 20th January, 1870. * * * 'I much more seriously regret the proclamation put forth by Mr. Macdougall and the commission issued y him to Colonel Dennis * * * Those proceedings do not render Her Majesty's Government less desirous of the restoration of tranquillity under the authority of the Dominion, but they have certainly enhanced the responsibility of the Canadian Government.'
"The trouble had assumed such a dangerous aspect that the Federal authorities demanded the help of men who could command the confidence of the disaffected. The Very Rev. J. B. Thibault, Vicar-General, and Colonel de Salaberry were sent to Fort Garry to make known to the people the good disposition of the Government towards them. A few days later, Douald A. Smith, Esq. (now Sir Donald) was sent as special commissioner under the Great Seal. The three were to act jointly With Governor Mactavish to secure the pacification of the country and to advise the old settlers to send delegates to Ottawa, to make known their grievances and desires. The Rev. Mr. Thibault was to distribute the proclamation on the 6th of December, but only after conferring on the subject with the Hon. Wm. Macdougall, who was supposed to be still at Pembina. The hon. gentleman ad left, so the Rev. Mr. Thibault could not see him, and the box containing the copies of the proclamation was deposited at Pembina, pending new instructions. The three gentlemen sent from Ottawa did their best to establish confidence in Canadian rule. A convention of forty representatives from the different districts of the Red River settlement was summoned for the 25th January, 1870, at Fort Garry, with the object ofconsidering the subject of Mr. Smith's commission and to decide what should be the best for the welfare of the country. The convention assembled and, under the presidency of Judge Black, discussed the affair for which they were summoned, until the 10th of February following, and they framed a Bill of Rights.
"By a resolution passed unanimously, the convention accepted the proposition made to send a delegation.
"The proceedings of the convention came to a close by the nomination of a Provisional Government having a President, a Secretary of State, &c."
"The President of the Provisional Government made known to the convention his choice of the persons he would appoint as delegates of the North-West and the Secretary of State notified these gentlemen of the choice the President had made of them. The following is a copy of the letter addressed to one of the delegates:
"'FORT GARRY, 21st Feb, 1870.
"'REVEREND Sir,—I am directed to inform you that you have been appointed by the President of the North-West Territories as co-commissmner, with John Black and Alfred Scott, Esquires, to treat with the Government of the Dominion of Canada upon terms of confederation.
"'I am. Reverend Sir,
'"Your obedient servant,
"'(Signed) THOS. BUNN,
989 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 990
"Unfortunately, the troubles were not at an end; within a few days most regrettable circumstances occurred, which prevented the fulfilment of what had been decided. The delegation was postponed and Bill of Rights put aside.
"At the same time Bishop Taché was requested to proceed to Fort Garry. The proclamation of the Governor General was handed to the prelate with request to give it to the insurgents, in order to determine them to make known their grievances, complaints or desires to the Governor General. Special importance was attached to a delegation, and to obtain it, Sir John A. Macdonald, in his letter to Bishop Taché, 16th February, says: 'In case a delegation is appointed to proceed to Ottawa, you can assure them that they Will be kindly received and their suggestions fully considered; their expenses coming here and returning, and while staying in Ottawa, will be defrayed by us.'
"The new envoy, on his arrival at Fort Garry, communicated to the leaders the desire of both Imperial and Canadian Governments with regard to a delegation; he insisted on the necessity of the measure. The Provisional Government were very diffident; the delegates themselves, who had been chosen a month before, were showing great reluctance, specially as they would not be allowed to go, except on the promise of laying and defending before the Government of Ottawa a, new Bill of Rights. After several days, all the details of the delegation had been agreed upon and the delegates received their credentials dated 22nd March, all three alike, with the exception of the names. The following is a copy of the one handed to Judge John Black.
"To this I add the list or Bill of Rights mentioned in the same. The document is rather long, but as it has never been published before it may prove interesting to many as an historical document.
"Thus equipped the three delegates started on their way to Ottawa, leaving Fort Garry on the 24th of March, 1870.
"'To Joan BLACK Esq.
"'SIR,—The President of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia in Council, by these presents, grants authority and commission to you, John Black, Esq., jointly with the Rev. N. J. Ritohot and the Honorable A. Scott, to the end that you betake yourselves to Ottawa, in Canada; and that when there you should lay before the Canadian Parliament the list entrusted to you with the presents. which list contains the conditions and propositions under which the people of Assiniboia would consent to enter into Confederation with the other Provinces of Canada.
"'Signed, the 22nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and seventy.
"'By Order,
"'(Signed) THOMAS BUNN,
"'Secretary of State.
"'Seat of Government,
"'Winnipeg, Assiniboia.'
"'Prepared by the Executive of the Provisional Government and handed over to the North-West delegates.
"'1. That the Territory of the North-West enter into the Confederation of the Dominion of Canada as a province, With all the privileges common with all the different provinces In the Dominion.
"'That this province be governed:
"'(1.) By a Lieutenant Governor, appointed by the Governor General of Canada. "'(2.) By a Senate.
"'(3.) By a Legislature chosen by the people, with a responsible Ministry.
"2. That, until such time as the increase of the population in this country entitle us to a greater number, we have two representatives in the Senate and four in the Commons of Canada.
"3. That in entering the Confederation, the Province of the North—West be completely free from the public debt of Canada; and it called upon to assume a part of the said dhebt of Canada, that it be only after having received from Canada the same amount for which the said Province of the North-West should be held responsible.   " '4. That the annual sum of $80,000 be allotted by the Dominion ot Canada to the Legislature ofthe Province of the North-West "'5. That all properties, rights and privileges enjoyed by us up to this day be respected, and that the recognition and settlement of customs, usages and rivileges be left exclusively to the decision of the Local Legislature. "'6. That this country be submitted to no direct taxa- ion, except such as may be imposed by the Local Legislature for municipal or other local purposes.
"'7. That the schools be separate, and that the public money for schools be distributed among the different religious denominations in proportion to their respective populations, according to the system of the Province of Quebec.
"'8. That the determination of the qualifications of members for the Parliament of the Province or for the Parliament of Canada be left to the Local Legislature.
"'9. That in this Province, with the exception of the Indians, who are neither civilised nor settled, every man   having attained the age of 21 years, and every foreigner being a British subiect after having resided three years in this country, and being possessed of a house, be entitled to vote at the elections for the members ofthc Local Legislature and of the Canadian Parliament, and that every foreigner other than a British subject, having resided here during the same period and being proprietor of a house, he likewise entitled to vote on condition of taking the oath of allegiance.
"'It is understood that this article is subject to amendment by the Local Legislature exclusively.
"'10. That the bargain of the Hudson Bay Company with respect to the transfer of government of this country to the Dominion of Canada never have in any case an effect prejudicial to the rights of the North—West.
"'11. That the Local Legislature of this Province have full control over all the lands ofthe North—West.
"'12. That a commission of engineers appointed by Canada explore the various districtsof the North-West, and lay before the Local Legislature within the space of five years a report of the mineral wealth of the country.
"'13. That treaties be concluded between Canada and the different Indian tribes of the North-West at the request and with the co-operation of the Local Legislature.
"'14. That. an uninterrupted steam communication from Lake Superior to Fort Garry be guaranteed to be completed within the space of five years, as well as the construction of a railway connecting the American railway as soon as the latter reaches the international boundary.
"'15. That all public buildings and constructions be at the cost of the Canadian exchequer.
"'16. That both the English and French languages be common in the Legislature and in the courts; and that all public documents, as well as the Acts of the Legislature, be published in both languages.
"'17. That the Lieutenant Governor to be appointed for the Province ofthe North-West be familiar with both the English and French languages.
"'18. That the judge oft e Supreme Court speak the English and French languages.  
"'19. That all debts contracted by the Provisional Government of the Territory of the North-West, now called Assiniboia, in consequence of the illegal and inconsiderate measures adopted by Canadian officials to bring about a civil war in our midst, be paid out of the Dominion Treasury, and that none of the Provisional Government or any of those acting under them, be in any way held liable or responsible with regard to the movement or any of the actions which led to the present negotiations.'
"While all this was going on on the banks of the Red River of the North-West, great anxiety and uneasiness continued to prevail in the Colonial Office in Downing street and at Ottawa; numerous despatches and telegrams were exchanged between the two. The following will give an idea of what was desired, hoped or feared:—
"On the 5th of March Lord Granville telegraphed to Sir John Young: 'Her Majesty's Government will give proposed military assistance, provided reasonable terms are granted to the Red River settlers.'
"On the 17th of March the same to the same: 'Let me know by telegram when you know delegates have started from Fort Garry.'
"Sir F. Rogers, Under-Secretary for the Colonies writes on the 22nd March: 'Troops should not be employed in forcing the sovereignty ofCanada on the population of Red River should they refuse to admit it.'
"On the 4th of April, the Governor General conveyed by telegram to Earl Granville startling information: 'Smith came here on Saturday from Fort Garry with bad news. A Canadian called Scott was, by Riel's orders, tried by court—martial and shot, with the View it is supposed, of compromising Riel's followers before Taché had arrived. They say the delegates are coming, but it is quite clear Riel will yield to nothing but force. Things now look, I think, very bad.'
"On the 7th of April, the same telegraphed to the same: 'Last of the delegates is expected at St. Paul on Thursday the 14th, the others arrived there to-day, and may reach Ottawa on be turday the 9th.'
"Distressing as the news was, Earl Granville had still confidence in the negotiations he had so constantly urged; on the 9th of the same month he telegraphed to the Gov 991 [COMMONS] 992 ernor General: 'Let me know as soon as you can by telegram result of negotiations with Red River delegates.'
"It is evident from the above documents that Her Majesty's Government had no desire to impose by force the sovereignty of Canada on the settlers of Assniboia, but that they were exceedingly anxious of a peaceable settlement through negotiations with the delegates. No need to add that all this was said and done in perfect good faith, on the part of Earl Granville, and that Her Majesty's Government intended to bind themselves to protect and safeguard the agreement, secured not only with their sanction, but at their explicit and repeated request.
"The two first delegates arrived at Ottawa on the 11th; in spite of what had been said and promised, they were arrested. This incident, which could have caused serious complications, was learned with regret by Lord Granville, who telegraphed to the Governor General: 'Was arrest of delegates authorised by the Canadian Government? Send full information by telegram.'
"Sir John Young answered the next day; 'Arrest of delegates was not authorised by the Canadian Government.'
"On the 23rd of the same month of April, Earl Granville thus informed the Governor General: 'Canadian Government to accept decision of Her Majesty's Government on all portions of the settlers' Bill of Rights.'
"The very same day the negotiations began at Ottawa. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George Cartier were a pointed by the Canadian Government to treat with the three delegates of the North-West.
"The first interview was merely preliminary. On Monday the 25th, the two Ministers and the three delegates met again; the delegates insisted on a written acknowledgment of their official position and declared that the list or Bill of Rights they had brought with them was the only basis on which they were authorised to treat with the Government. Objections were made, but after a long discussion, it was agreed that the written acknowledgment would be given next day, and the list be produced by the delegates.
"On the 26th, at the next meeting the promised letter was given by the Ministers and the List of Rights produced by the delegates, and, practically, the official negotiations began this day and lasted until the 3rd of May, when the principal points on the List of Rights were agreed upon, leaving some details for further consideration.
"It is not generally known that the new Bill of Rights was the basis of negotiations, but it is nevertheless the case, and many points granted, as expressed in the Manitoba Act, were demanded in no other document, except on the List of Rights presented by the delegates.
"The first article is a very important feature of this new Bill of Rights. It contains the demand for the establishment of a Province covering the whole North- West, with all the privileges and governing machinery appertaining to other Provinces, including a responsible Government. This met with strong objections, but at last was conceded on the condition of reducing the new Province to very small proportions.
"Article II also caused a long discussion; it asked for the control of all the lands of the North-West by the Local Legislature. To this, both the Imperial and Canadian authorities refused to accede, but to condone for this refusal they gave to the children of the half-breed inhabitants of the country one million four hundred thousand acres of land, which had not been asked for, and with the understanding that by-and-bye they would also give some lands to the parents of those children and to other old settlers.
"The question of separate schools, as demanded in the 7th article of the List of Rights, was taken into consideration; the delegates were promised that the would not only have the benefit of the provisions of the 'British North America Act,' but they might rest assured and might assure the people of the Red River, that separate schools would be guaranteed to them.
"The recognition of the use of the French language, as an official language,was conceded as expressed in the 16th article of the List of Rights, with the promise that attention would be paid to the demands of the 17th and 18th articles, as in fact it has been done, if not completely, at least enough to satisfy the interested parties.
"The whole list having been examined, accepted, modified or rejected to the satisfaction of the negotiating parties, the Governor General telegraphed to Earl Granville on the 3rd ofMay: 'Negotiations with the delegates closed satisfactorily.'
"The negotiations had been asked for, they had been urged both by the he Imperial and Federal authorities, the Government of Her Majesty had exacted from the Canadian Government the acceptance by the latter of the decision of the former on all points of the Bill of Rights. They had sent an official envoy to Ottawa to watch the conference, and when it is announced that the negotiations are closed satisfactorily it must mean that the Imperial Government is satisfied that its views on this subject will be carried out, and that no inferior authority would have power to disturb them.
"Lord Granville, in one of his despatches, says: 'I am glad to learn that the proceedings adopted against the Rev. Mr. Ritchot and Mr. Scott were promptly disposed of, and had not been renewed: and I take this opportunity of expressing the satisfaction with which I have learned from your telegram of the 3rd inst., that the Canadian Government and the delegates have come to an understanding as to the terms on which the settlement of the Red River should be admitted into the Dominion.'
"All this is previous to the Manitoba Act; it is a treaty between contracting parties placed on a certain footing of equality, as the Government of Her Majesty had declared 'troops should not be employed in forcing the sovereignty of Canada on the population of the Red River, should they refuse to admit it.'"
These are the conditions upon which all that territory entered into the Confederation, and, therefore, when the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) said there are no vested rights, I say there are, and those rights are contained in the agreement, or in what I might call the treaty which was entered into between the authorities of this country and the people of the North-West through their representatives.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Question.
Mr. LARIVIERE. I think I am dealing with the question. This question of the dual language has been discussed in the North-West Legislature. We have had here an address from that noble body which I will not read because it is already on record. That address was prepared by a sub-committee of the Council, and upon receiving that address the Council had a debate. The chairman of the committee who prepared the address, laid it on the Table, and a short debate followed. From the local paper there I quote the following:—
"Mr. Justice Rouleau asked hon. gentlemen to give their reasons for wishing to abolish the dual language which had been in their Constitution for so many years.
"Mr. Mitchell also asked for reasons. What harm had the French language done? What objection had there been to it? It was a little expensive, but the expensive way was the best. They were asking for a law to deprive the oldest resldents of the country—the pioneers —from reading their own language.
"Mr. Oliver supported the contention of the judge. As a matter of courtesy, the members who introduced this question should give an explanation of their reasons."
Well, Sir, we have the explanation of the chairman of that committee in bringing down that report.
"Mr. Cayley went over the history of the enactment of the section imposing the dual language in the North West, it having been put in at the instance of Senator Girard fourteen years ago. The discussion in his own district was to one effect, that the continuance of the dual language in the North-West was unnecessary. When a question of this sort, which might hurt the feelings of some of the residents of the country, came up, it was best that members should not state all their private reasons."
This is the reason given—that is to say, no reason at all was given because it was assumed that it would not well to state the private reasons. So this document, which has been termed an address of the North-West Council to this House, was decided upon not for public purposes, not for the benefit of the public at large, but for private reasons that could not be stated publicly; and we are today called upon to act upon the request of men who pretend to have reasons, but private reasons such as cannot be stated publicly. Mr. Thorborn said:
993 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 994
"It was stated as the opinion of the assembly that the sentiment of the people was against the continuance of the section. This was very signally acknowledged by the Executive, on opening the session, by his not reading the speech in French as well as English."
There we find a reason at last:
"Mr. Mitchell again asked what harm the dual language did. They proposed to take away a right from a certain class of the people. There was no common sense in it."
This is the debate. But no reasons were given, no more reasons were given than those which we see in the reports of the proceedings of that Council. This address was passed, it is true, but we have a very long and able speech made by Mr. Justice Rouleau. Unfortunately that gentleman is only an ex-officio member of the Council, and could not give his vote against the address that was presented at the time. Now, I wish to refer, en passant, to some of the judge's remarks. It appears that the hon. member for North Simcoe has some admirers in the North-West Territories; that he has created a certain school, which, however, is no school at all. He has followers there—anti-Frenchmen. When His Excellency the Governor General visited that country last summer, at Calgary they built an arch over the roadway opposite the hotel, and, of course, the most appropriate motto that could be put on that arch was the motto of His Excellency's coat-of-arms—sans changer. But that was French, and the people had the greatest objection to put a French motto in the streets of Calgary. So they went on and translated it, and put up the words "no change." But as the arch happened to be opposite a hotel, the poor hotel- keeper did not have a single customer on that day, because everybody was afraid to go in there for fear that they would get no change. But here is something extraordinary, Mr. Speaker, though not a similar case, which happened a few years ago in the Province of Ontario, in a little town called— shall I name it?—St. Thomas. There is in that town a young ladies' school, and although they may be admirers of the hon. member, still they love the French language in that institution. Of course, they had to have a motto for their school. It was somewhat of an ambitious motto, I dare say, and, perhaps, it well became this institution, because it was a. very good institution. Of course, an institution, like a nobleman, must have a motto, if nothing else. They had to have a motto from some other language than the English, and without having the fear of the hon. member for North Simcoe before their eyes, they adopted—not a Latin or a Greek motto—but a French motto, because all great men have French mottoes, and in that respect they differ from my hon. friend, whose motto is anti-French. Well, they selected a sentence in English, which, translated into French, would make a splendid motto. Their idea. was to convey the impression that their Institution was second to none in the country; and they took the two shortest words they could find in the English language and translated them Into French. They took "second to none," which means "never behind," and so they looked up a French dictiona and found that a literal translation of "never behind" was jamais en derruère. Well, Sir, when I was called away from the ques- ion a little while ago, I was the history of that address presented by the North-West Council. There is a point upon which I wish to call the attention of this House. We have been asked to trust to the majority of the people of the North-West for the future of our interests, to trust them for the preservation of our rights, for the maintenance of our religion, our schoo s, and even our language. Now, the other day, in voting in favor of the amendment of my hon. friend from Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil), we refused to accept the suggestion that had been made by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). I wish to show you that we were perfectly right in refusing to accept the amemlment of the member for West Assiniboia, and in accepting the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier, because the history of what has taken place in Manitoba is certainly not satisfactory, and is a proof that if in the future we are treated in the same manner as we have been in the past, we are not so certain about the safety of our rights and interests. As I told you a little While ago, under the Constitution of Manitoba we have rights in regard to our language and to our schools, and those rights and claims cannot be interfered with. Moreover, at the time of Confederation, our then Lieutenant Governor, whom I am glad to see on the floor of this House, Sir Adams Archibald, took every precaution to prevent friction between the two classes of the community who were then very excited after the little rebellion that had taken place. The then Lieutenant Governor gave to each class of the community a fair, just and proper representation. Although the French had a small majority and the Catholics a small majority, the Lower House—and we had two Houses—was divided into 24 constituencies and sub-divided, so that 12 members were given to the English-speaking Protestant community, and 12 members who could be returned by Roman Catholics, whether Irish, English or French. The Upper House was composed of seven members, and the Roman Catholics were given a majority of one on account of a majority of people of that faith in the Province. Thus the then Lieutenant Governor dealt with the question in a liberal-minded manner, to the satisfaction of every class. Later on we were asked to abolish our Legislative Council. The Council was the only safeguard we possessed after the influx of population had taken place, and the Catholic and rench population had een outnumbered, and if the Council had been retained the rights of the majority could never be endangered. A debate took place in the Legislature on that proposition. In that debate the French members complained strongly that they were asked to vote away the only safeguard they possessed—the Upper House. What took place at that time? The English-speaking members came to the front, and said: We must do away with the Upper House because the Federal Government, led by the Hon. Mr. Mackenzie, insisted upon a reduction of the expenses of the Administration and insisted on the abolition of the Upper House, and if the request is not acceded to we will not get the better terms which are so much require. The French members accepted the proposition, on the promise that on no occasion would they have reason to complain of any attempt on the part of the majority to interfere with the rights of the minority. I have extracts from speeches made at that time. This is what Mr. W. F. Luxton, who was then member for Rockwood, said:
995 [COMMONS] 996
"There were some questions of settlements which lay close to the hearts of the French people, and he could assure them that, notwithstanding the movements of the member for Kildonan (John Sutherland), the English members would not ruthlessly deal with these if the French representatives were sufficiently patriotic to support the measure before the House. They would recognise their generosity and not forget it."
Another member, quoting from the late Francis Evans Cornish, who was then representing High Bluff, a distinguished advocate, and at one time Mayor of Winnipeg, sitting in his seat and speaking on the same question, said:
"He believed the old settlers and the French would make common cause if their rights were infringed upon, and he could assure them when the Canadian party became the very great majority it would not be found oppressive."
In its issue of the 12th February, 1876, the Free Press gave the reasons why the French members voted in favor of the abolition of the Legislative Council:
"0n the profession of liberality made by the English- speaking representatives upon the floor of the House, under these circumstances, every French member of the Assembly voted in favor of the measure."
This is a treaty entered into between the French and English-speaking members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, when the French members were asked to surrender their right to the Legislative Council, which was their safeguard, and to trust to the future, relying on the promises of the hon. members who were then representing the English-speaking portion of the population. What has been the result? To—day legislation is being passed, in that very Legislature, unanimously passed, by the English—speaking members of the House, to abolish the French language, and they are going to abolish the Separate Schools in the face of the agreement solemnly entered upon in the Legislature by their predecessors. In the face of that fact, can it be matter of surprise that we should be reluctant to accept anything less than the fullest guarantee that this House can give? But we have trusted the future before, and we are willing to trust it again; but I hope we will never have the same history repeated as that which we have to record with regard to the Province of Manitoba. It may be said: You will not meet with the same fate in the North-West. I hope such may be the case; but as all sorts of extraneous matters have been brought into the discussion, I will quote a paragraph from a newspaper. The Moosomin Courier on 5th September, 1889, published an article headed "One people, one Language." It said:
"Are they [the Roman Catholics] a superior kind of people from Protestants, that they hold themselves aloof by having separate schools.  
"To private schools no one can object, but we most emphatically protest against separate schools. being maintained by the Government, or any denomination other than Protestants. Our motto is: 'One People, One Country, One Religion.'"
This is the kind of literature that is being circulated by the newspapers in the North-West. Knowing these facts, are we to be blamed if we resist any attempt to deprive us of what we consider and claim to be our vested rights, and if we ask this House, in which we have perfect confidence, not to delegate its power to the Legislatures, which do not view matters in the same light as we view them? I believe we should be t ankful to the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), for having brought on this debate. We are already beginning to feel the good results that will come out of it. I am to-day in receipt of a newspaper published in Winnipeg, a paper that has always advocated the abolition of the French language in the Province of Manitoba— the Manitoba Free Press. In the course of an article it says:
"In Manitoba we have abolished,as we think,the use of the French language and are now proceeding against Separate Schools. From the light of the recent debate at Ottawa. it would not seem so sure that we have been right in assuming to settle the language question alone."
This is the beginning of the result that we are going to derive from this debate, and therefore I am not sorry that it has taken place. I shall lay aside several matters that I intended to bring before the House, and I will conclude my remarks by stating that what has been said by some hon. gentlemen to the effect that the French language was not recognised in the United States was erroneously so stated. I take from "The American Statute Law" the following:—
"The language taught in the schools is, by the Constitutions of three States, to be English; but in Louisiana the instruction may be given in French."
From the same book, "The American Statute Law," I take the following:—
"By the constitutions of four States the laws, public records and written legislative and judicial roceedings shall be promulgate, and preserved in the English language only. But in Colorado, laws are also to be published in English and German, and in Louisiana the Legislature may provlde for the publication of laws in the French language, and that Judicial advertisements in certain designated districts may be made in French. So in Missouri, certain charters, &c., in the German language. So in Maryland, proposed amendments to the constitution, in German."
We see from this that there are only four states where the English language is at all the official language. From this authority (which, being the statute law of the United States, cannot be questioned), we can see what takes place with regard to the language question ri ht across the lines; the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) to the contrary notwithstanding. I could cite some other instances to prove the law in the United States with regard to this matter, but I think this ought to be sufficient to convince hon. gentlemen. Let me just quote something with regard to the French language in the Island of Jersey. So much has been said about the other British colonies that I will not refer to them. I will quote from a book written by Abraham J. LeCras, entitled "The Laws, Customs and Privileges, and their Administration, in the Island of Jersey," as follows:—
"Language—Notwithstanding English is now generally spoken in the Island, the language of the State and of the Gourt is a French dialect peculiar to ancient Normandy, and which operates very much to the prejudice of English suitors, whose causes are usually the most important that are brought before the local tribunals, because a sworn interpreter is not appointed. In the case of Godfray on the prosecution of the Crown v. Robertson (1838), on the demand of the defendant that the said Godfray, who was a witness, should give his deposition in English, as the former did not understand French, the Court (Bisson and E. Nicolle, on the conclusions of the Attorney General overrul the demand, and decided that it was only Her Majesty in Council who could alter the form of proceeding in this bailiwick."
We see from this that even in an English colony the French language alone is official. The hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has read some telegrams which he has said to have received from the North-West, where assemblies 997 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 998 or meetings have been held, declaring that the mass of the people were in favor of the abolition of the French language. I am in receipt of an address from Qu'Appelle, dated the 7th of February, 1890, in which it is stated (I translate from the original French):
"Please accept profession of our profound gratitude for the opposition you have given to the Act concerning the abolition of the French language in the North-West Territories and for your vigorous defence of our rights. &c., &c."
I shall not take time to read the whole document. This is signed by 217 people; and amongst those who signed I find the names of J. B. Farrell, C. B. Spencer, W. H. Finnerty, J. A. Crooks, J. R. Oliver, and others. About one-third of the names are of English, Scotch, Irish, and even German- speaking persons, and they congratulate me on the stand I took when the first reading of this Bill was proposed to this House. Here are 217 names of opponents to this Bill from one locality alone; so that the unanimity which we have been told existed in the North-West in favor of the abolition of the French language does not exist. I have to thank the House, Mr. Speaker, for the attention which has been paid to my remarks; and I am sorry that I have felt it my duty to detain you so long. I have again to express the hope that the proposition made by the hon. Minister of Justice will be accepted. I, for my part, accept it as a compromise, although I do not admit that this House has the right to ask us to deprive the French people of the North-West Territories of a single portion of what I consider to be their rights. Yet, in order to promote the peace and tranquillity of this Dominion, I accept this amendment as a compromise, and I hope that the House will unanimously endorse it. I trust that in the future we shall have no reason to complain of the position we have taken to-day.
It being six o'clock, the Speaker left the chair.

After Recess.

Sir HECTOR LANGEVIN. I would suggest, as this is the seventh day on which we have been discussing the measure which was before the House this afternoon, that the consideration of private Bills should be postponed until Monday. All the members in town having charge of private Bills consent to this postponement. I, therefore, propose that we should go back to the Order of this afternoon.
Mr. MITCHELL. I have much pleasure in supporting that. I think it is a very reasonable proposition.
Mr. BEAUSOLEIL. I desire, with the permission of the House, to offer a few remarks in explanation of the reasons why I cannot support the amendment proposed by the hon. Minister of Justice, and seconded by the hon. Secretary of State. It has been stated, in justification of that motion, that it is a compromise between two contending parties whose extreme views could not be reconciled. But I have not heard that the party most interested in this uestion, that is to say, the French pulation o the North-West Territories, have been consulted or represented in this compromise; on the contrary, it appears that the two wings of the Government party in this House, French and English, have agreed to settle their differences by sacrificing the rights and privileges of the French pulation of the North- West. To effect that object, they agree upon this compromise amendment, which professes to maintain the rights and privileges of the French-speaking people in the old Provinces of Canada; but the rights and privileges of the French people of the North-West are to be left to the tender mercies of a council, which, according to the hon. member for North Simcoe, has intimated to the Lieutenant Governor that if he should dare to speak French in their presence, they would leave the Chamber in a body. A compromise proposed under such circumstances I cannot accept; I cannot agree that under one pretence or another the constitutional rights of the minority in the North- West should be sacrificed. Some people are willing that those interests should be sacrificed in the name of Provincial rights or Provincial autonomy; but there is no question of Provincial rights or Provincial autonomy in the resent instance. There are no Provinces in the North-West Territories which are under the jurisdiction of the Dominion Parliament, and are to a great extent governed by laws enacted by this Legislature. But even were Provincial rights in question, there are some rights which have been put above all others—above even Provincial rights—by the Imperial Parliament; these are the rights of minorities. Now, it is proposed by this compromise amendment, to leave the rights of the minority in the North-West to the control of the Legislative Assembly there after the next general election. If that course is the right one, how is it that the Imperial Parliament, in the Act of 1867, did not leave to the Parliament of Canada the right of deciding whether one language or two shoud be spoken in this chamber, and whether its proceedings and records should be printed in one or two languages? And how is it that the same control was not given to the Legislature of the Province of Quebec over the language of its proceedings and records? The fact that this subject, so far as it concerned the Dominion and the Province of Quebec, was settled by the Imperial Parliament in the Confederation Act, proves that it is not of the essence of Provincial rights that a Provincial Legislature should have the power of deciding in what language its proceedings should be carried on, or its records printed. Now, I contend that we are in the midst of a crusade organised by the hon. member for North Simcoe for the purpose of depriving the French population of their language, their institutions, and their schools. His programme has been promulgated in Ontario, Manitoba, and the Territories, and we are asked to-day to help him to carry out his scheme. That hon. gentleman, both in this House and outside of the House, has stated that his programme for his future lifetime is the abolition of the French language in Manitoba and the North- West, the abo ition of the Separate Schools in Ontario, the abolition of the French language in the House of Commons, and, in the course of time, the abolition of the French language, in the Province of Quebec, although he does not expect to succeed for several years. Now, what is the object of the proposition made by the hon. Minister of Justice, in the opinion of all the newspapers, French and English, Liberal and Conservative, which have discussed the 999 [COMMONS] 1000 hon. Minister's proposition during the last three days, as well as in the opinion of a great many members who have discussed the matter? It is agreed that that proposition is really the McCarthy Bill in disguise. The Star of Montreal is a very influential Tory paper, enjoying one of the largest circulations in Canada, and it stated immediately after the amendment was proposed:
"The vote on Mr. Beausoleil's amendment to Mr. McCarthy's Bill is an indication that one of the motions now before the House to bring about the abolition of the dual official language system in the North-West Will be carried by a considerable majority. Evidently theHouse will not adopt Mr. McCarthy's motion under any circumstances but for all ractical purposes it does not make much difference whether the ouse takes the bitter McCarthy pill, the same pill sugar-coated by Mr. Davin or the same pill sugar-coated by Sir JohnThompson. * * * Mr. Davin's amendment to allow the North-West Assembly to relieve Parliament of the responsibility of abolishing the dual language system after the next election, and Sir John Thompson's amendment in other words to do precisely the same thing. The difference between Sir John Thompson's amendment and Mr.Davin's is that Sir John's begins by affirming the convenant rights of the French to the official use of the French language and denying that community of language is in the interests of national unity, and ends by giving the Local Assembly power to smash the alleged convenant and establish communitv of language while Mr. Davin's amendment leaves the covenant alone. * * * Whether Sir John Thompson's amendment or Mr. Davin's amendment carry, Mr. McCarthy will have brought about the abolition of the dual language system in the North- West."
The Witness, which is an extreme Protestant paper, and which, though it pretends sometimes to be Liberal, is very illiberal at bottom, said:
"The Dominion Parliament, in passing this resolution and empowering the Assembly to take action, as well as in suggesting it, is responsible, in spite of itself, for the settlement which is to follow. The French-speaking, that is, the French and half-breed population of the North-West is not so insignificant as we assumed from declarations in Parliament, which remains uncontradicted. In 1885 it formed about twenty-four per cent. of the enfranchised population of the Territories, and about twelve per cent of the whole population, Indian and white. What the verdict of the Territories will be, is clearly evident beforehand especially as the pro ortion of the English-Speaking and French-speaking popu ations has greatly increased during the past four years."
So much for the English press. If we turn to the French press, we find L'Etendard, both of yesterday and today, has denounced the amendment as being similar, in every respect, to the McCarthy Bill; and now we have L'Electeur, the most important Liberal newspaper in the Province of Quebec, saying as follows:—
(Translation). "This last concession was hardly made when we saw Sir John A. Macdonald trying to secure a still more important one and threatening his partisans with an immediate dissolution if they would not yield submissively to this new sacrifice. Sir John has, in fact, caused his Minister of Justice, Sir John Thompson, to move an amendment to the McCarthy Bill, which, on the whole is, in a disguised form, nothing short of the Davin amendment. [We give in another column the text of the Dawn amendment.] Once the principle sanctioned as regards the North-West Legislature shall apply to Manitoba, where our compatriots are still in a minority, and where both parties have agreed to repeal, of their own free will the official use of the French language. It is easy to understand that, once the principle sanctioned the door is open, and that the last bulwark that protected one of our rights is down. The French language will be abolished in the Territories and Manitoba, where the French Canadians have, nevertheless, been the first pioneers, the first civilising people. There is no room left for idle hopes."
Here is the advice it gives:
"Our friends in Ottawa are, unfortunately, on the Opposition side, that is to say, powerless to secure the triumph of their broad and liberal ideas,towhich the Hon. Mr. Blake, a few days ago, gave voice in eloquent words. But we beseech them to stand firm and to do their duty to the end, and we feel that they shall have, not only the sympathies of our co-religionists and fellow-countrymen, but also those of an imposing number of fair-minded English-speaking people who consider as an honor to follow the traditions of the Liberals of old England, and follow the steps of those who, in the old country, defend the cause of Home Rule and equality of rights for all races and all creeds under the British flag."
I might quote several other newspapers which have declared themselves on this amendment moved by the hon. Minister of Justice, and, without exception, they all agree that it is a sacrifice of the rights and privileges of the French population of the North-West, in order to purchase peace in this House, because the Government expect that, if this amendment be adopted, we will hear no more about the repeal of clause 110 of the British North America Act. But I may say that this is only the beginning of the agitation led by the hon. member for North Simcoe, and that so long as there will be a remnant of French or Catholic institutions, whether in the North-West, or in Manitoba, or Ontario, or in any other portion of the Dominion, we will have that hon. gentleman coming into this House, year after year, and endeavoring to perpetuate this agitation which has been excited under his leadership. There is only one effective way of finally settling this question, and that is to vote for the amendment I have proposed, and thus clearly put on record our opinion, which is that of almost every hon. gentleman who has spoken, that this Bill of the hon. member of North Simcoe is a mischievous attempt to set race against race and creed against creed. It is for this House, and especially the Government, to take a bold stand, and say, once for all, that such an attempt shall not be tolerated, and by a crushing vote of the whole House against the five or six, or it may be ten, who would follow the hon. member for North Simcoe, declare that we are not prepared to give these men the means of disturbing the good feeling and understanding which now exists between the two races in this country, and we will not allow them to perpetuate the division which they have started and which has given rise to feelings it will take a long time to allay. It is not by yielding to the fire-brands who go through the country sowing the seeds of discord, that we will become unite, but it is by showing them that the good sense of the country, as represented in this House, is in a position to deal with them in a summary manner by stamping out this agitation, and showing them they have no standing in the House or the country and that their course will not be tolerated. I am very sorry we are not about to take this course, and all the more so because I am obliged to separate myself from my most esteemed leader, in whom I have always had the greatest confidence. But this question has been left an open one, and I take the opportunity of voting according to my judgment, and in accord with the sentiments I feel so strongly in this matter, even though I be compelled to differ from my leader. Another cause for regret to me is that, by separating myself from my leader, I shall be obliged to vote in company with the hon. member for North Simcoe, but it will be the first time, and I hope the last, because I hope that the next time that hon. gentleman, or any other, attempts to create trouble in the country, a more vigorous policy will 1001 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 1002 be followed, and that the House will be almost unanimous against those who attempt to destroy the happiness, the prosperity, and the good feeling that now exists, and I hope will always exist, between the different creeds and races of this country.
Mr. WALLACE. It is not my intention, at this late stage of the debate, to make any lengthy remarks, butI cannot allow this question to pass and give a silent vote upon it. We have been, on more than one occasion, brought face to face with racial and religious difficulties. For these difficulties, I think no man in this country is more responsible than the ex-leader of the Opposition, the hon. member for West Durham. That hon. gentleman, nearly twenty years ago, made capital out of the Scott murder case in the endeavor to gain power in Ontario, and when he had accomplished his purpose, he quickly dropped the subject so as not to embarrass his friends in the Dominion elections that were then about to follow. At a later date, on the question of the hanging of Louis Riel, the hon. member for West Durham, in his London speech, told the people that he would not make a platform for his party out of the Regina scaffold. Well, every true- minded patriot in this country commended that sentiment. But what did we find afterwards? when the Government thought that a murderer is a murderer, no matter what his nationality may be, We find the hon. gentleman taking the other side of the question and going back on the record he had made for himself in London, going back upon the declarations he solemnly made in London, though he knew the whole facts of the case then as much as he did afterwards, and as much as he knows them to-day. We find this hon. gentleman in this House, within the last few days, regretting that these difficulties were coming up again; but I believe that no one in this country is more responsible for these difficulties than the hon. gentleman himself. With reference to the question which is immediately before the House, we have been told that the North-West Council had no mandate from the people to dispose of this question, and we were told by the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) that they were in a state of tutelage. I think there is no portion of the people of this country more intelligent than our North- West settlers. They are the flower of the older Provinces of Canada; they are young, enterprising and intelligent men; they are young men of education, and I think they are as well calculated to Express an opinion upon questions as they arise as the population of any other portion of this Dominion. Therefore, while I am in favor of the Bill as introduced by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy); and while I regret that the tone of this debate, on the other side, was not in mutation of the moderation of the hon. gentleman who introduced the Bill, I think the people of the North-West themselves are better qualified to pronounce upon this question than even we are in the House of Commons. Another reason is. that the House of Commons to-day may repeal the 110th clause of the North-West Territories Act, and next Sessiion, or in the next Parliament, it may re-enact that clause; and, therefore, we would be brought face to face, either at every Session of Parliament or in every new Parlia ment, with this question. If we relegate it to the North-West Council, or to the new Legislatures we are creating in that country, to which each time we are giving largely increased powers, we know this, that when once you give power to a Local Legislature, you can never take it away again. The Local Legislatures are tenacious of any rights and privileges which are given to them; and, therefore, when you clothe them with a certain power, that power remains with them. Therefore, if either of these amendments is adopted by the House, you are more permanently settling the question than even by the adoption of the Bill itself. For these reasons, I will favor the amendment moved by the hon. the Minister of Justice, though it does not go as far as I would like to go, or as far as the amendment of the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), which I more favor. But we cannot have everything our own way. While a spirit of compromise and conciliation is abroad, I think, as patriots, and as loyal citizens of Canada, we should try to meet each other half way. In the first place, therefore, I give my adhesion to the amendment of the hon. the Minister of Justice.
Mr. WATSON. This debate has taken a very wide range, and, to my mind, the practical question before the House has not been discussed as it should have been. If it had been so discussed, this debate would have ended three or four days ago. I am rather surprised that the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Wallace) appears to desire to revive the old debate on the Riel question. That is a matter which is entirely foreign to this debate. I think the French people are somewhat to blame for this discussion. I believe that clause 110 was, in a sense, smuggled into this Act by Senator Girard in the Senate, and that it should never have been there. From reading the debates, I think that clause was inserted contrary to the wishes of the hon. gentlemen who were then in power, but, as that House was composed of a majority who were against the policy and principles of the majority in the popular House, they did as they pleased, and, if that clause had not been accepted, that Bill would have been delayed for another season. In regard to the visit of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) to the North-West, he did not trouble me very much on his visit to Portage la Prairie. Even up to the present, I have some doubts as to the honesty of that gentleman, and as to his sincerity, in wanting to do good to people of the North-West. It appears to me that he came there more for the sake of agitation than for any practical good. The hon. member for Provencher (Mr. LaRivière) made a reference to his visit and his speech on that occasion. I think his quotations from that speech are perfectly accurate, but he also referred to the Attorney General of the Province of Manitoba, who stood on the platform on that occasion, and he said he did not envy him his company. It was hardly necessary for the hon. member to make that statement, as this House knows that the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. LaRiviere) has not much use for the Attorney General of Manitoba, and that about the time he came around the legislative halls of that Province, the member for Provencher was very scarce. I believe that no change should be made in the 1003 [COMMONS] 1004 constitution under which people live without consulting the people, and, though I believe that section 110 was smuggled into that Act and should never have been there, nevertheless as the people of the North-West have been living under that clause enacted by this Parliament, I do not think we should remove it without consulting them. I am not a lawyer, but I much prefer the amendment of the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) to that of the Minister of Justice, which has so many surrounding clauses, which contains so many things that appear to a layman to be a mystery. The amendment of the hon. member for West Assiniboia is plain, and I do not feel disposed to vote for the amendment of the Minister of Justice, as it recites certain things with which I do not agree. It says:
"That, on the contrary, this House declares its adherence to the said covenants audits determination to resist any attempt to impair the same."
I believe, that at any time when it is in the interests of any Province of the Dominion that even the British North America Act should be changed, it should be changed for the convenience of the people living under that Act. Believing that, I could not consistently vote for the amendment to the amendment. It is quite possible that the Province from which I come may have occasion to seek to amend the British North America Act in some measure, to relieve them from some privileges which were granted to a minority in that Province which are objectionable to the majority. The French language is practically done away with in Manitoba, as far as the Legislature is concerned. It has been abolished by a vote of twenty-four to six, and in a full House of the representatives there would have been a vote of thirty-two to six. The people of the North- West Territories are similarly situated to those of Manitoba, and I have no doubt they desire to have only one official language in the North-West. Another reason why I cannot vote for the Bill introduced by the hon. member for Simcoe is the fact that I find that six of the gentlemen composing the North-West Council expressed themselves as being favorable to the power being granted them by this Parliament to deal with this question. They did not ask that an Act should be passed to repeal clause 110, as I understood from the hon. member for Simcoe, but they asked that they should have the power to do away with the French language if they saw fit. I will quote some extracts from the speeches delivered by a few of those gentlemen in the North-West Assembly. The hon. member for Provencher stated that Mr. Judge Rouleau had expressed himself as being sorry that he had not a vote, in order that he might cast it against the memorial presented to this House. I find in the report of the speeches in the Press the following:
"Judge Rouleau spoke at great length upon the question. He claimed that no action could be taken until the people had a chance to express themselves upon the matter. Let the members make it an issue at the next election if they wished. He had spoken French before he had spoken English, and this memorial proposed to deprive him and others of their mother tongue. He closed by again claimin that the question should be decided by the electors, and hinted that some of the members who would probably vote for this now, might suffer at the next election.
"Mr. Haultain ointed out that the assembly, in asking for the removal of a restrictive clause, was simply asking for more powers, and that they could make the use of the power to deal with the language question, an issue at the next election. He favored but one official language on the ground of convenience and economy."
"Mr. Oliver regretted that the discussion had taken such a wide range."
I think we can say the same thing in this House.—
"He represented a large number of French-speaking people, and did not consider that he was going against their interest in asking for extended powers, so that we could deal with this matter ourselves. He had always strongly advocated that the people of this country should be allowed to manage their own affairs, and would support the memorial."
"Mr. Neff said that the dual language system had been imposed upon us and we were simply asking for the privilege to retain it or not, as we wished. He had no desire to deprive French-speaking people of a luxury; they could not be prevented from speaking their own language, but he obJected to its being an official language.
"Mr. Ross,"—
I think this gentleman represents Calgary or Moose Jaw.—
"Mr. Ross also represented a mixed community. He owed much to the French-speaking electors, in his district, and would be ungrateful if he did them any injustice, but did not consider that he was doing them any injustice in asking that the people's representatives in the North-West be given the power to deal with this matter."  
"Mr. Hoey said this dual language seemed to be a bugbear to some people, and yet not one member had been able to show any injury done by it. No action should be taken until the question was brought before the different constituencies."
Now, Mr. Speaker, with that evidence before me, I cannot do otherwise than to support the amendment moved by the hon. member for West Assiniboia, because I believe it gives the people the exact power they ask for. To my mind, the amendment to the amendment is simply putting this matter off to another year. It is not giving the power they ask for, and if the amendment of the Minister of Justice is carried, no doubt we will have a repetition of the debate that has taken place here for the last six days, a debate which, I think, is very much to be regretted. There is no doubt it has given rise to race and religious feelings that will not be quieted for years to come. I was a little astonished at a statement made by the Minister of Justice, and also one made by the Minister of the Interior. The Minister of Justice, in speaking in defence of his amendment, said it would be cruel to deprive those poor people in the North-West of the privilege of using their mother tongue; that a man might be tried there and convicted, and, after the trial was over, he might not know what he was convicted for. Now, it appears to me that there is a good deal of special pleading in a statement like that. I have yet to learn that any British subject, or anyone else, in the Dominion of Canada, be he of British nationality or of any other has suffered from a miscarriage of justice because he did not understand the language in which the statutes were printed. That being the case, I have no doubt that, when the French language is done away with in the North—West, there will be no occasion for saying that these people do not understand the law because it is not printed in their own language. The hon. Minister of the Interior, in his remarks last night, made rather a startling statement. He said that he visited six townships in Manitoba during his trip last fall, and he found nine different nationalities in those six different townships.
1005 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 1006
Mr. DEWDNEY. Excuse me, not in Manitoba; but in the North-West, I found in two townships representatives of nine nationalities.
Mr. WATSON. I took down the sentence which followed that statement, in which he said it would be cruel if the laws of the land were not printed in the language of these nationalities. I do not really think he meant it, but, if he did, it would be a very expensive luxury. Sir, I believe the amendment of the hon. member for West Assiniboia commends itself to a great number of the hon. gentlemen in this House. There is no doubt that the appeal made by the First Minister yesterday to whip his followers into line had considerable effect. It was a very strong appeal; he rose equal to the occasion, and to my mind made the best speech I ever heard delivered in the House. There were none of those little stories with which that hon. gentleman is accustomed to regale the House. But I hope that the amendment of the Minister of Justice will not be adopted, for the amendment of the member for West Assiniboia is the only one that will satisfy the people of the North-West, will give them the power they ask for, and will prevent a repetition of the unpleasant discussion which has taken place in this House for the last few days. The hon. member for Provencher said he considered it a fortunate thing that this question had been brought before the House, but I do not share in his view; I think it a very unfortunate thing. No doubt the hon. gentleman feels a little warm on the question, because a similar question is arising in Manitoba in connection with the French language and separate schools, which are going to be done away with in that Province, at least separate schools will henceforth exist in a much modified form. As I said before, I thought the French people were to blame to some extent for this discussion in the House, inasmuch as I believe that this clause was smuggled into the Bill by Senator Girard in the Senate some years ago. I believe that one of the causes of irritation in Manitoba in reference to separate schools is the fact that while the hon. member for Provencher was a member of the Government of Manitoba be secured special privileges for the separate schools, and when the Protestants, who are the great majority of that Province, found that the separate schools were receiving much more than their share of the grant, they became aroused, and when a change of Government took place they decided that the moment was opportune for abolishing the system. With regard to the French language in Manitoba, I may say that, while I do not know what the custom is in the North-West, one of the principal reasons of the abolition of the official French in Manitoba was the expense. It has been stated here that the printing of French in the North-West amounts to only $400. I know that in Manitoba it costs a considerable sum of money, and it costs the general public a large sum of money in addition to what it costs the Government, because under the Land Title system all notices of application to put land under the Torrens system have to be advertised in the Gazette. This costs a considerable sum to the applicants.
Mr. CASGRAIN. I do not intend to occupy the time of the House at any length, but I desire merely to state the conclusion at which I have arrived after listening to the discussion. I regret that the amendment introduced by the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil) was not carried, as I should like to have seen it adopted. That amendment having been defeated, I think the next best course to take is to adopt the amendment of the Minister of Justice, and I am, therefore, willing to vote for it. I am willing to do so because it contains an emphatic declaration against the principle of the Bill proposed by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). Of course, if that amendment went further in the direction of extinguishing the question at once I would feel more satisfied, for I am afraid it may come back; but under the circumstances, when I see that the flame is extending over the country, I think the first thing to do is to quench it at once. I place this question above party considerations, and I consider it on the broad principle that we must have peace and amity in this country, and that its future depends upon it. It is no doubt unfortunate that this subject has been brought before the House. It has arrayed a compact body of French members against the English-speaking members, which is a circumstance to be deplored. As the Minister of Public Works said, it has arrayed a compact phalanx of French Canadians in defence of their rights. In order to secure harmony, not only in the House, but throughout the country, I am glad to support the conclusion arrived at by the wiser heads on both sides of this House. No none will deny that the leader of the Government is not only a politician but a statesman, and although I am with him this time, it is certainly not because I belong to his following. At the same time I am glad to follow my leader, who on this occasion has shown his patriotism and devotion to his country, and who advocates the principle of the autonomy of the Provinces that has already been sanctioned. I am also very glad to follow the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), whose brilliant speech must have brought conviction to many members. From these considerations I accept the amendment proposed by the Minister of Justice, not as the best conclusion possible, but as a means of soothing the bad feelings that have been aroused all over the country.
Mr. DUPONT. (Translation.) The imposing debate, Mr. Speaker, brought on by the campaign carried on throughout the country by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), and by the measure which he has submitted for the consideration of this House, clearly shows the importance of the privileges and the rights which it attacks. Several of my colleagues, at the opening of the campaign undertaken by the hon. member against the French Canadians, the first inhabitants of this country, believe that the good sense of the English people will consider this quarrel which the hon. member seeks to fasten upon us as a quarrel of but little importance. Several thought, at the beginning, that this mountain in labor would bring forth but a small and ridiculous mouse. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for North Simcoe has been backed up in his campaign by other gentlemen, whose talent, and the means which they have employed, to excite the prejudices of their fellow-citizens who are not of the same race as ourselves, in the Province of Ontario, it is impossible to ignore. The hon. member has aroused 1007 [COMMONS] 1008 against us, I repeat, his fellow-countrymen; and as the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Gigault) has said, there has arisen a dark cloud on our political horizon, carrying within it a war of race, a war of religion, a war against the institutions of the first inhabitants of this country. Happily for us, Mr. Speaker, the good sense of the public men on both sides of the ouse has been, in the face of this dark cloud, the light of hope, which has animated the courage of all true patriots within the Dominion. I can only compare some of the speeches of the hon. members, who have endeavored to raise prejudice against us; on account of the small value of their arguments; on account of the lame reasonings which support them; on account of the few historical precedents which they have quoted in order to justify the attitude which they have taken against us—I can only compare these speeches, set going by these hon. members in the road of public opinion, to light carriages, to cabs which carry no load. On the other hand, Mr. Speaker, if I applied the same simile to some of the speeches made by hon. members, as well on this side of the House as on the other, I ought to compare these speeches to massive waggons pushed alone the road of public opinion by powerful orators; I might say that these waggons carry boxes which contain solid reasoning, formidable reasoning, philosophic reasoning, and historical facts. Woe to the light cabs without a load, driven at an immoderate gait, by thoughtless drivers, if they should happen some day to knock against, in the road of public opinion, and in the road of history, these massive waggons which are laden with historical truths and true philosophical teachings. What are, Mr. Speaker, in short, the complaints of the hon. member for North Simcoe against the French Canadians and the French race, not only in the Province of Quebec but against the small handful of those of our nationality who have tried their fortune on the prairies of the West? The hon. member desires, be the cost what it may, to make the regions of the West, what he calls a British country. But is not the Province of Quebec a British country? Are not we in that Province subjects of Her Majesty, equally as are the citizens of the Province of Ontario, and as would be those of the North-West, were they all Saxons, as the hon. member for North Simcoe desires? I do not see what difference there is between an Anglo-Saxon subject, and a British subject of French Canadian origin. I do not see what difference there can be in the minds of English statesmen, in the eyes of the friends of the Empire, between a British subject of French origin or of Irish or Scotch origin, or even one of the subjects of Her Majesty in the vast Colony of the East Indies, and a Saxon like the hon. member for North Simcoe; we are all subjects of the same Empire, we are all citizens of the same Empire, and as such we ought to have equal rights. Great use has been made, Mr. Speaker, of the word "British, "during this debate; and I have remarked, especially, that the hon. member for Albert (Mr. Weldon), in moderate yet unjust language, has, in a way, profaned this noble expression. Every subject of the British Empire, to whatever race or nationality he may belong, can claim the same title. The hon. member for North Simcoe and the member for Albert have pretended that if French were spoken in the North-West it would no longer be a British country. And, say they, the French Canadians ought not to delude themselves to the point of believing that the North- West ought not to be a British country. No, Mr. Speaker, we have never been under this impression, we have never asked for it, and we would be the most grieved parties in the Dominion, if the North-West was not going to continue forever a British country. We wish, just as much as the hon. member for Albert does, or the hon. member for North Simcoe, that the North-West should continue to be a dependency of the Dominion of Canada, or rather form a portion of the Dominion, and that it may be a British country, if it should not be like the Province of Quebec, it would be such to the same extent as is the country whence comes the hon. member for Albert. But what do they mean to say, when using the expression "British?" Does this mean exclusion for some of the subjects of the Empire? Do we understand by that, unequal rights for certain subjects of the Empire, or again the rights of certain subjects of the Empire entirely ignored? Does this mean short-sightedness? No, Mr. Speaker, I have always held the highest opinion of British subjects and of British countries. I have always understood that the British language was a noble language; that a British country was a noble country in which liberty and equal rights reigned supreme. But, as the hon. member for Simcoe understands it, would it be a case of equal rights if all the subjects of the Empire were obliged to adopt the customs and the religion as well as the language of the hon. members for North Simcoe and Albert? Do these hon. members understand by equal rights that one ought not to do anything but what they do, to think only as they think, and to act only as they act? This liberty is a liberty which is not British. The hon. member for Simcoe profanes this noble expression, degrades this noble title, of which every subject of the Empire is proud. He desires to give it a narrow meaning, at which, no matter what English subject, if he but understands the importance of the title of "British subject," would blush. The hon. gentlemen, Mr. Speaker, who share the opinion of the hon. member for North Simcoe, seem to believe that without unity of language the country is exposed to every plague, and that with unity of language a country is secure against all disorders and all misfortunes. They have cited the great American Republic as being a country which has prospered extremely, and they have attributed, so to speak, all this prosperity to the fact that American subjects enjoy this great prerogative, this grand privilege which is the hobby of the hon. member for North Simcoe, namely, unity of language. But why, I ask the hon. member, did a civil war break out in the heart of this same great Republic, which according to him enjoys unity in language? Why did this great civil war, which has had no equal in the annals of modern nations, this great civil war which has been one of the greatest scourges of the American people, why did it break out in a nation in which unity of language existed? The hon. members, Mr. Speaker, who have treated so learnedly this subject, my hon. friend from Bothwell (Mr. Mills) the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), the hon. member for "West Durham (Mr. Blake), and several of their colleagues on both sides of the House, have shown, by the 1009 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 1010 clearest possible evidence, that it is possible to he a great nation, that it is possible to become a great people while not possessing unity in religion, unity in language, or unity of race. And, unless we believe that it is by presumption, or that he is impelled thereto by an evil genius, I cannot understand what induces the hon. member to persist in this crusade, in the face of historic verity, in face of precedents, which have been held up before his eyes, and which the hon. member ought to have known before they were pointed out to him by his colleagues; for everybody knows that the hon. member is a man of great skill, a well informed man, a man who has studied deeply. But, notwithstanding all this, like a blind man, like a deaf man, he cries without ceasing that without unity of language it is impossible or nearly impossible for this Canada, which we love so much and which we cherish, to become a great country. I say, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member is unjust towards us. I ask this House, I ask every impartial man, what would Canada be to-day, had it not been for the support of the French nationality in all the great questions which the present Government, and that which preceded it, have carried out? Who was the man who followed up, with the utmost perseverance, the acquisition of those great Territories, respecting which the hon. member for North Simcoe has embroiled us to-day? Was it not Sir George Etienne Cartier, one of the old colleagues of the hon. the present Prime Minister? Has not the Province of Quebec, Mr. Speaker, paid its large portion, as well of the purchase money of the North-West, and for the construction of the Pacific Railway, as for all the great public works which have been constructed by the Government to open up the North-West to civilisation? And, in spite of all this, what does the hon. member for Simcoe wish to do to-day? What does he undertake? He undertakes to deprive the people of the Province of Quebec, of their just share in this great heritage,—towards the purchase of which, towards the colonisation of which, they have so largely contributed. This, Mr. Speaker, is the unjust undertaking of the hon. member with regard to the Province of Quebec; whereas without us, I do not hesitate to say it, without us there would be no North-West, no Canadian Pacific Railway, no colonisation in the West, and this vast country would be in a wild state. If the Dominion is today in possession of these rich Territories, she owes them to the French element, which the hon. member fights against with so much vigor. I do not understand how they can require that we should be at the same time loyal subjects of Her Majesty, and that we should be disloyal towards our mother tongue. We must defend it with all our powers; it is our right, and it is our duty. And I declare that the man who voluntarily surrenders his mother tongue, is not a good citizen, he is a man whose loyalty would not remain firm after every trial, as that of the subjects of Her Majesty ought to do. The hon. member for Simcoe has not always reasoned in the same way respecting minorities. Everybody remembers the attitude taken by the hon. members for North Simcoe, for North Bruce (Mr. McNeill) as well as that of several other members who follow them, when In this House, the resolution asking for "Home Rule" in Ireland was rejected; we all know that, at this period, these gentlemen raised objections to this resolution, stating that we were going to sacrifice the Protestant minority in Ireland, and to place it at the mercy of the Roman Catholic majority. Such were the objections from these hon. gentlemen. Have these hon. members two weights and two measures—the one for the Roman Catholics, the other for their coreligionists the Protestants? I must hasten to conclude. I know that the House is anxious to close this debate; but I was surprised at the remarks which some of my colleagues speaking the English language made. And I cannot pass them over in silence. It has been admitted that the hon. the Minister of Public Works (Sir Hector Langevin), was moderate as respects the expressions used in his speech on the present question, but it is alleged that he was too vigorous in its utterance. I cannot conceive how these hon. members can reproach the hon. Minister of Public Works with having testified by a degree of vivacity in his speedy—he, one of the fathers of Confederation, he, the successor of the illustrious statesman, Sir George Etienne Cartier. I think that he would have been wanting in his duty if he had not borne witness against the resolution of the hon. member for North Simcoe, with something of indignation. In any case it would not be me who would blame him for it. It is to my knowledge that several of my English colleagues, —and I do not say it of them as a reproach—in support of interests much less serious than those which are now being discussed, displayed much more energy in their language than did the hon. Minister of Public Works. My compatriots, Mr. Speaker, the French Canadians of the Province of Quebec, will be doubtless much obliged to many hon. members in this House,—I may say to the great majority of the members of this House—for the sympathy which they have extended to our nationality, during this debate, for the respect which they have shown for the rights of minorities, and for the firm determination which they have shown to defend them on all occasions. Among those distinguished men, who have come forward generously in support of the Government, in order to make easier their task, and to assist them in giving us justice, I must mention the hon. member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), and I regret that again, this evening, on account of his great liberality towards us, it has been thought proper to attack him somewhat violently.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. DUPONT. The speech of the hon. member for West Durham, as well as the other speakers who have spoken in defence of our cause, will dwell in the shrine of history; they will serve as lessons for our successors in this House, and for our posterity; they are founded in reason and on justice, and they show the true position in which minorities should be placed, in no matter what country. It might be said that in the family of the hon. member for West Durham,—I must render him this acknowledgment; and you all know, moreover, that he is no political friend of mine, I did not, in general, support his policy when he was leader of a party in this House,—it might be said, I say, that in questions of right, on great questions of justice, the hon. member has shown that British fair-play 1011 [COMMONS] 1012 was, so to speak, bred in the bones of the family of Blake. I believe that every good citizen, every man who is a friend to his country, ought to be dismayed at the conclusions arrived at by the hon. member for West Durham. He has concluded his train of reasoning by these forcible words: if justice is not done to the minorities, if we kindle in this country a war of races, a religious war, neither prosperity nor progress will ever be possibilities for us. I do not know, Mr. Speaker, which ought to frighten us the most, whether it be this formidable conclusion or the inevitable contained in this conclusion. If the policy of the hon. member for North Simcoe should prevail, I believe that the conclusion of the hon. member West Durham is inevitable. I think that every patriot who loves his country, no matter to what nationality he may belong, should make superhuman efforts to keep the nation far from the path of discord into which the hon. member for North Simcoe and his friends desire to thrust it. I think that every public man,—and it seems to me that they wish to do it, for the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Mitchell), intensely warlike as he is, has spoken with moderation and wisdom. He also has come to the aid of the Government to assist them in settling this difficult matter,—all public men should work together in concert, and with all possible energy, to lift us from the way of discord into which We are entering, and to thrust the nation from it as from a nest of vipers. Mr. Speaker, with these few remarks I conclude, heartily thanking the House for having kindly given me their attention.
Mr. SCRIVER. Mr. Speaker, in view of the great length to which this debate has extended, it having now occupied seven days, and sympathising as I do with the natural impatience of the House, I shall not detain hon. members more than such time as will enable me, in a very few words, to explain the position I take on this question. I regret exceedingly that the question which is now before the House has been brought into it. I feared, when the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) was introduced, it would give rise not only to great differences of opinion, but perhaps to angry and intemperate discussion, and would excite great feeling, not only in the House, but throughout the length and breadth of the land. The impassioned, not to say intemperate, utterances of some leading members on both sides of the House have satisfied me that my apprehension had some foundation. I was desirous, therefore, that some solution of the question should be reached which would remove it from this House, and relegate it to some authority to which it would be reasonable, just and fair to refer it, and I was glad, therefore, when the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) submitted the amendment he proposed. It met my views completely under the circumstances, and I determined at the time it was submitted that, unless some modification of it was proposed which would more fully meet my views, would support it. With regard to the amendment proposed by the Minister of Justice, it does not meet my views as does the amendment submitted by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). I think that if the decision of this question is relegated to the people of the North-West, whom it mainly concerns, those people should be given the power to consider it in all its aspects, and it should not be divided into portions as is proposed by the amendment of the Minister of Justice. I agree with the hon. member for Queen's, P. E. I. (Mr. Davies), in considering that a half-hearted measure, and I shall, therefore, feel constrained to vote against the amendment to the amendment, and, if that should be lost, to vote in favor of the amendment moved by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin).
Mr. PATERSON (Brant). I recognise that the House is anxious to reach a decision on this question, and I shall, therefore, not attempt to discuss it at any length. I confine myself to the question now before us. It is not a question as between the amendment and the original motion proposing the second reading of the Bill, but is a choice between the amendment by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), and the amendment to the amendment proposed by the Minister of Justice. I desire to say that, as I approve more highly of the wording of the amendment offered by the member for Assiniboia than I do of that offered by the Minister of Justice, I shall be forced to vote against the amendment to the amendment.
Mr. LAURIER. Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, in the course of this debate, I stated that my opinion was that the best and most proper time to settle this question would be when Parliament felt that the time had come to extend to the North-West Territories a larger measure of local autonomy than they now enjoy. I voted for the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil) on this express condition. I did not approve altogether of the wording of the amendment of my hon. friend; but I thought, on the whole, that the idea therein expressed, that our institutions in the North-West should be permanent, was true to this extent, that they should be permanent in every particular so long as the present form of government in the North-West endured. This view has not prevailed, and the consequence is that the House is not called upon to deal with this question. I then also stated that when the time came, be that time early or late, the only way to deal with the question before the House would be on the broad principle of local autonomy. I thought from the first and I still more than ever believe it, that the only method under which we can carry out the system of Confederation, the only method by which we can give justice and fair play to minorities, wherever minorities may be situated, will depend altogether on the adoption of the principle of local autonomy. It has been stated to-day that there really is no question of autonomy or Provincial rights here. It may be said we have no Provincial rights, in the technical sense, in the Territories, but the principle involved is the same. Although the Territories have not been organised into Provinces, the principle applying to the case is the same as if they had been so organised. The only difference is that their powers would be supreme and absolute if they were organised into Provinces, and that they should not, in my judgment, be subject to the revision of the Central Government. For all that, the principle remains unimpaired, and should be acted upon, that the will of the people of the Territories aected ought to be the will which 1013 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 1014 should prevail in the solution of this question, and of all other similar questions. My hon. friend, the member for Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), stated this afternoon that the best method of solving this question, with a view to Provincial rights, would be simply to affirm the principle of the Bill itself. Surely, my hon. friend was not serious in so speaking. The Bill of my hon. friend from Simcoe proposes to abrogate clause 110 of the North-West Territories Act, which clause provides that either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Council or Legislative Assembly of the Territories. If you simply repeal this clause, you remove from the Legislature of the Territories the power which they now have of using either the French or the English language in their debates. What I understand by Provincial rights —and I suppose what my hon. friend must understand—is, that the people of the Territories should decide for themselves whether or not they are to have the privilege or the onus of having two official languages. If you remove that law, you take away from them the privilege which they now have of using the two languages. I do not believe that is in the direction of Provincial rights, or Provincial autonomy. The amendment of my hon. friend, the Minister of Justice, tends to uphold Provincial rights and local autonomy, and I am happy to extend my congratulations to the Prime Minister, and to his Government that more and more, and day by day, the force of circumstances brings them over to this principle. More and more the principle grows, and they are forced to adopt it, in spite of their former practice in older times. It is stated, however, against this amendment of the Minister of Justice, that it is not so complete as the amendment moved by the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin). It may not be so complete, but it is not the less just, for the amendment of my hon. friend the Minister of Justice involves this: that in the debates of the Local Assembly of the North-West, and in the recording of their proceedings, they shall have the privilege of using one language or the other, or both, and they shall be empowered to decide for themselves whether they shall have only one official language or two official languages. There is, then, the question of the courts, and it has been stated (and I think properly stated), that the use of the language in courts, would be acknowledged as beyond the power of the Dominion Parliament. There then remains the question of the printing of the statutes. So long as we provide the Territories with a revenue, can any serious objection be taken to the fact that we should provide for the printing of the laws and ordinances in the North-West? I can see very well that if the Territories had to provide that out of their own revenue, to impose any obligations upon them, which they would not want to assume, might be a grievance. But so long as we give them the revenue, surely no man can object; and we who supply the money ought to have the power to put upon it an obligation (which is not after all an unreasonable obligation), and which on the other hand is in the tendency of peace and harmony. It has been stated that this amendment was a compromise. I must say for my part, and the First Minister will hear me out, that there has been no compromise between him and me. I always have stated publicly as well as privately, and I have never disguised my thoughts on this matter, that, in my judgment, sooner or later, and better sooner than later, this question had to be settled upon the broad basis of local autonomy. In fact, if this question has taken a wider range than is involved in the principle of local autonomy, it is simply because the member for Simcoe has chosen to make it so. If the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), instead of placing as the basis of his Bill, that there should be a community of language, and that this community of language should extend everywhere in the Dominion where French is spoken, had simply left it to the will and the desire of the people of the Territories, we would not have had one-half or one-tenth part of all the trouble we have had over this question. But it is because the people of Quebec have good reason to suppose that this was a preliminary skirmish, soon to be followed by other attacks, soon to be followed by attacks which would reach them in their own Province, that they have been so excited. A few days ago, the hon. member for Simcoe, speaking in this debate, disclaimed the idea of imposing his will upon the people of Quebec and attempting to deprive them of their language; but it seems that the hon. gentleman is not so brave here as he was in Manitoba; for in Manitoba he is recorded as having stated that if the French language was abolished in that Province, it would be abolished in Quebec. Is it to be wondered that the people of Quebec have felt as they have felt upon this question in face of such a threat as this? I want to say to my fellow-countrymen of French origin that we must expect, in the face of such a declaration, that, some day or other, this agitation commenced here will be carried into our Province. Let us remember this: that if we are prepared to stand by the principle of local autonomy in the North-West Territories, we will stand ten times, and a hundred times, stronger when we have to meet an attack in our own Province. If we are now prepared to stand by the principle of local autonomy, I submit that, when the time comes, we will find a tower of strength in the position which we may take upon this question. This is one of the reasons which impel me to take the action I propose on this measure, that is, to support the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice. I quite realise that it must be painful for many hon. members from the Province of Quebec to vote for a measure which may, perhaps, imply the possibility that the French language should cease to be the official language in the North-West Territories. I have no reason to suppose, and I do not for one moment suppose, that the people of the North-West Territories would act unjustly or unfairly towards the French minority. I know it has been said that, if we vote this measure, it is a foregone conclusion that the French language will not be an official language of the North-West, because the Legislature has already expressed its opinion in favor of removing it as an official language. Well, that is true; but we must remember that at present there is not one single member speaking French in that Legislature, and if, after the next election, there should be no change in the representation, if there should be no French representative in the North-West Territories Assembly, surely no one will complain if, under such circumstances, after the attention of the people has been roused to the question, the Local Legislature were to adhere to its present intention. I 1016 [COMMONS] 1016 believe, for all that, that if there were even a sprinkling of French members in the Local Legislature, the majority would act with the same spirit of fairness towards them that the Legislature of Upper Canada evinced in 1793, as shown in the incident to which our attention was directed by the Prime Minister yesterday. I believe that they would act in the same spirit of fairness towards the minority which was evinced by the Legislature of Canada in 1845. As I said a moment ago, I am not at all surprised that some of my fellow-countrymen should feel strongly upon this question, and that they should propose to adhere to their present intention. As for myself I must say it is a matter of deep anguish to me that upon this question I have to sever my connection with such a life-long friend as the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil). I know he is acting for the best interests of his country accordin to his lights, and I am sure he will give me credit that in voting as I shall have to do with the Government on this question, I do so not out of any love to the Government, but with the conviction that in so doing I am acting in the best interest of my party and my country.
Mr. IVES. I desire to occupy the time of the House only for a moment, in order to say that I am against both the spirit and intention of the Bill of the hon. member for Simcoe. For my own part, I think it would have been far preferable if this House had deferred the settlement of this whole question until such time as the increase of population in the North-West Territories had made it necessary that portions of that territory should be organised into Provinces. I believe it is impossible at the present moment for any member of this House to know what will be the position or character of the population which may settle in that vast domain. We may perhaps have on the Saskatchewan a territory large enough for a Province, including in its population a large majority of people speaking the French language, and we may perhaps have in Alberta a population purely English; and when the different parts of that territory are organised into Provinces, the question could be very easily settled by this Parliament without annoyance to the people of the Territories, and without straining unduly the principle of local autonomy to which my hon. friend who last addressed the House has referred. In that way we might perhaps arrive at a settlement of this whole question without this debate or this agitation. For these reasons, and because I would not see the French language abolished in this House or in the country, any more than I would see the French Canadians obliged to leave the country, I supported the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil). But that motion has been disposed of, and we have now to choose between the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice and the amendment of the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), and when I have to choose between these two amendments I naturally choose that which least disturbs present conditions. Therefore, I intend to support the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice. If I could be assured that an amendment would be carried in this House to defer the whole question until the organisation of Provinces in the North- West Territories, I would support such a motion; but in the division we had on the amendment of the hon. member for Berthier, we saw arrayed on one side almost the whole force of the members from the Province of Quebec, who have no objection to the French language or institutions, and we saw arrayed on the other side, all the other members of this House. When our views, therefore, failed to meet with the approval of a majority of the House, I think it is a serious risk to persist, as does the hon. member for Berthier, in rejecting the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice, which certainly is not a serious interference with the rights of the French Canadians, but is a safe and fair compromise measure, and one which ought to be supported.
Mr. MCCARTHY. I quite appreciate the desire of the House that this debate should close, and I would not have risen now to say a word if it had not been for the personal attack which, even at this late hour, the leader of the Opposition could not forbear to make upon me. I desire to repudiate the statement he has made with regard to my saying anything in Manitoba which I have not said here. My reference in Manitoba was not to the French language in the Province of Quebec; but there, as in Montreal, it was to the possibility— which I then thought was within reach, and which I do not yet deny to myself the hope of being accomplished—that the tithe and fabrique questions may yet be settled in the Province of Quebec, and settled I dare say with the aid of my hon. friend who now leads the Opposition. That was the question I referred to, and not the question of the French language, as my hon. friend will see if he will do me the justice to read the deliberate statement I made in Montreal. Having troubled the House again, I would like to say this with regard to the amendment before us. It has been stated here that this amendment is a measure of peace; but I wish this House to understand that what may be a measure of peace here, between the hon. members on both sides of this House, may be anything but a measure of peace in this country. For my part, I see in this amendment every possible evil which we have had suggested to us throughout this debate. It relegates a portion of this difficult and disturbing subject to the people of the North-West. That certainly is not a measure of peace, so far as they are concerned. It leaves the remaining part to be dealt with by this Parliament; and the House very much mistakes, no matter what its vote may be tonight, if it thinks that this Parliament has heard the last of this question; for I can assure this House that if the matter is disposed of here tonight by the adoption of the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice, I shall bring it up again at the earliest opportunity. If this is so—and that is certainly within my right, as the hon. member for Queen's, P. E. I. (Mr. Davies) said last evening, and not only within my right, but within my duty —then where is the benefit of postponing, or delaying, or procrastinating on a question which we are told involves so many difficulties? This may or may not be a matter for the Territories to settle themselves, or for this Parliament to settle; but this measure raises no question between the right of the Territories and the right of this House to deal with it; because every member of this House knows perfectly well that if the Bill I have introduced passes this House, it will be with the full 1017 [FEBRUARY 21, 1890.] 1018 assent and concurrence of a great majority of the people of the North-West Territories. But whether it is a matter for the Territories or for us to decide, we are neither doing one thing nor the other by making a pretence here for the sake of peace, by shaking hands across this table, by the leaders on this side and on that side putting their heads together and coercing their followers,—
Some hon. MEMBERS. No.
Mr. McCARTHY-because an amendment which will satisfy neither one party nor the other is not going to satisfy this country.
Mr. PLATT. Mr. Speaker, the division which we appear about to reach will, I believe, close this debate; but the division list will not define the exact position of those who will vote nay. They are composed of three distinct parties: Those led by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), who wish to reach his Bill, in order that they may support it; those led by the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil), who wish to support neither amendment nor the Bill; and those who wish to reach the first amendment, that proposed by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), in order that they may support it. I wish to define my position to be that I desire to reach the amendment moved by my hon. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Davin), because I prefer it to the one moved by the hon. the Minister of Justice; but if the choice lay between the amendment moved by the hon. the Minister of Justice, and the original motion, I should support the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice.
House divided on the amendment to the amendment (Sir John Thompson):
That this House, having regard to the long continued use of the Frenc 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 unity 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;
That, at the same time, this House deems it expedient and proper and not inconsistent with those covenants that the legislative Assembly of the N orth-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 the manner of recording and publishing such proceedings.



Audet, Jones (Halifax),
Bain (Soulanges), Kenny,
Barnard, Kirk,
BĂ©chard, Kirkpatrick,
Bergeron, Labrosse,
Bergin, Landry,
Bernier, Langelier (Montmorency),
Blake, Langelier (Quebec),
Boisvert, Langevin (Sir Hector),
Borden, LaRiviere,
Bowell, Laurie (Lieut.-General),
Bowman Laurier,
Brien, LĂ©pine,
Brown, Lister,
Bryson, Lovitt,
Burdett, Macdonald (Sir John),
Cameron, Macdowall,
Campbell, McCulla,
Cargill, McDonald (Victoria),
Carling, McDougald (Pietou),
Carpenter, McDougall (Cape Breton),
Casgrain, McIntyre,
Chapleau, McKay,
Choquette, McKeen,
Chouinard, McMillan (Vaudreuil),
Cimon, Madill,
Cochrane, Mara,
Cockburn, Marshall,
Colby, Masson,
Cook, Massue,
Corby, Meigs
Costigan, Mills (Annapolis),
Coughlin, Mills (Bothwell),
Coulombe, Mitchell,
Curran, Moffat,
Daly, Monerieff,
Daoust, Montplaisir,
Davin, Perley,
Davis, Pope,
Dawson, Porter,
De St. Georges, Prior,
Desaulniers, Purcell,
Desjardins, Putnam,
Dessaint, Rinfret,
Dewdney, Riopel,
Dickey, Robillard,
Dickinson, Roome,
Dupont, Ross,
Earle, Rykert,
Edgar, Scarth,
Edwards, Shanley,
Eisenhauer, Skinner,
Ferguson( Leeds and Gren.), Small,
Ferguson(Renfrew), Smith (Sir Donald),
Ferguson(Welland), Smith (Ontario),
Fiset, Sproule,
Flynn, Stevenson,
Foster, Taylor,
Freeman, Temple,
Gigault, Therien,
Girouard, Thompson(Sir John),
Gordon, Trow,
Grandbois, Tupper,
Guay, Turcot,
Guillet, Vanasse,
Haggart, Wallace,
Hesson, Ward,
Hickey, White(Cardwell),
Holton, Wilmot,
Hudspeth, Wilson(Argenteuil),
Ives, Wood (Brockville), and
Jamieson, Wood (Westmoreland), and
Joncas, Wright.—149.



Amyot, McNeill,
Armstrong, Mulock,
Bain (Wentworth), Neveu,
Barron, O'Brien,
Beausoleil, Paterson(Brant),
Bell, Perry,
Bourassa, Platt,
Charlton, Préfontaine,
Couture, Robertson,
Davies, Rowand,
Denison, Ste. Marie,
Doyon, Scriver,
Ellis, Semple,
Gauthier, Somerville,
Geoffrion, Sutherland,
Gillmor, Tyrwhitt,
Hale, Waldie,
Innes, Watson,
Landerkin, Weldon (Albert),
Lang, Weldon (St.John),
Livingston, Welsh,
Macdonald (Huron), White (Renfrew),
McCarthy, Wilson (Elgin),
McMillan (Huron), Wilson (Lennox), and
McMullen, Yeo.—50.
Amendment to amendment agreed to
Amendment, as amended, agreed to on the same division.
Main motion, as amended, agreed to on the same division.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to; and House adjourned at 10.25 p.m.


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



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