House of Commons, 15 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

2493 MARCH 15, 1905


Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton, Ont.). Mr. Speaker, before you leave the chair, I wish to bring an important question to the attention of the House. I had intended to have brought to the attention of the House yesterday, the matter which I am about to mention, but it was not very convenient for the First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) so I have let the matter stand over until to-day. The subject on which I wish to speak for a few moments concerns certain passages in a letter which the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories has recently addressed to the right hon. gentleman who leads this House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). In proposing to discuss certain passages in that letter I do not for one moment forget that it is not open for me to-day to discuss the measures which the letter relates and therefore I am touching the letter of Mr. Haultain in so far only as it is concerned with the manner and circumstances in which and under which this Bill was introduced in this House. I assume that Mr. Haultain's letter will be brought down with any other additional correspondence and laid upon the table of the House by the government in due course. In the meantime, however, it has been made public in the press of the country and, without going over what I have already brought to the attention of the government on two occasions last week, may I be permitted at least to say this, that the situation which has developed between 2494 the month of October last and the present time is certainly a very peculiar one. We had this subject, the granting of provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories discussed to some extent in the year 1901, again in 1902, and again in 1903. On the last occasion I moved a formal resolution in this House in which after setting out resolutions of the legislature of the Northwest Territories to the effect that provincial status should be granted to these Territories. I had submitted to the House that that request should be taken into immediate consideration by the government of this country and should be acted upon forthwith. I pointed out at that time that even if my motion passed, if the government was disposed at once to accept the suggestion which I then made, it would take a considerable time to arrange the details. It was not a matter, as I admitted, to be lightly undertaken or to be disposed of in haste, and it was for that reason that I urged upon the government the immediate consideration of the question, in the month of October, 1903, saying as I did at that time, that if the matter were taken up by the government at once the population of the Northwest Territories of Canada would probably be 500,000 before the details could be arranged and the measure brought down for the consideration of the House and of the country.
Not one member of the administration made any answer to the motion which I brought before the House on that occasion. My hon. friend who now represents the constituency of Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) spoke on that motion. He would not support the resolution for the granting of provincial institutions to the Northwest Territories unless he knew exactly the terms upon which autonomy would be granted. Let me quote his own expressive words :
I, as a representative of the Northwest Territories, do not propose to go into a sort of blind pool, not knowing how we are going to come out when the conclusion has been reached on this very momentous question.
And the member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) spoke on the same subject. If I remember his attitude correctly, on one occasion at least, he was not prepared to have this matter discussed or even considered in the House of Commons unless his leader the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) were present for the purpose of guiding the discussion, as he thought that hon. gentleman's guidance necessary for the protection of the rights of the people of the Northwest Territories. No member of the administration spoke in answer to the motion. The gentlemen to whom I have referred answered for the government ; then the division was taken, and the members of the administration stood up and voted solemnly one after the other that the request of the people of the Northwest Territories for provincial status—a request expressed un 2495 COMMONS animously on the two occasions, I believe by the legislature of the Northwest Territories—should not be considered nor acted upon in the immediate future. My motion demanded that the question should be considered and acted upon as promptly as circumstances permitted. Parliament was dissolved. Then, in the month of October, 1904, the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) suddenly awoke to the gravity of the situation in the midst of an election campaign. He then, for the first time, recollected that letters written to him by the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories in the month of May previous had not been answered ; and, in all the stress and hurry of that campaignno doubt, upon advice communicated to him by his friends in the Northwest Territories, —suddenly he came to the conclusion, notwithstanding the arguments put forward on his behalf, and indeed by himself in previous sessions of parliament, that the matter must be taken up without the slightest delay. So, he wrote to the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories as follows :
You will have learned, prior to the receipt of this letter, that parliament has been dissolved. The new House of Commons will contain not four but ten representatives of the Northwest Territories, who, coming fresh from the people, will be entitled to speak with confidence as to the views and requirements of those whom they represent. Should my government be sustained, we will be prepared, immediately after the election, to enter upon negotiations for the purpose of arriving at a settlement of the various questions involved in the granting of provincial autonomy, with a view to dealing with the question at the next session of parliament.
That was a very much balder proposition, I think, than the opposition had presented to parliament by motion and by speech in this House. We had at least defined our position with regard to the lands in the Northwest Territories which are owned by the government of Canada, and we had defined our position with regard to the tax exemption of lands patented, or about to be patented, by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and not one of these matters was mentioned by the Prime Minister. And, although my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) was not willing to enter a 'blind pool' when it was proposed by the opposition, I understand he gleefully accepted the proposition of the government, although in that case the pool was very much 'blinder' than that to which he had objected. Now, certainly, the terms of the government's proposal might properly and indeed should properly have been discussed before and considered by the people of the Northwest Territories in that campaign. And so the ex-Minister of the Interior, my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton) was asked about the terms. I do not know whether he was asked about the terms at the instigation of the hon. member from Edmonton or not. The Prime 2496 Minister of the Northwest Territories, who spoke during the course of that campaign, asked the Minister of the Interior of that day (Mr. Sifton) to define the terms. The request was much along the line which had been suggested by the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver). No satisfaction was given by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), then Minister of the Interior. His answer to the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories, who desired that the terms might be discussed during the progress of that election campaign, was that that hon. gentleman was a mischiefmaker in even suggesting that terms should be discussed. Speaking at Regina, about the 19th or 20th of October, 1904, he said :
Any man of ordinary intelligence in public life, and Mr. Haultain is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, knows full well that one member of a government consisting of fourteen members would not come here, and, without consulting his colleagues, undertake to bind them and the parliament of Canada on questions of such importance. Therefore, the suggestion is made in a spirit of mischief.
And again he said :
But I want to say that the man who gets up in the heat of a political contest and makes his strongest endeavour to bring that question into political discussion is not a friend of the Territories in any way, sense or shape.
Differing very much from my hon. friend from Edmonton, who said that the question ought not to be discussed as a matter of practical politics in this House or in the country, until the terms upon which these Territories were to enter the Canadian confederation as provinces should be absolutely defined and made known to the people of the Territories. My hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton) continued :
He is endeavouring to do a thing which might bring very serious results to the people of the Territories.
For what reason pray ? Were not the people of the Territories entitled to have the hon. member for Brandon, then Minister of the Interior, discuss that question before them ? Were they not entitled to have the views of the Prime Minister of Canada and his colleagues as to this matter which was precipitated into the political arena by the Prime Minister himself in the midst of an election campaign ?
I have no authority whatever to say anything with regard to the subjects Mr. Haultain has mentioned, but we shall be in the position of having not four but ten members from the Territories in the next parliament, and we will get their views ; and while we do not say that their views will prevail—for the entry of the Territories into confederation is a matter of contract with the other provinces—and while the terms we will be able to give you will be those we can get the other provinces to agree to, yet I can say for myself that I will do my best to get the most liberal term possible, and I will leave you to judge me by my past record.
2497 MARCH 15, 1905
The Prime Minister seems in the end to have given my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton)—if I may use a common expression—a dose of his own medicine. For the hon. member for Brandon thought that this matter should be settled by the government without giving any opportunity to the people of the Northwest Territories to consider the terms of the proposed Bill, and the Prime Minister, carrying that idea a little farther thought that the matter should be discussed and the Bill brought down to parliament without giving even the ex-Minister of the Interior an opportunity to consider or even to see it.
I would remark to my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) that the manner in which this Bill was introduced—introduced on the eve of the return of the ex-Minister of the Interior, who was then still a minister (Mr. Sifton) and on the eve of the return of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding)affords an excellent specimen of the way in which a ' blind pool ' was offered those gentlemen. Let us revert for one moment to the debates of 1902 and to the speech which the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) then made with all the authority of a member of the administration. The ex-minister spoke then for the Prime Minister of this country, for his colleague the Minister of Finance, and for my hon. friend the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock.) He was endeavouring to show good reason for postponing the introduction and consideration of a Bill of this kind, and what did he say :
Last year it was arranged that a discussion should take place, and our friends of the territorial government did urge that it should take place earlier. But the Minister of Finance was obliged to go to England immediately after the session, and a discussion in his absence would of course have been impossible, he being one of the members of the government whose presence would be absolutely necessary in addition to the Prime Minister and myself. So that until the return of the Finance Minister from England, it was impossible altogether to arrive at any arrangement as to when the conference should take place.
I am not reading this as simply the language of the Minister of the Interior, but as a declaration by the present administration, whose mouthpiece that hon. gentleman then was, that the consideration of this question could not possibly be proceeded with in the absence of these ministers. But to-day, not much more than two years later, we find the Prime Minister of this country, in the absence of his Minister of the Interior and his Minister of Finance—the presence of both of whom this government had declared absolutely necessary in order that this question might be considered and a decision arrived at—we find the Prime Minister bringing down to the House on the 21st of February this important measure in the absence of these two ministers. And we find further that notwithstanding that ex 2498traordinary—I might even say, in view of all the circumstances, that indecent hastenot one single step has since been taken to press this Bill through. And when we asked the right hon. gentleman why it was that, without regard for constitutional usage, in absolute contempt of all constitutional precedent, he not only did that which I have just mentioned but brought this Bill down, as the Act of the government and the result of the collective wisdom of the government, without the assent of his two colleagues,who above all others should have been consulted—when we ask him why he took that extraordinary course, he vouchsafes to the House not one word in explanation. I ventured to suggest some days ago that it was due, not only to the House and the country but to the right hon. gentleman himself, that some explanation should be given. I am still of that opinion. What was the reason, when the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) was expected in Ottawa within two days, that this Bill was rushed into the House of Commons before his arrival, while not one step has been taken to forward it through any of its stages for three weeks afterwards ? Why was it, when the Minister of Finance was on his way home from England and expected to arrive, as he did arrive, in Ottawa within four or five days, that the Prime Minister rushed in feverish haste to the House with this measure, and has not since sought to advance it one single stage ? Was it because some of the right hon. gentleman's colleagues were wavering and he dreaded the result of the influence of two such strong members of his cabinet as the ex-Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Finance upon those who were hesitating to indorse the course the right hon. gentleman purposed to pursue. Was there any idea in the mind of the First Minister that these gentlemen might not be so ready to hesitate or to retreat once this measure had been brought down as a government measure. Was there anything of that kind in the mind of the right hon. gentleman ? I do not know. I cannot tell what was in his mind, but we at least are able to conclude that something very extraordinary must have impelled him to take the course he did.
But a still more extraordinary condition of affairs seems to have existed with regard to the representatives of the Northwest Territories. The right hon. gentleman, when I brought up this matter in 1902 and again in 1903, took the ground that the Northwest Territories already had a very considerable degree of responsible government. They had a legislature of their own, a cabinet of their own, and he pointed out that with the exception of the right to incur debt and one or two other matters, they were already invested with the powers of responsible government. Well, Sir, the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), in the speech to which I alluded a moment 2499 COMMONS ago—a speech delivered at Regina about the 19th or 20th of March last—told us that this Bill must be in the nature of a contract between the Northwest Territories and the rest of this country—a contract made, as the premier of the Northwest Territories has pointed out, between the great majority of the people of this country and the minority who live in the Territories ; an agreement to be made between five and one half millions of the people of Canada residing in the seven existing provinces and the half million people who reside in the Northwest Territories. These 500,000 people have a government. That government was summoned here to Ottawa for the purpose of conferring with a special committee of the Privy Council in regard to the terms of this measure. It was to be a matter of contract, so the ex-Minister of the Interior told us. Well, one, would suppose that, under these conditions, at least the representatives of the Northwest Territories would have been consulted about all the important provisions of this Bill. Does my right hon. friend remember how he swelled with indignation in 1896 when he charged Sir Charles Tupper across the floor of this House with having trampled upon the liberties of the people of Nova Scotia in passing through a moribund legislature the resolutions relating to confederation ? Does he remember how he advocated the rights of the people at that time ? Does he forget how he accused Sir Charles Tupper of having trampled upon the dignity of a proud people who would never forget that treatment ? But at least this can be said in favour of the measure which Sir Charles Tupper caused to be passed at that time, that it went before the representatives of the people and was considered by them in parliament, even if it were a moribund parliament. But, the Prime Minister, if we are to believe the statements contained in the letter of Mr. Haultain, has seen fit to bring down to the parliament of Canada certain provisions in this measure without even deigning for one moment to consult the representatives of the people in those territories. We see the constitutional advocate of the liberties of the people of ten years ago changed into the—may I say—tyrant of to-day ? What are the words of Mr. Haultain ?
I must take strong exception to the way in which the subject of education has been treated both in the conferences and in the Bills. I must remind you of the fact that your proposition was not laid before my colleague or myself until noon of the day upon which you introduced the Bills. Up to that time the question had not received any attention beyond a casual reference to it on the previous Friday, and I certainly believe that we should have had an opportunity of discussing your proposals before twelve o'clock on the day the Bills received their first reading. No such opportunity, however, was afforded, as unfortunately, you were not able to be present at the session when this section was submitted ; neither was Sir William Mulock.
The same day ! The same day !
I feel sure that you will acquit me of any feeling in the matter other than that such an important subject should have been fully discussed before any definite conclusion was arrived at by the government and before the Bills dealing with it were laid before parliament.
Now, can any hon. gentleman on either side of the House, looking at the situation as I have endeavoured to present it to the House in a few words, say in his heart that the declaration made by Mr. Haultain in the sentences I have just read is an unreasonable one ? He is here as the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories, having behind him the entire people of the Northwest Territories as voiced by their representatives in parliament and he is called here to confer about this Bill. It is handed to him, in so far as this provision is concerned, two or three hours before the right hon. gentleman presents the measure to parliament and handed to him without any opportunity of discussion with the Prime Minister, without any opportunity of discussion with the Postmaster General and without apparently any opportunity of discussion except with one or two members of the administration for a few moments and a few moments only.
Well, I do not know what my right hon. friend will make of all this. He did not consult the hon. ex-Minister of Interior who specially represents the people of the Northwest Territories ; he did not consult the Minister of Finance who is especially concerned with the financial features of this Bill ; he did not consult, in so far as this part of the measure is concerned, the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories and his colleagues. The question naturally arises : Whom did he consult ? I can only answer that question in one way. It seems to me that he must have consulted the seven gentlemen from the Northwest Territories who are elected as Liberals and these provisions are the result of their collective and united wisdom. He postponed this measure in order that he might have the benefit of the wisdom of ten gentlemen from the Northwest Territories. He did not get as many as he thought he would get ; he got seven and I presume that the educational provisions of the measure which has been brought down are the result of the advice and assistance of the seven gentlemen who sit on that side of the House for the moment. Assuming that to be the case—and we must assume that it is the case in the silence of these gentlemen—is it good constitutional practice after all, to put to one side the Minister of the Interior when he is about to return, to put to one side the Minister of Finance, to put to one side the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories and his colleagues and to follow altogether the advice of these seven gentlemen who have evidently drafted the educational clauses 2501 MARCH 15, 1905 of the Bill ? I yield to no one in appreciation of the great abilities of these gentlemen and of the experience of some of them, but while conceding everything that can be conceded in that regard, it was hardly fair to pass over the ex-Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance and the representatives of the people of the Northwest Territories and to follow solely the advice of these gentlemen and to seek solely their assistance.
I have no more to say at present. I trust that my right hon. friend will recede a little from the position which he took the other day, and that he will give us some reason for the very extraordinary course which he has pursued in the introduction of this Bill, that he will perhaps be good enough to advise us, although he has not seen fit to do so up to the present time, whether or not any amendments to the Bill have been under the consideration of the government. Whenever I have asked that question before, my right hon. friend has told me with a great air of wisdom that amendments can be made to any Bill. Nearly all of us on this side of the House were aware of that before the right hon. gentleman told us. There may have been one or two hon. gentlemen to whom that came as a refreshing piece of news, but nearly all of us were aware of it before. That was not the question I asked. The question I asked and to which I have a right to get an answer is this : Has the government under consideration at the present time any amendments to the Bill which was brought down in such extraordinary haste three weeks ago and in the progress of which not one step has been taken since ? In addition to that perhaps my right hon. friend will be good enough to enlighten the House as to the personnel of the members of the administration who constituted the committee of council which was appointed to deal with this question. We have nothing official before the House in so far as I am aware with regard to it. I understand from the documents that my right hon. friend was a member, that the hon. Postmaster General was a member, and I would gather also that my hon. friend the Minister of Justice must have been a member, because it would be absolutely indispensable to have the assistance of his very great legal ability and experience. Were there any other members of this sub-committee and if so, who were they ? Was there any gentleman specially appointed to represent the interests of the people of the Northwest Territories ? Was there any gentleman appointed to consider this question from the standpoint of the maritime provinces, because, as the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior has well pointed out, this is a matter which must be considered not only from the standpoint of the interests of the people of the Northwest Territories but from the standpoint of the 2502 interests of the entire country ? Now this would appear not an unreasonable demand, and I trust my right hon. friend departing in that regard from his practice on the last few occasions on which I brought this matter to the attention of the House, will really on this occasion give the House information upon the subjects which I have ventured to refer to.
There has just been placed in my hands a copy of a journal which is sometimes supposed to be in the secrets of the government ; which is sometimes supposed to contain statements that have an official inspiration. I observe that this journal, quoting from the Montreal organ of a member of the administration, gives currency to a rumour that some question or questions in connection with this Bill are to be submitted for the consideration of the Supreme Court. If my right hon. friend's view, expressed when he introduced this Bill, is a sound one—and I presume it was not taken without due consideration—of course it would not be necessary to submit any question to the court, but perhaps he may have had new light on the subject since he made his speech. However that may be, I do respectfully ask the Prime Minister to give the House some information with regard to all these matters, and especially to inform us why it was that he did not see fit to consult these gentlemen from the Northwest Territories who were in Ottawa at his call and who were supposed to represent the voice and the desires of the people of the west.
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has stated that it would have been convenient for him to speak on this matter yesterday as he had given me notice, and that I had asked him to postpone his remarks until this afternoon, because I had an engagement after the dinner hour before which the question could not have been reached. I knew I could appeal to the courtesy of my hon. friend, because he and I have always managed these matters between us to our mutual satisfaction. I thanked my hon. friend, and I thank him all the more because I appreciate that in agreeing to my request to postpone this discussion, I deprived him of the pleasure of bringing forward once again extract after extract from his scrap book. Judging from the extract after extract which my hon. friend has read, and the innuendo after innuendo which he has given utterance to, my hon. friend has come to the conclusion that this Bill has been too hastily prepared. As an evidence of this hasty preparation he tells us that the Bill though given a first reading on the 21st of February has not yet been called for second reading. It is true that we have not yet moved the second reading of the Bill, and it makes my heart sink within me to think that whenever we defer to the wishes of my hon. friends on 2503 COMMONS the other side of the House, we are always reproached for having done something wrong. I had scarcely taken my seat when I moved the first reading, when a gentleman (Mr. Sproule) who sits very close to the leader of the opposition rose and spoke thus :
This is an important Bill and I ask that a large number of copies be printed as there are many applications for it. I would suggest that the second reading might be delayed for some period until there has been an opportunity to hear from those who are most interested, the people of the Northwest.
This request seemed to be not unreasonable. I thought it would be advisable that all parties in this country should have an opportunity of reading the Bill and digesting its provisions. So persistent was my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) that he again repeated his request on another occasion, and on the 7th of March he spoke as follows :
The second reading of the Bill to establish autonomy in the Northwest Territories is expected to take place some time soon, and there are many members who desire to be present on that occasion. In referring to the matter I am not in any way intimating a desire to have an early reading of the Bill because the later this comes on the better for our aims and our desires.
In order to facilitate the aims and desires of my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) who is member of parliament for East Grey and who holds another position in the country also, I thought that by giving him an opportunity of having this Bill read and digested I was conferring upon him a favour and meeting the wishes of the leader of the opposition. It appears to have been a sad mistake on my part ; a mistake which I shall be perhaps slow to commit on a future occasion. I shall steel my heart against the blandishments of my hon. friend from East Grey in future, and strive to do my stern duty.
My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has found another evidence of the hasty preparation of this Bill, in the general scope of the letter of Mr. Haultain. I do not agree with my hon. friend in this respect. It is true that the letter from Mr. Haultain which he asks to be placed on the table of the House, takes exception to almost every provision of the Bill, but, if I am to judge from the expressions of public opinion which are coming from all parts of the country, there is only one feature of the Bill, and that the school clause, which has caused any comment. With regard to the number of provinces to be created ; with regard to the land question, with regard to the finance question ; indeed with regard to all other proposals of the Bill I have yet to learn that serious exception has been taken. There have indeed been some expressions from here and there, but so far as concerns any general views from the people 2504 of Canada, the manifestations seem to be only against the clause referring to education. The House is aware that every day we have received numerous petitions regarding these Bills. Do they speak of the land question ; do they speak of the finance question ; do they speak of the number of provinces ? No ; it is only on the education clause of the Bill as to which we have received any petitions so far.
I know, Sir, that in dealing with this question we are walking upon very tender ground. It shall be my duty some time or other to discuss it, but I do not need to say anything as to the merits of the question at the present time. I take issue with my hon. friend when he says that the Bill bears evidence of hasty preparation. On the contrary it has every evidence of having been discussed and prepared with great care and deliberation, and, if the educational phase were eliminated, I do not think the Bill itself would then receive a word of criticism. My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) says : You have not consulted Mr. So-and-So, and Mr. So-and-So, and in particular you have not consulted Mr. Haultain. On this ground I am prepared to give my hon. friend all the satisfaction, and perhaps more than all the satisfaction he is entitled to. Upon a recent occasion my hon. friend questioned me as to what had taken place in the conferences between us and Mr. Haultain and Mr. Bulyea. I did not think it advisable to give my own version on that subject, and I gave my reasons to the House and it is for the House to decide whether these reasons were good or bad. I stated that in my judgment and to my way of thinking these conferences had been confidential ; that there had been no secretary appointed ; that there had been no record kept, and that there had been simply an exchange of opinion across the table between the members of the government at Ottawa and the members of the Northwest government.
Under such circumstances, I do not think it would have been right for me to have given my own version of what had taken place at that conference. I am still of that opinion ; and, Sir, I can appeal to the judgment of any man in this House that when you have a conference, the proceedings of which are not recorded in writing, it is always a somewhat risky process to endeavour to say exactly what took place. Mr. Haultain thinks differently. I do not know that Mr. Haultain, in the letter which he has addressed to me, and which he has also given to the public, has improved the criticism which he makes of the Bill when he complains that he had not received due consideration. Sir, I would be sorry to think that I or my colleagues had been guilty of any want of courtesy towards Mr. Haultain in regard to the matters which were treated at the conference. But Mr. Haultain has relieved us of any such im 2505 MARCH 15, 1905 putation, because, in the last paragraph of his letter, he speaks as follows :
In concluding this letter I beg to express, on behalf of the Northwest government, our high appreciation of the attentive and courteous consideration extended to us by yourself and the other members of the sub-committee of council throughout the whole conference.
I could not conceive it possible for Mr. Haultain to complain that the questions before us had not been properly treated, when, at the same time, he says he has been shown every possible consideration. It would have been showing Mr. Haultain very poor courtesy indeed simply to ask him to sit at the table of conference and give him no information whatever. But I will take the statement of Mr. Haultain. My hon. friend read it a moment ago ; I will take the liberty of reading it again, so that the House may appreciate whether there has been any fault on my part or on the part of my colleagues on the sub-committee, or whether Mr. Haultain is making a case which, as I have said, it would have been better for him not to have attempted. Mr. Haultain says :
I must take strong exception to the way in which the subject of education has been treated both in the conferences and in the Bills. I must remind you of the fact that your proposition was not laid before my colleague or myself until noon of the day upon which you introduced the Bill. Up to that time the question had not received any attention beyond a casual reference to it from the previous Friday, and I certainly believed that we should have an opportunity of discussing your proposals before twelve o'clock on the day the Bills received their first reading.
So it appears, according to this testimony of Mr. Haultain, that this matter was considered twice by the conference—on the Friday previous to the 21st of February, and again on the 21st of February. Now, Sir, I do not propose, like Mr. Haultain, to go into the particulars of what took place there, but I will take his own language. True it is that we differed on several matters with Mr. Haultain. True it is, as he says, that we differed with him on the land question. Mr. Haultain was of opinion that the land should be given to the provinces. We thought, on the contrary, that the land should be kept in the hands of the Dominion government. I have already given the reasons for that, and I think those reasons, when they come to be discussed, will stand good in the judgment of every one. Mr. Haultain differed with us also in regard to the subject of irrigation. We thought that subject should go to those who have the management of the land, because the two are intimately connected. Mr. Haultain refers to the fact that we proposed to establish two provinces instead of one. We differed from Mr. Haultain on this point also. We thought it would be preferable to have two provinces in that vast domain ; 2506 Mr. Haultain thought it would be better to have only one province. But I appeal to the judgment of my hon. friend who has taken us to task because we have not adopted the ways and means of Mr. Haultain, and I ask him if he is prepared to say that there shall be one province in that immense territory instead of two—that we should create there one province which would have almost twice the area of the largest province of the Dominion. Whatever may be the views of Mr. Haultain on this subject, the government came to a different conclusion, and our action in this regard, as on everything else, is in the judgment of the House.
But now I come to the principal point made by Mr. Haultain—that the education clauses did not receive fair consideration. As Mr. Haultain says, this question was debated on the Friday previous to the 21st of February. Mr. Haultain calls this a casual consideration only. Well, Sir, this is the result of having no record of what took place. What may have been casual to Mr. Haultain may have been thorough to somebody else ; what may have been only passing to him, may have been sufficient for somebody else. On this I have only to say that the discussions which took place on the 21st of February between Mr. Haultain and members of Council there revealed this fact, that while he held one view, we held another, with regard to the educational clauses. As Mr. Haultain has laid down his views in his memorandum, I shall not commit any breach of privacy if I say what his views were. Mr. Haultain took the ground that section 93 of the British North America Act applied mechanically to those new provinces. The ground we took was that section 93 of the British North America Act did not apply mechanically, but that it should be made to apply in the legislation we offered to the House, subject only to such modifications as the circumstances of the new provinces would warrant. That was, therefore, a distinct difference of opinion between us and Mr. Haultain. The Bills before the House indicate what our position was. The letter of Mr. Haultain speaks of the views he laid before the committee of Council. Those views were that section 93 of the British North America Act applied mechanically to those provinces, and that there was, therefore, no necessity of going beyond section 2 of the Bill. But we said : No ; we agree with you that section 93 must go into this Bill, but we think it should be done legislatively, subject to such modifications as are called for by the present condition of the people. There was the subject of difference. Therefore, we knew exactly what our position was and what the position of Mr. Haultain was. Although we might have discussed the question for a month or a year, there would have been the same difference. We knew exactly the line of cleavage between us and him. We said to Mr. Haultain : We do not agree with you : perhaps you are right, perhaps 2507 COMMONS wrong ; but at any rate, that is our way of thinking, and we will prepare a clause according to our view which we will submit to you. When the clause was prepared, it was submitted to him. It was open to him to discuss it ; but after he had taken his position and we had taken ours, I do not suppose there would have been much to accomplish by discussion. We knew where we were and where he was. That is the position of the matter, and I leave it to the House to say whether or not, under such circumstances, we have not given to Mr. Haultain, and Mr. Bulyea, the members representing the Northwest government, every opportunity to be heard by us and to have their views represented to us and thoroughly discussed. Every impartial man who reads the letter of Mr. Haultain will come to the conclusion, after the explanation that I have given to the House, that there was nothing to complain of on his part. The subject was thoroughly threshed out on the first day on which it was taken up, and after that we placed before the House the result of our deliberations.
Now, this is all I have to say on this question at the present time. My hon. friend has again pressed me for information on other subjects. I do not think that on such an occasion I am called on to give my hon. friend more information than I have given on former ocasions.
It will be the duty of the government, in due time, to give to my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) and to the House every information that is necessary for the discussion of the Bill. My hon. friend has asked me if we contemplate amendments to the Bill. I do not know, Sir, that any wrong will be done to anybody if we are contemplating amendments. Would it be the first time that a government when introducing a measure should endeavour to see whether or not it was possible to satisfy all sections of the country in regard to that measure ? In view of the petitions that have been presented to the House, some coming from one quarter and other petitions coming from another side, would it be wrong if the government would say : We will reconsider our position and see whether or not we can satisfy this country ? I am sorry my hon. friend has treated the subject a little more lightly than I would have expected him to do on an occasion of this kind. What is the spectacle we have to-day ? We have the spectacle of numerous petitions being presented asking that the educational clauses should be withdrawn from the Bill and numerous other petitions asking that the Bill should be passed as it is. This is a very delicate subject. It is not the first time this question of education has come before the House. It is not the first time it has engaged the attention of the country and upon every occasion that it has come before the House, in 1872-73 with regard to the New Brunswick school question, in 1875, 2508 with regard to the school question again, and in 1896, whenever it has come before the country there has always been an exhibition of strong public sentiment and of contrary opinions. Sir, under such circumstances, if the government were thinking : ' Well we may consider again the position we have taken ; we may again look at what we are going to do,' is there any man on that side or on this side of the House, or without the House throughout this broad country who would say that the government was not doing right in thinking twice before taking a final step upon this question ? Sir, I claim that I have some sense of the responsibility that attaches to the government and to those who are entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the country, and, in a question of this kind especially, whenever such a matter is brought up the government is faced with a difficulty which perhaps it has not anticipated and finding difficulties which no man could have foreseen, viewing the virulence with which passions are roused, perhaps, Sir, there is some reason why a government should be slow to take any action and should hesitate in coming to a final decision. I have spoken of the virulence of the passions exhibited. I do not say that offensively ; I know that would be greatly mistaken if I were to say anything offensively on this point. I would not do so ; I know that public passions, strong passions, are not always ignoble ; sometimes on the contrary, they are only the exaggeration of a noble sentiment, but even the exaggeration of a noble sentiment may lead to outbursts of public passion. I say to my hon. friend, if he wants to know, that this subject gives me a great deal to think about, and if it be possible to amend this Bill the government need not fear to consider the matter. More than this I will not say at present. This I will say, that we are thinking upon these matters, that it is our duty to do so and the result of our deliberations shall be given in due time to the House, but at this present moment, I think I have given to my hon. friend all the answer to which he is entitled.
Mr. W. B. NORTHRUP (East Hastings). Mr. Speaker, although the House can hardly congratulate itself that the right hon. gentleman who so ably leads it (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has shed any great flood of light upon the questions submitted to him, still, day by day, as question follows question we do elicit information, and in due time if the Bill continues to be delayed and if only as much information leaks out every day as has so far leaked out we will at all events be able to discuss the matter when it comes before us with a light of understanding that certainly was lacking in the first instance. To-day the right hon. gentleman has accepted the statement of Mr. Haultain as to the facts laid down in his letter and he has 2509 MARCH 15, 1905 told us in so many words that Mr. Haultain had no right or reason to complain of the opportunity given him to discuss the educational clauses in the Bill. When we look at Mr. Haultain's letter and find that he states that he never saw these clauses until noon of the day on which the Bill was introduced, that he never heard of these clauses until the previous Friday when there was but a casual reference to them—and evidently the clauses themselves could not have been laid before him—we have an idea of the importance the right hon. gentleman attaches to the opinion of the Northwest Territories when it applies to the educational clauses of these important Acts. When a most important question touching the province of Manitoba was presented to the right hon. gentleman, when the legislature of Manitoba and the people of Manitoba were a unit in desiring that their province should be extended to the west, when it was an undeniable fact that a little province 73,000 square miles in size, of which 10,000 miles were under water, was to be placed side by side with two gigantic provinces of a quarter of a million square miles each, when the legislature of Manitoba and the people of that province pleaded that their province might be placed on an equal footing with these new provinces, the one sufficient answer that the right hon. gentleman gave was why the people of the Northwest Territories through their legislature have opposed such a claim. And inasmuch as the people of the west have opposed it the request of Manitoba was promptly denied. Why is it that the people of the Northwest Territories and the premier of the Northwest Territories have so extraordinary an influence on the right hon. gentleman and his government in regard to some matters, and that their opinions have so little value in regard to the educational clauses which it passed must bind these provinces for all time to come, through all eternity. The right hon. gentleman thought the matter was of so little importance that to-day, after the country has been convulsed for more than a month he congratulates himself and gravely tells us that Mr. Haultain had ample opportunity to discuss these clauses which he never saw. I am sorry, Sir, that a case such as this, without precedent one might say, leads to peculiar complications, and so I am not perfectly certain that I agree with my leader in one statement that he made. That hon. gentleman seems to be under the impression that the seven members from the west were those who enlightened, instructed and controlled the premier in this legislation. Possibly they did, Sir, on the principle of the doctrine of exclusion. We know that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) did not ; we know that the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) did not, and we know that the premier, representing the people of the Northwest Territories did not, and I suppose that the hon. gentleman 2510 who leads this side of the House, (Mr. R. L. Borden), must have concluded that the seven gentlemen in question were the ones who really did guide the premier, basing his opinion on the kind of advice they gave on statements of the right hon. gentleman as made before the House when the Bill was introduced. The hon. gentleman who leads the opposition may be right, but I decline to think that any native—born Canadian could have given the right hon. gentleman such advice as he evidently received. I think that no one who reads the statement which he made when the Bill was introduced, and I say it with all respect to the right hon. gentleman, because I quite understand that the onerous duties of the leader of a government, especially when the session is in progress—can doubt that the right hon. gentleman has no time to devote to the acquisition of facts of law and otherwise, and therefore he is dependent on some one for these facts. It would seem that the gentleman who instructed him relied on imagination for his history and his invention for his law, and I think we are justified in considering that even these seven were not consulted. The question as to the propriety or impropriety of the clauses is oi course not a question which we can discuss at the present time.
But surely all must admit that the very evidence we have seen in this House day after day, when, from one end of this country to the other petitions are pouring in, some for and some against this measure, must be enough to impress the members of this House with the gravity of the position in which the right hon. gentleman placed this House, has placed these provinces, has placed the people of Canada by introducing the Bill which has been so long held back. And the right hon. gentleman seems to lead us to infer that the Bill was held back out of kindness and consideration for the wishes of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule). Applying the old rule that it is the unexpected that happens, we would naturally expect the right hon. gentleman to defer his own wishes to the convenience and interest of the hon. member for East Grey. But, as I understand the complaints made by the hon. member for East Grey and other gentlemen on this side of the House, they are not that the right hon. gentleman has held back the second reading of the Bill so much as that we cannot find out what the Bill is. I think the hon. member for East Grey was right in asking that ample time should be given to the country to consider and digest the provisions of the Bill. But how is the country to consider and digest these most important matters when the right hon. Prime Minister will not tell us, though appealed to again and again, what the provisions of the Bill are to be. It is all very well for the right hon. gentleman to tell us that no important Bill 2511 COMMONS goes through parliament without changes and amendments. That is perfectly true. But I would ask the right hon gentleman if, in the course of his reading of constitutional law, he has ever found a case where the leader of a government introduced a Bill and, contrary to the ordinary practice not only explained its provisions, but made an impassioned appeal to the House by all the principles of right, and by all the claims of justice, loyalty, and even religion, to pass certain clauses, and days and weeks after told the House gravely that the government was considering these clauses and reserved its right to do as it saw fit about them ? I would ask the right hon. gentleman's followers if it would not be more in accordance with constitutional procedure and more statesmanlike if this consideration, this discussion, had taken place before the Bill came down, and before this burning question was thrown into the political arena? Would it not have been better to discuss the matter with his hon. colleagues, so that they might have a chance, before the Bill was brought to parliament, to oppose the measure and to try, by resignation or in any other proper way, to compel a modification of its terms? Would not this be better than, after parliament is called, the members should be detained from their business week after week because the government is not ready to announce its policy ? My hon. leader (Mr. R. L. Borden) asked the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) a most important question—it occurs to me the most important question in connection with this matter—which the right hon. gentleman did not answer. He inquired whether it was the intention of the government, as stated in a newspaper ordinarily supposed to be one of the organs of the party of hon. gentlemen opposite, to refer this question to the Supreme Court. Now, I do not know what the policy of the Conservative party or any other member of the Conservative party may be on this subject. But, speaking for myself, I oppose any proposal to refer this matter to the Supreme Court. We know that even a wise man may be caught napping once, but no wise man will be caught napping twice in the same way. I remember a question similar to this that agitated this country nearly ten years ago. I remember that a constitutional question arose along lines similar to this in the province of Manitoba. After it had been decided that Manitoba had not the right to separate schools because there were no separate schools by law or practice in the province at the time it entered into confederation, Manitoba claimed the right, under the remedial clauses of the law, to appeal to the Dominion parliament. The right of this parliament to repeal a provincial statute passed after the union was discussed, and the House was asked to consent to a reference of the matter to the Supreme Court. It was so referred. But 2512 no less an authority than the right hon. gentleman himself (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) potnted out—and, I think, wisely and correctly—that the very fact of the House referring to the Supreme Court the question of its right to pass this legislation was an admission by the House that, should it be held that parliament had the right to pass such a law, it was in reason and in honour bound to exercise that right. And it was for that reason, and not because we were advocating separate schools in Manitoba that I and many others like me, thought that, this House having asked whether it had the power to pass remedial legislation, it would be a monstrous absurdity, it would be a stultifying of ourselves not to pass it. To ask whether we had the right to act and, when that right was established refuse to act, would simply be playing a double game. It would be asking the Supreme Court and the Privy Council gravely whether our rights extended to a certain point while determined that even if they did extend that far, we would not act upon the right thus decided to be ours. There is a clear cut line between the right hon. Prime Minister and Mr. Haultain and many other gentlemen in this country as to the constitutional right of this House to pass the legislation now proposed. Of course, I do not propose to discuss that point at present. But I venture to say that no lawyer will look into the matter and not come to the conclusion that, at least, the question is open to argument that it is doubtful whether this House has power to pass and enforce such legislation. But, if we should pass such legislation, and it should be decided to be ultra vires of our powers, the provinces will find that out for themselves and it will not be long before the people will find that they are not bound as they were supposed to be. But I would protest against submitting the question to the Supreme Court or Privy Council whether we have power to pass such educational clauses as are proposed ; for all must see that, if this House should ask the Supreme Court whether we have that power to pass such clauses, it might be contended, as the right hon. Prime Minister said ten years ago, that, if it should be decided that we had the power, then we should be bound to show our sincerity and good faith by passing such legislation and so impose these clauses upon the Northwest Territories for all time to come.
Now, the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) spoke of the educational clauses as the only objectionable clauses in the Bill. I would enter a very earnest dissent from that proposition. The Bill may have many objectionable clauses, but, if it has one transcendently objectionable, it is quite reasonable for the people, for the time being, to concentrate their attack upon that clause rather than spend their time on minor clauses which, however objection 2513 MARCH 15, 1905 able, are comparatively of small importance. I can assure the hon. gentleman that he will find in the Northwest Territories the people have a very strong, and, he may find, a very well-founded objection to many of the clauses outside of the educational clauses to which he has referred. I do not wish to occupy time more than to say that the members of this House, I suppose, have a perfect right, when the government brings down such a measure as this and when the right hon. gentleman tells us that the government is considering the question, to ask that when they have pondered over, they will give us the benefit of their views. When the right hon. gentleman takes the position he does we have the right to ask if he brings to the discussion of this question the same open mind, the same views as to constitutional law and the rights of the provinces that he held years ago. In case he may have forgotten, I will read his own views as to the rights of the provinces, as explained by himself some years ago. In 1893, he said :
Sir, I am to-day as firm a believer as I ever was in the doctrine of provincial rights. I take as much pride as ever I did in belonging to the great party which in the past carried that doctrine to a successful issue, an issue, indeed, so successful that we nank among the advocates of that doctrine to-day the most prominent of the men who opposed it in the past. And when the historian of the future shall refer to the first twenty years of confederation, the brightest page he will have to record will be the page in which he will trace the efforts of the Liberal party to maintain inviolate and intact the liberties and independence of the local legislatures. And I am proud to say that among the names which shall be revered in the hearts of their countrymen, as the names of those who stood foremost in the fight, will be the names of Edward Blake and Oliver Mowat.
Surely, Sir, we have the right even yet to expect that the right hon. gentleman, misled by those who by distorted facts and mistaken law, have caused him to abandon the position which apparently he would like to occupy—surely we have the right to expect that the right hon. gentleman, after considering the question, as he promised to do, will be only too proud to add his name to those dear to the Canadian people as the defenders of provincial rights, and thus complete the glorious triumvirate Edward Blake, Oliver Mowat and Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Mr. E. B. OSLER (West Toronto). When my right hon. friend, the Prime Minister, charged the leader of the opposition with treating this matter with levity, he made Mr. Speaker, what I consider a most extraordinary statement. I fail to see how any one who has listened to the remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) could come to any other conclusion than that he has treated this question as what it really is, one of the most serious that has ever come before this House. But if a charge of levity in this connection rests against any 2514 one, it certainly does against the Prime Minister. In his reply to my hon. friend I fail to discover a single argument. Instead of arguing seriously the points raised by the leader of the opposition, he has sought lightly to brush them aside as if the question were not to be considered or discussed at all until it suited the right hon. gentleman to proceed further with his Bill and favour the House with some further particulars. But that my right hon. friend is daily finding his position more uncomfortable and his difficulties increasing is evidenced by the fact that in his reference to the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) he let slip an allusion of a personal nature, because that is a species of retort which my right hon. friend is usually careful to avoid. In referring to the hon. member, he spoke of him as not being a member of parliament only, but as something else. Well, we all know what the right hon. gentleman meant. We all know that by something else he meant that the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) was the chief source of those petitions which are being daily presented against the clause in this Bill relating to schools. For my part I can say, so far as my knowledge goes, that my hon. friend is not the chief source of those petitions. In fact I have been very much surprised that the body which the hon. member for East Grey represents has shown itself so thoroughly self contained throughout this matter. I do not believe that the First Minister realizes for a moment the feeling which this Bill has created. Already by this measure he has set creed against creed in the province of Ontario. Already he has done evil which ten years will not wipe out; and I appeal to him to lose not another day in submitting this Bill to the House and the people because every day's delay is widening the breach and intensifying the feeling against it. It is intensifying that feeling to such an extent that no matter whether the Bill be altered to meet the views of those who are opposing it or not the bitterness now created will last longer than the lifetime of many in this House. I have been astonished at the strength of the feeling which has been aroused in connection with this educational clause. My right hon. friend pleads that as this is the only clause in the Bill to which objection has been made, we must conclude that great consideration has been given to it. But, Mr. Speaker, the fact rather is that this educational clause so overshadows all the others that the other clauses have not received the criticism which they ought to get. It is stated in the newspapers without contradiction that this measure was left to four members of the cabinet—the First Minister, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick), the Secretary of State (Mr. Scott) and the Post 2515 COMMONS master General (Sir Wiliam Mulock). I am sorry my hon. friend the Posmaster General is not in his place because I wished to call his attention to the fact that there is a feeling in the constituency I represent and among my friends that he has not given his full assent to this measure and has reserved his right to withdraw later. I have felt it my duty to bring before the right hon. gentleman and this House what I believe, the right hon. gentleman does not realize, namely, the intense feeling which is being created by this Bill and I appeal to the First Minister not to delay a day in submitting the Bill in its present shape, if he be determined to submit it in that shape. Let us in that event deal with the Bill and fight it out, and perhaps the feeling which is being created in the country and is continuing to spread may then be stopped. Surely from the 21st February until the 15th March is a reasonable length of time to have the Bill before the country, and it ought now to be submitted to the consideration of parliament. Surely that is all the time the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) could possibly have asked for. Every day the feeling is intensifying. Every day the newspapers are instilling more and more into the minds of the people that this is a measure which simply is setting creed against creed. Let us then face the issue straight and squarely. Every day's delay is intensifying the feeling against the Bill, and that feeling has taken such root that I venture to-day that ten years hence will not see the sore healed.
Mr. M. S. McCARTHY (Calgary). Representing, as I do, one of the constituencies directly affected by this Bill, I do not see how I can remain silent in this discussion especially in view of some of the remarks which have been made by the right hon. the First Minister. I rise to protest against the conduct of the administration in having framed this measure without any reference to, and in the absence of the minster who is charged by statute with the control and management of the affairs of the Northwest Territories, and for having introduced it in his absence. I may perhaps be permitted to draw the attention of hon. members to the statute to which I refer. By section 3 of chapter 22 of the Revised Statutes of Canada it is provided that the Minister of the Interior shall have the control and management of the affairs of the Northwest Territories. Why then should a measure of such vital importance to the people of that country have been framed and introduced without reference to the minister who has been clothed by statute with this particular duty. That needs explanation. No one can fail to see that there was no member of the cabinet whose presence was more 2516 necessary before arriving at a conclusion on such an important matter for the west than the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) for there was no minister whose individual responsibility in that matter was so great. It is a matter of common complaint that the affairs of the Northwest Territories can be given only a very small portion of the time which the ministers are able to spare from their respective departments.
That is a complaint that one often hears, and perhaps the reason is plain. There are matters pressing on the different ministers in their departments—matters near at hand —in which they must be more interested than they are in the rights of the people living two or three thousand miles away. That it has been the practice in the past to consult the Minister of the Interior in regard to matters of much less importance regarding the administration of the affairs of the Northwest Territories, I think cannot be denied. Looking at the correspondence which has been had between members of the legislative assembly and the federal government, it will be observed that nearly all that correspondence has been carried on with the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton). I find that on April 5th, 1901, he writes the Hon. F. W. G. Haultain in connection with this matter, saying that business is so pressing upon the respective ministers that the measure could not be brought down that session. Then, again, I find that Mr. Haultain was communicating with the Minister of the Interior over an appointment to discuss affairs relating to the territories with the members of the government, and I find that on June 4th, 1901, the Hon. F. W. G. Haultain wired to Hon. Clifford Sifton :
Can you arrange early meeting for us with sub-committee of Council before ministers disperse for summer? Any time after fifteenth will suit us.
(Sgd.) F. W. G. HAULTAIN.
And in answer to that a wire comes back, dated June 5th, 1901, as follows :
Hon. F. W. G. Haultain,
It is impossible to settle date of conference now. Finance Minister must be present. He has gone to England and is not expected back until August.
Apparently there is a variance between the mind of the right hon. First Minister, and even that of the ex-Minister of the Interior, as to the necessity of having the Minister of Finance present at the conference. Following on with that correspondence, I find that on December 7th, 1901, a letter was addressed to the Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier by the Hon. F. W. G. Haultain. In that letter the condition of affairs in the Northwest Territories was fully gone into, and a draft Bill was inclosed setting   2517 MARCH 15, 1905 out what the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories considered they were entitled to claim in dealing with this question. I will not read all the letter, but in part it states :
I have the honour to submit, on behalf of the government of the Territories, the following statement of the present position as it appears to us, together with such remarks as seem to be necessary to properly set forth the reasons which led the assembly to request that inquiries be made and accounts be taken with a view to the establishment of provincial institutions within that portion of the Northwest Territories lying between the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia.
Then, further on in the letter, he says:
After giving some earnest thought to the matter of presenting this part of the subject as desired by the sub-committee of the Privy Council, I have concluded that I cannot do so in any better manner than by submitting the views of the executive council of the Territories in the form of a draft Bill, in which the several points we would like to have brought to an issue are duly set forth, making such comment upon the principles involved as occurs to me in connection with each section or group of sections.
And he concludes:
In conclusion I would venture to express the hope that His Excellency's advisers will, at an early date, arrive at a favourable conclusion to their consideration of the subject matters herein set forth.
(Sgd.) F. W. G. HAULTAIN.
That was written on the 7th December, 1901. On March 15, 1902, when the legislature was about to meet at Regina, a telegram was sent to the Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier as follows:
Legislature opens Thursday. Important that we should know nature of reply to letter of December 7 for reference in speech. Will you kindly have summary wired if possible.
(Sgd.) F. W. G. HAULTAIN.
The answer comes back on March 18, 1902:
Hon. F. W. G. Haultain,
No answer can be sent until the return of Minister of Interior, who is absent through illness.
The point I desire to make is that, although that was not a new matter which was before the members of this government, although they had had the matter under consideration since January 20, 1900, although there had been one conference on the Bill which had been in their possession since 7th December, 1901, they would not even take the risk of framing a bald telegram to the legislative assembly at Regina without first having a consultation and conference with the Minister of the Interior. What is it that has happened since that has 2518 caused this administration to change their minds as to consulting and conferring with the Minister of the Interior in respect to a question which was submitted to them by that draft Bill ? The right hon. leader of the government has stated that no complaints have come in from that country. with the exception of a complaint with regard to the educational clauses of the Bill. I may say that if that statement had not been made I would not have troubled the House this afternoon. I have here a copy of a resolution passed at Medicine Hat three weeks ago. I may say, explaining it, that it objects to the attempt of the federal administration to retain the lands; it also objects to the proposed legislation in respect to education, and it goes further, and declares that the placing of the dividing line on the 4th meridian is a great hardship to the ranching industry, in that the laws governing a farming country would conflict with the laws governing a ranching country. Further on it says:
We would respectfully suggest that the government appoint a commissioner to inquire fully into all the circumstances, and that a copy of the resolutions be forwarded to the principal newspapers in the country. the pre~ mier and leader of opposition, also to the premier of the Northwest Territories, and W. Scott, M.P.
When the right hon. leader of the government says that no other objections were taken to this Bill, either he had not received a copy of that resolution, or the information which was communicated to the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) could not have been made known to him, or no attention was paid to the resolution by either gentleman. I say that there are complaints coming in, and that they are coming in all forms from all parts of the country in respect to the educational question, in respect to the boundaries of the new provinces, and as to the advisability of including in these provinces that great northern country. There is where the difficulty lies ; the people of the west to-day have no person through whom they can communicate with the government, because there is no Minister of the Interior. They can communicate with their representatives, as the people of Medicine Hat did with the hon. member for West Assiniboia; but, apparently. if their representations do not meet the party views of these gentlemen, they will not take the trouble to lay the matter before the government. Therefore, the situation we have today is that the people of the Northwest Territories have no channel of communication with the government because there is no Minister of the Interior in the House of Commons. Taking up these resolutions that have been passed at Medicine Hat, which. I may say. is one of the most prosperous and flourishing towns in the Northwest Territories. and which is practically on the line which divides the proposed pro 2519 COMMONS vinces in two ; while I do not propose to go at any length into the suggested dividing line, in view of what the right hon. gentleman has suggested to the House to-day, I feel that I would be remiss in my duty if I did not point out some of the objections that are coming from that country in regard to this proposed divided line. This line, I may say, is placed right in the heart of the ranching country. I have in my hand a map published by the Department of the Interior, and on which the ranching country in the Northwest Territories is shown, and from which it can be seen that but a very small portion of the ranching country is to be placed in the eastern province of Saskatchewan. The objection to that division is that the ranching country in that eastern province will have such small representation in the local House that its demands and its needs may not receive the recognition which they deserve. The people inhabiting that district have realized this, and so they sent their resolution of protest down to their representative in this House. Another objection which may seem of small concern to the people of the east, but which is very important to the people of the west, is that by placing a portion of the ranching territory in the eastern province there is a possibility that there will be a conflict in the branding laws, which would undoubtedly lead to great inconvenience.
Mr. SPEAKER. The hon. member is now discussing the terms of the Bill.
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. We were told to-day by the Prime Minister that no objections had been raised to the Bill except as regards the educational clause and l want to show the right hon. gentleman that there are still other objections. I point him to the fact that there is no channel through which we could approach the government to make known our objections other than by open statements in this House of Commons, and so it devolves on us from the Northwest to call the attention of the government to some very important objections which the people of the west have to this Bill. Of course, Mr. Speaker, if I am out of order I will bow to your decision and desist. Let me however point out that another very strong objection raised against this Bill is, that the great northern country is being included in the new provinces. While we may have great hopes and aspirations for the future prosperity of that northern country yet the greater part of that territory is not agricultural, if we can accept as true the statement of the Prime Minister on introducing the Bill.
If we look at the census of 1901 it will be found that in the provisional district of Athabaska the population consists of 80 English : 8 Irish : 39 Scotch : 105 French : 7 Germans : 2 Scandinavians ; 1 Belgian, or 142 white people in all. There were 2,393 halfbreeds. 3,716 Indians, 262 unspecified, 2520 giving a total population for the district of Athabaska of 6,615. We remember that the Prime Minister when introducing the Bill discussed the question as to whether or not it was advisable to give Manitoba, with a population then of 10,000 a provincial status in 1870, and he suggested that it would have been better to allow them to mature by gradual process. If that view were sound in regard to Manitoba is it not equally applicable to-day to this great northern country ? Is there any great demand from that northern country to be included in any province ? I believe that they need and are entitled to the establishment of courts of law and a further measure of civil justice, but I have not heard there is any demand for autonomy in the district of Athabaska. Would it not be just as logical to add the Yukon to British Columbia or to add Keewatin to Ontario or to add Ungava to Quebec, as to add the district of Athabaska to the western province and extend that territory to the north ? There is this additional objection : that under the proposed autonomy Bill the provinces have no interest in the lands, mines. or minerals, and that is an important consideration when we are dealing with this phase of the measure. What would the members in this House from British Columbia, from Ontario and from Quebec say if the territories to the north of their provinces were to be given representation in the provincial legislatures and they were to be saddled with the cost of this administration under conditions similar to those on which Athabaska is to be included in the province of Alberta ?
Mr. SPEAKER. The hon. gentleman is plainly discussing the terms of the Bill, and that is out of order.
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. Then, Sir. it is my duty to point out to the First Minister the very serious inconvenience suffered by the people of the Northwest by reason of the fact that we have to-day, no Minister of the Interior. The right hon. gentleman has complained that no objections to the Bill have come from the Northwest save in respect to the educational clauses. Let me remind him, that there is no minister of the Crown representing the Northwest, to whom the people can transmit their grievances. I trust that the Prime Minister will at a very early day be able to assure us that the portfolio of the Interior will be filled. Day after day questions are asked in this House, which should be answered by a responsible Minister of the Interior ; day after day people are coming here great distances to interview the Minister of the Interior on matters seriously concerning the Northwest, but there is no Minister of the Interior to whom they can make their representations. It is true there is a very capable oflicer in the position of deputy minister, but, he has been so recently appointed 2521 MARCH 15, 1905 that he is not familiar with the details of the department, and he cannot be expected to give that authoritative information which a cabinet minister would, We have people here today from Dawson city. from Battleford and from distant points who have travelled thousands of miles to transact business with the Minister of the Interior, but they have been forced to return home without being able to attain their object. I trust. Sir, that we shall soon have a Minister of the Interior with whom the people of the Northwest Territories can transact public business, and through whom they can make their grievances known to the government of Canada.
Mr. R. S. LAKE (Qu'Appelle). Mr. Speaker, in a matter of such importance to the Northwest Territories, I feel it my duty to say a very few words at the present time, and especially shall I address myself to the urgency of the appointment of a Minister of the Interior. To learn, as we did the other day, that the terms of this Bill had been agreed upon and laid before parliament without consultation with the Minister of the Interior—and as it afterwards proved, in direct opposition to his known views—was surprising enough ; but to have the statement ten days later from the Prime Minister, that he had then no intention of selecting a new Minister of the Interior, was simply amazing. I am glad to say that on the following day the right hon., gentleman modified that statement and gave us a hope that in the near future there would be an appointment. I feel that we are entitled to ask from the right hon. gentleman an absolute and positive statement on this question.
If it is not unconstitutional to go on with such important measures as those before the House in the absence of the Minister of the Interior, and I believe it is unconstutional, I will make this assertion, that it is plainly against the spirit of the constitution, and that it is also against the principles which were laid down by the Prime Minister himself, in the Order in Council which was published in connection with the retirement of the Earl of Dundonald last year. I submit, Sir, that it is absolutely necessary at the present time that the Prime Minister should admit into his most confidential counsels some man who is thoroughly imbued with the spirit and the aspirations of the west. I do not believe that the Bills in their present form would have been brought down if the Prime Minister had had in the cabinet at the time they were being discussed a gentleman from the west who was in touch with the west ; and I feel quite certain that those Bills would not have been introduced in the terms in which they were—terms which practically threw down the gauntlet to the people of the west on a subject on which the Prime Minister must have known that they were very sensitive indeed.
In his speech in introducing the Bills, the right hon. gentleman said : ' The Northwest Territories have at the present time a large measure of local autonomy.' He went on to say that they have ' most of the essential powers which are now given to the provinces,' and he concluded by saying that he proposed to crown that with ' complete and absolute autonomy.' I sometimes wonder whether it could be possible that the right hon. gentleman really meant that when he said it. I do not think that anybody who chooses to study these Bills and to take them in connection with the constitutions of the other provinces of Canada, can doubt but that it is proposed to form in the Northwest Territories ' imperfect and inferior organizations,' to quote the words of the premier of that country ; and if more proof were needed that the people of the Territories did not believe that they were going to be put on the plane of the older provinces of the Dominion, I would point to the character of the meetings which are now being held almost daily throughout the west. This question is not dealt with up there as a party question. I notice that in the towns in the district which I have the honour to represent, in several cases the prime movers are gentlemen who are supporters of the right hon. gentleman opposite ; and I was surprised to hear that he had not heard that other objections had been taken to the terms of these Bills above and beyond the objections which were taken to the educational clauses. I may tell him that I have received copies of resolutions taking the very strongest objections to other clauses. Of course, the terms in which the educational clauses are couched have been such as to raise a feeling which must overshadow all other feelings amongst the people of the Northwest Territories ; and therefore we find that the agitation against these educational clauses takes the first place. But I can assure the Prime Minister that there are the very strongest objections against the proposal that our lands should be retained by the Dominion of Canada. There are the very strongest objections to having the perpetual exemption from taxation which is at the present moment enjoyed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company placed on the shoulders of the new provinces forever. That is a burden which we believe the Dominion of Canada should hear. I may say that the large measure of local autonomy which the Prime Minister referred to in his speech as having been enjoyed by the Territories has developed a strong western sentiment and solidarity which is manifesting itself in connection with the clauses of these Bills ; and I would suggest to him that he should put this matter to the test by inviting some genleman from amongst the western Liberal members of parliament to enter his cabinet and in this way open a seat in the Northwest Ter 2523 COMMONS ritories and see what the verdict of the people will be.
The right hon. gentleman said : ' We have had the benefit of the presence of Mr. Haultain and Mr. Bulyea,' and he went on to say further : ' We have had the advantage of the advice of several members from the Territories in the discussion of these Bills. Now, as has been pointed out this afternoon, Mr. Haultain at any rate has put himself definitely on record as objecting to the terms of the draft Bill. And I may say that Mr. Haultain and Mr. Bulyea do not speak as private individuals ; they speak as being armed with the authority of the accredited representatives of the government and the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories. And it must be remembered that the claims of the Northwest Territories were set forth in the most distinct and definite terms—were set forth categorically—in a draft Bill which the premier of the Northwest Territories submitted to the Prime Minister more than three years ago. Those terms were discussed in the legislative assembly, and were for all practical purposes unanimously approved. I may say that there was a unanimous approval of the various terms of that draft Bill, with just one exception : that was as to whether there should be one or two provinces. On that question the majority--
Mr. SPEAKER. The hon. member is again commencing to get very close to a discussion of the Bill on the order paper.
Mr. LAKE. I was endeavouring, Mr. Speaker, to answer a remark which was made by the Prime Minister himself ; but I will get at it more directly. The Prime Minister made a strong point of the fact that Mr. Haultain had objected to two provinces being formed. That made a large part of his argument, and surely I should be allowed to say a few words in reference to that. What I wish to point out is this, that a very large majority of the members of the legislative assembly were in favour or one province. There was a small minority in favour of two provinces, but they were divided in opinion as to how these two provinces should be formed—whether there should be a northern one and a southern one or an eastern one and a western one. Mr. Haultain was only doing his duty when he advocated what was the very strong verdict of the members of the legislative assembly. When the right hon. gentleman referred to the immense province which such an area would make, I think he forgot that the legislative assembly had not asked for the immense area which he now proposes to include in the two new provinces. They had only asked for a portion of it ; and I might suggest to him that the three present organized districts only include an area less than that of British Columbia or that of Quebec.
I may say further that the terms of this draft Bill formed the principal question in the general election of the Northwest Territories which took place shortly after its submission to the legislative assembly ; and that the principal campaign literature issued by the local government of that day was the correspondence in connection with the draft Bill, and the draft Bill itself, so that there can be no question, seeing that Mr. Haultain's government was returned to power with an overwhelming majority, that he was voicing the opinion of the people of the Northwest in the demands which he has made in regard to the terms upon which the Northwest Territories were to become provinces. But, as the right hon. the Prime Minister says, he had discussed this question and had great advantage in the discussion not only with the representatives of the Territorial government, but also with several western members, we must presume that the Bill was introduced with the concurrence of these western members. We must assume that, or else these remarks of the Prime Minister would have no significance or meaning. I noticed also that some Northwest members on the other side of the House greeted the remarks of the Prime Minister on that occasion with the most vigorous applause.
Again I say that I consider that the presence of the Minister of the Interior in this House is most necessary. A proposal is made in these draft Bills that the Dominion government should remain in possession of the public lands of the Northwest. I venture to assert that it has been found impossible in the past to administer the lands of that country, with satisfaction, from Ottawa and I think that if a close inquiry were made into the conditions it would be found that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction in that country with the proclaimed policy of the Minister of the Interior with reference to the settlement of these lands, and that the administration of these lands is not satisfactory to the people of the Northwest. This House should have the fullest information on these points, and I apprehend that it would be practically impossible to get that full information unless we have, sitting in his seat on the other side of the House. a Minister of the Interior.
Mr. W. J. ROCHE (Marquette). Mr. Speaker, as a western representative, I desire for a very short time this afternoon to discuss more particularly one feature of this debate that has been referred to, especially by my now colleagues from the west, a question in which we are particularly interested in common with the people who reside in that portion of Canada. I refer to the vacancy which exists in the portfolio of the Minister of the Interior. Some two or three years ago when the territorial executive consulted with the right hon. gentleman   as to whether he was willing and ready to 2525 MARCH 15, 1905 enter into a conference with the members of the executive with a view to granting provincial government to the people of the Northwest Territories, the right hon. gentleman replied at that time that he could not accede to their request ; for what reason ? Because of the absence of the Minister of the Interior through illness. He could not take up this great question in the absence of the member of the government who was particularly charged with looking after the welfare of western interests, with the gentleman who, from his long residence in that western country and from his long official connection was better able to give him official advice than any other colleague in his cabinet. I must admit that the contention of the right hon. gentleman at that time was a very valid one and that in the absence of this gentleman it was not reasonable to take up the question of self government for the Territories. According to my judgment this was in accordance with constitutional procedure and was a deferring to the Minister of the Interior that was only that gentleman's due. The granting of autonomy to the people of the Northwest Territories is a most important question ; it marks another epoch in the history of the confederation of Canada and it is a question requiring the best advice of the most responsible advisers. Realizing this, as undoubtedly the Prime Minister did, he would not enter into the initial stages even, he would not take up the question of holding a conference with the territorial executive in the absence of his responsible Minister of the Interior. If, however, it was so very necessary to have that gentleman present in the conducting of negotiations, how much more was it necessary to have him here when that Bill was being drafted for submission to this House. And yet, we find the right hon. gentleman having a Bi11 prepared or preparing it himself, in company with his colleagues, without that gentleman's presence, without his consent, without his knowledge even, and launching it on this parliament without ever having submitted it to him for his approval or disapproval. No explanation has yet been vouchsafed to this House by the Prime Minister why he followed such a course. He has not touched upon that phase of the speech of the hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) this afternoon. He realizes that there is no explanation that can be forthcoming for his having treated his Minister of the Interior so cavalierly and having so contemptuously treated indirectly the people of the west. There has been no explanation of why he took so different a position from that of two or three years ago when he would not even have a conference in the absence of the Minister of the Interior. This information, I may say, did not come from the right hon. gentleman himself ; it remained for the Minister of the Interior, upon his return to the House of 2526 Commons when he saw for the first time this Bill that has been submitted to parliament, when he read the educational clauses, and realized that he could not consistently give his support to the educational clauses to sever his official connection with the government and give an explanation to the members of the House, which conveyed the idea to every member in this House that that hon. gentleman resented, and justly resented, the treatment accorded to him by his chief, the head of the government, in paying so little respect to those views which the premier knew quite well his colleague held. This is especially remarkable in view of the policy that was laid down by the hon. gentleman and his colleagues no longer ago than the session of 1904 in regard to the principle that was to guide the right hon. gentleman and his government in the division of ministerial responsibility. This has been referred to on a previous occasion, but it will stand emphasizing, and I desire to read this Order in Council wherein the hon. gentleman laid it down as his guiding principle as to how the affairs of the country were to be managed. He said :
In the case of members of the cabinet, while all have an equal degree of responsibility in a constitutional sense, yet in the practical working out of responsible government, in a country of such vast extent as Canada, it is found necessary to attach special responsibility to each minister for the public affairs of the province or district with which he has close political connection, and with which his colleagues might not be so well acquainted.
And yet, notwithstanding that declaration of policy within eight months of laying down that principle to guide himself and his colleagues, he, the erstwhile democrat to the hilt, in the most autocratic manner, rides roughshod over the terms of this Order in Council and practically ignores the fact that he has a Minister of the Interior at all. The right hon. gentleman knew quite well the very strong views held by his Minister of the Interior on that separate school question. He was quite well aware of the fact that in the west a few years ago he earned himself the sobriquet of being the special champion of national schools. The right hon. gentleman knew the strong stand his minister had taken against Dominion interference with matters that should be entirely under provincial control and yet, with this knowledge in his possession, he had so little respect for his colleague from the west that he did not even submit the educational clauses to that hon. gentleman. The right hon. gentleman evidently did not do so, to judge by the remarks of the ex-Minister of the Interior himself. Is it at all surprising, therefore, under the circumstances that that gentleman should resent such treatment and should sever his official connection with his colleagues and should step down and out.
But, at the same time, the country, and especially the west, is left without a voice in the council, without a representative of the western interests that are paramount, at a time when they should have somebody in the cabinet to maintain their rights. The Prime Minister has informed this House that he has taken no steps to fill this vacancy, nor is it his intention to take any immediate steps towards that end. In order that I may not do him any injustice, let the quote from 'Hansard' of March 9, the right hon. gentleman's answer to a question of the leader of the opposition:
My hon. friend asks a second question. He wants to know whether any action is to be taken to fill the vacancy in the portfolio of the Interior caused by the retreat of my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton). He is entitled to a full and categorical answer. No action has been taken, and it is not my intention now to take any action in the way of filling that portfolio.
Now, it is because of that declaration on the part of the Prime Minister that I rise to protest as a western representative, against this procedure. The idea of having these great questions considered without having that portfolio filled is contrary to the best judgment of the people of western Canada. The Prime Minister may say that there has been no undue delay in filling that portfolio, that a longer time has elapsed in filling other vacancies in other cabinets. But this vacancy at this particular time is unique in its character, and there are very special reasons why the portfolio should be tilled at the earliest possible moment. In the first place, the resignation has taken place during the holding of a session of parliament, and even before the estimates of this department have received the approval of this House. Important transactions have been carried out under this department since the session of 1904, especially in regard to western Canada, which transactions should be explained to this House by a responsible head of that department. Then, we have the Autonomy Bill, a Bill of vital importance and affecting the whole future of the people of western Canada. The people of that portion of the country demand that they shall have a voice at the council board. The right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) must know that no acting Minister of the Interior, no colleague of his holding another portfolio, can possibly discharge the duties of the Minister of the Interior to the satis faction of the people of the west, especially at this juncture ; for they need a man there whom they can hold directly and especially responsible for his official acts. The territory from the great lakes to the Pacific ocean, a territory some 2,000 miles from side to side, is to-day without cabinet representation. Fancy for a moment the great province of Quebec in a similar position. Suppose that, with its 351,000 square miles, 2528 a large portion of it were still without provincial autonomy; and suppose that a Bill were submitted to this parliament to confer upon the territory organized all the powers of local self government : and suppose that there were no representative of those people in the council to maintain their rights ;—would not there be strong expressions of indignation ? And would not those expressions be justified and be supported by every other portion of Canada? And still, to-day, we have all the territory west of the great lakes, almost a million square miles, inhabited by almost a million souls, of whom half are in the new provinces about to be created. and as yet they are left without anybody to stand up for their rights and see that even—handed justice is meted out to them. Now, there is another great question that demands a representative in the cabinet council to-day and one in which, as a representative of Manitoba, 1 am especially interested; I refer to the extension of the boundaries of Manitoba. I will not enter into the merits of that question today. I have only to say that we have had many requests made to this government by the people of Manitoba through their legisature, speaking with unanimous voice, for the extension of the boundaries of the province. This is a most opportune time to have that question settled, now that the new territories are having their boundaries fixed. Let any one look at the map, and he will see the proposed new provinces with an area of about 250,000 miles each. British Columbia with 370,000 miles, Ontario with 200,000. and Quebec with 351,000 ; and, in contrast with these, you find little Manitoba cribbed, cabined and confined within an area of 73,000 square miles. The right hon. Prime Minister gave his reason why he would not accede to the request of the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories to have only one province. He said in effect: Look at this one territory of 500,000 square miles, and then look at Ontario and Quebec with so much less. Well, turn the right hon. gentleman's argument against himself ; look at little Manitoba with an area of 73,000 square miles in contrast with each of these other provinces with an area of 250,000 square miles. Any person with a spirit of fairness must resent such treatment of Manitoba at the hands of the Prime Minister. And what is the reason for this refusal on his part to listen to the unanimous demand of the people of Manitoba ? I am afraid the right hon, gentleman has not been as frank with this House as he might have been. I am not sure that we have had the true reason expressed publicly by the representatives of the government why this treatment is meted out to Manitoba in regard to her boundaries. The Prime Minister says that the government cannot even accede to the request to extend the boundaries of Manitoba northward to Hudson's Bay, but must consult Quebec, 2529 MARCH 15, 1905 must consult Ontario, and even must consult the new province of Saskatchewan—but must not consult his own Minister of the Interior. Apparently, he did not submit this question to the responsible representative of the west, his own Minister of the Interior, for I cannot and will not believe that that hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) representing, as he does, a Manitoba constituency, and knowing the wishes unanimously expressed of the people of his own province—for this has not been a party question—would agree to have the representations of Manitoba turned down as they have been, and her request refused on the ground that these other provinces must be consulted, even though Manitoba's boundaries might be extended without trespassing upon a single foot of territory belonging to any of these provinces. I think we shall have to look to the press of the right hon. gentleman to find out the reason. The hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) has told us already that the press supporting the right hon. gentleman has given the reason away. I do not know whether these newspapers speak by the book or not. The Prime Minister has stated that he must not be held responsible for the utterances of his party newspapers. But, when a paper like the ' Le Soleil ' will announce itself as follows :
We declare, once for all, that ' Le Soleil ' is the organ of the Liberal party, and by that fact is under the direction and absolute control of Sir Wilfrid. The supporters of Sir Wilfrid, and those who affirm themselves to be such, are begged to take notice of the present declaration.
I say when the ' Le Soleil ' so announces itself, surely the Prime Minister will not repudiate an organ that distinctly states that it is so abject to him as to be under his absolute direction and control. And, this is why Manitoba's boundaries have not been extended at the present juncture, according to this paper :
The school legislation of the little province is not of a nature to attract the immigrants who people the districts. The Northwest has its separate schools. Manitoba has abolished them.
Every good act has its reward, every bad act its chastisement. Manitoba will remain lowest with her pretentious law.
Is this the true reason ? Have we to go to the press of the right hon. gentleman for his true reasons in these matters ? Is it not a humiliating position for any government to be placed in, when one of its own journals distinctly gives such a reason why Manitoba's boundaries have not been extended ? But it is not only that one journal which has been speaking in this manner. There is another publication in the west, the ' Northwest Review,' which deals with the very same question in much the same spirit. Speaking a couple of weeks ago 2530 about Mr. Rogers and the Winnipeg ' Telegram,' it says :
Two days after the ' Telegram ' had trumpeter abroad the Hon. Robert Rogers' great hopes for the western extension of Manitoba, the same wise and prophetic journal deplores the fact that there will be no such extension in any direction.
Then this newspaper goes on to say :
But it omits to give the reason thereof. The only obstacle to the territorial expansion of our province is its iniquitous and cruel school system. Not even the wildest corner of any unorganized territory willl consent to saddle itself with such a tyranny. Manitoba must be content to remain small and mean so long as it maintains its small and mean school policy.
Is that the kind of policy we have in that province? If it is, who is responsible? Who but the right hon. gentleman's own colleague, the ex-premier of Manitoba (Mr. Greenway) now the hon. member for Lisgar. It was Mr. Greenway's government which passed the school law, and the hon. gentleman, ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) is one of our public men who was mainly responsible for the passage of that law. These gentlemen will hardly agree that it is a mean and a cruel school policy. If there is any blame to be attached to the people of the province by reason of this school policy, the hon. gentleman's own friends are responsible and he himself is accessory to the fact. He supported the instigators and the supporters of that policy every time they appealed to the people of Manitoba both before and since this Manitoba school law was passed. He gave them every assistance in his power to gain their re-election, and he has been heralded everywhere as the great conciliator, the gentleman who settled the school question to the satisfaction of everybody. But his own journals evidently are not satisfied. They say that it has not been settled to the satisfaction of the minority, and that on that account the boundaries of Manitoba will not be extended. Because that province happens to he ruled at present by a Conservative government and because that government will not alter the school policy to suit the wishes of supporters of the right hon. gentleman, we are to be denied our just request for an extension of our boundaries. 1 bring this matter to the attention of the House because the right hon. gentleman may not be aware of the extent to which the discussion of this question is carried in the journals of the west. I have even seen that reason given circulation in the Toronto ' Star.' Well, if we are to be treated in this way, we ought to know it. The right hon. gentleman has never yet given this House any reason why the request of Manitoba for an extension of its boundaries should not be granted except the puerile one that he 2531 must consult three of the other provinces before he can accede to it. But his own supporters are coming from Winnipeg to protest against such treatment. The Board of Trade and the city council are sending down deputations, and I trust the right hon. gentleman will give some satisfaction to these representatives and remove the impression created by his own press that the reason why the application of Manitoba is denied is because the government of that province will not change its school laws. As a singular indefiniteness characterizes the utterances of the First Minister regarding his intentions with respect to this measure. I am not in a position to discuss it at present. He has not yet explained why he did not consult his own colleagues and responsible ministers, the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) and the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) or why he did not consult on this educational clause the First Minister of the Northwest Territories. Who then did he consult? Did he consult the other members of the cabinet? Perhaps not, except the subcommittee which drafted the clause. It may turn out that until noon on the day the Bill was introduced, the other members of the cabinet knew nothing about that clause. I am forced to the conclusion that the Postmaster General (Mr. Mulock) did know about it because he was a member of the sub-committee, but I am somewhat shocked at his success in swallowing himself as he has done. I have here a record of the views he held in 1896 regarding provincial jurisdiction. Let me read a few words of the speech he delivered in this House on March 20th of that year, pages 4189 and 4190 of ' Hansard ':-
There are seven provinces in this Dominion. There is territory out of which to carve many more. There is a minority in every province. Shall we to-day, hastily, thoughtlessly and without due consideration, without first exhausting every other means of settlement, legislate as is proposed by this Bill, and place upon our statute-book a statutory invitation to the minority in every province now existing, and every province that may hereafter be carved out of our territory, to appeal to the people's representatives in this parliament to settle questions that might be better settled, under the spirit of the Confederation Act, by the provinces in which those questions arise.
Here is a distinct statement by the Postmaster General that, according to the spirit of the Act of Confederation, these questions should be settled, not by the Dominion parliament, but by the provincial legislatures where they arise. He then realized that the question of education should be left as a matter of provincial concern, to provincial jurisdiction. But as a member of the sub-committee which drafted this clause, he took entirely different ground.
I do not desire to weary the House any longer. I simply rose, as a western representative, to protest most strongly against the course of the government in deciding this question and others incidental to it in the absence of that representative in the cabinet from the west whom the people of that country can hold particularly responsible. If the right hon. gentleman wants to give the people directly interested an opportunity to make their views known, let him select a representative from the west to replace in the cabinet the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) and have him go back to the people for election. If he should be re-elected, then the right hon. gentleman will be in a position to say that the people of the west have given their sanction to this Bill and the other provinces should not press further any ob~ jections. I would urge the right hon. gentleman to adopt that mode of procedure without delay and not push the Bill through the House first and then invite a representative from the west to enter his cabinet. Let the people of that country be given an opportunity of expressing their opinion and let them have a representative in the cabinet to whom they can look to vindicate their rights.
At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.



House in committee on Bill (No. 12) respecting the Ottawa Electric Company.- Mr. Galliher.
On the preamble,
Mr. STEWART. Mr. Chairman, before the preamble is carried, perhaps I ought to say that as the first sections of this Bill deal with arranging for sufficient capital to buy stock in another company that exists and is doing business in the city, the objection that the city takes to the Bill is that if the powers that are asked for by the Ottawa Electric Company are granted, then it follows that they will purchase the stock of the other company and thereby destroy competition. I do not know what the promoter of the Bill has to say ; but if that is the object of the Bill, I am here to enter my protest on behalf of the city against the preamble.
Mr. SPROULE. I understood that this Bill was held back for a length of time until some arrangement was reached, and that it was finally referred to a special committee, and that that special committee reported. But while the Bill seemed to be specially objectionable, there is one feature of itthe power to increase the capital stock—to which I understand there is no general op[...]
[...] asked  that  this  legislation  should  not  be granted when the company had the right to increase the rates.  The  authorities  of  the city believe that if you take away from the city the competition that exists to—day the rates will go up.   The  whole  gist  of  the question is that this legislation aims at destroying the competition, with the result that rates are bound to be increased.  The city does not object to the two companies making a reasonable pro-fit. If the rates are too low, surely they can get adequate rates. In reply to the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart), as to the resolution passed by the city council, or the promise made by it, I understand him to say that the city  of  Ottawa had promised a monopoly to the Ottawa Electric Company.   It is true a resolution was passed by the council of the city of Ottawa promising a monopoly to the Ottawa Electric Company.   I  think it is open to the members of the Ottawa city council to change their minds on this question.   Immediately after the resolution was passed—and it may have been secured in some way,  although I am not suggesting anything of that kind—―notice of reconsideration was given, and it was pointed out by the solicitor of the company that the resolu tion promised something that no municipality could give, that in common law it was impossible  to  grant  a  monopoly  to  any  one company.   An  illustration  of  the  fact  that it was against the common law was shortly afterwards afforded by something that happened in the adjoining municipality of Hull. The  corporation  of  the  city  of  Hull  endeavoured to give a monopoly to the Hull Company and the Ottawa Company,  which  is to-day  seeking  a  monopoly  in  the  city  of Ottawa,  entered  a  protest ;  an  appeal  was taken to the courts, and it was found to be a violation of the common law.  The result is that to—day there is competition in the city of Hull, where an endeavour was made to create a monopoly.   Now the point made, as I understand it,  by  the hon.  member for South Lanark is  that  the  city  of  Ottawa had entered into a bargain, or made a promise, that they afterwards did not keep. It is true this resolution was passed by the city council, but I do not think that should govern parliament.  If we consider that in our judgment it is a wrong thing to inter  fere with the vested rights of the city of Ottawa, then I do not believe we should pass this legislation.  We should not interfere with the rights of the municipality.
Mr. FITZPATRICK.  We are now on the preamble of the Bill, and perhaps it would be more regular if we adopted the preamble and proceeded to deal with the clauses as they arise.  There are clauses in the Bill which are not objectionable, and when we reach any clause that is objectionable, then we can consider the question.  I have a great deal of respect for vested rights as far as cities are concerned, and I have some re 2548spect for the vested rights of corporations also.  I am sorry to say that I am not a municipal ownership man, but I am in favour of corporations when they are properly regulated, and I want to have an opportunity of saying so.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.  I happen to be a friend of municipal rights.
The hour for private Bills having expired, the Speaker took the chair.


House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr.  Fielding, that the House go into Committee  of Supply.
Mr. F.  L.  SCHAFFNER (Souris).   Mr. Speaker,  I  would not rise to-night to address this House on this question,  which has been so well discussed this afternoon  —perhaps I shall only be repeating very many of the statements that have been already made—were it not that I felt it to be an imperative duty.  There are one or two reasons why I believe it imperative that I should have something to say on this question.  I will endeavour to-night, in the few remarks which I make, not to discuss the Bill.  There seems to be a great temptation to enter into a discussion of the Bill. When the proper time comes to discuss the Bill, I hope to have an opportunity of making a few remarks. But I will say right here that when the proper time comes my effort will be to address this House on that question in a manner absolutely free from offence to any creed or any set of people in this House or in this country.  I believe that this great question in connection with the formation  of  these two provinces in the Northwest  is  more than a provincial question ; it  is  a  national  question ;  and I  believe  that  whatever  men,  or whatever hon.  members  on  this  or  the  other  side of the House think, that is the way in which we should endeavour to discuss it.   There are one or two reasons why I wish to trespass upon the time of the House.   One is that I represent a constituency of the west, which I can say—and I do not do it boastfully—has to—day more elevators and grows more wheat, although it is somewhat of a large district, than any other section of a similar size in the Dominion of Canada.  One other reason why I would like to make a few remarks is that the present government were good enough to give us, before the last election,  increased representation. In order that we might have that increased representation, it was necessary that the constituencies that already existed should be divided.   I was particularly favoured by having the honour of contesting a portion of the constituency which has been repre― sented by the hon. member for Brandon  (Mr.  Sifton).   I  was  given  the  south  half. In the south half of that constituency, which 2549 MARCH 15, 1905 was controlled by and which always elected my hon. friend the member for Brandon when he was able to bring those wonderful powers which he possessed to bear upon the electorate, he was able to secure a majority of 200 or 300. To-day, after that power has been withdrawn, the same people who elected him were good enough to elect me by a majority of a little over 500. Knowing, as I do what these same people think on this great question, I feel it my duty to trespass upon the time of the House for a short while.
Now, Mr. Speaker, although I am new in this parliament, I am not very new in the matter of years, and I am not very new in my knowledge of the political aspect of this country and of my friends who sit on the other side of the House. Living so near as I do to the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), we became to same extent at least chums—I do not know if that is a parliamentary expression, but it is at all events a somewhat endearing term. I do not suppose the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) wants my sympathy, but I cannot help being a little sensitive for him and I feel very deeply the manner in which he was treated in connection with this Bill. Some time ago, when we asked the First Minister as to when the member for Brandon might be expected back, we were told he was in the south for his health. Soon after that Bill was introduced, and from a health point of view it was very unfair to compel the Minister of the Interior to make such a break neck journey to Ottawa, and after getting here to force him to rush out on the street to ascertain what were the contents of the Autonomy Bill which had been introduced to parliament. The Prime Minister told us  to-day that the member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) had asked for three weeks' delay between the first and second readings of this Bill, but hon. gentleman will remember with what derisive cheers from the government supporters that request of the member for East Grey was met at the time. The three weeks asked for by the member for Grey have passed and although this House of Commons has not been very busy, we are still waiting for the second reading. To-day the honoured leader of the opposition endeavoured to get some information from the premier as to when the second reading would be moved, and when that request was made a gentleman on the Liberal benches remarked : You will know soon. Well, I for one, would like to know how long that 'soon' is. We have the information now that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) was not consulted as to this Bill, that the Minister of Finance was  not consulted either, and that Mr. Haultain, the Prime Minister of the Territories was not consulted as to the educational clauses. The Prime Minister tried to make out that Mr. Haultain had been consulted, but I have too much confidence in the ability of 2550 the right hon. gentleman to think that he for one moment thought that he was making the House believe any such thing. So far as we know at present, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Haultain and the members of parliament from the Northwest Territories were not consulted on this matter. Right here I would like to say that this afternoon during the discussion of this great question, not one member from the Northwest Territories supporting the government was in his place in the House. I do not know all these members and that statement may not be correct, but I am told that it is a fact. Any way, whether they were here or not they were absolutely silent on the question and I suppose the inference is they are satisfied with what has occurred. I have not such a deep interest in the other members of the government as I have in the member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) and therefore I am not so concerned in the fact that the others were not consulted about this matter, but I really do feel chagrined that the Minister of the Interior should have been so slighted. There are other gentlement in the cabinet, who, if they were consulted must have experienced an extraordinary conversion from their views if they gave their consent to such a measure as that now before the House. In 1896, when the Manitoba school question was before parliament, the present Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) said :
This measure proposes to make use of the powers of this House as has never been attempted since confederation, namely, to interfere, to amend, to supplement, to change the legislation of a province with reference to a subject over which the provinces have exclusive control under our federal system of government. 
Even if I rested my case there, that is pretty strong language from the Minister of Militia and we have no reason to think that his views have changed since. How did it come that he gave his consent, or was it that he was not thought of When the consulting was going on. Sir Wilfrid Laurier (then Mr. Laurier, leader of the opposition) used this language :
But the hon. gentleman knows that the bitterness of the initiation of confederation, the feeling against the coercion then practised has never been removed, and never will entirely disappear until it is buried in the grave of the last man of that generation whose manhood was outraged by the arbitrary proceeding which trampled under foot the dignity and manhood of a proud people.
That reference to coercion was intended by Mr. Laurier for Sir Charles Tupper in relation to his efforts to bring Nova Scotia into confederation, but I am old enough to remember some things which were said and done by members of the present govern 2551 COMMONS ment in reference to the same matter and which they would no doubt like to forget.
Now, it is my opinion, and I say it  believing it from the bottom of my heart, that it will be more than ten years, when many of us who are now in this House will have reached the chloroform stage, before this question will be satisfactorily settled by the Bill which was introduced a short time ago. Again, the Minister of Militia said :
My hon. friend (Mr. Laurier) might have gone further than he did in his statement because it  will not only be the last man who was able to  exercise the franchise of that time but his  children and his grandchildren will have to pass away before the memory of that unjust Act is effaced from the minds of the people of Nova Scotia. . . . When we think that we are about to pass a system of laws upon the subject of education which is exclusively a provincial right, and that we are going to impose  upon a great province this law for all time, no matter how the circumstances may change, or  how the population may change, or how desirous they my be to make a change in that  matter, when we think that for ever that law, by our act here, is to be fastened upon that unwilling province, surely it ought to cause us to pause.
Again, he said, that nine-tenths of the people were known to be opposed to that legislation, just as the vast majority of the people of Canada to-day are known to  be opposed to the Bill which these hon. gentlemen are now trying to force through this House. Further he says :
And I dare say it is fitting that the hon. gentleman who so successfully bull-dozed the legislation of Nova Scotia in 1867 could carry confederation through the House against the well understood wishes of the people of that province, should be brought here to coerce this  House into passing legislation which the majority of the people are opposed to and which  is inimical to the interest of the province of  Manitoba and the interest of the Dominion at large. . . . We hear a great deal about the  rights of minority. I believe in preserving and  conserving the right of minority, but, Sir, we  are here under a system of responsible govern-  ment, and the very foundation stone of respon-  sible government is to govern in the interest of the majority with a view to the greatest good  of the greatest number.
That is a noble and very old and tried  sentiment.
It is most gratifying to us on this side of the  House, whose policy has favoured this course from the first, because my hon. friend the leader of the opposition long ago laid down the  policy of investigation and the policy of conciliation as opposed to the policy of blind coercion.
And I want to say that if anybody reads the speech then delivered by the then Mr.  Laurier, now the right hon. leader of this House, he will find that the very core of his argument, the silver thread that ran through  it from beginning to end, was the argument 2552 of investigation. Now, it has not been shown to us that the First Minister took any great pains to make an investigation before introducing his own Bill ; he did not even consult the members of his own cabinet.
What possible good can be served by proceeding with this Bill until we know what becomes of these negotiations. It seems to me that the hon. gentleman who leads this House has conducted himself in such a way as to give every indication of the strongest desire to annoy the government and the people of Manitoba to the utmost extent of his ability. . . .  Well, Sir, I leave it to the hon. members of the House to judge who are mainly responsible if these fires have been kindled in this Dominion—whether it is those hon. gentlemen who rush madly into this offensive course toward the province of Manitoba, or whether it is my hon. friend here, the leader of the opposition, who has always counselled moderation, who has always counselled conciliation, who asks only that all the facts of the case be ascertained and the fullest information be secured before this tremendous step is taken.
The right hon. gentleman said something today about creeds. I want to ask right here, who is responsible if we have any trouble with creed, race and religion in connection with this Bill? Upon whom must this House and this country place the responsibility if it is not upon the right hon. gentleman and his cabinet who have introduced these unnecessary clauses into this Bill ? The hon. Minister of Militia went on :
Was the hon. gentleman able by himself to make up his mind what alterations should be made in the tariff ?
He is asking when the great fiscal policy was introduced into this country by the great party which I have no hesitation in saying has introduced nearly all the great policies of this Dominion. I admit that these policies have been followed by our friends on the other side. They may not be very good introducers of policies, but they are first-class mimics. I am very thankful that in their fiscal policy they have come so near to adopting those rules and directions that were laid down by the members of the great Conservative party. The hon. gentleman said :
Was the hon. gentleman able by himself to make up his mind what alterations should be made in the tariff ? No, Sir, he took his two assistants, the Comptroller of Inland Revenue and the Comptroller of Customs with him and he went all over the country and called into his counsel people who are going to be affected by the legislation which he proposed—that is, some of the people. But at any rate he laid down this principle that he was going to enact legislation which affected the rights and might affect prosperity of the people of this country, and that it was his duty to consult or con-  fer with those people who are to be affected by the legislation which he proposed to enact.
Now, there is no use in saying that we have rumours. The rumours are regrettable, 2534 MARCH 15, 1905 but where there is so much smoke there must be some fire, and there is no doubt that there is a great disturbance in the cabinet to-day, a disturbance which is retarding business and is detrimental to this House and this country. Then the hon. gentleman referred to what was said by Mr. Kenny, a member for Halifax, as to the way the school laws were being operated in the province of New Brunswick, as follows :
I was glad to hear him say he went further, and would be willing to leave it to the common sense of the majority of the people of this country that they would not inflict an injury upon any minority in this country. Well, Sir, if that is the case, if the hon. gentleman has so much confidence in the good sense of the people, why should he not leave the administration of the law in the province of Manitoba to the people who are charged with administering that law ? Why not give them an opportunity at any rate of showing whether they are willing, by the administration of the law, to do as the government and people of Nova Scotia have done—that is, consult the prejudices or requirements of the minority of that province. Mr. Speaker, in the province of New Brunswick we have a law similar to that of Nova Scotia. I was here during part or the time in 1872-73-74 when the question of the New Brunswick school was brought up by the present Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who invited us to interfere. Wisely, Sir, we abstained from interference, and what is the result to-day ? The result is that in New Brunswick the law is being administered in a way that is satisfactory to all classes of the community. Suppose we had listened to the hon. gentleman who now fills the position of Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who so eloquently urged upon us the necessity of interfering with the legislation of New Brunswick, and had undertaken to interfere with the laws of that province. Suppose we had interfered, what would have been the position in that province to-day ? Think you that you would have had the same amicable and friendly relations between that province and this Dominion that exists to-day ?  No, Sir. If the hon. gentleman had prevailed he would have sown the seed of discord throughout this Dominion. As a result I say that to-day you have in the province of New Brunswick as happy a condition of things as exists in the province of Nova Scotia, so also in the province of Prince Edward Island. There is a Public School Act and there is no difficulty among the different denominations in that province.
There we have the three maritime provinces of this Dominion presenting an object lesson to this parliament to take note of and to take warning by that it is possible, nay that it is probable that if the province of Manitoba is left to the administration of its own laws it  will administer them in such a way in its own interests, if it is wise that every part of the community shall be satisfied.
These are the words, these are some of the sentiments expressed by the Minister of Militia who, I suppose or really I cannot suppose, was one of those who sanctioned the Bill introduced some three weeks ago.
But hon. gentlemen opposite propose, without having given that province an opportunity to 2554 say whether they desire to make their law satisfactory to the minority of that province, to start out on a policy of coercion. They take the province of Manitoba by the throat by issuing their remedial order, and then follow up that remedial order by legislation.
Hon. gentlemen propose to coerce that province. Mr. Speaker, I ask you and I ask this House whether anything was ever gained anywhere by a policy of coercion. I say you cannot coerce Manitoba, and the legislation will be a failure. We hear a good deal about the rights of minorities.
And that is something of which we will hear a good deal when this question comes up for discussion. I said in the beginning that I believed in treating these questions freely, that I believed in treating them on high national principles and when we treat them in that way we will certainly settle all these questions to the very best interests of this country.
I have referred to the particular view that the member for Leeds takes of the rights of the minority, but speaking seriously we all desire from the bottom of our hearts to protect the rights of the minority everywhere. The rights of the minority appeal to our best sympathy always. But, Sir, we have to consider what is the best course in the interest of that minority. Is it the best course to pursue in the interest of the minority to run a muck of the great majority of the people of Manitoba and to attempt coercive measures upon that province ? No, Sir, I think not. I think that no more fatal mistake could be committed in the interest of the minority of Manitoba than to attempt to force this measure through this House at this time.
If we substitute 'the Northwest Territories' for 'Manitoba' we will have a pretty good description of the Bill which is now proposed in this House, and which no doubt this House will be asked to sanction. We have here just what the Minister of Militia thinks about this question, and if he thinks that, how is it possible that he could have approved of the present Bill which is contrary to the views which he expressed before. Now, let us sum up briefly the opinions which he expressed. First he objects to coercion. None of us like that word. Then he takes the stand that what is past cannot be changed even down to the third or fourth generation. I am afraid that before that time we will all be chloroformed. He also takes the stand for provincial rights he thinks the minority should be considered, he thinks that before any great change in the policy of the country is made there should be an investigation. He thinks that if Manitoba is left to administer its own laws it will administer them in its own interest and in the interests of all parts of the Dominion. I have taken some pains  to find what the minister said on this question, and I want the House to take it into consideration that it is difficult to understand how this gentleman ever supported the introduction of a Bill of this spirit. As 2555 COMMONS regards the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba, I would like to say that I think that is a right principle. The people of that province have been to a large extent pioneers in that western country ; they have been pioneers in reference to the government of that western country. In that case are they not deserving of some rights now ? When the First Minister wanted to make two provinces in the Northwest he seems to have been determined on making them so large that even the member for Calgary, who lives in that district, thinks they are too large and yet he did not even consult the Minister of the Interior or the Minister of Finance or I believe the Minister of Militia, or several other ministers. It is impossible, the First Minister says, to extend the boundaries of Manitoba unless he calls into council with him the province of Quebec, Ontario and the Northwest Territories. I claim that that is not fair to us in Manitoba. I cannot understand how it is that the hon. the First Minister could occupy as much time as he does in replying to straight away questions put from this side of the House, and say so little. It seemed to me that he absolutely failed to give information. I suppose, perhaps, that is part of the game and that I have not been here long enough to understand, but I think on some points at least we should have the information we asked. He said to-day that although this question had been before the people for some three weeks the only fault found with it was in connection with the school clauses. This House must remember that the people who are most interested in that clause are scattered over very many hundred miles of this country and it takes quite a long while for mails to reach them, but if that hon. gentleman has not yet received any communication from that country objecting to any other clause except the school clause, I wish to read to-night a petition that has been received since the meeting of the House this afternoon, which will show that there are others and perhaps just as great objections to this Bill. This petition is as follows :
The undersigned settlers in and around the town of Neudorf, Assiniboia, do strongly protest against the proposed action of the Autonomy Bill in regard to the compensation offered by the present government, for withholding our public lands from us. Also in regard to clause 23 which leaves the exemption of Canadian Pacific Railway from taxation for ever free, and lastly in regard to the educational clauses, and we wish to express our indignation, to the above, by appending our signatures as follows :
I am glad to have an opportunity of presenting this petition before the right hon. gentleman, and of assuring him that from this time forward, he is likely to receive a great many petitions of the same kind. A question that affects me personally, as greatly as any is the fact that that great 2556 country west of Lake Superior is not represented to-day in the Dominion government. However great his ability may be, no man on either side of this House at such a time in the history of the country as this can be Prime Minister and at the same time perform with satisfaction the duties of the Minister of the Interior. I hold that this cannot be done, and I want to say further that I do not want to detract from any eastern province. Nearly all of us who have been in that western country for 20, 25 and 30 years, who have been pioneers, nothwithstanding that we have made that country our home, we are sons of the east  ―I am sure this is true of the majority of the people of that country—and we are loyal to the east. Personally, though I have been in the west for twenty-four years, I never hear the word ' Nova Scotia ' spoken but it fills me with pride. And I believe that is true of every easterner. Every member of this House, I am sure, believes that if this Canada of ours is to be a great country like the country to the south of us, great in population, in trade and in wealth, the resources upon which its progress must be based lie west of Lake Superior. We have, perhaps, to take some of our lessons from the east, but it we are to become great, if we are ever to have forty or fifty millions of inhabitants, it must be because of the resources of the west. And yet that country is deprived of a man in the council to represent our case as it should be represented. That is not a condition of affairs that ought to exist to-day. I think I need not say more on the subject of the extension of the boundaries. If I were to talk for an hour I could not make myself better understood than by the statement that I believe it is the right of Manitoba to have her boundaries extended. And we should have at once a Minister of the Interior, a man who can do our business for us. And I would like to make a suggestionwell, no ; I have no right to put it that way; I would like to submit a request—to the First Minister that when he, in his own good time, appoints a Minister of the Interior, he will appoint a man who is responsible to the people. We do not want a man, however great his ability may be, that belongs to some constituency in which he is not directly responsible to the people. I would like to see some constituency in the west opened up to test public opinion on these great questions. I think we are ready for it. When this question was being settled for Manitoba the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was very anxious for investigation. Well, Mr. Speaker, don't you think that a very good way to find out what the people think upon this question would be to throw open one of the constituencies ? We are not very particular which constituency in the west these hon. gentlemen decide to open ; any of them will 2557 MARCH 15, 1905 afford a fair test. I thank the House very much for the kind attention with which they have heard me.
Mr. J. HERRON (Alberta). I shall occupy
only a few minutes of your time, Mr. Speaker, in stating, as briefly as possible my views on the phase of the provincial autonomy question that is now before us. I was much surprised to hear the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) state this afternoon that he believed that the clauses of his Bill affecting education were the only clauses not satisfactory to the people of the Northwest Territories. If the Prime Minister believes that he expresses the opinions of the people of the Northwest when he says that, except for the educational clauses, they are entirely in accord with the Bill, I can only tell him that I believe that he is mistaken. What his sources of information may be, I do not know. But this is one of the reasons, I think, why we should have a Minister of the Interior to represent that country and express at the council board the wishes of its people. Dealing with the question which involves such important questions, such grave financial responsibilities and controls such vast areas of land, and dealing also with the right of half a million people, it seems perfectly plain that those people should be represented in the government. I do not consider that we are represented at this time. And that is one of the objections the people have to the present situation. We in the Northwest will not be satisfied unless we get the handling of our own lands and our own minerals. I for one believe that no compensation could be given by this government that would reconcile the people of that country to being deprived of this control, for this involves far more than dollars and cents to the people. I wish to put myself on record as saying that there are several clauses in the Bill as objectionable to our people as the clauses dealing with education.
Hon. GEORGE E. FOSTER (North Toronto). Mr. Speaker, the discussion of this afternoon, I believe, has not been without its lessons for this House and the country. Any one of an observant turn of mind sitting in the gallery or even on the floor of this House, would have thought over a great many things, while many deductions from the circumstances would have forced themselves upon his mind. Why is it, for instance, that when an important question of this kind is being discussed we are not afforded even the courtesy of having responsible ministers—still ministers, however long they may continue in their positionsin their seats ? The conduct of the policy of the government of which they form, I suppose, a responsible part is being reviewed by His Majesty's loyal opposition. I do not think there is any sufficient answer to that 2558 question. I think these ministers ought to be here. I think they owe it to themselves, to those they represent and to the country at large to be present in their seats. And yet, as this discussion has gone on the observant person would have noticed that at one time there would be but one minister in his seat, at another time two, sometimes even three, but the number always very small. Now, it may be good policy for hon. gentlemen opposite to affect a show of indifference, and, perhaps, at the same time to conceal their true feeling, which is not indifference, but a very genuine discomfiture at the mistakes they have made and the position in which they find themselves. Why is it also that when a subject involving so greatly, the interests of the Northwest is under review, we find almost all the members on the other side representing constituencies in the Northwest Territories absenting themselves from their places ?  Was it because they have such superior knowledge and such superior parts that they did not think it consistent with their high qualities to listen to animadversions and to statements reflecting on a policy of the government or a Bill which vitally afects themselves ? I do not think it was. I think that their modesty would not allow them to come to any such conclusion. Then was it because they were supremely careless and did not care a fig how things went? I hardly think it was that either.  Or was it because they were schooled to silence and told to say nothing and get out of the House? Perhaps that would come nearer the right answer than either of the other suppositions I have made. These hon. gentlemen opposite were wont to be voluble enough. In 1896, their tongues were not tied. When they were on this side of the House they had a volume of speech and sound which was admirable, long continued and vehement it seemed to come from inexhaustible sources. Why are those gentlemen so silent now ? Why is it they have not a single word to say in their own defence? Why is it that responsible ministers who, I suppose, count for something in the cabinet—some ministers do count for something—why is it that two of them at any rate who counted for something were forestalled deliberately before the Bill was brought down. The others who remained, and who presumably did not count for much, were simply taken in hand by that autocrat, the First Minister. His Bill was rushed in and he practically said to these gentlemen : there it is before you and the country ; you can support it or not as you please. I make bold to say, Mr. Speaker, that never before has any parliament witnessed such an exhibition. Like whipped children fearing the lash, yet afraid to confess their faults, the members of the government, from the 2559 COMMONS highest to the lowest, sit in the House, take their medicine and say nothing. To the simplest question they have no answer, or if they attempt an answer—I should not put it in the plural but in the singular—or if the Prime Minister attempts an answer, it is an attempt not to give the information but to evade the questions put to him. I put it to the right hon. gentleman as a serious sensible man : Is it or is it not a question to which the opposition and the country have the right to an answer, why he rushed his Bill into parliament as the measure of a united government when he knew that his two most important ministers were diametrically opposed to one of the principal clauses in that Bill, and had placed themselves on record as irrevocably pledged against it time and again ? Was not that somewhat peculiar? One by one the pretenses of the right hon. gentleman have been struck from him, and by this time he stands before this House and country pretty bare. He is no longer the somewhat picturesque object he was a few months ago. Shorn of his feathers and his beautiful colours, he is coming to be known more and more for what he is and what he has proved himself. If in 1896, my right hon. friend secured any popularity among the staunch stalwart Liberals of this country, he secured it solely because he then made himself the champion of provincial rights. And if to-day he has forfeited the respect, esteem and confidence of thousands and tens of thousands in this country, as he has, it is because he has at last come out in his true colours as being the opponent and not the champion of provincial rights. It is because he has reversed his position. The position of 1896' was apparently a brave one. That of 1905 is an entirely different one, and to it is due the loss of respect and confidence of which the right hon. gentleman and his colleagues are only too well aware. The speech which he delivered in this House not two weeks ago abounded in pretense and assumption, but when the facts come to be known these are stripped from it one after the other. He declared that he was about to put the crown of complete and absolute autonomy on these western territories, and all his people behind him cried out amen, and rent the air with their plaudits. But five minutes after any one of them that listened knew that the two most sparkling gems in that crown, the control of education, the right to the public lands, were missing and thus rendered his statement absolutely meaningless and without foundation. In 1896, what was the plea of the right hon. gentleman ? It was that he wanted to consult the people whose interests were chiefly affected. He wanted to get at the exact condition of 2560 things amongst the people of Manitoba in order that he might find out the exact remedy to be applied. He wanted to know exactly what the people desired. He was, as he had often boasted, a democrat up to the hilt and—he wished to find out exactly what the people required and carry out their will. What reason had he for not giving autonomy a year ago? Because he wanted to wait until he had ten representatives from that country in this House instead of four. He wanted also to have the executive of the Northwest here in order that he might confer with them. And
yet when I asked the right hon. gentleman tonight whether he embodied in that educational clause any of the fruits of that wide and thorough consultation of the wishes of the 500,000 people of the Northwest, what answer has he? He must answer that he had not. When I asked him whether in that same clause be embodied the results of his conferences and interchanges of opinion with the executive of the Northwest Territories, his reply and that of Mr. Haultain taken together show that he did not.
I ask him and ask hon. members from the Northwest sitting on that side of the House if the educational clause embodied their last thought, or deepest conviction, or complete assent, to what ought to be given to their people in the Northwest, and I have but to ask the question to answer it. Can the right hon. Prime Minister say that he did ? Yet in his speech he declared that what he had the benefit of was, not only the consultation with, but the advice of the representatives from the Northwest. Let him get up and answer now whether the educational clause embodied the advice, the last thought, and best thought of the representatives from the Northwest. Let any representative from the Northwest get up and say that it did so. I challenge them to-night—those that are here—I challenge them. Does that clause represent them ? Did it represent them when it was brought down ? Does it represent them now ? There is not a man of them that will get up on his legs and say that it does. All of the preceding negotiations of the Northwest in reference to autonomy went on the assumption that the man chiefly to be employed, the medium chiefly to be considered, the representative through whom all the ideas should filter to the government, was the right hon. gentleman's Minister of the Interior. Does he deny that ? The records show it. The whole course of the administration shows it. It was so in our time ; the people from the outside get to the inside of the cabinet through an accredited member of it. It is more so now, because, at the instigation of my right hon. friend himself, the government have enlarged and strengthened the functions of the cabinet minister. Not only have they made each a cabinet minister as 2561 MARCH 15, 1905 to the country at large, but they have invested him with what we may call a geographical ministerial responsibility, and they have declared above board, honestly, we suppose, earnestly, we know, that the new doctrine has been embodied in the government of this country, that a minister is not only responsible to the whole country, but he is especially responsible to the geographical division which he is more intimately connected with. Now, Sir, if that were good for a Fisher, why is it not good for a Sifton ? If that were good enough when you wanted some machinery and engineering in order to carry out a piece of vile patronage, why is it not a thousand times better when the rights of 500,000 free people in the great and growing Northwest are in question ? Good, when you want to suppress a Dundonald, but bad, when you want to use it as the means for keeping these 500,000 people from getting their wishes embodied in parliamentary form. The pretense of absolute and complete autonomy has been completely stripped off from the right hon. gentleman. These pretenses were lovely and beautiful when the speech was being delivered, and all the men on that side of the House said 'amen' and rent the air with their plaudits. What do they think now, that these pretenses are stripped off ?  Today the Northwest has no representative in the cabinet. To-day I cannot say that the Northwest has any friend in the cabinet. You are not legislating here for the province of Nova Scotia, you are not legislating here for the province of Prince Edward Island, you are not legislating here for the province of New Brunswick, of Quebec, of Ontario or of British Columbia. Only in a general way are you legislating for these provinces, and in this particular Bill that general way is a very small way indeed. Thus we, the representative of these other provinces, are legislating for a great people now and an immensely greater people hereafter, laying down a hard granite mould, outside of which they cannot step or run in their great growing life for all the years that are to come. Yet these gentlemen who stood up in 1896 to demand provincial rights, who stood up in 1896 in strong demand that the people in the country for which that legislation was demanded were the people whose wishes and will were to be found out—these people to-day rush into legislation without consulting the accredited representative of the Northwest, who, I do not think, have a single friend in the cabinet. Why should I think they have not a single friend in the cabinet ? Who is a friend ? The hon. Minister of the Interior had his convictions. He made them known. The right hon. First Minister knew them. But there were other men who said they had convictions. The hon. minister who sits alongside my right hon. friend, the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), said in 1896 that he had 2562 convictions. They were as strong as those that were held by the Minister of the Interior. That hon. minister has been in the cabinet. He has seen his brother minister who had convictions leave it for these convictions. He himself has subscribed to the clause which has made it necessary for his brother minister, the Minister of the Interior, to leave the cabinet. Can we count upon the hon. Postmaster General as a friend of the Northwest Territories ? We have got to say this, that the hon. Postmaster General agreed with the legislation, helped to frame it, stands by it, let his convictions of the past be what they may have been. We know the hon. Postmaster General to be a man who has ideals when they are pleasant, who has ideals, and high ones, when he is aiming for power, but who forgets to practise them when once he gets into power. What have we to-day ?  My right hon. friend has declared before this House that he does not propose to take into consideration at present the nomination of a minister of the Northwest Territories. How long are we going to sit in this parliament without having a minister for the Northwest Territories, without having the cabinet filled up ? The hon. Postmaster General had ideals at one time. One ideal was that you should not keep offices dangling before the minds and eyes of representatives for fear you might influence them corruptly. What a splendid thing to keep dangling to-day is the ministership for the Northwest Territories ? How effectively my right hon. friend might use it, and he knows how to use such things. He used them with Mr. Langelier, and all the world knows it. He has been using them ever since, and all Canada knows it. How nice it is to see him now holding this Ministership of the Interior up before the gaze of all the members from the Northwest, as much as to say—and it is not necessary for the right hon. First Minister to say it in words—behold the beautiful thing ! See the patronage and power that are attached to it! Look at the splendour which crowns it ! It is for one of you, which one I do not say ;  but it is certainly not going to the chap who does not stand by me. Yet the hon. Postmaster General, who made a long crusade against that kind of thing at a period when he had ideals, helps to forward the same gross and material conception as an aid to twentieth century statesmanship.
Where is the Minister of Finance ? He too was a brother of the Minister of the Interior in these good old days when they were straining for power and when it was popular to advocate provincial rights. Can any stronger statements be made by anybody than were made by the Minister of Finance ? Is that the reason why the Bill should have been brought down before the Minister of Finance got here ? Any way the Bill is down and the education clause is in it. Is the Minister of Finance a friend 2563 COMMONS of the Northwest, is he to take the place of the Minister of the Interior ? Their opinions were the same, their convictions were the same, one has stood by his convictions and gone out—the other, where oh where is he ? It is said that he may go out ; well, he may go out. And there is the Minister of Customs, not in his seat of course, but the Minister of Customs has a record on this very question. In what thundering tones in 1892 and 1896 and years inclusive, did he pulverize these Tories who were against provincial rights. Where is he today ? Is he a friend of the Northwest, or does he believe in the school clause as it is, and has he been one of those who has favoured it and brought it down, and so must stand by it. And the Minister of Militia ; his record has been read. The statements he made in 1896 were as strong as ginger ; were stronger in fact. Does he too acquiesce ? Now, there is the government for you, with all its pretenses stripped, with its professions of 1896 absolutely reversed, flinging to the winds anything smacking of the democratic idea of consulting the people whose interests are at stake. And, like the autocratic Czar of Russia, the Prime Minister rushing his Bill in before his ministers can get together to consult him, declaring the Bill to embody his doctrine and the doctrine on which he is bound to stand. What is the weakness of the Czar of Russia to-day ? It is because he does not consult the people ; it is worse than that : it is because while not consulting the people he consults only the Grand Dukes. The Prime Minister of Canada is in the same position to-day. The people, are the 500,000, out in the west for whom he legislates. Who are the grand dukes ? We know right well whom he has not consulted, but do we know whom he has consulted if there has been any consulting. I am bound to say that if anybody is to be consulted it is the members of this House primarily, and it is essentially the representatives of the people of the great Northwest for whom we are legislating in this matter. When my friend the leader of the opposition put his question and put his case today, every man in this House noticed how he was answered. The question was : Why so much haste to get the Bill down two days before two of his most responsible ministers could arrive here, when three weeks have since elapsed without a step in advance ? That was a fair honest question. What was the answer the right hon. gentleman gave ? Did he himself believe  in that answer ? Did any man who heard him believe in it ? He tried to make it appear that this delay was all due to the fact that my hon. friend from Grey (Mr. Sproule) asked him not to be in too great a hurry to bring on the second reading of the Bill. I ask the right hon. gentleman now: Is that the reason of this delay of three weeks ? The right hon. gentleman knew it was not 2564 the reason when he stated it, and why then make that answer ? If that was simply the reason, why all this travelling to and fro by the ministers for the last three weeks ; why these frequent consultations ; why this disruption in the cabinet ; why the rumour of other ruptures; why this government reduced to utter incapacity for three weeks ? Is it all because the member  for Grey asked the Prime Minister to postpone the second reading ? My right hon. friend may take credit to himself for having dodged the question, but he cannot take credit for having answered it. What reply has the Prime Minister to the question put to him as to whether he thought it right to go on in this matter in the absence of any accredited representative from the Northwest Territories. Has he given any answer ? There is none. I call the attention of the Prime Minister to the fact that this is all the worse because there are now two departments of government which are in hypothec, so to speak ; they are not being carried on by men responsible to this House. One is under the nominal headship of my old friend Sir Richard Cartwright, but Sir Richard Cartwright is in another House, and the deputy minister is not physically able to transact the business. That is not a live department, and we only needed to have the exhibition of the Minister of Customs trying to put through its simple estimates to tell us how little anybody else know about that department. There is the Department of Public Works not under a responsible head. I sympathize as much as any one can with the cause that prevents our friend the minister from being in this House, but the business of this country must go on, and sickness, and death, cannot always be pleaded as an excuse for the public business not going one. It is high time that there should be a responsible minister in this House in charge of the Public Works. I believe it is nominally under my hon. friend from London (Mr. Hyman). Will not the Prime Minister now do a good turn to the hon. member from London, and do a good turn to the public service, by accepting the resignation of the Minister of Public Works at once and giving a chance to my hon. friend (Mr. Hyman) to go back to his old constituency and get the endorsation of his people.
Mr. BENNETT. He may not run there.
Mr. FOSTER. The hon. gentleman would run where he ran before.
Mr. BENNETT. Only twenty.
Mr. FOSTER. Only twenty ; but this Bill which has been brought down in such a hurry is of such sterling quality and commends itself so strongly to the electorate of the west, that it would be a strong factor in favour of the member of London if the constituency were opened now. My hon. friend (Mr. Hyman) will not be doing 2565 MARCH 15, 1905 his duty and living up to his responsibilities, and gauging the possibilities of the passing hour, if he does not demand that he shall have an opportunity of testing the feelings of the people of London. The portfolio of the Interior is vacant. To-night in this city, there are two or three hundred men from all parts of the Dominion, and especially from the great Northwest, who are down here to do business with the Minister of the Interior, and very important business at that. Can they do it ? No, it is absolutely impossible. Even this House has not been able to do anything in connection with the Interior Department for the last three, or four, or five weeks. The right hon. gentleman says he is trying to administer the department. He may be trying to do it, but he will not think I am saying anything out of the way when I say that he is not doing it, and it is practically impossible for him to do it. It is a very large department, with great ramifications. The right hon. gentleman has all he can do without trying to master the details of that department. It  is impossible for him to do it ; he cannot undertake it and he cannot overtake it. Why should not my right hon. friend appoint his Minister of the Interior and let him go to his constituency and come back here as soon as possible in order that the business of this country may go on ? It will not take long, and it will serve another very useful purpose, the purpose, namely, of testing the feeling of the Northwest itself upon the measure which my right hon. friend has brought down. Will he do it ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. No.
Mr. FOSTER. I do not think he will ; but I think he ought to do it in the interest of good government and also in the interest of a full and free expression, in the only way in which it can be given, of the people of the Northwest in regard to the measure which he has brought down.
My right hon. friend accused the leader of the opposition of treating this subject lightly. Well, I must say that I bent forward quickly in my seat when I heard that expression, to make sure that it was the expression actually used. If the treatment of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition was light treatment, what does the right. hon gentleman think of his own treatment? If the earnest, honest, straightforward way which my hon. friend beside me took to put his question and to ask for explanations was light treatment, what was the tone adopted and the arguments used by the right hon. gentleman himself ? Surely my right hon. friend must have been laughing inside of himself when he made that statement. Does not my right hon. friend see this? He took his own method of getting his information; he took his own time to consult the members of his government―those whom he
chose to consult ; he took his own leisure 2566 to frame a measure that should be adequate ; and so sure was he that it was adequate that he could not wait until the second reading to make his argument, but made it on the introduction of the Bill. However, he had taken his ground, and was determined to stand to it—that was the position of my hon. friend when he introduced this Bill three weeks ago. Now he says that even his government is not above making changes if they are necessary, studying the people and the expression of their feelings, and trying to meet them if they possibly can. Should not that have been done before ? The right hon. gentleman spoke of the gravity of the question. It is a grave question. I do not think we are going to discuss this question, whenever it does come before us, in any other than an open, honest and straightforward manner, on its merits. The merits of separate schools are  not involved in this Bill. It is a constitutional question, pure and simple, as it seems to me. If we differ upon it, we will differ as gentlemen differ, not reproaching each other for differences of creed or race. 
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FOSTER. Hon. gentlemen do not wish to do that. They are opposed to such a course as that. Very well ; they can have their way. If they wish the other way, they can have it ; but if they do wish it, upon themselves will be the responsibility, that is all ; and there is this further to be said, that although no man knew better than my right hon. friend the danger of explosion, the closeness and nearness with which opinions on creed and race are held, and the danger that whenever you touch them you will have harsh expressions, which will grate upon opposing ears—although no  man knew better than my right hon friend, for he has been through these from confederation up, yet, when it was not called for, when he himself disowned it in the first part of his speech, he forgot himself in the latter part and raised the question pure and simple of public schools as opposed to separate schools. Now, if in the heat of debate some harsh expression is used, you will probably find the right hon. gentleman and some of his followers saying : Oh, you are raising the sectarian discussion. The sectarian discussion has been raised by my right hon. friend. He has challenged the public school system of this country and of this continent. He did it gratuitously ; it was absolutely unnecessary ; although in the first part of his speech he declared that he was not going to do it. Therefore if there is any sinner, it is my right hon. friend ; and if there be further sinners, so far as I am concerned, they will be gentlemen on the other side of the House, and not myself at least, nor, I believe, gentlemen on this side of the House. Autonomy is a question which was bound to come up. No human 2567 COMMONS foresight could, I suppose, have prevented it. New provinces had to be created, and when they were created the question of their educational rights would have to come up;  Statesmanship does not cower before a problem of that kind. It meets it in a bold and statesmanlike way. We who represent the people of different creeds and races have to meet it in this House, and whilst we have our opinions and hold them strongly and express them boldly, we will not, I hope, offend even the most sensitive of those who do not agree with us on questions of creed or race.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to carry this further to-night. I am going to reiterate what I think the right hon. gentleman ought to take into consideration. He ought to fill up his vacant or dormant cabinet positions, especially the one in which is needed a representative of the Northwest people, whose interests are being legislated upon; and I hope the right hon. gentleman will revise the statement which he made a few days ago, that he does not propose to give his attention to that matter at the present time. I think it ought to be done ; we on this side of the House think it ought to be done ; I believe the people of the great Northwest think it ought to be done. Deprived of their own champion and representative in this matter, they do at least ask the government of the day to give them another representative through whom they can voice their opinions. It is not enough to say to that great country and the million of people who are there : Give your views to us, and we will take them into consideration. Everybody knows that even a representative cannot go where a minister goes. The formative process is in the cabinet itself, and it is difficult to decide upon what is not formulated in the cabinet. Therefore I say the west needs its representative, needs its champion. How inadequate was the argument of my right hon. friend that there was no objection to any part of this Bill but one clause. Suppose we take that for granted, will not my right hon. friend admit that that one clause is the great clause for this whole Dominion as well as for the Northwest ? If public opinion centres, with unerring aim and unerring sense of right, upon the one great essential clause, is that an argument for saying that all the rest of a multiplicity of enactments are satisfactory and find no dissentients in the Northwest or anywhere else in this country ? It is simply that this one overshadows the others, but that there are others my right hon. friend knows and he will know still better as this discussion goes on. He will find out one thing I think and that is that his financial terms, as he has placed them in this Bill, will bring upon him every province in this Dominion. Already the mutterings are in that direction, already the tendency is clearly discernible. Take it on any ground you like and by the proportions which you have meted out to the Northwest and you have gone beyond the financial conditions of every other province of this Dominion. That is why the Minister of Finance, I think, should have been here and should have been considered when this Bill was in preparation. But my right hon. friend will find that there are other clauses besides the educational clause which will be brought up.
Now what has the right hon. gentleman told us ? He gave us the wonderful information the other day that amendments are very often made to Bills and that they are very often made as the Bills go through committee. He did not say whether he was going to amend the Bill or not. To-day he rather foreshadowed an amendment. The right hon. gentleman came out without its being necessary or constitutional, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, out of due season and ahead of time, burned all his bridges behind him and made an impassioned argument for the four chief points of his Bill. He nailed his colours to the mast, and he declared that he would have the courage once his convistions were formed to stand by those convictions. What said he in 1895 ?
Well, Sir, to be wanting in courage is a grave charge I admit. But if to make promises and not to implement them is courage, if to make threats and to quail before their consequences is courage, if to be boisterous in language and meek in action is courage, if to pass an order and refuse to execute it is courage, if to act in such a manner as to force your best friends to the conviction that you are deceiving them is courage, there is a galaxy of courageous men on the treasury benches before us, such as we have not seen for a long time. Sir, courage is a noble thing in itself, but foresight is not to be despised either. Foresight is not to be despised in such a country such as this, with all its conflicting elements. My courage is not of the kind of courage possessed by hon. gentlemen opposite, I admit. My courage is not to make hasty promises and then to ignominiously break them. My courage is to speak slowly, but once I have spoken to stand or fall by my words.
That is the right hon. gentleman's answer to the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) to the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), to the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) to the people of the Northwest, to the people of this broad Dominion : ' I have foresight ; I have used it. That Bill is the result of it. In that I have made my promise and mine is the sterling courage which never goes back on its promises.'
We will see, Mr. Chairman.
Hon. CHARLES FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice). It is not necessary for me Mr. Speaker, to say that I have no desire to follow my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) on the path on which he has entered. I have no desire to do it because I think it would entail a useless waste of time in the first 2569 MARCH 15, 1905 place and in the second because I feel I am not by any means qualified to tread the same path. However I think it proper to say that my hon. friend's (Mr. Foster's) allusion to my friend the right hon. leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) should not pass unnoticed and my answer to him will be brief, brief because I trust it will express the sincere convictions which I entertain. My hon. friend (Mr. Foster) has spoken of the leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) as one who has been shorn of his feathers ; he has referred to him in contemptuous terms as the erring champion of provincial rights. Now in the first instance let me say that in so far as my hon. friend's allusion to the leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) as one who has been shorn of his feathers is concerned, our answer to him is this : We have heard that statement, not so eloquently put forth but put forth very frequently in this House, and our answer is to appeal to the verdict which the people of this country have given in 1896, have given again in 1900 and have renewed in the month of November last, 1904. He has said that the leader of the government has lost the respect and the confidence of the people of this country. I venture to make this statement, Mr. Speaker, that the leader of the government has not lost the respect nor the confidence of any man in this country whose respect and whose confidence he values. My hon. friend has gone on, leaving the path marked out by the leader of the opposition when he began this discussion to-day, to challenge the government to appeal to the country at the present time so as to see whether or not, under existing conditions, the conduct of the government in respect to this Northwest Territories Bill will be approved of. I say Mr. Speaker, and I say it deliberately, and I say it with the honest conviction that .my hon. friend from Toronto (Mr. Foster) will agree with me that designedly gentlemen opposite, as representing the Conservative party, have appealed to passions, have aroused prejudices in this country--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK—in connection with this Bill upon which they expect to rely. But they will find that appeal in the present time to be nothing more than a broken reed as was the case in 1896 when they endeavoured to appeal to the passions and prejudices of the Catholics in this country.
Mr. SPROULE. Mr. Speaker――
Some hon. MEMBERS. Sit down. Order, order.
Mr. SPEAKER. Order.
Mr. SPROULE. I rise to a point of order. I ask your ruling, Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is in order to say that the opposition deliberately and of set purpose appealed to the passions of the people.
Mr. O. E. TALBOT. What meant your circular ?
Mr. SPROULE. I ask the ruling of the Speaker if the hon. gentleman has not gone beyond the bounds ' deliberately and of set purpose '.
Mr. SPEAKER. I think that that statement goes a little beyond the bounds of parliamentary decorum.
Mr. FOSTER. Shave it down.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. If that expression goes beyond the rules of parliamentary etiquette as suggested by the hon. member for North Toronto, I will attempt to pare it down, and instead of making the statement I will bring forward the proof. What is going on at the present time, in this country, Mr. Speaker ? What is being done ? Petitions are being circulated emanating from the other side, addressed on the one hand to the people of Ontario in the hope that they may arouse them against this Bill on the ground that the privileges of the Northwest Protestants are being invaded. And, on the other hand, what have we going on ? Petitions emanating from the same source addressed to the Catholics of the province of Quebec.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. We have them in our possession--
Mr. FOSTER. Trot them out.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Petitions are being circulated throughout the province of Quebec asking what ? Asking that this government should be forced to adopt that clause in this Bill that hon gentlemen opposite are asking the people from Ontario to repudiate.
Mr. FOSTER. Will my hon. friend (Mr. Fitzpatrick) allow me a word? He said he was going to prove it. Does he not acknowledge the gravity of the charge ? Will he not prove it ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. What I for my part, would ask is this : The hon. gentleman (Mr. Fitzpatrick) has said that there were petitions to the province of Quebec emanating from this side, pointing to myself and to the gentlemen around me, asking the Catholics of that province to urge the government to pass this Bill. Now, I want to tell the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) that, so far as I am concerned--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. So far as I am concerned, and so far as I know--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Allow me to get through;—so far as I know any act on the part of any other hon. gentleman on this side of the House, the statement of the Minister of Justice is without one particle of foundation.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) in his usual guarded way says that so far as he knows, this statement is without foundation--
Mr FOSTER. Prove it.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I want hon. gentlemen opposite not to trouble themselves about attempting to intimidate me.
Mr. FOSTER. Oh, no ; we would not do that.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. The statement I made--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. SPEAKER. Order. Hon. gentlemen must keep better order.
Mr FITZPATRICK. The statement I made was that these petitions were being deliberately circulated in the province of Quebec. And I make the statement now on the authority of a colleague of mine in this House--
Mr. FOSTER. Trot out your colleague.
Mr. FlTZPATRICK—that these petitions are being circulated by one Elie Maurault, secretary of the Jacques Cartier club, which has extended its hospitality to the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) within the last ten days.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN Mr Speaker--
Some hon MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L BORDEN—if every other statement that the Minister of Justice has made is equally untrue with the one he has just made, there is not the slightest truth in any of those statements.
Some hon MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I am perfectly in order I am speaking of that which is within my own knowledge. I say the Jacques Cartier club did not extend its hospitality to me within the last ten days; and if the Minister of Justice has no better knowledge of other facts than he has in this particular case, he had better defer his remarks until he is more fully acquainted with what he is talking about.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. The statement I made was that these petitions were being circulated--
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman stated that--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman stated that the club from which emanated these petitions sent to Quebec had extended its hospitality to me within the last ten days, meaning to imply, it he meant anything, that I had in some way some connection with the circulating of those petitions. I ask him to make that statement good, or, as a gentleman, to withdraw it.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. The statement that I made was that these petitions were being circulated through the agency of Mr. Elie Maurault, of the city of Montreal, secretary of the Jacques Cartier club. The Jacques Cartier club is a prominent Conservative organization in the city of Montreal. And, in that connection, I said that the leader of the opposition had been entertained by the Jacques Cartier club within the last ten days. I am now informed that in the last statement I was incorrect, and I now take it back.
Some hon MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would like one word more;—we might as well thrash these things out as we go along. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Fitzpatrick) said that he is able to prove that those petitions emanated from some gentleman on this side of the House. I ask him either to withdraw that statement or to name in your presence, Mr. Speaker, and in the presence of members of this House, the hon. gentleman on this side of the House from whom any one of those petitions emanated.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I want to say for the benefit of the leader of the opposition that I do not intend to allow him or any other member in this House to put words into my mouth--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman (Mr Fitzpatrick) said--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman said every word of it.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. And it was said for a purpose--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. For a purpose――
Some hon. MEMBERS.  Oh, oh.
2573 MARCH 15, 1905
Mr. FITZPATRICK. What I said tonight was said for a purpose, and said deliberately—―
Mr. FOSTER. And untruthfully.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I do not think the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) ought to say 'untruthfully.'
Mr. FOSTER. Let me explain.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FOSTER. I ask my hon. friend (Mr. Fitzpatrick) if he will allow me to explain. If ever I heard anything plainly and distinctly—and now, if I am wrong, I will take it back—it was the statement made by the Minister of Justice that these petitions emanated from hon. gentlemen on this side of the House.
Some hon. MEMBERS. No, no.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FOSTER. If the hon. gentleman did not state that, then, my ears deceived me. But, I most certainly, have pretty sharp ears.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I do not want to get into any altercation with the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick)—―
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I think I am showing a great deal of good temper about this matter.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. If the hon. gentleman objects—―
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I do not.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN I will take my seat at once.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I do not object.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. This is a personal matter, and it seems to me it is better to thrash these things out on the spot than have any ill-feeling on the matter afterwards. I distinctly say, that, so far as my ears could gather the words of the hon. gentleman, spoken distinctly and with a great deal of passion and earnestness, they were that these petitions to which he referred, and one which he said he held in his hands, emanated from this side, and he pointed to this side of the House. I ask him to name to this House and this country the hon. gentleman on this side from whom these petitions emanated, or else to withdraw the statement.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I did not make the statement that the petitions emanated from any hon. gentleman on the other side of the House. I did make the statement that they emanated from the other side--
Mr. LENNOX. The hon. gentleman said they emanated from the same source as the petitions from the province of Ontario.
Mr. FOSTER. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Fitzpatrick) is pretty badly in—―
Mr. FITZPATRICK. It is because I am so badly in that my hon. friends opposite ought to be more generous. It seems to me not quite fair that I should have to answer four or five at a time. When it is  realized that I am endeavouring to come after the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) it seems to me that I ought to have the sympathy of every member of this House.
Mr. FOSTER. You have mine.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I am entitled to the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Foster's) sympathy, because my task is no easy one. I quite understand that. Now, leaving that question aside for the moment I want to be precise in the position I take, I want to be quite sincere about this, for it is a serious matter. I hold the Conservative party responsible for the fact that two sets of petitions are being circulated in this country at present—one addressed to the people of Ontario for the purpose of creating prejudice in their minds against this Bill and the other addressed to the people of Quebec for a like purpose. My hon. friend the member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) charged us with not having consulted the people of the Northwest who are most concerned in this Bill. I say, and I say it deliberately, that an attempt is being made to prejudice the people of Ontario against this Bill. And for what reason forsooth ? Because they are jealous that a Catholic happens to be connected with it.
Some hon. MEMBERS. No.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Read the Toronto 'Telegram' and you will find the proof of what I say. But, Mr. Speaker, it is said that this Bill was introduced into this House without any previous conference or consultation with the representatives of the people of the Northwest Territories who are most concerned. Let me say that every line of this Bill was settled after previous conference with the people representing the Northwest Territories, with the single exception of the educational clause--
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I rather like to hear my hon. friends interrupt me. There must be some reason for it. When I rose in fear and trembling to follow the Goliath of the opposition, I did not expect so much success. As far back as 1902, Mr. Speaker, a Bill was prepared by the executive of the Northwest Territories in anticipation of that autonomy which is now about to be granted. They prepared for the consideration of this 2575 COMMONS government the provisions under which they wished to be granted provincial status. That Bill has been under consideration since. Not only that, but it was in the possession of the present member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) and we had the advantage of his notes on that Bill and his consideration of it. The only exception was with respect to the clause regarding education. Let me deal with that, and I want to be precise. In so far as that clause is concerned, there is no direct reference to it in the Bill as it was submitted to us or in the Bill which was handed over to me by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) previous to his going away on his last journey immediately before the session. But when that question came up for consideration I myself had a conference with Mr. Haultain, and I want now to say that in the statement I am about  to make I have absolutely and exclusively  to trust to my recollection of what took place in that meeting. I have no notes of what occurred, but I feel certain I can put almost in terms what passed between us. When that Bill was up for consideration it was necessary to refer to the educational clause ; and on the Thursday preceding the day when the Bill was introduced Messrs. Bulyea, Haultain, Read and myself with two or three other members of the government—I forget who they were—discussed the measure. Then the question arose regarding schools, and I said to Mr. Haultain, what are we to do with respect to this educational clause ? His answer to me was that provision was made for the school question, so far as the Northwest Territories were concerned, by section two of the Bill, section two being that section which makes applicable to the Northwest Territories the provisions of the British North America Act, section 93 included. My answer to that was that in my judgment to make the British North America Act applicable in these general terms would be fruitful of difficulties in the future, and I had no desire to have a repetition of the Manitoba school controversy. I wanted to make the position of the people in the Northwest with respect to educational matters so clear and simple that any man might understand the clause when he read it. I said that nothing should be left to doubt,  uncertainty or misconception ; and in so far as I am concerned, that clause, in the terms in which it is now drafted, was prepared merely for the purpose of giving to the people of the Northwest Territories those things which they now have and it never was intended to go one inch beyond that.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. What does my hon. friend mean by that ? He says the intention was to give the precise rights which are enjoyed at present. Of course that might be susceptible of two meanings, as my hon. friend will rightly gather. He knows what I mean, and I would ask him to be a little more precise.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I do not think that this is the proper time to discuss that provision of this Bill. When the time comes, it will be my duty to explain line by line and clause by clause this Bill from beginning to end, and I shall endeavour to do so to the best of my ability. But I think the question put by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is a perfectly fair one, and I shall answer it as briefly as I can without, I trust, breaking to too great an extent the rules of the House. In 1875 the principle of separate schools was settled so far as the Northwest Territories are concerned, and so far as it could be settled under the provisional legislation of that time. Under the Act of 1875 a system of schools was created by an ordinance of the Territories ; and to that system of schools so created, certain pecuniary allowances were made. This Bill is intended for no other purpose, in so far as I am concerned, than to give effect to that provision of the Act of 1875 and the conditions of the ordinances now in force in the Northwest Territories.
I am quite sure that I have trespassed on the attention of the House far beyond the limits I originally assigned to myself, but I would like to say a word in conclusion. My  hon. friend the member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) has spoken of the 500,000 people in the Northwest who ought to be consulted. I have no desire to introduce unnecessarily controversial matter, but I ask him in all earnestness—and when I do so I ask him to remember the speeches he made in this House in 1896 which I read then and have read only quite recently—I ask him in all earnestness ; have we no regard to pay in the settlement of that delicate question, to the opinion, the honest convictions of over forty per cent of the population of this Dominion ?  I say that there are deep seated prejudices being aroused, passions being inflamed, and the desire, I am quite convinced, of every man in this House is that peace should reign supreme throughout this land. All I say now, and I speak for myself, is that there can be no peace except that peace which is based on justice ; there can be no peace expect that peace which is based on equal rights and respect for the honest convictions of every man in this country.
Mr. W. H. BENNETT. (East Simcoe). Mr. Speaker, the government are at least to be congratulated on the fact that at last they have found some hon. gentleman ready to stand behind them and perhaps it may be that there is some truth in the rumour that the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) is about to retire from the cabinet, and that to-night he is giving a parting shot. Be that as it may the hon. Minister of Justice has appeared as he always has done in his favourite role of fanning and appealing to prejudices. One would imagine that the hon. Minister of 2577 MARCH 15, 1905 Justice had comported himself throughout his lifetime and particularly prior to his advent to this House as a perfect harbinger of peace, and that he had gone from one end of the country to the other in order to pacify and alleviate the feelings of those who might have been influenced by religious prejudices. One would have supposed, at least from the strong statements he has made to-night, that the hon. Minister of Justice would be the last man who would desire to look back upon the recent history of this country. There was a general election in 1896 and it was found by hon. gentlemen opposite to be a matter of life and death. From 1878 down to that time they had attempted time and again on different issues to achieve office, but always with the same result that they had been repulsed by the electors. Unfortunately, perhaps, for the peace of the country and for the peace of the Conservative party, a question similar to the present one loomed up on the political horizon. The hon. Minister of Justice went down through the province of Quebec and his complaint against the Tupper government on that occasion was that the Tupper government had been recreant to the cause of the Roman Catholic part of the population and he said that if he went to Ottawa he would go there—to be a Liberal ?—No, not a Liberal. To be a Conservative ?—No, not a Conservative, but that if elected he would only support the party which would support a Remedial Bill. I challenge the hon. minister to-night to deny that statement.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. My hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) used that quotation with very much more force before, and I think I can stand a repetition  by my hon. friend from East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett)).
Mr. BENNETT. Well, the hon. gentleman may affect that, but I challenge him to deny the statement that when he went into the province of Quebec and was elected for the county of Quebec he did not think it was wrong on his part to pledge himself to the hilt to the bishop of the diocese, that if he was elected to a seat in this House he would not be a Conservative, not a Liberal, but he would be a Remedial Bill man, first, last and always. That was the pledge the hon. gentleman made and the pledge upon which he was returned by the electors of that riding. How did the hon. gentleman redeem his pledge ? He came into this House, he secured or was appointed to the position of Solicitor General, and after the pledge that he had made to his party and the pledge that he had made to his electors that Remedial Bill was thrown to the winds and nothing further was heard of it. But, the day has come when the hon. gentleman  has to meet his overdue note. That is what it is.  The hon. gentleman has found out 2578 that he cannot hoodwink the people of the county of Quebec any longer. Living as he is living, not on what should be the ground work of statesmanship, but on religious fanaticism—and that is what he is liv-  ing on in the province of Quebec—he finds that he is brought face to face with the question of this Northwest school Bill and he is bound to throw in his lot on the side of the church, that is why the hon. gentleman is to-day posing as the advocate of these people in the Northwest Territories. But, I tell the hon. Minister of Justice that in the province of Ontario and in every province of this Dominion there would be little religious prejudice were it not for fire brands of the stamp of the hon. Minister of Justice. 
Mr. SPEAKER. Order.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. It does not make any difference.
Mr. SPEAKER. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Bennett) will withdraw that remark, I hope.
Mr. BENNETT. No, I am not sure that the hon. Minister of Justice has been a flaming torch in Quebec nor has he been a flaming torch perhaps from Quebec on the  minsterial side because to-day the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) announced that he was going to back down from his position. The hon. minister is put in this position that after all these strong pledges and promises which have been given, he and the right hon. Prime Minister are to-day endeavouring to cover their retreat. I had supposed that the hon. Minister of Justice would have denied the charge that he had made a pledge to support a Remedial Bill, but as nothing has been denied he stands confessed to the new members of the House at least as having secured his election in the county of Quebec by making a promise and a pledge to the bishop of the diocese and to the electors of that riding that if he came here as their representative, and that if Sir Wilfrid Laurier—then plain Mr. Laurier—became premier, he, the Minister of Justice, would vote against him unless he produced and formulated a Remedial Bill. Yet, here the  hon. Minister of Justice sits, his pledge made to the people unredeemed and unfulfilled, he coutinues in the emoluments of his office and being confronted with this overdue note he is endeavouring to get even with his pledge. The hon. Minister of Justice talks about religious prejudice in the province of Ontario. Who is stirring up religious prejudice in the province of Ontario to-day ? Who is stirring it up in this House to-day ? Not one word is said from this side of the House on this question, but, when the Bill is introduced one of the supporters of hon. gentlemen opposite, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. L. G. McCarthy) rises up on his feet, denounces the 2579 COMMONS Bill and tells the right hon. Prime Minister and the government that they shall not have his support on this question. What attitude has the Toronto 'Globe' taken on this question ? What attitude has been taken by Mr. Stapleton Caldecott, a gentleman who a little time ago was nominated in the city of Toronto as the Liberal candidate, but declined the honour ? It is a very doubtful honour to be nominated as a Liberal candidate in the city of Toronto. And, to go further, Mr. Robinette, the candidate for hon. gentleman opposite in Centre Toronto, only a few months ago, has denounced the stand taken by the government on this question. Still further, the candidate of hon. gentlemen opposite in North Toronto, Mayor Urquhart, has also denounced the position which the government has taken on this question. The hon. Minister of Justice says that the right hon. Prime Minister has not lost the respect of any of his former supporters. I say to hon. gentlemen opposite, let them bring on a general election to-day in Ontario and throughout the whole Dominion, and they will find whether or not he has lost the respect and support of the country. What an exhibition this government is to-day before the people of Canada. Ministers are in open mutiny. The hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), one of the most prominent members of the cabinet, the gentleman who has been named as the successor of the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister shall see fit to drop out of his position. is insulted. He is on his way to the city, but within two or three days of his arrival this Bill is brought down without his knowledge, consent or confirmation, and Sir, while it was manliness on the part of the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) to resent the insult, apparently the Minister of Finance likes to lick the hand that smites him.
As to the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior he is to be congratulated on his position and on the attitude which he has taken. Insult could not have gone further, and hon. gentlemen opposite show their pique and resentment as soon as an hon. gentleman on that side of the House, be he a member of the House or Minister of the Crown, turns upon them. What is being said to-day of the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior ?  Look at the newspapers in the province of Quebec. Do they attribute to the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior the fact that he left the government by reason of an honesty of purpose and a regard for principle ? Not at all, but he is reported as having been kicked out of the government by reason of scandals which it is said attach to him. Why does not the right hon. Prime Minister display a more noble and manly spirit towards his late minister ? Why does he not stand up in his place and resent the imputations that are being cast upon the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior ? Nay more, there 2580 are other hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. There is the hon. member  for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) whose name is associated with 'Le Nationaliste.'
Why does he not rise in his place and impeach the ex-Minister of the Interior for wrong-doing in connection with his department ? The fact is that this government is all at sixes and sevens, knowing not where to turn or what move to make next. And as to the ministers from Ontario, with the two old men of the sea in the Senate Chamber and the two chloroformed ministers in this House—the Postmaster General and the Minister of Customs—both Oslerized because they are over 60, what can the Liberals of Ontario expect from them ? What is the hon. member for Centre York (Mr. Campbell) doing on the present occasion ? He was at a meeting in his own riding the other night, at which the government was denounced on all sides, but the member for Centre York was afraid either to condemn the government or approve of their policy. His cry was : Wait, wait ; you will see something will happen. To-day we have an intimation of what is going to happen. I suppose it will be a repetition of the Remedial Bill experience in 1896, of members and ministers opposite giving their pledges that they are going to do this and that, and then doing the other thing. The debates on the Manitoba question show that the question of the Northwest schools was a live question in 1896, and although the Minister of Justice did not go so far as to pledge his word of honour that in the event of a Remedial Bill not being passed he would oppose any administration that might be formed by Mr. Laurier ; yet there were other members who found their way into this chamber by giving pledges that when the question of the Northwest schools came up they would stand for legislation similar to the remedial legislation for Manitoba. There is fear and trembling among them to-day. The Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux) came to parliament on one of these pledges.
Mr. BENNETT. The hon. gentleman did not ?
Mr. BENNETT. Perhaps I had better read it.
Mr. LEMIEUX. Read it.
Mr. BENNETT. I thought perhaps the Minister of Justice might invite me to read his.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I can refer the hon. gentleman to the four elections I have since had in my county.
Mr. FOSTER. How did you get in ?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. In the last two my opponent lost his deposit.
2581 MARCH 15, 1905
Mr. BENNETT. We all know that certain influences were at work in the province of Quebec in the last election ; there was the pledge that there should be separate schools in the Northwest, and I have no doubt that was worked to the bitter end ; quietly no doubt ; much quieter than in the case of the Remedial Bill in 1896. Be that as it may, here is a cabinet disjointed and disrupted, paralyzed before the people of Canada for the last three weeks, fighting within and fears without, and its supporters all muzzled except the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Leighton McCarthy), whom I congratulate on his bravery in standing up in defiance of the government, and the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), who has not been seen since. My fear is that if any other gentleman on that side were to make a similar statement, the same fate might attend him. And what is the position of the hon. member (Mr. Guthrie) to-day ? Here is the Bill which he was to support going to be emasculated, nothing to be left of it, and if the hon. gentleman comes back to the House he will have to denounce the government for taking the very vitals out of his pet measure. And where is the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) ? He published in the newspapers that he was favourable to this legislation, but to-night he is as silent as the tomb. What a humiliating spectacle! Only the Prime Minister to speak, and after him the Minister of Justice ; and when the Minister of Justice has had his say, it is the same parade of the stock in trade that brought the Prime Minister to the front in the province of Quebec, and on which he has been depending ever since, and on which he must always depend in order to have a political existence in this country.
Mr. A. C. BOYCE (West Algoma). If this House can congratulate itself that during the discussions of this measure inflamma tory addresses have been unknown in the past, we have now to regret that such a happy condition of affairs has come to an end. It has remained for another member of the silent ministry to drag in that passion, that prejudice and that extreme asperity and bitterness which hon. members on this side of the House have been most anxious to exclude. In reply to the repeated demands from this side of the House that some one should speak for the government, the Minister of Justice flew to his feet and indulged in the most extreme degree of heat and passion. I would remind the hon. minister that there is a time to be bitter, as there is a time to be tranquil. If, in the bitterness of his soul. the Minister of Justice is forced to rise up and denounce the engendering of passion and prejudice where passion and prejudice did not exist, I must refer him to his leader, the Prime Minister, for the ground upon which passion and prejudice is fostered. Eating dead sea fruit is bitter work, and the bit 2582terness of the eating lies with the Minister of Justice to-day, and it is made more bitter because the bitterness of it is thrust down his throat by the leader of the government. The hon. gentleman has appealed to the verdict of the people in 1896. Will he stand by the verdict of the people in 1896 ? Is he content to take that verdict upon the principles involved in this question ? But, Sir, it is the verdict of the people of to-day that is wanting, and that verdict we have not by reason of the fact that this measure was not submitted to the people, but was kept in the back ground when the government made their appeal at the last general election. The Minister of Justice has told us that in pursuing the course which he has pursued, the Prime Minister has not lost the respect of a single person whose respect he values. Contrast that with the statement of the Prime Minister, who said he accepted with sorrow and regret the resignation of his Minister of the Interior, and you will see in it a direct contradiction of the statement of the Minister of Justice.
The right hon. gentleman said, in accepting the resignation of the hon. Minister of the Interior, on the first day of the month, that he had regret in accepting it—that there were no causes of difference between them beyond the cause of difference set forth in the correspondence. Yet, the hon. Minister of Justice would have this House believe that the right hon. gentleman did not care for the support of the hon. Minister of the Interior, and therefore he dismissed him and sent him from the cabinet doors. There is a position of inconsistency, Sir, which it is hard to reconcile. But when we talk of inflammatory addresses, let us see the extraordinary position in which this cabinet finds itself to-day. Upon this important question, which has occupied more or less off and on the attention of this House since the 21st day of February last, when the Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister, what intimation have we had from the members of the ministry of their individual views pro or con? Although challenges have been issued from this side of the House, they have not met with any response except from the right hon. gentleman who has posed as the Czar of this measure. Yes, they have. Through these weary days of waiting, we have heard from the hon. Minister of the Interior, and the moment he spoke he condemned the measure; and when after further weary days of waiting, enlivened possibly by the eloquence the mental vision and the mental dexterity with which the right hon. gentleman evaded the appeals to him from this side of the House to explain, we have at last, at long last, Sir, been favoured with an expression of opinion by the hon. Minister of Justice. Sir, from all that rumour has brought to our ears, some 2583 COMMONS of us on this side of the House would not have been astonished if we had seen the hon. Minister of Justice rise to disagree with the right hon. gentleman, and to state that he was not entirely in accord with him; because rumour has been bandying about strange things lately in connection with the name of the hon. Minister of Justice. But that is indicative only of the tempest that is raging or the fire that is burning within those doors. There was a burst out on the 2lst day of February, when the Bill was introduced, and we have again had a burst out from the Minister of Justice in another way. But I must refer again to what the hon. gentleman said, although the hon. member for Simcoe has referred to it. The hon. Minister of Justice has stated that we have appealed to prejudice, that we have circulated petitions and have dragged in the creedal question. Sir, I have been in this House during the whole of this discussion since this Bill was introduced, and I say that on every occasion on which it has been dealt with, it has been dealt with on this side irrespective of party, faction, section or creed. There has been no question raised upon which that charge could be visited upon any member on this side of the House. But it has been said that the action of bodies or associations of persons, and of individual persons who have felt themselves aggrieved, and who are exercising their prerogative in appealing to parliament by petition, has been engineered and provoked from this side of the House. I would ask the Minister of Justice if he considers that the action of the Liberal papers in Ontario has been engineered by gentlemen on that side of the House—whether they are responsible for the position which the ' Globe ' has taken, and the papers which profess independent support of hon. gentlemen opposite, in opposition to this Bill. Would he like to take one horn of the dilemma or both? If we are responsible for one, is it too much to say that they are responsible for the others ? Then, Sir, there is in this measure that which has provoked some questions from the leader of the opposition to-day ; and, without desiring or intending to take the time of the House longer than a few moments to run over the ground, I would just like to point out to you, Sir, the extraordinary position, chronologically, in which this government finds itself to-day, face to face with the utterances of the Prime Minister himself. On the 21st day of February there was transacted here an event for which this House had been waiting for some time. In the speech from the Throne we had read that the long- looked-for Bill granting autonomy to the Northwest Territories was to be brought down. Questions were asked in the House as to when that might be expected. On 2584 the 31st day of January, the Prime Minister was asked across the floor of this House when the hon. Minister of the Interior might be expected to return, and the hon. member for North Toronto was informed by the Prime Minister that the minister was expected to return on the 15th day of February. On the 10th day of February, as appears by ' Hansard,' the question as to the absence of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Finance was again repeated by hon. gentlemen on this side of the House, and, in conjunction with other business, it is a notable circumstance that the Prime Minister was asked whether it was his intention to introduce this Bill, and he stated that the Bill would be introduced, so far as he then knew, on the 21st day of February; and significant was his remark, when asked if the Minister of the Interior would be here, that ' the Prime Minister would be in his place'. The introduction of the Bill took place on the 21st day of February. With regard to education, the clause which the right hon. gentleman says is the only one to which there is opposition, the right hon. gentleman, in the course of a deliberate speech, says, on page 1526 of ' Hansard ':
I now come to the question of education, and this question is perhaps under the existing circumstances the most important of all that we have to deal with.
This afternoon the right hon. gentleman stated, and the hon. Minister of Justice has echoed his remark, that we on this side of the House are responsible, forsooth, for the outbreak of passion. The right hon. gentleman went further, and put it in an abstract interrogative form, that there was a hesitation on the part of the government, because was it not open to the government to change this measure if it thought fit so to do? Then, what does he say?
There are evidences, not a few coming to us from all directions, that the old passions which such a subject always aroused, are not, unfortunately, buried. 
However, this was before the Bill received its first reading. The right hon. gentleman  was fully in touch with the situation throughout the country, knew that these old prejudices and passions, as he is pleased to call them, would be engendered and were engendered and further on he says :
The government has been warned, threatened from both sides of this question, from those who believe in separate schools and from those who oppose separate schools.
And then the right hon. gentleman, proceeding to argue the case, set forth reasons why this clause which he read should be introduced, and in order to show the House that he really intended at that time to stand 2585 MARCH 15, 1905 by what he said I shall read his further remarks :
That is the position that we have before us to-day. I am not here to advocate separate schools as an abstract proposition, but we have introduced into this Bill the two propositions that the minority shall have the power to establish their own schools, and that they shall have right to share in the public money. It is the law to-day.
And further on the right hon. gentleman says in the same speech that he had decided on the incorporation of this clause as it then stood with the explanation and the argument in support of it which he then gave the House. If I understand the word ' decision '  it means that first there were conferences, consultations, deliberations and a great deal of searching of hearts with respect to matters then under consideration, and that the final decision which was reached was then crystallized into that Bill and was then explained and argued for by the introductory speech. Then a change came over the spirit of the dream of the right hon. gentleman. The Minister of the Interior resigned, and there came one of those eloquent silences which have prevailed latterly over the government benches when awkward questions from this side of the House have been asked. There have been silences when questions as to the absence of ministers have been asked, and questions with regard to the intention to change that which the government had said was decided upon, and there have been great silences to-night and this afternoon with regard to the cogent questions which have been asked by the leader of the opposition. The right  hon. gentleman is face to face with a position which is not an enviable one and one which he will find it difficult to reconcile with what has been said. There has been the deliberation which he admits, there has been the knowledge of the existence of the factional strife, knowledge of the existence of that prejudice to which in his speech he referred ; there has been the argument and the positive assertion that the clause has been introduced after mature deliberation ; there has been the first reading of the Bill, its printing and circulation, and then there were rumours with regard to the dissentions which exist in the cabinet to-day. The House and the country are in the dark, are labouring to know what the intentions of the government are with regard to this important clause in that Bill. I consider, Sir, that they are entitled to know because if the Prime Minister of this country can stand up in his place and pronounce for a certain state of things as the result of deliberation, and state that that is his decision, and that is the law to-day, and then afterwards state or hint vaguely that  changes may take place and will not deny the suggestion that there may be a reference to a judicial tribunal, then I say the people 2586 are entitled to know the reason for this vaccillation. The position of the government upon this question is simply incomprehensible. It is simply impossible to ascertain from its members where it stands. The record of ' Hansard ' shows that it stands in one place and that it is absolutely, irrevocably or in the words of the hon. member for Wellington, unalterably committed to one line of policy. Then we have the dark hints which have fallen from the lips of the Prime Minister, that there might be changes  —and changes with regard to the very clause of this Bill which he states was the subject of mature deliberation. There is a point with regard to the resignation of the member for Brandon, the ex-Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton), to which I would like to refer. The hon. minister on that day made an explanation of his reasons and that explanation is before the House. It contains something to which I would invite the consideration of the House in view of the statements made by the Prime Minister since that time. He says :
Before leaving I discussed with the Prime Minister most of the subjects that necessarily required to be dealt with in the Bill which was to be introduced, and so far as I was able to do so at that time, I communicated my views to him upon the various subjects. I may say that when I went away I did not anticipate that it would be considered necessary to introduce the Bill for creating the new provinces before I returned.
What does that indicate ? Is it not reasonable to infer from the very plain utterance  of the hon. gentleman that he had conferences with the leader of the government, that the result of these conferences was that clauses of this Bill were submitted for consideration that he was leaving on a prolonged absence and that further consideration, further conferences at any rate, as he understood, were postponed until he should have returned ? He further proceeds :
As members of the House are aware, I returned to the capital on Thursday afternoon. I immediately took occasion to read carefully the speech which the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) had delivered in introducing the Bill.
And hence followed the resignation. If I read English aright that meant that the Minister of the Interior felt that he had not been rightly treated by the leader of the government ; he felt that he had been promised consideration and attention and that he had a right to be further consulted before that Bill was brought down. And very natural was his chagrin and disappointment when he found on his return that the Bill had been introduced with clauses to which he had objected. Sir, reference has been made by the Prime Minister to the record of the election of 1896, when hon. gentlemen opposite came into power, on the advocacy of a principle the diametrical 2587 2588 opposite of the principle that has been lately enunciated by the leader of the government. I would point out that the quotations the right hon. gentleman has given from the utterances of hon. George Brown will not gloss over the inconsistency he has shown or make more tenable the unstable position he has taken. The hour is late and in conclusion, I would only desire, if the right hon. Prime Minister were in his place to contrast the position he took in 1895 and 1896, when he was on this side of the House, with the utterance he has recently made. I would contrast the inflammatory addresses which he then made in this House and on the hustings advocating provincial rights and non-interference with the acts of provincial legislatures, with his present speeches. And I would refer the right hon. gentleman to the words of the Hon. George Brown on the subject of the stability, and consistency that ought to be the ornament and the crown of the Prime Minister of a country of the importance of Canada. In 1896 the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) took a certain position in order to obtain power. And now, after his third return, we have him laying down a policy which is the absolute negation of that which he contended for in 1896. Let him consider the words of Hon. George Brown : 'If, Sir, a public man can avow certain principles, agitate those principles and seek to overthrow the government of the day to establish those principles, and, when he obtains power laughs at his professions and casts his principles to the winds, he is aiming a blow at public morality.'
Mr. A. B. INGRAM (East Elgin). At this late hour, I do not intend to take up much of the time of the House. But, in view of the Bill introduced by the Prime Minister on the 21st: of February, in view of the large number of inquiries that are being made from time to time concerning it, and in view of the rumours that are in circulation, I have not been in a position, up to this evening, to give a definite answer to those who have asked me whether the government proposed to carry the Bill through the House as it has been introduced or not. So, I wish to compliment the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) for being so frank as he was this evening, for he has stated that when he framed this Bill he framed it on the line of the legislation already affecting the people of the Northwest Territories. That being true, I am in a position to state exactly what the government propose to do in the matter of this legislation. The Minister of Justice stated that there could be no peace except it were based on justice. There are a large number of people in this country who do not believe in the present system in the Northwest Territories being carried out by any law passed by the Dominion parliament. I would like to ask him whether he believes that COMMONS those who oppose this legislation are doing  what they ought not to do ? And will he say that there shall be no peace in this country if his so-called justice is not meted out to the people of the Northwest ? The Minister of Justice is the man above all others in this House who should keep an even temper, should calmly consider all questions coming before him and should be particularly guarded in the remarks he makes, for it is to his department that the people look for good advice based upon calmness and judgment. I was sorry therefore, to observe, the tone of the hon. gentleman's speech to-night. He has charged hon. members on this side with appealing to prejudice. He was not a member of this House in the first session of 1896. Had he been, how would he have found his friends occupied ? The government of that day, after introducing a Bill in this House, were trying to get it into committee to have it considered on its merits. But hon. gentlemen opposite then on this side, showed no willingness to have this carried out. They even remained for one hundred and twenty-nine hours without rest, keeping this House in session, for the purpose of preventing that Bill being considered by the House. And, on the one hand we found members in the opposition of that day standing up and condemning the government because the Bill went too far. On the other hand some condemned it because it did not go far enough. Still others condemned the financial arrangements as unsatisfactory. But, on all sides, they were fanning the flames of prejudice, and it was through the existence of these prejudices that they came into power in 1896. So far as the present opposition is concerned nothing of this kind has been done. No man on this side, so far as I can learn, has expressed his opinion in regard to that legislation. They have carefully waited to see what the government would do in the matter—and rightly so. The leader of the government has told us that amendments may be introduced. But, thank goodness, the Minister of Justice, with his frankness has stated exactly the position the government is in. And, when the First Minister proceeds with the second reading of the Bill, I have no doubt that the same good judgment will be displayed and the same calm criticism given by the opposition, whether they agree or disagree with the Bill. Whatever hon. members on this side may say will be in parliamentary form and will be the result of calm consideration and not of mere prejudice. The Minister of Justice tried to work up a little agitation about the Toronto ' Telegram. Everybody who knows the 'Telegram' knows that it is an independent paper with Conservative leanings. It is almost as likely to condemn the Conservative party as to condemn the Liberal party. The Conservative party would not hold itself 2589 MARCH 15, 1905 responsible for the opinions of the Toronto 'Telegram.' Reference was made to the Bill of 1902 as submitted by Mr. Haultain. The Minister of Justice did not pay much of a compliment to the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) when he said that the draft Bill was submitted to the government for its consideration. If that statement meant anything at all it meant that the draft Bill contained the very sections the ex-Minister of the Interior is objecting to in the Bill introduced by the leader of the House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). I have read that draft Bill and I fail to find in it any similarity to the educational clauses in the Bill now introduced. That being true, the government could not have consulted the ex-Minister of the Interior with respect to these educational clauses.
I wish to say a word or two about these gentlemen who resign from the government. It seems to me that if a question arises on which the difference of opinion between one of the ministers and his colleagues is so clear that he feels it is his duty to resign, then, he is not doing his duty to his conscience, or to the people he represents, or to the people who agree with him, by sitting silently in his place and refraining from taking any part in the discussion of that question when it comes up. It strikes me that if I were in such a connection, I would  lose no opportunity to make myself heard.  I would rise day after day and, by my protests seek to prevent the passing of the legislation which seemed to me so far wrong. Those hon. gentlemen who have resigned from the cabinet seem to think they do their duty when they make one speech explaining their position. If there are more ministers in the cabinet who take the same view, it seems to me that, even though they differ with their colleagues they might as well swallow the objectionable legislation holus bolus and remain where they are.
Now, a word about the petitions and I am through. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) seems to lay great stress upon the fact that certain Conservatives sign petitions in favour of this legislation. I fail to see why any Conservative in the province of Quebec, or Nova Scotia, or in the Northwest Territories for that matter, if he feels that the legislation introduced by the government of the day is legislation that should be approved, does any wrong by petitioning the government in favour of its being made law. If the petition is a proper one, one that can be fairly presented to this House, in what way does a Conservative violate good taste or any rule of this House when he signs it ? But, what is the object of what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fitzpatrick) has stated ? He remembers quite well the conduct of his own friends in 1896 —his own included—when they did not take an honourable stand on the school question. They fanned the flame of prejudice, and it 290 was only by doing so that they attained power. A prominent legal Liberal came to this House in 1896 and advised his friends here to keep up the work of increasing popular prejudice as the only means by which they could get into power. And, had it not been for their success in that work, they would have been in opposition until this day. And I say, as a humble member of this Conservative opposition, that, I would remain in opposition until doomsday rather than obtain power by such means. We ought to be above that kind of thing, and we are. We have here a good country, a great country, and our aim, instead of stirring contention should be to unite our people and, as far as possible to quench these dangerous fires of popular prejudice.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey). I wish merely to refer to one or two statements made in the course of this discussion. The first was a statement by the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who spoke of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) as occupying a dual position, and in one capacity stirring up strife in the country, while in the other he might be doing his duty as a member of this House. That can only refer to one thing, to the petitions which are coming in and which hon. gentlemen opposite have been good enough to attribute to myself as having sent them out. I accept that ; and I gave the explanation. I have never denied or attempted to deny that I did it nor do I make any apology for doing it. The Minister of Justice followed this up by saying that the members of the opposition were deliberately and of set purpose arousing religious prejudices by distributing petitions amongst the Protestants of Ontario for that purpose while, from the same source, they were distributing petitions to the people of Quebec to arouse feeling amongst them. I took down the hon. gentleman's statement as he made it. Have I recorded it correctly ?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) says he took it down, I suppose he took it down correctly. But I must say that I do not think he did.
Mr. SPROULE. That is the statement as I took it down. Had it not been that the  Minister of Justice displayed so much warmth and declared that he could prove his statement, while at the same time flourishing a document as though it contained the proof, I would not have paid so much attention to his statement. But he made the statement that these petitions emanated from the same source as the others. And just before that he had attributed the distribution of these petitions in Ontario to myself. Had he not thus, by implication at least, attributed the distribution of these petitions to myself, I would not have paid any attention to the matter. If any one in this House could know whether his allega 2591 COMMONS tions are correct, it would be the member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), and I rise to give that the most emphatic contradiction possible. There is not a word of truth in the statement. I am not here to deny that petitions may have come in on the other side from the province of Quebec. About that I know nothing. The Minister of Justice endeavoured to lead this House to believe that these petitions were distributed among the Protestants of Ontario for the purpose of inflaming their passions, but that similar petitions were not distributed among the Protestants of Quebec. I said last night, and I repeat, that the very same petitions which were distributed in Ontario were distributed throughout Quebec, and many of them have come back since signed, not only by Conservatives, but by Reformers as well. If petitions did come from the supporters of the one party for and against a certain measure, does it necessarily follow that the members of that party are working these petitions for the purpose of raising sectional strife ? If it does, then let me refer the hon. gentleman to the fact that supporters of the government in Ontario are petitioning today in hundreds of thousands against the very Bill the government has before the House, and from the province of Quebec as well, and likewise the maritime provinces. They are petitioning against this Bill, while, at the same time, supporters of the government are sending here petitions in favour of it—doing the very thing which the Minister of Justice tried to lead this House to believe is so very wrong. Because petitions come against this Bill from Conservatives and also in favour of it, therefore the Conservatives must be doing something that is radically wrong. But the very same thing applies to the opposite side. And, as my hon. friend from East Elgin has said: Is it not the right of every British subject to petition the Crown and parliament ? Have we not members supporting the Conservative party who are to-day supporting this Bill and others who are opposing it ? Have we not among the members of the Reform party some who are petitioning for this Bill and others against it ? If that argument is worth anything, it applies with equal force to the opposite side as well as to this side. But, with respect to the petitions that have been circulated, the hon. Minister of Justice made the statement that they were deliberately and intentionally put in circulation to arouse religious strife and passion. What justification has be for making that statement? Who is responsible for raising the religious strife and passion that have been imparted into this debate during the present session? Was it the Conservative party ?—not by any means. Who introduced the Bill? Was it not the Reform party? Who made an impassioned appeal along religious lines? Was it not the right hon. Prime Minister on the occasion of the introduction of the Bill and 2592 was it not a thing most unusual in this House? It invited reprisals from the other side of the House. I can tell the hon. Minister of Justice when he says that there will be no peace until it is fought out, and he added I throw down the gauntlet and I invite this fight to come on. He has thrown down the gauntlet and I assure him that he will not be disappointed about the fight. When it is over he can congratulate himself upon what he has done for the purpose of promoting peace, harmony and good feeling amongst the citizens of this country. If he succeeds in doing it I will be very much mistaken. He has thrown down the gauntlet to a class of people who will stand up for their rights whether it pleases or displeases the Minister of Justice. There is no doubt that from the commencement of this discussion, from the first word to the last which has been said on this subject, there has not been displayed so much rancour as that which has been exhibited by the hon. Minister of Justice, and there has not been heard as strong language as that which has come from the Minister of Justice who ought to be the last man in this House to set such an example to the parliament of Canada. If this measure results in arousing passions and creating hard feelings let me assure hon. gentlemen opposite that upon them above all others must the responsibility rest.
Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply.
Mr. FIELDING. I do not imagine the House has any desire to take up the estimates at this hour. I therefore move that the committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Motion agreed to.


Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved the adjournment of the House.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. What business may we expect to-morrow ?
Mr. FIELDING. We may take up the business at the point at which we left off to-night; that is if we have a clear conception of what that point is.
Mr. FOSTER. Yesterday when the hon. Minister of Finance was not in I asked the right hon. First Minister if there was any decision as to the probable time of bringing down the budget speech and he promised to confer with the hon. Minister of Finance.
Mr. FIELDING. I am sorry that I am not able to give a definite answer to my hon. friend. I will promise that he will [...]


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



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