House of Commons, 23 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

3009 MARCH 23, 1905


THURSDAY, March 23, 1905.
The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.



Mr. SLOAN asked:
1. Has the government any information that the Grand Trunk Pacific has completed the necessary surveys, or any portion thereof, for the building of the new Transcontinental line in British Columbia ?
2. If so, is it the intention of the government to urge the early construction of this section or the Grand Trunk Pacific ?
Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals). In reply to the hon. gentleman's first question, there appears to be no information on the subject in the department.
As respects the second part of the question, it is the intention of the government to urge the early construction of this as well as of other sections of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.


Mr. GUNN asked :
How many convictions have been made under the Fruit Marks Act to date ?
Hon. SYDNEY FISHER. (Minister of Agriculture). Ninety-six, upon information laid by the staff of the fruit division of the department.
In addition to these, there have been convictions upon information laid by others, but the department is not aware of the number, as the cases have not been report— ed. The department has heard of three such cases.


Mr. BICKERDIKE asked :
1. Is the government aware that a very large amount of American currency is at present in circulation at par in Canada?
2. Is it within the knowledge of the government that in most cases Canadian currency is refused in the United States, and when accepted, only taken at a very heavy discount ?
3. Is it the intention of the government to introduce a measure the present session for the purpose of preventing the circulation of United States coin in the Dominion ?
Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) :
1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. It is not the intention of the government to introduce any measure to prohibit the circulation of American coin, but we anticipate that we will be able to make such regulations as will largely displace that coin.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey). Mr. Speaker, in continuing the discussion on this most important question, I do not propose to endeavour to enlighten the House upon any legal points involved in it, beyond a passing reference to some views of the British North America Act as they appear to me and their relation to the Bill now before us. Before commencing the discussion of the subject proper, I would like to refer to some remarks made by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) in closing the debate last evening. His speech sounded to me very much like a threat or a doleful foreboding, and it occurred to me that it was delivered for the purpose of holding his own followers together rather than of foreshadowing what might be the result in the event of this Bill being defeated. He used 3011 COMMONS the following language, and he referred to it twice :
I say deliberately—and every hon. gentleman who listens to me knows it—that if this Bill be not passed, if we should be unable to carry a measure on this subject, then my right hon. friend will be obliged to retire and no other government can be formed which will command the confidence of parliament.
All I can say is that he has a very poor opinion of the people of Canada, that he has not that confidence in the wisdom and sense, good judgment and forbearance, generosity and enlightenment of the Canadian people that, as a Canadian, he should have.
Mr. FIELDING. Will my hon. friend permit me to insert in the quotation the words 'this parliament'? I was alluding to what might be done with the present parliament.
Mr. SPROULE. ' This parliament. ' Parliaments are usually the result of appealing to the country and the wisdom of the people, and I take it that the good sense, and the good judgment, and the wisdom of the people of Canada are quite equal to the task of electing another parliament. I would not so much discredit the intelligence and the right aims of either the Roman Catholics or the French of this country as to insinuate that they would not be equal to the task of assisting to elect a parliament. Parliaments come and parliaments go, and we have never yet been confronted with that situation in Canada, and I am quite sure we are not likely to in the near future. The hon. minister said :
This is a religious question.
Well I can tell him that he was the first one in this House who said so. We thought it was a provincial autonomy Bill, that had to do with the establishment of two provinces in the Northwest. out of property that belongs to us, that it was a Bill for the purpose of giving them power to govern themselves, to legislate with regard to their own ends, to do the work which every province in the confederation that has provincial autonomy is doing at the present time. But the right hon. gentleman says it has turned into a religious question. Well, Mr. Speaker, if that be the case, who is responsible ? Is it this side of the House ? Did we introduce the element which would arouse any feeling along religious or sectarian or national lines ? Not by any means. We were silent spectators at the introduction of that Bill, which contains the elements that have provoked the acrimonious feeling existing in some parts of the country to-day. It is, I submit, the right hon. gentleman himself who availed himself of the earliest opportunity—I was going to say the improper opportunity—of making, upon the introduction of this Bill, a very impassioned speech along those lines. His speech on that occasion was something very unusual, 3012 something very improper, something in my judgment quite uncalled for ; for while it is competent and proper for the member who introduces a Bill to explain its provisions, he is expected to confine himself to that object and explain them as briefly as possible. But instead of an explanation, we had an exordium on other lines. We had raked up the condition of things before confederation. The right hon. gentleman conjured up again recollections of the various fights on religious issues that formerly prevailed between Upper and Lower Canada, when these two provinces were united. All these bitter recollections were pressed into service for the purpose of impressing on this House the wisdom and the necessity of passing this Bill. If there be acrimonious feeling excited in the country to-day, who is responsible ? Certainly not the opposition but the government itself led by the right hon. gentleman, whose appeal in favour of the obnoxious features of the Bill was endorsed by the hon. the Finance Minister. These are the men who are responsible. It is they who have created the feeling of distrust which exists to-day. The right hon. gentleman declared that the press which supports the opposition has spared no effort to inflame the public mind on a very delicate subject. But if there were any such attempt, was it confined to the Conservative press ? If there were any efforts to inflame the public mind, is that to be traced to the Conservative press alone ? No, Sir, the criticisms of the press throughout the country were not confined to the newspapers supporting any political party. We had these criticisms from religions papers, independent papers, and political papers on both sides. And they all were agreed in the main that the government is doing an improper thing, something calculated to create a strong feeling of aversion throughout the country against the measure and the government itself. Is not that a fact, Mr. Speaker ? Need I point to the very logical, moderate and fair criticisms of the ' Globe '—the organ above all others which ought to voice the sentiments of the present government—and criticisms which, I humbly submit, would do credit to any newspaper in Canada. What is the press of the country doing to-day ? The organs of public opinion are, as a mirror, reflecting public sentiment, calling on the government to take warning, calling on parliament to take warning, and not do to-day what afterwards they may not be able to undo. Is the press to blame because it contains denunciations of the offensive features of this measure ? Is not the press in this respect exercising a public duty, and can it be charged with inflaming public passion and arousing sectarian strife because it calls attention to the dangers of this Bill ? Not at all. It is not the press of the country but the right hon. gentleman and his friends who must be held responsible for the present conditions.
3013 MARCH 23, 1905
The right hon. gentleman appealed to his record dealing with these troublesome questions, and pleaded that he had given sufficient evidence of his desire to conciliate and treat the various elements and creeds in this country upon lines that are broad, national and humane. He referred to his refusal to interfere in the New Brunswick agitation with regard to separate schools and gave that as an evidence of the spirit of fairness and toleration which actuates him. In the first speech he made on this measure he also referred to that matter, and drew attention to the fact that he had then advocated noninterference with the rights of the province. Well, it struck me at the time that if that be the record of the right hon. gentleman, it is a great pity he did not embody the spirit which then actuated him into the measure now before parliament, because, if I understand the English language, this measure is above all things an interference with provincial rights. The right hon. gentleman told us that he refused to interfere in the agitation over the Jesuits Estate Bill because it was the undoubted right of the province to pass that Bill. Let me say that the Jesuits Estate Bill was my first experience in parliamentary life with one of these vexed questions, and I agreed with the right hon. the First Minister that as it was dealing with lands belonging to the province, which in my judgment the province had a perfect right to sell and do what it liked with the proceeds, consequently we as a federal parliament had no right to interfere. I held that it was a Bill dealing with education, which under the British North America Act came within the exclusive right of the province ; and therefore if the province chooses to sell those lands and use the proceeds for educational purposes, or throw them into the sea, we had no right to interfere. Therefore although the question excited a great deal of feeling in my section of the country, I stood by that principle as firmly as I stand by it to-day, and I did it believing that the only guarantee for the successful working out of confederation lay in giving the provinces all the rights conferred on them by the constitution, and only exercising here those rights which belong to the federal parliament. Then we had the right hon. gentleman boasting that on the question of the Manitoba school education he had stood by provincial rights and endeavoured by conciliatory methods to adjust the diferences between the two classes of people in that province and finally succeeded. Well, Mr. Speaker, I was with the First Minister on that question as well. I took the same grounds that I did on the Jesuits Estate question, namely, that it was undoubtedly the right of the province to deal with education, and I opposed any proposal to coerce or force Manitoba at that time. Was I right then ? I submit that I was consistent in the stand I took upon those two questions, which were at the very antipodes 3014 of each other, so far as popularity in my riding was concerned. Am I then to be blamed if I take the same ground to-day ? Am I to be blamed if I take my stand today on the question of provincial rights in the matter before the House as firmly as I did on the Jesuits Estate 'Bill and the Remedial Bill, which sought to compel the province of Manitoba to do what I thought she had a perfect right to refuse to do ? Then, I say, I am consistent with my record in every particular. But the First Minister is not consistent with his record. On other occasions he stood by provincial rights ; to-day he is abandoning the principle of provincia1 rights and forcing upon these unwilling provinces laws which compel them to do what the constitution never intended they should be compelled to do. The right hon. gentleman defends his conduct by saying : I am doing this in obedience to the constitution. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) said last night that he did not understand the Prime Minister to say that he was compelled by the constitution to take the course he does. But I have here the Prime Minister's very words :
I stand again, as I believe, upon the rock of the constitution of Canada when I say that this parliament should, according to that constitution, give to the minority in the new provinces the same rights and privileges that are given to the minorities in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
This is a plain a declaration as could be made that he is obliged by the constitution to do what he is doing—that he must take the course he does or otherwise he will not be doing right. I leave the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to settle this difference between themselves. But I take the declaration of the Prime Minister. I understand his reasoning to be that, as section 93 of the British North America Act provides that certain rights enjoyed before confederation must be continued after coming into the union, he feels compelled to take the course he does. He says, if I understand him correctly. The Northwest Territories have a form of government, and under that form they have established separate schools ; and, now that We are establishing the provinces by these Autonomy Bills, we must provide for the perpetuation of the separate school privilege. New section 93 provides :
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education.
But the section further provides :
Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
So, the Prime Minister argues that, because they have denominational schools by law in the Northwest Territories at this 3015 COMMONS particular time, which he calls—improperly I think—the union, he is obliged under the constitution to provide in the Bills now before us for the continuation of the system of separate schools. Now, my understanding of the constitution is that subsections 2 and 3 of clause 93 of the British North America Act was intended to apply to provinces that had provincial autonomy before entering the union. Even at the time of confederation there were provinces, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, which did not then enter the union, but which have entered since. Had either of these had a system of separate schools before entering the union, these subsections of clause 93 would apply, as it applied also to Ontario and Quebec. But these subsections do not apply in the case before us at all. Because, these provinces are being carved out of territory that is already in the union, and never had provincial autonomy, but has had only such legislative authority as was delegated by this parliament under laws made in 1875 and later. The contention of the First Minister, as I have said, is that because they have separate schools we must perpetuate that system. But is that the contention of the Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding) as well ?
Mr. FIELDING. I thought I had dealt with that point in my remarks last night. I know of no method whereby the word 'must' can be applied to the action of any member of this parliament. But I said I thought that the trend of the constitution created conditions which amounted to a moral case of a very strong character in that direction.
Mr. SPROULE. I understood the minister further to say that this is all based on a moral claim.
Mr. FIELDING. I have said again and again that my opinion was—if a layman may presume to have an opinion in these matters—that there is not and cannot be a legally binding obligation upon this parliament, but that every member of this parliament must vote according to the dictates of his judgment and his conscience.
Mr. SPROULE I am speaking not with reference to the votes, but with reference to the provisions of the Bill. I would suggest that the Minister of Finance and the First Minister might hold a conference and agree, in order that they may do as they should do, speak on behalf of a united cabinet—
Mr. FIELDING If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) will try to settle the differences among his own friends, I think he will have ample employment.
Mr. SPROULE. It is my duty to deal with a government measure and with the government behind that measure, and with 3016 the principles of constitutional government, one of which is that a cabinet shall not be divided in presenting a measure to the House. Yet these hon. gentlemen are divided to-day. I need not ask the Minister of Finance how long he has taken to analyze this Bill and reach the conclusion he has reached? We were told he did not see in the light in which he now sees it until a short time ago. He may claim to be excused on that ground for not having a very definite knowledge of the measure. But the father of the Bill says, that the constitution compels him to do what he now proposes. Now, to satisfy myself I thought I would apply to an authority whose opinion would be respected in this House, one who I have heard the right hon. Prime Minister and other hon. members on the other side quote approvingly more than once. I say this because the contention was set up that on account of separate schools being there today, we were not free, in giving the provinces provincial autonomy, to ignore those schools and allow the provinces to legislate according to their own judgment. I submitted the question to Mr. Christopher Robinson, K.C., who is well known I think, as high a constitutional lawyer as can be found in this country. I submitted several questions which were embraced in the speech of the First Minister and I wish to lead his opinion. because it is in my judgment in accord with the opinion announced by the leader of the opposition yesterday, and buttressed by many citations of constitutional authorities. Mr. Robinson says :
The right of the Dominion parliament to impose restrictions upon the provinces about to be formed in dealing with the subject of education and separate schools, is,  I think, not beyond question.
They have the right to do it.
This would require more consideration than I have been able yet to give to it, and must ultimately be settled by judicial decision.
Remember, it is not the question whether we have any power to interfere with the province at all, it is a question of whether this parliament must do it, not whether we have power to do it.
I am asked, however, whether parliament is constitutionally bound—
The First, Minister says: I am constitutionally bound.
I am asked Whether parliament is constitutionally bound to impose any such restric— tion, or whether it exists otherwise, and I am of opinion in the negative.
Now I am not directing this to the Minister of Finance, because he does not hold that opinion, but I am directing it to his premier who does hold it, with a view to getting the different members of the cabinet in accord.
3017 MARCH 23, 1905
It must be borne in mind that I am concerned only with the question of legal obligation. What the parliament ought to do or should do in the exercise of any power which they possess, is not within the province of counsel.
He does not pretend to give advice on that point.
Such a restriction, I apprehend, must exist or may be imposed, if at all, under the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, and on the ground of their application to the provinces now to be formed. If that section applies—
He seems to be in doubt.
If that section applies, it would seem to require no enactment of our parliament to give give it effect—
Now is that not the contention of the leader of the opposition? If that power exists it does not require any enactment to give it effect.
—and if not, no such enactment, so far as I am aware, is otherwise made necessary. Upon the whole I am of opinion that section 93 does appear to me to be intended for, and confined to, the then province, and to the union formed in 1867.
Then if it does not apply, the responsibility rests with the right hon. gentleman and his friends forcing an educational system on the people out there that they think should not be forced upon them. If its provisions are confined to the then provinces and to the union formed in 1867, the authority given them in the Act of 1875, and under which by their ordinances they have established separate schools, could not apply at all, because that was not the date of the union. The date of the union was antecedent, in 1867, according to Mr. Robinson's judgment; therefore there was no power in the land to give separate schools, and they had no separate schools then.
There is not in any part of the Northwest Territories as a province any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools possessed by any class of persons, created by the province, or existing at such union ; and a right subsequently established by the Dominion in the part now about to be made a province, does not appear to me to come within the enactment.
Is that straight enough ? 'It does not come within the enactment. But the whole argument of the First Minister was : I am doing something because I am compelled to do it, if he had said : I am doing it because there is some kind of moral obligation resting upon me,—he might have been justified by his conscience. But he says : I am doing it because constitutionally I must do it, there is no other alternative, it is forced upon me to act along that line, and therefore 1 am justified in acting as I have done.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Before my hon. friend passes away from that point, will 3018 he be good enough to lay on the table the questions that he put to Mr. Robinson along with the answer ? Because we have had a running comment on the answer.
Mr. SPROULE. I have just read the answer. I may say that I had already foreseen this very reasonable request. I had the questions drawn out and submitted to Mr. Robinson, and I have been urging for a reply, and it was only to-day at two o'clock that I was able to get it. I have only the telegram that was sent to me without the question. Unfortunately I did not keep a copy of them, otherwise I would be able to hand them to the hon. gentleman. As soon as they are available, I will present them to the minister.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would suggest that the hon. gentleman read the telegram through without comment.
Mr. SPROULE (reading) :
The right of the Dominion parliament to impose restrictions upon the provinces about to be formed in dealing with the subject of education and separate schools, is, I think, not beyond question. This would require more consideration than I have been able to give to it, and must ultimately be settled by judicial decision. I am asked, however, whether parliament is constitutionally bound to impose any such restriction, or whether it exists otherwise, and I am of opinion in the negative. It must be borne in mind that I am concerned only with the question of legal obligation. What the parliament ought to do or should do in the exercise of any power which they may possess, is not within the province of counsel.
Such a restriction, I apprehend, must exist or may be imposed, if at all, under the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867. and on the ground of their application to the provinces now to be formed. If that section applies, it would seem to require no enactment of our parliament to give it effect, and if not, no such enactment, so far as I am aware, is otherwise made necessary. Upon the whole I am of opinion that section 93 does not apply to the provinces now about to be established. Its provisions would appear to me to be intended for, and confined to, the then province, and to the union formed in 1867. There is not in any part of the Northwest Territories as a province any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools possessed by any class of persons, created by the province, or existing at such union ; and a right subsequently established by the Dominion in the part now about to be made a province, does not appear to me to come within the enactment.
I may say that it is signed ' W. D. Macpherson ' who is acting for Mr. Christopher Robinson.
Mr. FIELDING. Is that the opinion of Mr. Robinson or Mr. Macpherson ?
Mr. SPROULE. It is the opinion of Mr. Robinson, communicated by Mr. Macpherson.
Mr. FIELDING. It is so stated ?
Mr. SPROULE. Yes, in a letter to me and which I have in my possession. I do not wish to take up the time of the House longer on this subject, but I want to refer to one or two quotations which may have been used before but which I now want to give for the benefit of my right hon. friend the leader of the government. The present Prime Minister, as will be found in 'Hansard' of March 3, 1896, said :
In a community with a free government, in a free country like this, upon any question involving different conceptions of what is right or wrong, different standards of what is just or unjust, it is the part of statesmanship not to force the views of any section, but to endeavour to bring them all to a uniform standard and a uniform conception of what is right.
Not to force the views of any section! I ask him if he is doing that to-day in connection with this Bill. Is he not forcing the views of one section of the community up there who do not think that it is right to compel them to accept what they do not believe to be suitable to the conditions there? Then, speaking on the same day of the different agitations which have from time to time arisen in Canada over provincial rights and defending himself for having stood up in support of provincial rights, he said :
Sir, if the hon. gentleman, while he was tracing the history of confederation, had recalled that page—
Referring to the various disputes that had taken place in Canada—
—it might, perhaps, have struck him and those around him that coercive methods never yet led any people to good and wise action.
Will he apply the coercive methods he is adopting to-day to these new provinces ? If he does to what wise action or good purpose will it lead ?
But I would recall the history to the hon. gentleman, not only of his own province, but of the Dominion of Canada at large.
Later on he said :
These frequent recurrences of agitations and commotion are a severe strain, and a very severe strain upon the tie which binds these provinces together ; and the danger is all the more to be apprehended, if, searching further on for the causes which have brought about this commotion, you find that on every occasion there was only one cause, always the same, and that was the feature of our constitution which abridges the independence, the sovereignty of the provincial legislatures. In one form or the other, such was the cause of these agitations.
What is the cause of the agitation to-day? Is it not exactly that very same thing, that you are endeavouring to interfere with and abridge the rights of these legislatures ? The right hon. gentleman is to-day doing 3020 what he then declared it unwise to do when he said that all these agitations were traceable to one source and to one cause, and when he advised parliament that it would be wise to avoid such a danger. It is wise therefore to avoid interference with provincial rights. Then, speaking of the right of the provinces to legislate in regard to education he said :
This division of legislative powers is absolutely essential to the federal form of government.
He was referring to the British North America Act where it divides the powers of the provincial legislatures from the powers of the federal parliament and he said that this division of legislative powers is absolutely essential to the federal form of government. We gave the power to legislate in regard to education to the provincial legislatures. Then, speaking as to the question: Who should rule ?—he made a further statement. We heard it stated last night that the Roman Catholics numbered about 41 per cent of the population and the Protestants 60 per cent and the question was asked : Are we going to disregard the rights of this large minority ? I say no, we never intended to disregard them, nor infringe upon them, nor do any injustice to them, but I do hold that the principle which I have stated before that the majority must govern applies as much to the electors of a province as it does to the electors in Canada in an election to this parliament. Then, in reply to the question : Who should rule?— he said :
Indeed, it must be accepted, and accepted as a truism, that under popular government the majority must rule.
The majority of the people of Manitoba desired a certain thing and the Remedial Bill proposed to compel them to do something that they did not desire to do, and therefore the right hon. gentleman held that the majority must rule. It would be a doubly improper thing, I think, to adopt a measure which would not only interfere with provincial rights, but which would prevent the majority from ruling in a country in which the right hon. gentleman declared it to be a truism that the majority must rule. He continued :
I do not mean to say, Sir, that the majority will always be right. No, Sir, the majority may err, the majority may prevaricate. But I am not prepared to say that the majority will always do wrong, will always prevaricate and will always wantonly and wickedly do injustice to the minority.
I think you can safely trust to the intention of the majority to do what is right, and the rule of the majority is the only principle that we can apply to the government of the country. Then, he asks :
3021 MARCH 23, 1905
What is the remedy of the minority under these circumstances ?
There was a very troublesome question to be settled. There was a majority and there was a minority. The majority wanted one thing and the minority another. He declared that the principle must obtain that the majority must rule. Let him apply that to the new provinces he is creating as he applied it to the province of Manitoba in 1896 and if he does we will not have this provision in the Bill which is creating so much excitement and agitation in the country to-day.
What is the remedy of the minority under these circumstances ? The remedy of the minority under a free government is to agitate and endeavour to bring over the majority to their way of thinking.
That is proper, that is correct ; I agree with every word of it. Sir John Macdonald said the same thing in almost exactly the same words in reference to the New Brunswick case. The right hon. gentleman says that the majority must rule and he says that in case of difference the remedy of the minority is to agitate and endeavour to bring over the majority to their way of thinking. That is the rule under a free government and ours is a free government. Why does he depart from that safe and correct rule, that truism that he laid down in 1896 ? Has he received new light on the subject, have the scales fallen from his eyes that he has propounded another doctrine to-day which is diametrically opposed to the doctrine that he propounded then ? As to the power under the constitution, under section 93 of the British North America Act to supervise and control the legislation of the provinces he says :
The lesson we should deduce is that if it was a wise provision to establish this power in the constitution for the supervision of the local legislatures, perhaps it was not dictated by unmixed wisdom.
I agree with him that it was not dictated by unmixed wisdom. Our experience of the working out of our government since confederation has demonstrated over and over again that it is unfortunate that the provision is there.
For, Sir, experience has taught us that this remedy of interference with local legislation has never been applied and probably never can be applied without friction, disturbance and discontent ; that you cannot apply that remedy without causing as much dissatisfaction as satisfaction.
And yet he is endeavouring to do it today. He is applying it in the face of the fact that he himself admits that it never can be applied without friction, disturbance and discontent, and to-day he adversely criticises the press of the country because there is friction and discontent.
It must be evident that while you redress the grievance of the minority by such an act of interference, you run great risk of creating a grievance on the part of the majority.
Therefore, by a parity of reasoning it ought to be avoided. Why does he not follow that good advice to-day? Speaking with regard to the power of the government to grant remedial legislation, the right hon. gentleman said :
Sir, the power is there, and being there, the aid of the Dominion government will be sought by the minority. What is the rule that ought to be followed ? I shall be told by the hon. gentleman (Sir Charles Tupper), in fact, he has already told us, that the rule works mechanically, and that no judgment is to be exercised by this parliament in such matters. Sir, that cannot be the rule. It cannot be that this remedy is to apply mechanically. This remedy must be granted or denied according as the circumstances of each case require. And that, Sir, is the very language of the statute that the hon. gentleman cited a few moments ago. The remedy is to be sought and applied as the circumstances of the case require.
That was the contention in 1896—that the federal parllament was not compelled to legislate. He was advocating non-interference with provincial rights; he was questioning the wisdom of a Remedial Bill on the ground that it might create a grievance for the majority that was quite equal to the grievance under which the minority laboured.
Now, I want to say one word with regard to the British North America Act as a layman. I suppose it will have not much weight with the lawyers of this House, and it may not have much weight with the laymen ; but I hope it will at least have some weight with the common sense intelligence of the people of this country. My understanding of the respective rights and duties of the federal parliament and the provincial parliament is something like the following: At confederation each was assigned its rights; each was given the class of subjects upon which it had an exclusive right to legislate. There were subjects on which each had an exclusive right; there were other subjects on which they had a joint right, and there were other subjects not included in either on which both might properly legislate. The British North America Act puts the rights belonging to the provinces in one schedule, and the rights belonging to the federal parliament in another. Everything concerning local government is given to the provincial parliament, and everything concerning trade and commerce and national undertakings is given to the federal parliament. But it was never intended that the federal parliament should infringe on any of the subjects which were assigned exclusively to the provincial parliament, and education was one of these subjects. I have before me a little work 3023 COMMONS which I have read sometimes with interest. It is entitled "The Powers of Canadian Par liaments.' by S. J. Watson, of Toronto, who has evidently given a good deal of attention to the subject He first states the reserved rights that were given to the federal parliament: regulation of trade and commerce, postal service, military and naval service and defence, navigation and shipping, currently and coinage, banking and the issue of paper money, insolvency. Then he deals with those rights reserved exclusively to the provincial legislatures: amendments from time to time in their constitutions, municipal institutions in the province, local works and undertakings other than such as are excepted in subsection 10, the incorporation of companies with provincial objects, properly and civil rights, education. Education is, therefore, one of the exclusive rights of the provinces ; it is only the province which has the right to legislate with regard to education. I hold that to be the correct principle, and whenever this parliament is legislating in regard to be the correct principle, and whenever this parliament is legislating in regard to education it is infringing on the rights of the provinces.
But I am told there is a provision in section 93 of the British North America Act that gives us power to legislate. In what regard? In one regard and one regard only, that is, by remedial legislation. The Governor in Council, acting as a court, has appellate jurisdiction in cases of the infringement of the rights that belong to minorities. It may be appealed to by the minority for the restoration of those rights. Then the Privy Counell becomes a court of appeal, not a legislative body, and if they think those rights have been taken away, and they fail to persuade the provincial authority to restore those rights, then, and not till then, their power as a court ceases, and they the federal parliament steps in with its legislative right. That is the only time we can interfere as a federal parliament. We can then pass a Remedial Bill, but we can only do that, as the first minister said, if in our judgment it is good public policy to do it, or we can leave it alone. That is the only provision in the British North America Act, in my judgement, giving us any rights to legislate with regard to education.
With regard to this measure, I want to say that the government have at last undertaken to do what they should have done long ago, and they are confronted with a great many difficulties which they have brought upon themselves. These difficulties might have been very much minimized had they taken the advice of this side of the House, and erected the Territories into a province or provinces long ago. Had they given provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories years ago, before vested rights grew up to the extent to which they exist to-day, and before the population had increased to the numbers it has reached to 3024 day, they would have had much less difficulty then they have at the present time. Their difficulties have multipled in proportion to the delay that has occurred. The disproportion in size between the province of Manitoba and the two provinces which they contemplate creating now is very great. The one is very small and the others are very large. What excuse can they give for being unable to extend the boundaries of Manitoba? The existence of vested rights in the Northwest Territories, the growth of settlement, and certain other things which did not exist years ago. There would have been very little difficulty in extending the boundaries of Manitoba if the governemnt had undertaken this question at an earlier date.
Because settlement has gone on there since, and owing to that settlement, and owing to those vested rights, they find it difficult to act to-day. The principle upon which the financial arrangements are based is almost sure, in my judgment, to create dissatisfaction in the other provinces. I feel quite satisfied that that will be the case. When the other provinces come to know and contains for financial assistance to these two provinces, they will recognize at once that it is much more liberal than the terms which they enjoy to-day, or which they have had in the past, and this will create discontent, and will bring them knocking at the doors of parliament for a rearrangement of provincial subsidies. It is very liberal, I admit ; I am not complaining of that, so much as of the fact that it will give us trouble in the future, perhaps in the very near future. In undertaking to do out duty as a federal parliament and to create provinces in the Territories already in the union, we are told that we must treat those Territories as though they were provinces which are entering the union to-day. I need not refer to that again fully, because I have already done so. We may properly erect provinces; and in giving them provincial autonomy, we are bound to give them all the rights which the British North America Act says they should have, and one of these is the right to legislate upon education. Now, I say that, as a matter of policy, as a matter of duty, according to my understanding of the constitution, when we erect these Territories into provinces, we are bound to give them all the rights of legislation, all the provincial rights, that our constitution provides they should have and enjoy ; and if we give less, we are likely to cause friction and trouble. If we go beyond that, we are encroaching upon provincial rights. I say we are now going beyond that, and therefore I object to that encroachment on provincial rights. Have we, as a federal parliament, the right to go beyond that ? I have given my reasons for thinking that 3025 MARCH 23, 1905 we have not. It is for this House and for the country to determine according to their judgment whether these reasons are sound or not.
The British North America Act, in assigning the rights and power to the parliament of Canada and the provincial powers, distinctly provides how far we may go, but nowhere does it contain a provision that we may legislate with regard to what educational system a new province must have, and when we do that we are doing what, in my judgment, is improper. The right hon. the premier seems to assume that the federal parliament is a supreme body which is over and above the provincial parliaments, and which can, of its own will, exercise a patronizing or paternal control to the extent of compelling the provincial parliaments to do what they do not desire to do. Talk about being a supreme body ! What does Watson say in regard to it ? The federal parliament is not a supreme body at all, it has no over-towering powers, it has no powers that are so much above or beyond a provincial parliament that it can exercise them over that provincial parliament. He goes into the history of how we got our federal parliament, and says :
It must be borne in mind as regards the internal and material interests of each of the provinces, their municipal self-government, their systems of education, their public lands and their development, and the administration of justice, the local legislatures are of much greater importance than the federal parliament.
Much greater importance.
Over these vital and complex functions of a free commonwealth which are known as civil rights and which are the life and marrow of local self-government and constitutional citizenship, the provincial parliament rules supreme.
And the federal parliament cannot interfere. He says :
It must be borne in mind that the federal parliament is the offspring of the provincial legislatures ;—
Not the provincial parliament the offspring of the federal parliament.
—that it is not their progenitor ; and that in confiding to it such of their powers as were necessary to establish it as a greater institution than themselves there were yet certain powers which they reserved for their own behoof.
He argued that we had a federal parliament, why ? Because the provincial parliaments gave up part of their powers to make it, but that the provincial powers were supreme, and must always be so within their rights. We established the federal parliament and the provinces gave it certain powers, and the federal parliament can only exercise these powers ; when it attempts to go beyond that and interfere with provincial rights, then it is doing what a higher authority than it, that is the pro 3026 vincial parliament, says it cannot do. The rights of the provincial parliament within its sphere are supreme and brook no interference. I believe that is as true as the truism given by the premier with regard to the rights of majorities. It was not the federal parliament, as I said, which condescended to give rights to provincla1 parliaments ; the condescension was on the part of the provincial parliaments, and they established the federal parliament. The rights of the provincial parliaments were an inheritance belonging to them ; they had inherited their rights and enjoyed their rights, and any rights or powers which the federal parliament has to-day are mere hereditary rights given to it by the provincial parliaments ; therefore, the provincial parliaments ought to be supreme and are supreme within their own jurisdiction.
The educational clauses in this Bill are purely an interference, in my judgment, with provincial rights, and on this ground I am opposed to them. I do not mean that I am opposed to the whole Bill, but I am opposed to the educational clauses. The struggles which have taken place in the past with regard to provincial rights, and the contention of the Reform party that provincial rights must be maintained at all hazards, ought to be as strongly impressed upon the minds of the Liberals as it was in the past, and they ought to endeavour to carry out that principle. They should not neglect that principle. We have had many fights of this nature. We had the struggle over the Streams Bill, and very strong feelings were created ; we had it over the Boundary Award ; we had it over the Hotel Licenses Bill, which was known as the McCarthy Act ; we had it over the timber and mineral rights of the provinces ; we had it over the Manitoba Remedial Bill, the New Brunswick School Bill ; and in every one of these cases the Reform party stood on the same ground, that is, in defence of provincial rights. Where are they to-day ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. We are there. On the same spot.
Mr. SPROULE. The Reform party carried Ontario for the provincial government over and over again on provincial rights, and because they stood up in defence of provincial rights. Where are they to-day ? I say they have drifted away from their moorings.
An hon. MEMBER. Where were you at that time ?
Mr. SPROULE. Where was I ? I was in this House at that time, and on many of these measures I agreed with the hon. gentlemen, because I thought they were right. I am opposed to them to-day, because I think they are wrong. I am where I was then, but they are not where they were then. They remind me very much of the story of the Indian who was hunt 3027 COMMONS ing his wigwam and met a traveller in the forest. He asked the traveller if he could tell him where he was. 'Why,' the traveller said, "you are an Indian. Are you lost?' 'No,' said he, 'but the Wigwam is lost.' In like manner, while the principle remains, these hon. gentlemen opposite have drifted away from their wigwam. They have taken another track, and are advocating principles the very opposite of those they formerly contended for. I would ask the Reformers of Ontario how they will justify their conduct of to-day before the people of that province ? I remember when a motion was made in this House calling on the British authorities to grant home rule to Ireland. Every Reformer. without a single exception, voted for it.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. How did the hon. gentleman vote ?
Mr. SPROULE. I can tell him very well if he would like to know.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. I certainly would.
Mr. SPROULE. They contended that home rule for Ireland was the proper principle. They were advocating giving home rule to a territory over which they had no control, but when they have in their own country a territory to which they are giving provincial autonomy, they refuse to give it home rule. Where they have the power to give home rule they will not do it ; but where they have no power they insist on its being given. They are something like Mark Twain who was willing to sacrifice all his wife's relations on the alter of his country. In like manner these hon. gentlemen are willing to sacrifice every one of their principles in order to keep office. They are evidently not in accord on the principle of home rule because if they were they would give the Territories the fullest measure of self government and political autonomy but in reality we are not. Can it be said that we are granting them full provincial autonomy, when we interfere with their rights to deal with education, although it is expressly laid down in the British North America Act that the provinces shall exclusively make laws on that subject. If we compel them to adopt an educational system which we prescribe, though it may be quite unsuited to their needs and conditions, are we giving them home rule? But we are told that the fathers of confederation accepted the principle of separate schools rather than jeopardize confederation. Sir, the great principle was not that of separate schools. The great difficulty the fathers of confederation had to confront was the deadlock between the different sides of the House. It was not the question of separate schools which was the disturbing element between upper and lower Canada. Not at all. But when the fathers of confederation were enacting the British North America 3028 Act, they had to provide for the conditions that existed in these two provinces and consequently had to provide for separate schools. They acceptedthe conditions existing in Ontario and Quebec and provided that should other provinces come in with similar rights in existence, these rights should continue. But there were four provinces entering confederation which had not these rights. If however the principle of separate schools was established at confederation, why do we not have it in these four provinces ?
This clause which is objected to, said the right hon. gentleman, is the law to-day, it is in accordance with the constitution, and I commend it even to the biased judgment of my hon. friend from East Grey. He referred to the hon. member from East Grey in different lights that day. and I think in a manner quite uncalled for and which did not come with the best grace from one occupying the dignified position of Premier of this Dominion. It was a gratuitous assumption on his part that the member for East Grey has a biased mind and is not fair. No one, he said, is so blind as the one who will not see, and of course the hon. member for East Grey was in that category. Well, I think that the hon. member for East Grey ought to be credited with possessing the ordinary intelligence which the average member of parliament is usually credited with. If we were in 1867 instead of 1905 and if we had to introduce into the Dominion the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, would we not. asks the right hon. gentleman, have to give these provinces the same rights and privileges with regard to separate schools as we gave Ontario and Quebec ? I say emphatically no, and I am confirmed in that conclusion by the advice of that high authority, Mr. Christopher Robinson, whose opinion I have cited. In my judgment the question we have to settle is this. Is it proper to interfere with the rights of these provinces in the matter of education ? The Minister of Finance says there is a moral obligation resting on us to do it. But is that moral obligation sufficiently strong to justify our interfering with provincial rights and compelling the majority of the country to do what they say it is impossible to carry out successfully under their present conditions. Would that be sound policy? These are the questions that appeal to our judgment to-day. In the first place is it right, as a question of principle ? In the second place is it sound as a question of policy? It might possibly be right in principle and still not be sound as a matter of policy. As a matter of policy is it wise to compel the people to provide for separate schools for all time whether suited to the conditions out there or not ? I do not think it is and am therefore opposed to any interference with provincial rights. If we grant educational rights to one church. we must logically grant them to every church. These 3029 MARCH 22, 1905 are practically church schools though called separate schools. What kind of system have they in France ?
Mr. LEMIEUX. A very bad system. I stand for the British system.
Mr. SPROULE. They have a system of national schools. France is a great country and I admire it. How long is it since they have taken the schools out of the hands of the church? Only a short time.
Mr. LEMIEUX. Do you approve of that?
Mr. SPROULE. Why did they do it.
An hon. MEMBER. The church got bad.
Mr. SPROULE. That is your statement not mine, and the hon. gentleman knows more about it than I do. But here is the question that appeals to my mind. If for centuries past the education of the French people has been under the wing of the church and the church has directed it and worked into it its religious tenets and dogma, and it has resulted in giving them an uneducated people. I was told by a Frenchman a short time ago that France is a nation of atheists today. I was told that by a Frenchman who ought to know. And, if that is what has been accomplished with full control of education in the hands of the church—if it means the turning out of a nation of illiterates and atheists, then surely, it is not amiss to place education wholly beyond the control of the church. Is not that one of the strongest arguments that could be found in favour of that course ? And that is the very reason that France is following that course to-day. President Loubet declares that it is proper and right, and that France must do it. And if we try to keep education flee from the control of the same church, is it to be said that we are fanatics? I cannot recall all the names that are applied to us—
An hon. MEMBER. Narrow-minded.
Mr. SPROULE. That is one. And we are told that we are bigoted. But there is another word—
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Fanatical.
Mr. SPROULE. Yes, we are told that we are fanatics and prejudiced against the church. But if we endeavour to do what France declares is imperative for the maintenance of her national life, are we to be accused of being fanatics ?
Mr. LEMIEUX. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) allow me to ask a question ?
Mr. LEMIEUX. Leaving aside the case not France, let us, as a British colony, deal with a case nearer home. Would the hon. gentleman say that he is against the sys 3030 tem now in existence in Great Britain— which is a denominational system?
Mr. SPROULE. There are many features of it to which I am strongly opposed.
Mr. LEMIEUX. I am a Britisher.
Mr. SPROULE. I am glad to know it. I ask are we to be blamed for doing what France has done ? Are we to be blamed for doing what Belgium has done ? Are we to be blamed for doing what Italy has done,— the very home of the Pope ? In that country the schools have been taken out of the hands of the church. Are we to be blamed for advancing a similar course here to that which has been taken in Ireland, establishing and carrying on national schools ? Are we to be blamed for doing what has been done in the Australian colonies and in the United States? Above all are we to be blamed for doing what five out of the seven provinces of the confederation are doing to-day, carrying out a national school system ? When we take such a course, can this be said to be proof of fanaticism on our part ? I do not think it is fanaticism. I do not wish to say a word that would be offensive to our Roman Catholic fellow- subjects. I admire their zeal, their piety and their attachment to their church. No one admires these things more than I do. No one is less disposed to deprive them of their rights than I am. But, because I believe that, forty years ago we discarded a bad system of education and adopted a better one; and because I believe that we ought to carry out in the interests of the rising generation, keeping the system free from the control of any church, am I to be accused of fanaticism ? I have just said if you grant church schools at all, to be logical you cannot confine that privilege to the Roman Catholic church; you must grant them to every other denomination as well.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. Why should not the Presbyterians have the same right ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. And why should not the Methodists have the same right ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. And the Baptists—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. And the Mormons ? Does the hon. gentleman say 'hear, hear' to that ?
Mr. LEMIEUX. No, not the Mormons.
Mr. SPROULE. Well I am glad to know that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux) draws the line somewhere. There are one hundred 3031 and thirty religions represented in the Northwest Territories. Are we to have that many kinds of schools there ? And, if not, is not the only logical course to take the control of education of the rising generation away from the church—
Mr. LEMIEUX. What church ?
Mr. SPROULE. That is the question I asked. This Bill proposes to hand it over to one church. My contention is that no church should be allowed to control it. In my opinion it is as improper to give the control of education to the Methodist church or the Presbyterian or the Baptist or the Luthern or the Mormon as it would be to give it to the Catholic Church—they are all in the same category according to my judgment. The state should provide the means of education and should control education. We should have a state system of education as we have in some parts of the Dominion to-day.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) tell us what is the difference between the schools that are proposed to be established in the Northwest Territories and that he calls separate schools on the one hand, and the public schools on the other hand ?
Mr. SPROULE. That is not relevant to the purposes of my argument. I am not saying anything about the quality of the schools as they are to-day, but I am talking about the interference with the powers of the provincial legislature, to give whatever system of schools they think best. Now we can find some countries where this particular school system does prevail. Where does it prevail ?
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. In Quebec.
Mr. SPROULE. Not at all. You have there what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Armand Lavergne) would call a national system. But the peculiar system to which I have referred is used in Newfoundland. Every denomination has its own schools and the public money devoted to education is divided amongst them. And I have a letter from a very intelligent gentleman there, who says : God forbid that you should drift into the educational methods that we have here.
Mr. A. JOHNSTON. What is his name ?
Mr. SPROULE. He is a Scotchman like the hon. gentleman (Mr. A. Johnston), but he does not come from South Cape Breton, and his name is not Johnston. He tells me that the public money devoted to education is divided amongst these denominations, and he adds : Our educational system is a disgrace to the civilization of the twentieth century. Are we desirous of going back to that condition in the Northwest Territories ? Yet, it is the only logical thing we can do 3032 if we follow out the principles of this Bill. The separation of church and state is one of the principles that we fought for long ago. Are we desirous of throwing away to-day all that we have gained in this respect ? I say that this Bill which is a violation of that principle, it is a re-union of the church and the state by which education will be handed over to church control.
Mr. BRODEUR. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) tell me how these separate schools of the Northwest will be under the control of the church and not under the control of the state ?
Mr. SPROULE. The minister refers to a condition of things different from the ordinary separate schools. He has always been defending the system in Quebec and Ontario. I am speaking of the system in Quebec and Ontario where schools are under the control of the church. Does the hon. gentleman deny that in his own province ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I am speaking of the system existing in the Northwest Territores.
Mr. SPROULE. I am speaking of the desire to perpetuate a system which will practically put the control of the schools under the church, where the money for the support of those schools must go to the church indirectly. Then this is a union of church and state.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend will admit that so far as the Northwest is concerned, there is no provision in the Bill now before the House by which the schools shall be under the control of the church.
Mr. SPROULE. I do not say that the church has any improper control over them in the Northwest. I am talking about the principle involved in taking away from the provinces the right of control, and compelling them to establish a system they do not want. Remember I am not condemning the educational system there to-day, nor am I fighting to do away with that system; I am fighting for the right of the provinces to establish whatever system they choose.
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. Did not my hon. friend say a moment ago that the system of separate schools was bad ?
Mr. SPROULE. Yes, the system that we have in Ontario and Quebec is bad.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The national system is better—that is the way to put it.
Mr. SPROULE. Now if the legislatures of those provinces, in the exercise of their undoubted right, see fit to establish separate schools to-morrow, I have not a word of objection to it. It is their own business, their own right. We are not fighting 3033 MARCH 23, 1905 against that, we are not proposing to give them advice with regard to what they shall do ; we are only fighting for their right to establish such a system as suits their conditions. We are not condemning them for what they may or may not do in the future, we are not even advising them. Let them do as they like. If they wish to re-enact the present educational system, and reenact the ordinances relating to the separate school system that they have there to-day, we have not a word of complaint against their doing so. But we say, Do not bind them with a chain that prevents them from doing what the constitution says they have a right to do and ought to be allowed to do.
Now the next question I shall consider is, Who are asking for educational rights for minorities in those provinces ? Are the people in those provinces complaining, even the Roman Catholics, who, according to the census, number 30,000 ? So far as I know we have not had a single petition presented to this House from any of them asking that the provisions of this Bill be put through. Then why are we to be blamed if we say that these provisions are not needed there ? The people there do not think they are needed, as otherwise I presume they would ask for them. So far as I know we have not yet received a single petition from that country asking that the new provinces be compelled to adopt that system ; so far as I know not a single memorial of any descriptlon has come from that vast country asking us to adopt that system, though there are supposed to be 500,000 people in that country. Who is asking for it ? Not the legislature of those Territories, because the Prime Minister of the Northwest legislature has declared that these school provisions are an improper interference with their rights, and he is opposed to them. He is speaking on behalf of that country , on behalf of all the people. Neither the majority nor the minority seems to be desirous of having this provision in the Bill. They have not asked their legislature for any change. Then I say, why should we force it upon them ? Are we not coercing them ? Then who are asking for it ? It is not the other provinces of the confederation who have no separate schools. Five out of the seven provinces of the confederation have no separate schools ; British Columbia has none, Manitoba has none, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have none, nor has Prince Edward Island. They are not asking for this measure, because they won't have it at home. Then we may assume they do not want it. Is Ontario asking for it ? Up to the present time I think but one petition has come from Ontario recommending that the provisions in the Bill be put through. Then who is asking for it ? Not the provinces who do not enjoy that system to-day. The only parties who are 3034 clamouring for it are the clergy and the people of the province of Quebec.
Mr. O. E. TALBOT. It was the Jacques Cartier Club who started the movement.
Mr. SPROULE. That may be, that club is composed of a portion of the people of Quebec. But I am not denying them the right to do so, it is perfectly proper for them to do so. But I say this demand comes only from the clergy and the people of Quebec, who are asking us to force this system on an unwilling people. What is the situation to-day ? Quebec is thousands of miles removed from that country. The great bulk of the people of Quebec know little about the conditions out there, and know little about the school system.
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. The people of Quebec have many relatives in the Northwest.
Mr. SPROULE. They have, and those relatives have not even asked for it, they are satisfied. Then why should Quebec, that is thousands of miles away from that country, force this Bill on an unwilling people ? Do they know anything about the conditions out there ? Do they know anything about the possibility of keeping up such a system there ? The people out there know better than any others the conditions prevailing in that country. It does not necessarily follow that because separate schools can be carried out successfully in the province of Quebec they can be carried out with equal success in the Northwest Territories. Why do I say so ? Because the conditons are altogether different. How wide is the average farm in Quebec? Fifteen rods, I think.
An hon. MEMBER. More than that.
Mr. SPROULE. Well, it cannot be more than twenty rods, because I notice there are four of them in a width of eighty rods on the river with one settler on each in Quebec. The houses are principally on the river front, where there is a river, and there is a family every twenty rods. The houses are so thickly located along these rivers that for miles and miles they look almost like villages. There is therefore great community of interest among them, the population is numerous, and they can keep up schools without any difficulty, it is not a heavy burden for them to do so. Now I have made a little calculation on this point. In the province of Quebec how many families have you to the square mile ?
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. Two families and a lot of children.
Mr. SPROULE. According to the way their farms are laid out on the river front, you have at least twenty-one and a third families to the square mile, and every one of them has about a quarter of a hundred 3035 children. They can fill the schools. I am glad of it and they are entitled to great credit for it ? How many families are there to the mile square in the Northwest Territories ? Taking the ordinary farm that is owned up there you would have but four families. How many miles square of that territory will it require to provide children enough to fill a school ? Do you not see if you divide the people up according to religious belief in one locality, part Protestant and part Roman Catholic, you reduce the number of available people to support a school there, and therefore it may be quite impossible to carry on such an educational system as would be quite suitable and easily carried on in the province of Quebec. What do we find in regard to the same inquiry in Manitoba and somewhat similar conditions exist up there ? How many children have they in their schools in the province of Manitoba ? I have the list for 1894 : Woodlands nine, Ossowo five, Oakland eight, White Haven six, Silver Creek nine, West Oakland seven, and I find that the average attendance is about four. There is not one school in fifty that has an average attendance of ten. What is that caused by ? By the sparseness of the population. The people have their farms in the west larger than they have their farms in Quebec and larger than they have their farms in Ontario, and therefore there are fewer settlers in the different school sections. Why is it that separate schools can never be worked out successfully in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories unless it be in the villages and towns ? It is due to the fact that you have only four families to the mile and when you divide them, there are only two Catholic and two Protestant families. They are thus separated and there is no support for the schools. The burden becomes too great. It is too onerous. If they get up schools at all they must hire inferior teachers because the salaries they pay must be very low and the result of this is a poor school and injustice to the children who get the only education they will ever get in such schools. I draw attention to this to show the conditions that exist in the Northwest Territories and I ask what justification there is for the people and the clergy of the province of Quebec, where the conditions are entirely different, where the conditions are such as would enable them to keep up separate schools, to insist that separate schools shall be enforced upon these people in the Northwest Territories ? In my judgment there is none. Are the people of Quebec capable of being the best judges ? They are far removed from the country, they know little about the conditions or otherwise I am sure very many of them would take a different view of the matter.
Mr. BRODEUR. Would my hon. friend allow me to ask him a question ? He says that the people of the province of Quebec 3036 are asking for this legislation. He has no evidence of that. Is he able to explain to us how it is that some years ago he voted in favour of forcing the government of the Northwest Territories to establish separate schools in those territories ?
Mr. SPROULE. When ?
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend must know it.
Mr. SPROULE. I never voted to my knowledge on that question. If the question had been raised I would have voted against it.
Mr. BRODEUR. A Bill was introduced some years ago when my hon. friend was in the House providing that separate schools should be provided in the Northwest Territories and he did not say anything against such a provision in the Bill.
Mr. SPROULE. That was in 1875 before I was a member of this parliament. If it had been proposed when I was here I certainly would have opposed it. It is true that the Act has been amended once or twice since but the question of schools has never been raised.
Mr. BRODEUR. The hon. gentleman is mistaken. When he was in the House in 1880 the same provision was introduced in a Bill which was then placed before the House. But it was introduced by a Tory and he never said one word against it.
Mr. SPROULE. I was not aware of any such provision having been introduced, but if I had been I would have voted against it.
Mr. BRODEUR. In 1880 section 9 of the Bill which was then introduced provided that :
The Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Lieutenant Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative assembly, as the case may be, shall have such powers to make ordinances for the government of the Northwest Territories as the Governor in Council may from time to time confer upon him ; provided always that such powers shall not at any time be in excess of those conferred by the ninety- second and ninety-third sections of the British North America Act, 1867, upon the legislatures of the several provinces of the Dominion.
Section 10 provides that :
When and so soon as any system of taxation shall be adopted in any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, the Lieutenant Governor, by and with the consent of the council or assembly, as the case may he, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect to education—
Mr. SPROULE. That is a re-enactment of the old law.
Mr. BRODEUR—( reading).
—but it shall therein be always provided that a majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, or any lesser portion or subdivision thereof, by what 3037                MARCH 23, 1905                        ever name the same may be known, may establish such schools therein as they may think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor ; and, further, that the minority of the ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein,—
And my hon. friend voted for that.
Mr. SPROULE. I can tell the hon. gentleman that he is astray. I never voted for that.
Mr. BRODEUR. That Bill was introduced in 1880.
Mr. SPROULE. It may have been introduced but it was not voted on to my knowledge. The school question had never been raised. The hon. gentleman has been reading a re-enactment of the old law passed in 1875. The question of separate schools was never discussed in this House nor voted upon during my time in it. I never heard a word regarding it because if I had you may be sure that I would have stood then just where I stand to-day.
Mr. BRODEUR. If my hon. friend will permit me ? I suppose he does not deny that this clause was enacted in 1875, but section 9 was not enacted in 1875. It was enacted in 1880. By that section, section 93 of the British North America Act was incorporated in the Bill and I am sure my hon. friend will not deny that he had not a word to say against it.
Mr. SPROULE.   I do not think I ever heard a word about it.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Was it a re-enactment or an alteration ?
Mr. BRODEUR. No, it was an Act concerning the Northwest Territories.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. That is not the question I asked. Was it a re-enactment or was it in any substantial respect a new enactment ? That is a fair question.
Mr. BRODEUR. It was an Act presented to the House by Sir John Macdonald.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I am not asking that.
Mr. BRODEUR. It was an Act presented to the House by Sir John Macdonald concerning the Northwest Territories and amongst the different clauses of this Act were sections 9 and 10 which I have just read and which forced the government of the Northwest Territories always to maintain separate schools.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Surely the hon. gentleman understands if he has not some reason for not answering my question. I desire to know whether or not these provisions to which he has called attention were the re-enactments of provisions previously 3038 pased or whether they were substantially new enactments. Is that not a fair question ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I may say in regard to section 9 that I did not say that it was a re-enactment of any section contained in the Act of 1875. As to the principle embodied in section 10 it was a re-enactment of the clause which appeared in the Act of 1875 but as to the embodiment in the Northwest Territories Act of section 93 of the British North America Act, I think it was the first time it was incorporated in the Bill.
Mr. SPROULE. That might be and I would pay no attention to it. I was not familiar until later years with the British North America Act. You might mention any clause of the British North America Act and I would not know what it did or did not apply to. But, as I understand it that was a simple re-enactment of the Act of 1875 and if I had known of it then I would have stood just where I stand to-day. It did not matter who was in power or which party introduced it.
It is contended that immigrants coming to settle in the Northwest Territories have been influenced in favour of this country by the knowledge that there were separate schools here, in connection with the church to which they belonged, and that if we do not perpetuate these schools, we shall do a great injustice to them and be likely to retard immigration. Now , I took the trouble to look up the immigration literature issued by the present government to ascertain if there was anything to justify that statement, and I could not find anything at all. Here is one of the important pamphlets distributed by the government, and what does it say with regard to schools ? It says :
Schools are non-sectarian and are national in character.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Might I ask the hon. gentleman if that is a government issue and, if so, under whose authority?
Mr. SPROULE. This is a government issue, by authority of the Hon. Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior. It is entitled 'Farms and Farmers in Western Canada,' to be distributed in the United States, the old country or anywhere else. It also sets out that a certain proportion of land is set apart for the support of national schools, and that the state provides for their support and maintenance. This is not an evidence that immigrants come to that country because of the advantages offered to them in the shape of separate schools. I may draw attention to another fact, which may not be known to many. There have been presented to this House from all parts of Canada a large number of petitions against the educational clause of this Bill. Petitions have come from the Northwest Territories, with tens of thousands of 3039 signatures, and among them are the names of many Roman Catholics, who are petitioning parliament to-day not to pass this clause of the Bill. I have letters in my possession drawing attention to the fact that the names of many Roman Catholics are on those petitions. I have letters stating that if petitions had been sent to the Doukhobors, translated into their language, seventy- five per cent of them would sign those petitions ; so would the Galicians, and so would the Roman Catholics of this country. The Galicians say : We left one country because of the tyranny of the church, and we were told that we were coming to a free country, and we do not want it in Canada. They do not want separate schools ; they want national schools ; and the result is that none of them are asking for this provision in the Bill, while hundreds of them have deliberately petitioned against it. Roman Catholics in the province of Ontario have also petitioned against it, very many of them. I have had petitions sent to me in large numbers, and my attention has been drawn to the fact that Roman Catholic names were on those petitions. In some instances 1 have know them very well ; I have known them for years ; and I assume that they knew what they were seeking. So I say the Roman Catholics are not a unit on this question. Many of them are in favour of national schools, and we are not to blame because we desire to give them national schools. I have always understood that the sentiment of this Dominion was in favour of national schools and against interference with the rights of the provinces. I presented one petition from New Westminister, British Columbia with 300 names, another from Vancouver containing 2,097 names ; another containing over 300 names ; another containing 400 or 500. I have presented petitions in large numbers from the Northwest Territories from Manitoba, from Ontario, from Quebec, from Nova Scotia, from New Brunswick, and from Prince Edward Island. From all over the country have come petitions to the same effect, declaring that it is improper for this parliament to interfere with the rights of the province, and asking that there be no interference with the rights of provinces in regard to education. The church unions all over the country are passing resolutions against it. The Orange lodges all over the country are passing resolutions against it.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. Properly so. There is no harm in that, any more than there is in the Jacques Cartier Club petitioning for it. It is the right of every British subject under the Crown to petition parliament so long as he does so courteously and in accordance with the provisions laid down. We have Conservatives petitioning for this 3040 Bill, and others against it ; that is their right and no one complains. Petitions are coming in thousands in favour of non-interference with the rights of the provinces, and from only one province are petitions coming asking us to force the hands of the new provinces and curtail their rights, and that is the province of Quebec.
But we are told that we have separate schools in Ontario and Quebec, and that everybody is satisfied with them. Here is what the Prime Minister said in introducing this Bill :
I am glad to say, and perhaps it would be permitted if, in this matter, being myself a son of the province of Quebec, I indulge in what may be not altogether unpardonable pride, when I say, that I am not aware that the Protestant minority of Quebec ever had any cause of complaint of the treatment they had received at the hands of the majority.
According to this, everybody is satisfied with the separate schools of Quebec, and everybody is satisfied wth the separate schools of Ontario. I know that is not a fact ; I have heard it over and over again. I know where a separate school has been converted into a public school, within a few miles of where I live, and the reason the people gave for doing that was that with their strength divided, the task of keeping up separate schools was too onerous and heavy either for the Protestants or for the Roman Catholics. The Prime Minister says: I have never heard of any dissatisfaction in the province of Quebec. Now, I have here a quotation from the Huntingdon ' Gleaner,' and what does it say ? It says :
How does the premier reconcile this declaration of his with the fact that the English- speaking people outside the island of Montreal have largely disappeared and are continuing to disappear ? Whole townships, settled by them and which prospered under them, are to-day French. Protestant churches are to be found in which no service is held, and the spot where Protestants were buried for three generations and more are now to be found in the corners of farms of French-Canadians. In only one of the counties that composed the eastern townships have the Protestants a majority, yet once they had absolute control. Do men throw up their farms and leave a province where they have no cause of complaint ?
Let Sir Wilfrid explain this—the extraordinary spectacle of a people abandoning the land of their birth, to which they are bound by every tie of affection and patriotism, to seek new homes in the United States, for the proportion has been trifling who have gone to our Northwest. What is it they find under an alien flag they could not in the province of Quebec ?
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. We lost a great many from Ontario.
Mr. SPROULE. National schools, I assume.
3041 MARCH 23, 1905
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. My hon. friend—
Mr. SPROULE. The Postmaster General should be the last man in this country to interrupt me. I do not complain of his doing so, because if time would permit I could tell him a great deal of the feeling in his own constituency that he may not be aware of.
We want no rhetorical generalities, no vaporing about justice and toleration. Here is a plain problem—Why are the Protestant farmers of the province of Quebec going away? Do men flee a province where they have no cause of complaint ?
And still the hon. minister says there is no cause for complaint.
Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE. Does my hon. friend think that the Protestants would be more apt to stay in Quebec if there were no schools?
Mr. SPROULE. I am only telling him what the Huntingdon 'Gleaner' thinks has been the result of their divided education.
I am not going to enumerate all their causes of complaint : I select one and that the one on which Sir Wilfrid makes his boast— that of schools. Farmers have told the writer, when he remonstrated with them for selling out, that they had no choice, that when the ratepayers were all of one mind in their district they had only strength enough to keep up a school, but when the cure interfered and insisted on a separate school they could not maintain one.
They could not maintain two. When they divided their forces the Protestants were so few that they could not maintain one.
The alternative was before them to see their children grow up in ignorance or go to a country where there are no separate schools. They were doing well in the province of Quebec, they did not expect to get farms of better soil, it was a wrench to their feelings to break old associations and part with old neighbours, but for the sake of their children they felt they must make the sacrifice. It is a sad truth, and one I am ashamed to set down, that in localities in the townships where Protestant parents have not left under this motive, they have become so few that they have either no schools or are able to keep one open for so short a term each year that it is of nominal service. Their children can neither read nor write, and a race of illiterates are growing up who are a reproach to Protestantism. Analyze the reports of the inspectors of schools and there are revelations of ignorance among the scattered English-speaking communities in the eastern townships and adjoining counties which, if their wealthy, compatriots in Montreal realized, or our churches comprehended, would stir them to action.
There is no more saddening aspect in the condition of our province than the groups of Protestant children to be found here and there all over it destitute of the means of acquiring the elements of education, and 3042 threatening us with a coming generation of Protestant farmers as ignorant as Russian moujiks. This is a fruit of separate schools. If we had national schools instead of sectarian schools, no child in the province would be without opportunity to learn to read and write. Another consequence of these sectarian schools should never be lost sight of, and that is, where Protestant farmers are too few to have a school, they are taxed to support Catholic schools, which, sometimes, have as their teachers nuns or Christian Brothers. There are hundreds of Protestant farmers who are forced to support Catholic schools or sell out.
And that is no hardship to the Protestants of Quebec? Is it no cause of complaint?
Mr. O. E. TALBOT. Is the hon. gentleman aware of any instance in which an English Protestant in the province of Quebec has been forced on account of the condition of affairs to sell his farm at a sacrifice in order to permit a Roman Catholic to take his place?
Mr. SPROULE. At a sacrifice? I have never gone into that phase of the question or perhaps I could give the information.
Mr. O. E. TALBOT. He sells if he gets his price.
Mr. SPROULE. I can give the hon. gentleman some information in connection with this. I can refer him to the fact that I think in the second or third year I was in this parliament the people of Quebec came up here and petitioned the then government to give them sufficient money to take them to the maritime provinces or to the far west and what was the reason? That where there was a community of Protestants years ago, there was then only an odd one, and they had become so few and scattered that they were neither able to support separate schools nor churches, and their families must go—
Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE. Would it be any better if they were obliged to go to a French system of national schools.
Mr. SPROULE. If it was of good standard quality I think they would be much better off.
Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE. Well, they can go.
Mr. SPROULE. And these petitioners brought a map along showing that where there were Protestant communities years ago there were scarcely a dozen families then, and where 50 or 100 could keep up a church years ago there were then only 10 or 12 families. They said that their farms were bought out by Roman Catholics. Whenever a Protestant was willing to sell his farm there was really a premium for a Roman Catholic to purchase it.
Mr. SCOTT. Is there any compulsion in the province of Quebec to exercise what are called the minority rights ?
Mr. SPROULE. I do not know anything about it. The writer says there are hundreds of Protestant farmers who are forced either to support Catholic schools or sell out, yet the Prime Minister says they have no cause of complaint :
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who, as premier, ought to be the guardian of the rights that pertain to every British subject regardless of creed or nationality, tells us it is no cause of complaint to compel Protestants to pay taxes to support a religious system against which their very name indicates they protest, and that is the system of schools he wants to fasten for all time on our great Northwest. There is not a Protestant farmer who has been under the thrall in Quebec, who would want to buy land in the proposed new provinces if he succeeds.
That is the answer I give to the statement of the First Minister, and that is why I say we ought not to do the same thing in a country which is, new and being rapidly settled. In such a country we shoud avoid the mistakes committed in the past. For that reason I am supporting what I believe to be a national school system. Forty years ago we had church schools and pay schools and we had no public or free schools. Our educational system then was very poor, and we adopted the national school system because we believed it to be better than the other, and upon trial we found it a great improvement and extended it by degrees until we have it practically enforced throughout the province to-day. Shall we ever go back to these church and parochial schools ? Protestants never will because they prefer the national system and because they think it is the duty of the state to see that every child is educated. They have no desire to have religion taught in the schools but are content to leave that to the churches. The sentiment of the 19th and 20th century is in favour of that system. The enlightened, intelligent civilization of to-day recognizes that fact, and that policy is being carried out the world over. Are we going back to what has been discarded in the past? We are told to-day that public sentiment is not against these clauses. Well, one of the cabinet ministers, representing that great western country, has resigned from the cabinet because he could not support the policy of the government, and the right hon. gentleman will not consult the Premier of the Northwest Territories. Dare he test public opinion in the Territories by calling on an election ? I challenge him to do it. Let him do it and he will soon find out what the deep seated sentiment of the people out there is. But he dare not make the attempt. If he were certain he could elect a member to support his government in that country and take the place in the cabinet rendered vacant by the resignation of the late Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), he would not loose a moment in having that place filled. Can he be said to be carrying out constitutional government on popular lines when the 3044 people of the illimitable west have no one to speak for them in the cabinet, especially at a time when a Bill is being forced through this House which will affect them for all time in the future. He is certainly not, as I understand constitutional government or as the people of the west understand it. The government dare not test public opinion today. There is a vacancy in the representation of the city of Toronto. My hon. friend the Postmaster General thinks he is in accord with public opinion. Well, I challenge him to open up Centre Toronto to-morrow with the best candidate he can get. Why in that very constituency the reform party had a meeting the other day and passed resolutions declaring against these clauses and protesting against their being forced on the people. Surely that ought to be a warning to the Postmaster General—a warning which he should take now, for later on it may be too late. The government dare not test public opinion anywhere west of Lake Superior or even in Ontario.
We are told that separate schools work satisfactorily. I need hardly refer to that question. The trend of the age is in favour of national schools. The educational system of Canada to-day is entirely different from what it was when the schools were sectarian and pay schools. They are now national and non-sectarian and we want to keep them so. But a comparison is made with regard to the prevalence of crime in countries where there are separate schools compared with those where the national public school flourishes. It seemed to me that was a most unfortunate comparison. Can the comparison be said to be a fair one between Canada and the United States ? No. But take the provinces that have no separate schools and compare them with those that have. Did the right hon. gentleman do that? Not at all. I however have taken the troube to look up the statistics and I find that there is practically no difference. Take Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Manitoba, and I find practically there is no difference as regards the prevalence of crime between these provinces and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. But the right hon. gentleman pointed to the United States and asked how we were to account for the prevalence in that country of divorces. Surely that is not due to the absence of separate schools. Why did he not show that the application for divorces from these provinces which have not separate schools are larger than those which have. The reason is evident. I looked into that question and I found no evidence of any difference so that the comparison between Canada and the United States is not a fair one. I have said that the trend of the age is in favour of national schools. They are to be found in Mexico, Bolivia, in most of the South American republics, Venezuela, Equador, France, Italy, Germany and Ireland. Then are you going 3045 MARCH 23, 1905 to establish in these new provinces something else ? The enlightened advanced intelligence of the twentieth century declares in favour of national schools, are you going back to something else ? Are you going to clothe these new provinces with the cast-off and tattered garments of those nations which discarded church and sectarian schools years ago ? We shall be committing the greatest of follies if we do. Our people out in the west are inured to a freedom far in advance of any enjoyed in almost any part of the world, and it is but natural that they should feel sore at being deprived of any of their undoubted rights. Why should we interfere with those rights, as we shall assuredly do if we establish separate schools in that country and compel these people to maintain such schools for ever after. These people are inured to western freedom and should continue to enjoy it. These young giants have in themselves and their surroundings all the capabilities of great development, if we will only avoid binding them with chains and shackles which will retard that development. They have in themselves the elements of great development. Surely we do not wish to retard or prevent them developing the highest capabilities of citizens in that great western country. Let them breathe the fresh air of heaven in their western freedom which is their birthright, let them enjoy the sunshine and the other exhilarating environments of western freedom which they enjoy to-day and grow up under these favourable conditions. Let their mental pabulum be the unadulterated food supplied from the national storehouse of the little red schools, and we need have no fear for the future citizenship of these people. They will grow up mental and colossal giants and be a source of strength not only to this country in the future but to the British empire. Our motto to-day is ' hands off the twins ; do not interfere with their rights.' Provincial rights are sacred and inalienable. They must not be interfered with, and therefore I shall vote for the amendment to strike those clauses from the Bill.
Hon. WILLIAM PATERSON (Minister of Customs). It has been rightly said, Mr. Speaker, by gentlemen who preceded me, that we have come to the consideration of two very important Bills. From what has transpired in this House and the country, there is evidently a good deal of diversity of opinion on at least some of the points in those measures. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) who has just taken his seat has emphasized his objections strongly, those objections being mainly to one portion of the Bill. If I understood him aright, he objects also to another section which deals with the public lands. I did not quite catch whether he objected to those sections referring to the boundaries.
Mr. SPROULE. I have always been of the opinion that the lands should go to the provinces.
Mr. PATERSON. I understood that to be the hon. gentleman's position. The hon. gentleman, like others who preceded him, seems to have been influenced by the interest aroused in the country by what are known as the educational clauses. The House has been petitioned in reference to those clauses ; there have been petitions for and petitions against. It is for parliament to come to the consideration of this question, as I believe parliament has done and will do, in a calm and dispassionate spirit, and to endeavour to give due weight to any argument that may be advanced from any point of view. That is what this discussion is for ; that is how we may be benefited. In committee, of course, the educational clauses will be discussed at length. Still I may follow the example of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), and deal largely with that subject. The government have proposed in this Bill certain provisions with reference to the matter. The leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), in his able speech, offered a legal argument against that portion of the Bill and submitted an amendment. Not only was a legal argument presented by the leader of the opposition, but the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) also directed part of his argument in the same line. And I have no doubt that other gentlemen in the House who are competent to do so will follow that line. But upon that portion of the case I shall not trespass. Like the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), I do not feel that I should be regarded as an authority upon the subject, and I know it would be hazardous for me—and even presumptious—for me to express an opinion ; not that I abandon my judgment in this matter, but simply that I do not argue the matter before the House. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) read an opinion from a very able legal gentleman. Mr. Christopher Robinson, K.C. I believe that gentleman stands almost, if not quite, at the head of his profession. The leader of the opposition is also admitted, I think, to be a gentleman of legal attainments of no ordinary character. And I think I am not saying more than I am perfectly justified in saying when I state that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) is also one of the brightest legal minds we have in the country. But these gentlemen do not agree. If I followed aright the argument of the leader of the opposition, he takes the ground that this parliament has no power to pass the legislation now proposed. If I followed him aright and was able to apprehend his argument, that is his position. But if I apprehend aright the opinion expressed in the telegram of Mr. Christopher Robinson, that gentleman does not at all take the view expressed by the leader of the opposition.
If I understand him, Mr. Christopher Robinson argues that it is doubtful whether the Premier's position in relation to section 93 would be borne out. If it is not, and if the Territories do not come under that provision, Mr. Robinson says, it would be necessary for parliament to supplement their action. Then, if parliament can supplement that action, it must be because parliament has the power—
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Paterson) has misapprehended it. I have read the telegram carefully.
Mr. PATERSON. Did the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden), when the telegram was first read, understand it as I have just stated ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. No.
Mr. PATERSON. May I ask the hon. gentleman what it means with reference to the action of parliament ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. May I read it ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. This is Mr. Robinson's opinion :
The right of the Dominion parliament to impose restrictions upon the provinces about to be formed in dealing with the subject of education and separate schools, is, I think, not beyond question.
I said that, in my humble opinion, parliament had no such powers.
This would require more consideration than I have been able yet to give it, and must ultimately be settled by judicial decision. I am asked, however, whether parliament is constitutionally bound to impose any such restriction, or whether it exists otherwise, and I am of opinion in the negative.
Mr. GERMAN. Anybody would say that.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) did not say that, but said the very opposite—and I suppose the hon. member (Mr. German) would say that the Prime Minister is somebody.
It must be borne in mind that I am concerned only with the question of legal obligation. What the parliament ought to do or should do in the exercise of any power which they may possess,—
Mr. PATERSON. That is the point I meant.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (reading) :
—is not within the province of counsel.
' Any power which they may possess.' Mr. Robinson says he is not advising as to what parliament should do if it has the power, but as to the power which parlia ment has.
Such a restriction, I apprehend, must exist or may be imposed, if at all, under the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, and on the ground of their 3048 application to the provinces now to be formed. If that section applies, it would seem to require no enactment of our parliament to give it effect,—
My hon. friend will remember that I said that what we should do is to use simple general words bringing into force in the Northwest Territories the constitution which we already possess. I understand this opinion to go further even than what I suggested yesterday.
—and if not, no such enactment, so far as I am aware, is otherwise made necessary.
I must confess I do not exactly understand these words of the telegram. But Mr. Robinson continues—and the telegram is perfectly clear in this regard :
Upon the whole, I am of the opinion that section 93 does not apply to the provinces now about to be established.
The legislation before parliament not only seeks to make it apply, but amends it in making that application, and provides an entirely new section, although in doing so it is altering imperial legislation. Mr. Robinson continues :
Its provisions would appear—
That is, the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act—
Its provisions would appear to me to be intended for, and confined to the then provinces, and to the union formed in 1867. There is not in any part of the Northwest Territories, as a province, any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools possessed by any class of persons, created by the province, or existing at such union ; and a right subsequently established by the Dominion in the part now about to be made a province does not appear to me to come within the enactment.
I had not seen or heard of this opinion when I spoke yesterday. So far as I am. able to understand it, as very briefly embodied in the telegram, it seems to me altogether in accordance with the view which I expressed, except that I expressed a greater doubt than Mr. Robinson does about the power of this parliament to deal with this question.
Mr. PATERSON. Well, it is plain from what we have heard that lawyers differ. However, I still maintain my opinion, but I do so with deference, because neither am I able to make a legal argument myself, nor have I a sufficiently sharp mind to understand the contradictory legal arguments of others. Now I want to know what Sir Christopher Robinson means. If section 93 does give certain powers, should parliament exercise the power it possesses ? Now then what power does parliament possess ? The leader of the opposition says we have no power. Sir Christopher Robinson, as I understand, believes that under the amendment to the British North America Act of 1875, the right to make the constitution of 3049 MARCH 23, 1905 these new provinces is vested in this parliament, and if it be necessary to give effect to that right. we must do so. But he is not clear that section 93 does give that right.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He does not say so.
Mr. PATERSON. I am not arguing the legal point with the hon. gentleman, I am simply pointing out that the best legal minds we have in the country do not agree. Now there was a very large meeting held in the city of Toronto last Monday, in Massey Hall. The multitude assembled were evidently deeply moved by the subject of discussion, namely, the educational clauses of this Bill. There was present a legal gentleman whose standing in the profession I do not know ; I see he is a King's Counsel, and I have no doubt he is a gentleman possessed of legal knowledge. Evidently he felt warmly on this subject, for he moved a resolution protesting against the passage of the Bill. In the resolution which was to be forwarded to the Prime Minister he proposes one of three different courses in dealing with this question. I am taking now the report of the meeting published in the Toronto 'World,' which I presume will be accepted by hon. gentlemen opposite. In speaking to his resolution he replied to the arguments of the Prime Minister as to the bearing of section 93 of the British North America Act. He said that if what the Prime Minister had contended was true, then there was no necessity to do anything further. Then he considered what Mr. Haultain had contended for, and could not agree with that. The third view, and the one that was likely, from his own opinion, to prevail was that under the British North America Amendment Act of 1871, power was vested in the Dominion parliament to deal with this educational question in the constitution of the new provinces, as it saw fit; and, said he, that is the supreme reason why we want to speak out now. because that power is in the hands of the Dominion parliament, and if they exercise it now it is irrevocable for all time to come. The legal gentleman to whom I refer was Mr. Thomson, K.C., of Toronto. Hon. gentlemen may read his opinion for themselves. Now amidst all these conflicting opinions as to whether we have this power, the leader of the opposition proposes to leave this question unsettled, no one knowing where they are, nothing definite. the country to be left in a turmoil in reference to this matter for a long time to come. If there is such a division among the legal gentlemen, may not the same doubt exist in the Supreme Court, the same doubt in the Privy Council ? And all this time you have the delay. What shall we do? What shall I as a layman do ? Judging from the arguments I have heard, and bringing to hear what common sense I have on the subject. and what legal knowl 3050 edge as a layman I may have, it seems to me we have power to deal with this matter. In dealing with this matter, I have regard to the fact that in those Territories, of "thirty years, by Act of this Dominion parliament under which people have entered that country, knowing that the existing school system had been established by an Act of this parliament, knowing that under these conditions people have gone in there and settled there under that system of education, I say it is only just, and right, and sensible, and the proper thing to do in dealing with this matter on the basis of justice of law, to say that the advantages. whatever they may be, that these people have had for thirty years. shall not, by this Dominion government, be taken away from them now.
At six o'clock. House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.
Mr. PATERSON. Mr. Speaker, when you left the chair at six o'clock I had alluded to the fact that there were differences of opinion as to the constitutionality of the Act which has been submitted for the approval of the members of this House. I gave, as far as I understood them, the differing views. Whether I interpreted them aright or not it must be evident to every hon. gentleman present that there is a diversity of opinion when a very able and eminent lawyer whose words were read to us from a telegram this afternoon, speaks of doubts, speaks of the necessity for further consideration and hints that it is possible it may be necessary, in order to supplement section 93 of the British North America Act, that we should have recourse to the powers which parliament may possess to make it plain. If I apprehended him aright that shows that in his opinion it was contemplated that parliament had powers in this matter and that view, in my humble opinion, coincides with what I think to be the facts in the case. But, as I said before I do not intend in any way to argue the constitutional question. I point out this, however, that there being such a conflict of opinion and the authority to whom I have alluded saying that it might be necessary to get a judicial opinion that would require time during which you would have excitement, during which you would have unrest and during which you would not have that peace that is conducive to the prosperity of the Dominion and which would affect, I think, injuriously, the provinces that we are about to bring into the confederation. I think it will be admitted by all who have listened to the arguments that the view which is taken by many is not the correct view to take of the constitution of this Dominion in reference to educational matters.
I have not received many personal communications in reference to this matter. I have received, I think two letters from political friends who are opposed to the measure. I received one memorial from a body of gentlemen whom I hold in the highest respect. To each of these I returned the answer that I have received their communications, that I would give them every consideration, noting their views. As was my bounden duty I have done so. I might read to the House the terms of the resolution that was forwarded to me from that body of whom, I again repeat, I entertain the highest respect. It was that it—
Desires to enter a vigorous and unqualified protest against the educational clause in the Acts constituting the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and submits that the legislation proposed to be enacted is contrary to the whole spirit of confederation, which for the good of the whole Dominion, leaves to the control of. the provinces such domestic problems as education.
I do not want for one moment to seek to state or insinuate that these gentlemen have not given what they believe to be a correct interpretation according to their contention. I simply say that in obedience to What I have stated I have given it every consideration, I have paid more attention to the British North America Act perhaps during the past few weeks than I had done in many years and I am unable to see eye to eye with these gentlemen when they say that—
The whole spirit of confederation, which for the good of the whole Dominion, leaves to the control of the provinces such domestic problems as education.
And that it is contrary to the whole spirit of confederation to take another view. When the constitution was framed under which we exist there were certain subjects which were allotted to the local legislatures in which they have absolute and independent power, Others were reserved to the Dominion parliament in which they have absolute and unrestricted power. The question of education, as rightly stated by these gentlemen, is remitted to the local legislatures, but under the British North America Act, that is not given to them. as many other subjects are given to them to be dealt by them exclusively without any reservation whatever. There is a reservation, but the reservation is in the spirit of preserving to the minorities in the various provinces in the confederation the rights they enjoy at the time they enter confederation. Therefore, I repeat again, while having the highest regard for the honesty, yes, and the intelligence of that body of gentlemen who ad— dressed that resolution to me, I am unable honestly to agree with them. My view is different. The whole spirit of confederation, as I understand it in reference to the edu 3052 cational question, is that the local governments may dea1—shall deal—with the education question, but they shall do that subject to the restriction that secures the rights of minorities as it is embodied in the constitution that was given to us. The whole spirit of that, I say, is in the direction of securing the rights of the minorities. It was a confederacy of independent provinces that was being formed. It was necessary to secure unity in order that we might have progress and harmony and in order that we might become a nation. Therefore it was, that, finding that there were deep feelings on the subject in some of the provinces which entered confederation at that time, concessions in reference to the matter of education were given and secured to two of the provinces. More than that it was enacted that as respects other provinces entering the union, minorities having had educational privileges or rights prior to their union should have these conserved to them. What has been the result of that? Why, Sir, the fathers of confederation, or some of them, said it would be impossible to form a confederation under any other conditions or stipulations. The Hon. George Brown, who had always been a consistent opponent of separate schools, waived his objections in order to accomplish what he considered the great good of uniting the various provinces of British North America into a grand confederacy which would become, as it has become, the brightest gem in the British Crown; and it is proper to consider the question before us now in the light of promoting the unity, concord, harmony, peace, prosperity and progress of these united provinces which form the Dominion of Canada. It has been said that the position taken by the government in this matter is wholly contrary to the position which they took in the year 1894 on the Manitoba school question—that then the Liberal party stood for provincial rights. I think it was the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) who, the other night, in that aggressive speech of his. pointed out that the Prime Minister, the Postmaster General, the Minister of Finance, had all gone through the country proclaiming that—strong upon it; yes, and that the Minister of Customs had thundered in that direction. Well. Mr. Speaker. just by way of passing, I call to your attention how a noted orator like even my hon. friend from North Toronto is apt to make an inapt illustration. The idea of treating the Minister of Customs' usually placid, calm utterances as thunderings must seem to everybody as very inappropriate indeed.
Mr. FOSTER.  I apologize.
Mr. PATERSON. To suggest that the Minister of Customs had pointed out, in his calm though forcible manner. certain 3053 MARCH 23, 1905 things, would have been correct. With the other gentlemen to whom my hon. friend has alluded, I was against the coercion of Manitoba; I said it would be an infringement of provincial rights why? Because I did not sympathize with the minority ? No. Why. then ? For the same reason that actuated the other gentlemen and actuated the Liberal party. It had been declared by the court of last resort, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, that, as it seemed to the minority in that province, their rights had been abrogated by the Bill that had been passed by the Manitoba legislature, but that nevertheless the Manitoba legislature had acted within its powers, that, acting within its powers, it must be the judge, and that therefore it was inexpedient and would be against provincial rights, to pass a law in the Dominion parliament which. would set aside, override, super-cede, legislation passed by a provincial legislature which was entirely within its competence. That, Sir, was the reason we opposed interference. Now, I have not read what I said on that occasion, if it is recorded anywhere; I have not had time. I have not even read the utterances of other gentlemen, as some of the hon. gentlemen opposite have done; but if there are any recorded utterances of mine, I have no doubt that they will be found to be in the direction in which I have spoken. That position I took, and for that position I contended; and in supporting this Bill, am I taking back anything I said at that time? Am I in a position different from what I was in at that time ? Am I now an opponent of provincial rights? Am I now supporting the Bill to override an enactment passed by a legislature having full competence to pass that enactment? Nothing of the kind. There is no such proposition; the cases are not parallel. Find the strongest utterance you can, made by any member of the Liberal party in defence of the provincial rights of Manitoba and the decision of the Privy Council, and you will find it none too strong, unless it was couched in offensive language, as I trust none was. But to claim, as we heard it claimed this afternoon, that the present measure is an invasion of provincial rights, is something that I cannot understand. What law of the Territories that are about to become provinces are we seeking to override ? It is said : you are passing a law—which is true. But what law of the Territories are we passing a law to do away with?
Mr. LALOR. A law to do away with provincial rights.
Mr. PATERSON. The answer of the hon. gentleman is not a correct answer, and therefore I must ask again. Suppose I try the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) ; he would give me a different answer to that, I think. What are we doing ? We have submitted a Bill for the considera 3054 tion of this House-what for? To override legislation enacted by the Territories? To wipe out and do away with laws which they have passed? Will any hon. gentleman say that we are ? Most undoubtedly not. Do you say to me : but you are passing a law to continue an Act that is on the statute-book of the Territories. I say, Yes, but who passed that Act? This Dominion parliament ? No; Premier Haultain, his government, and the members of the Northwest assembly. It is their Act. There is chapter 29, chapter 30, chapter 31, passed of their own free motion by the representatives of the' people in the Territories. And what are we proposing to do ? What hon. gentlemen opposite wanted us to do in the Manitoba case—to repeal that, to abrogate it ? No; simply to continue it. Talk about Mr. Haultain not having been consulted. He says he was consulted twice: but if he had never been consulted, if no Northwest member had ever been consulted. I ask, what better indication can you have of the desires of. the people of the Northwest Territories than their own legislation ? It may be said that Mr. Haultain has stated that he thinks this question should be left to the provincial legislature. But, if correctly reported, when asked : if it were left to the legislatures of the provinces when constituted, would they change the law ? His answer was, if I remember rightly  'If I were a dictator to-morrow, I would not change it.' Yet these gentlemen talk about provincial rights being invaded by this Bill. Amid all the doubts and uncertainties that our constitutional lawyers in this House and outside of this House present, in reference to ascertaining what are the facts of the case, if, as I believe, from advice which I have received from men in whose legal knowledge I have confidence we have the power under the amendment to the British North. America Act of 1871 to pass this law which we have submitted for the approval of this House and if this Bill simply provides for the continuance of the law which was passed by the men who represented the Northwest Territories three years ago, and which has been in existence for three years without, so far as I am aware, any man having lifted up his voice against it, is it not better to deal with this question now, to settle this question in this way, rather than to leave it open to be â very possible cause of discord, and a means of holding back the prosperity and the progress of this Dominion ?
Objection is taken to this law by friends in other provinces. Why ? Because they say that the law passed by the Territories provides for separate schools—and so it does. And this Dominion parliament in 1875 said that there should be privileges given to minorities, whether Protestant or Catholic, in the country to form separate schools if they so desired. That Act, passed under 3055 COMMONS the Mackenzie administration, a Liberal administration, was consolidated and re-enacted, as the Minister of Inland Revenue (Hon. Mr. Brodeur) read this afternoon, in 1880 under Sir John Macdonald's government. For thirty years, this legislation has been enjoyed by these people. It was consolidated again and went into effect in 1902, three years ago. This is the law which was embodied in the Bill which is now before the House and which if this Bill passes will secure to the minorities in those provinces the rights that are given to them in the legislation contained in the laws which the assembly of those Territories enacted. Let us stop for a moment or two, to consider this question of separate schools. In the School Act, which is the first Act in that book, there are 180 sections and five sections out of that 180 deal with this question of separate schools—five and five only. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) in his argument this afternoon based his objection wholly on the fact that he objects to church schools, or as he calls them, denominational schools under the direction and control of the church and he pictured to us a condition of things-
Mr. SPROULE. I did not base my argument on any such contention. I based my argument upon the rights of the provinces to deal with education and said that I had no concern with what they did, that I would give them whatever types of schools they liked.
Mr. PATERSON. Quite so. And I do not wish to misrepresent the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule), but when he was drawn
the House he had to admit that the schools provided for in these Acts are not church schools. But why did he picture to us all the evils that had resulted from church schools in other countries and in other provinces ? Why was it that he complained
of what he was pleased to call separate schools that were church schools in other provinces when we were not discussing the system of separate schools in other provinces, but were debating the condition of the schools in the Territories which are about to become provinces ? That is the question.
I think it would be perhaps worth while that I should hurriedly give to the House a portion of the law, particularly the sections to the Bill which the Bill now before us will continue as the law of the Territories. First as to the constitution of the Department of Education. Let there be no clouding of this question. The Territories did not enact church schools; they enacted state schools, national schools in every sense of the word.
There shall be a department of the public service of the Territories called the Depart 3056 ment of Education over which the member of the Executive Council appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, under the seal of the Territories to discharge the functions of the Commissioner of Education for the time being shall preside.
The department shall have the control and management of all kindergarten schools, public and separate schools, normal schools, teachers' institutes and the education of deaf, deaf mute and blind persons.
A minister, one of the ministers of the government shall have control of that and that minister or commissioner as he is called, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, shall have power to make regulations of the department.
The commissioner, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, shall have power :
1. To make regulations of the department—
(a) For the classification, organization, government, examination and inspection of all schools hereinbefore mentioned;
(b) For the construction, furnishing and care of school buildings and the arrangement of school premises;
(c) For the examination, licensing and grading of teachers and for the examination of persons who may desire to enter professions or who may wish certificates of having completed courses of study in any school ;
(d) For a. teachers' reading course and teachers' institutes and conventions;
2. To authorize text and reference books for the use of the pupils and teachers in all schools hereinbefore mentioned as Well as such maps, globes, charts and other apparatus or equipment as may be required for giving proper instruction in such schools ;
3. To prepare a list of books suitable for school libraries and to make regulations for the management of such libraries.
4. To make due provision for the training of teachers.
The whole control of all these subjects is under the direction of a responsible minister of the Crown. Gentlemen who have these ordinances in their hands, on reading them will, I have no doubt, come to the conclusion that I have myself come to, that these are national schools in every sense of the word. I have said that there is provision for schools for the minority in accordance with the rights which they have enjoyed for 30 years, the rights given them by this very Dominion parliament under a Liberal government. What are they? They are set forth in sections 41 to 45. Pardon me, Mr. Speaker, if I read them for I think they are worth reading. Again I would remark that there are only five out of 180 sections that deal with this subject.
The minority of the ratepayers in any district, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic. may establish a separate school therein; and in such case the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate school shall be liable only to assessments of such rates as they impose upon themselves in respect thereof.
3057 MARCH 23, 1905
The petition for the erection of a separate school district shall be signed by three resident ratepayers of the religious faith indicated in the name of the proposed district ; and shall be in the form prescribed by the commissioner. The persons qualified to vote for or against the erection of a separate school district shall be the ratepayers in the district of the same religious faith, Protestants or Roman Catholic as the petitioners.
The notice calling a meeting of the ratepayers for the purpose of taking their votes on the petition for the erection of a separate school district shall be in the form prescribed by the commissioner. and the proceedings subsequent to the posting of such notice shall be the same as prescribed in the formation of public school districts.
After the establishment of a separate school district under the provisions of this ordinance, such separate school district and the board thereof shall possess and exercise all rights, powers, privileges and be subject to the same liabilities and method of government as is herein provided in respect of public school districts.
Any person who is legally assessed or assessable for a public school will not be liable to assessment for any separate school established therein.
My right hon. colleague, the Prime Minister, in introducing the Bill said its object was to secure to the minority what they now enjoy, namely, the right to have their own schools, to assess themselves for the cost of these schools, and to receive their equitable and proportionate share of the public grants for school purposes. My hon. colleague, the Minister of Justice, also declared that to be the object and intent of the Bill. It was contended, however, by some that there might be a broader construction placed upon the general Bill than was intended, as explained by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, and to meet that objection, the clauses were amended so as to re-enact the existing provisions of the law and thus prevent any dispute in the future. It must be borne in mind that those separate schools are formed precisely as every school district is formed. Although the name separate school appears to convey to the minds of some people the impression that they are separate in the sense in which they are established in some other province, there is no distinction between these schools and the other public schools as regards organization, or the qualification of teachers, or the text books, or the right of state to inspection, or in the reports they have to make. In every respect they are under the commissioner of education in absolutely the same manner as is every other public school in the Territories. All they get is what? If they desire it, provided they have the requisite number of children of school age, they may upon petitioning the commissioners be permitted by them to erect a school district, pay for it out of their own pockets, and get only their share of the money they contribute. Is not 3058 that fair? Is there anything wrong or unjust in that? Point out to me if you can anything more fair. Oh, but you tell me, they may give religious instruction in these schools. Very true, but let us read the clauses. There are three sections dealing with that subject and I shall read them:
137. No religious instruction except as hereinafter provided, shall be permitted in the school of any district from the opening of such school until one-half hour previous to its closing in the afternoon, after which time any such instruction permitted or desired by the board may be given.
138. Any child shall have the privilege of leaving the school-room at the time at which religious instruction is commenced as provided in the next preceding section or of remaining without taking part, in any religious instruction may be given, it the parent or guardians so desire.
139. No teacher, school trustee or inspector. shall in any way attempt to deprive such child of any advantage that it may derive from the ordinary education given in such school, and any such action on the part of any school trustee, inspector or teacher shall be held to be a disqualification for and avoidance of the office held by him.
These are all the sections of the Act, as far as I am aware, that relate to public instruction. In the separate schools from nine o'clock in the morning until noon and from 1.30 until 3.30 pm. no religious instruction is to be given to the children. Precisely the same course of study that is followed in the public schools is to be followed in these schools ; but when the hour of 3.30 p.m. arrives, if the trustees of the separate school desire, religious instruction may then be given to the youth therein. Is that a concession made particularly to our Roman Catholic brethren ? Why, the same clauses apply to every school, Protestant, public and every other. No special right, no special permission is given the separate schools which is Withheld from the other. Shall it be made a reproach to our Roman Catholic brethren that it be a matter of conscience With them, that they instill into the minds of their youth the principles of the Christian religion? Is that something to be deplored? The trustees of any school may avail themselves of those clauses and have religious instruction given to the pupils. I do not wish to intrude my personal views upon this House, but speaking for myself alone, I would desire if it could be accomplished—and it seems to me that it ought not to be impossible in these days of broad-minded charity among the various denominations—that some agreement might be come to under which certain portions of the Bible might be read and studied in the public schools of these Territories, if the trustees so desire. I am very sure that no child would be injured thereby. I am quite sure that no harm would thereby be caused any of the thousands of people now going into that country, many more or less indif 3059 COMMONS ferent with regard to these matters—indifferent. not hostile—and who possibly do not read to their children from that Book which I think we all agree will make any man that studies it and follows its precepts a good citizen. I am sure we all agree that any one who studies that Book cannot be an ignorant man, and that if he follows its precepts he cannot be a bad citizen. If we believe, as I think we do, that it is rightousness which exalts a nation, who will say that it is wrong to have during the half hour at the closing of the school portions of that Book taught and read to the children? Will it be worse for them if they know the Ten Commandments ? Will it be worse for them if they know the sermon on the mount in which is contained the golden rule? Or the fifteenth psalm that describes what a citizen ought to be. If it be desirable—as it is—that during the Sabbath afternoon, the children should be brought together in order to teach them these things, can it be wrong—if it can be agreed upon—that during half an hour in the afternoon of five other days of the week they should have the same instruction? I do not seek to obtrude my own personal views, I speak for myself alone. But I trust that that spirit will take possession of the men in the western country, and that, instead of repining or complaining if our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens, in obedience to their conscience, give religious instruction to their youth, they also will devise means whereby religious instruction may be given in the schools. As I have said, I am aware of the difficulties that in the past, have prevented this being accomplished. But I do think that, with the spirit of charity that is abroad, and with many Protestants seeking means for a concerted movement in this direction, it would be well worth their while at any rate to give the matter some consideration. There have been noble men, Canadians of French extraction, who have laboured in the Northwest as missionaries in days gone by ; and there have been grand Protestant clergymen who have engaged in the same work, believing that it is the duty of Canadians to establish the Christian religion in that country as the foundation of its institutions. Many a time have I heard such a view expressed publicly and at least once in my own home by one who has passed away, but whose memory is revered, one who was a noble patriot it ever there was one—that the great object to be sought in the Northwest Territories was to follow with religious ordinances the population pouring in there, so that they might become a great people and enduring power in the state. I say that I for one have no objections; nay more, I am glad to find, that it is proposed to continue such a law in the Northwest to give permission to the trustees of each school, pub 3060 lic or separate, to have such religious in— struction as may be desired given during. that half hour. Yet, it is provided that the children of parents—if such there be— who cannot approve of the teaching given have the privilege of withdrawing their children while that instruction is in progress. No man's conscience can be offended in the least. And the further provision is made, lest, perchance the possible case might arise of an inspector, or school trustee or teacher seeking to place the child so withdrawn by his parents during that half hour at a disadvantage because of that withdrawal, that such an Act would be an offense subjecting the one guilty of it to summary loss of his office. So, there. is eminently safe provision made. In these provisions I find that which not only I do not disapprove but that which meets my cordial approval.
I was pleased to receive the resolution forwarded to me by the gentleman who acted as secretary on the occasion when it was adopted. He accompanied it with a personal letter to myself. The writer is a reverend gentleman whose personal friend I should deem it an honour to be considered. I believe he is also a political friend of the party in power. I cannot give the exact words, but he said in effect that he was not disposed to blame the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier)—though he did not approve of this measure, of course—as some were disposed to do; but he was disposed to blame the members of the cabinet from Ontario. What are they doing? he said. I find Mr. Stapleton Caldecott, who presided at the meeting at Toronto in his opening remarks wanted to know where the Ontario members of the cabinet were on this question; were they favourable, or were they unfavourable ? Well, I had supposed that Mr. Stapleton Caldecott knew enough of constitutional procedure to know that when the Ontario members of the cabinet remained in the cabinet after the measure had been proposed, he could pretty well: know, or at least guess, Where they were on that question.
Mr. FOSTER. Not now—a—days.
Mr. PATTERSON. Mr. Caldecott stated that, while he had been a great admirer of the Prime Minister and his supporter, he must confess that he had lost respect for his judgment. When a gentleman like that did not know that the presence in the cabinet of the ministers of Ontario was an indication that they approved the measure, perhaps the loss of his respect for the Prime Minister's judgment on a constitutional question was not so serious a matter that it ought to break my right hon. friend's heart ? Mr. Caldecott is a friend of ours, no doubt. But that leads me to remark upon something that has been more 3061 MARCH 23, 1905 than once hinted at rather forcibly by my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster). There is and has been an attempt in this House to weaken the influence and disparage the judgment of the leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). In days gone by we were accustomed to hear from the other side of the House at times, and in the press, descriptions of the right hon. leader of this government being little more than clay that was moulded in the hands of some stronger man or men in his cabinet. Now the tune is entirely changed. My hon. friend from North Toronto, describing him the other day, and he was very indignant about it, said that that his conduct was like that of a Czar, who introduced-a measure without consulting his colleagues, and who does whatever he pleases.
Mr. FOSTER. The strong men have departed.
Mr. PATERSON. Very well. I am dealing with the hon. gentlemen's estimate of the Prime Minister. The hon. gentleman complains that the Prime Minister alone is responsible for that Bill, and that his colleagues had, you might infer that from his statement, to accept it. Is it a fault in the eyes of the hon. member for North Toronto that we have a strong man at the head of the government ? Does the hon. gentleman remember that a few years ago there was a government with which he was in perfect accord on all questions of policy, and on all intended measures that were to be introduced—thoroughly in accord, a united and happy party ? But unfortunately the strong leader was not at their head. and the hon. gentleman and six others withdrew. Well, now. if we have got a strong man at the head of the government, and we have—
Mr. FOSTER. Some of you have found it so.
Mr. PATERSON—he ought to be very glad that such is the case. It is true that we have a strong man at the head of the government. but he never forgets to avail himself of the counsel of his colleagues. and to treat them with the utmost courtesy. We have a strong man, he has his views, and the very fact that he is known to be a strong man is the reason why his political opponents desire his overthrow and the overthrow of his government. If they can weaken the man that is a tower of strength to the party, then they weaken the party, and they hope to be able by that means to attain power. They say that he has lost the confidence of the Liberal party, that the Liberal party have lost the confidence of thousands and tens of thousands of their supporters on account of the introduction of this measure. It is true that many staunch and sterling men of character, integrity and 3062 honour in the Liberal party, who, I believe, desire well for the Liberal party, have not been able to see eye to eye With us on this question. That has been a source of sorrow and of grief to us, as it must be to any one,  for we value the esteem and friendship of our fellow citizens, especially of those who have given us their confidence in times gone by. If the prediction made by a gentleman at the Toronto meeting comes true that if this Bill is put through it should consign to political extinction the Prime Minister and his government and of every member of parliament that votes for it—if that be true—— and the gentleman who made the prediction at this meeting no doubt thought he was speaking the truth, then are we not entitled to credit in voting for this Bill, believing in our conscience that it is our duty to do so, even in face of this threatened extinction ? It seems to me there is nothing for us to be ashamed of in that.
Mr. KEMP. May I ask the hon. gentleman who said that at the Toronto meeting ?
Mr. PATERSON. Will you take the 'World's' report for it? It says that in speaking to his motion, Mr. E. E. Thomson, K.C., said so and so, and wound up with these words :
If this thing were to be consummated, the righteous judgment of an outraged people should be the total and irrevocable political extinction of the government, and of every member of the parliament guilty of this betrayal of the public confidence.
And he concluded amid loud cheers. Well, he may be right, that may be so. But surely it must be admitted that if we proceed in face of warnings of that kind, we ought to be given credit, at any rate, for believing that we are doing what is right. Another gentleman spoke at that meeting, and he uttered a sentiment that I think was hardly proper and which I regretted to see coming from him. He said that the introduction of this Bill tended to promote racial and religious strife. According to this gentleman, that could only be averted by withdrawing this Bill and then this vexed question of race and religion would be eliminated altogether. He said :
Our one great national problem is to unite our various creeds and nationalities in one common patriotism. If we fail now to do our utmost to insure the unity of race and creed in the new provinces, we shall be guilty of deliberate treason to the commonwealth. We are here to-night to ask the Ottawa politicians and the Quebec ecclesiastics to mind their own business.
Mr. KEMP. Who said that, may I inquire ?
Mr. PATERSON. I did not wish to give his name, but I find this in the ' Mail ' report of Mr. Willison's speech at Toronto.
Mr. FOSTER. He is the writer of the life of your leader.
Mr. PATERSON. And could my hon. friend who has interrupted me desire a greater honour to be conferred upon him than that Mr. Willison should be able to write such a life of him ? But I call your attention to that extract for the reason that the hon. gentleman who became so indignant last night with my hon. friend the Minister of Finance when he pointed out. to them what their course meant and what, in his judgment, it was leading to, were rebuked. These things should not be said. Here is a gentleman who takes the view, or who states, that if we fail now to do our utmost to ensure the unity of the races who are crowding into those new provinces, we shall be guilty of treason to the commonwealth, and yet who proposes, as a means of cementing that unity between these dif— ferent peoples of the Northwest, to take away from the minority the rights which they have had for thirty years. Sir, I care not what these men say.
An hon. MEMBER. Louder.
Mr. PATERSON. I will speak loud enough. I am not like the hon. gentleman ; when I have anything to say I am not afraid to speak it out. There are men in the Liberal party, grand men, excellent men, who have my esteem, and who will have my esteem even if they leave the party and feel that they cannot continue longer with us, because they think that we are wrong in this matter. I think when they thoroughly understand this Bill, when the past is past, when we enjoy that peace and unity that will prevail, and that progress and prosperity which will result, as we believe they will revise their opinions. But, whether they are able to do so or not, their views will be respected by me. I will give them credit for conscientiousness ; but I do think this, that if they had calmly considered the question, some of them, limited in their number, grand men, who, in the heat of their feelings on this question and viewing it from their standpoint, have uttered certain things against the right hon. Prime Minister of this Dominion, will regret themselves having said, for instance, that he has departed from the principles that he advocated in days gone by, that he has sacrificed the principles that he declared to be good and that he would ever stand by. While I regret that it is the case that such statements have been made, I only wish, in conclusion, to say this, if my words will carry any weight and my judgment is worth anything in this country, where for two and thirty years I have had the honour, which I value, of a constituency returning me as their representative, if, speaking from the knowledge I have of thirty of these years spent as a fellow—member in this House with the Prime Minister of Canada, eighteen years with him in opposition, eight years honoured by him as a colleague. necessarily 3064 brought into the most intimate relations with him—I say, if my words will carry weight, if my words will influence men who may for the time being, perhaps in the heat of their feelings, have uttered the ungenerous words, that, speaking out of the knowledge of the man that I have, Sir Wilfrid Laurier is, in my opinion, as he long has been, the one man pre-eminent above all other men that this Dominion has produced in cementing the nationality of the people of Canada.
Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier). Mr. Speaker, it is hardly necessary for one who speaks in this House after my good friend the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) to assure the House that he will be moderate. because there is something in the tone of my hon. friend, even when he gives utterance to the mildest thoughts, which leads one to believe that he is a man of such violent type that it is impossible to reach the the high vocal pitch he has done himself in propounding his opinions. But I notice that my good friend the Minister of Customs, although he spoke in a very deep voice, spoke somewhat low when he assured the House that this measure, which is being introduced to protect the minority in the Northwest Territories, was absolutely harmless, contained nothing which would in any way trench upon the rights of the majority, and that the importance of that enactment had been very much exaggerated, because it contained very little. My hon. friend's voice was very deep, but it was hardly lower than that of the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) last night when he made the startling announcement that so trifling were the concessions we gave that the schools which this Bill was intended to create would almost infallibly disappear before long. My attention has been drawn, Mr. Speaker, to a caricature in to-day's Montreal 'Herald.' at which I feel very much offended. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) is represented as sitting on a wharf with a fish basket. At one side of him is the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) with a fish on the end of his line, and on the other side myself with another fish. We are both supposed to be fishing on each side of the wharf different kinds of fish that are called petitions, in order to put them into the basket held by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition. The only difference between myself and my hon. friend from East Grey is that I have a tall hat on and he has a Christy stiff. It will be for the hon. member for East Grey to clear himself of this imputation, but for my part I can say positively that during the course of the present discussion I have fished for no petitions in the province of Quebec, and indeed I may say that I think this caricature would perhaps be more properly applied to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance and my hon. friend the Minister of Customs, from what they have said in their speeches in explanation of the measure which is now 3065 MARCH 23, 1905 before the House. for me to explain, as briefly as possible, the reasons which have led me to oppose the amendment which has been offered to the main motion for the second reading of this Bill. I Will do so as briefly as I possibly can. I feel very little guilt in connection with what, to my mind, has been a very needless agitation over this question. After the general election of 1896 the Conservative party held a meeting in the city of Montreal, of which some notice was taken in the Montreal 'Gazette' on the following morning. At that meeting, held subsequent to the general election, I declared for my part I would not in the future discuss the school question. I have adhered to that resolution, and on no occasion, at any meeting which I have attended, and I have attended a great many in the province of Quebec and elsewhere, have I ventured to mention that much vexed question.
It has been discussed in my presence by representatives of both parties, but I have stood firm to my resolution. I have not discussed it on any occasion; and if, indeed, it were not necessary that I should state What are the reasons which have separated me on some points from the majority of those who sit on this side of the House, I would be perfectly satisfied to give a silent vote on this question ; because, Sir, I consider that it is an unfortunate thing that, this question has been discussed with so much passion in public. I believe that many of the mischievous—I cannot call them by any other term—mischievous utterances which have been made on the subject of these Bills, have been the result of ignorance as to the real state of affairs in connection with the proposed legislation; and I sincerely believe that when the question has been fully looked into—I agree to that extent with my hon. friend the Minister of Finance—and all sides of it properly weighed, at any rate as regards the educational aspect of the question, the people of Canada will come to the conclusion that in the concessions granted, and the efiort made by this parliament to create condi— tions of justice and equity in the Northwest, the practical result is not one of very great importance. That, at any rate, is my view of the subject. It is, I admit, an important subject in the principles which are to govern us in our decision of the question. It is important, no doubt, that one, should state for what reason one gives a vote which may appear strange ; but at the same time I think a great deal too much has been made of the extent to which parliament has been asked to go in connection with this legislation. Let me at once call the attention of the House to the seriousness of a statement made last night by the Minister of Finance. To my mind this is a question upon which every man can have a free and independent opinion without in any way alienating his co-religionists of different 3066 creed. I am pleased to say, and I desire to acknowledge, that in the words that fell from the hon. leader of the opposition last night—and I followed him very attentively —there was not one word which it seems to me could shock any man of any creed in the province of Quebec or elsewhere. He was led by logical deductions to the conclusions at which he arrived; and, Sir, I am proud to say, so far as I may represent public opinion in my own province, that there is one thing which we learn early in our schools, and that is, to respect absolutely the convictions of all of our fellow citizens. I am sorry to say that I do not think that part of our curriculum is to be found in all the other schools of the country. But when the Minister of Finance went so far as to say that in the event of the Prime Minister not being able to carry this measure through the House, and of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition being called upon to form a cabinet, the cabinet which he would form would necessarily have a purely religious colour, and would be a Protestant administration, I do think my hon. friend the Minister of Finance went quite beyond the bounds which anything which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition said could in any sense justify.
Hon. W. S. FIELDING. Will my hon. friend permit me to say that I did not attribute any remark of any kind to the hon. leader of the opposition in that relation. I expressed my own opinion as to the circumstances surrounding the whole case.
Mr. MONK. My hon. friend spoke of that conclusion to which he himself had arrived as being the legitimate conclusion of the observations made by the hon. leader of the opposition.
Mr. FIELDING. If my hon. friend will allow me, I will at once say that I certainly did not mean to do so, and I am satisfied that I did not do so. I had no such thought, for I was not referring to anything the leader of the opposition said in any way. I am sorry to interrupt my hon. friend.
Mr. MONK. I am glad to hear my hon. friend say so. My hon. friend no doubt sympathizes with those who, perhaps not very readily, have arrived at the conclusion to which he arrived yesterday, to support this educational measure; because, if rumours are well founded, my hon. friend him-self experienced very great difficulty in arriving at that conclusion before he spoke.
Mr. FIELDING. Not the least.
Mr. MONK. There was nothing in what my hon. friend said which indicated that state of mind; but my hon. friend knows what has been the public rumour. One of my hon. friend's friends stated to me 3067 COMMONS yesterday that the Minister of Finance was a wonderful swimmer, but that he had to be thrown into the water. I realize, with some degree of fear, that this debate may be protracted to a considerable length. and I wish to indicate as briefly as possible to the House through what mental process I have passed, it I may use that expression, in order to arrive at the conclusion at which I have arrived in respect to this measure. The question has been treated from a constitutional standpoint, and certainly it ought to be treated from that standpoint. since the very grounds on which we are legislating in this affair are constitutional grounds. I submit. in addition. that it must be looked at from a political standpoint— I say political in altogether the highest sense of the word. But, taking the constitutional standpoint, the House will permit me to say in what sense I understand that we are called upon to act. and how I interpret the three constitutional Acts which serve as the foundation for our legislation, and which must be read together. We have the Confederation Act of 1867. the Act of 1871 and the Act of 1886— all imperial Acts without which we have no jurisdiction whatever. Under section 3 of the last imperial Act, the amendment of 1886, these three Acts must be read together. I will not quote the sections; it would be imposing upon the attention of the H<,)rlse. But according to the Constitutional Act of 1867, from the very first section. it is evident that the scheme of the framers of our constitution was that the provinces should be associated together with an absolutely equal division of powers. It never entered into the minds of the framers of those Acts, particularly the Act of 1867, nor even into the minds of those who laid the foundations of that Act in the Quebec conference, that there should be the slightest inequality between the provinces. You will see that if you look at the Act of 1867, from section 58 to section 91.
Read section 91 and section 92 (which are the two most important sections in regard to the definition of the field of legislation), read section 93, section 109, section 146, and section 147 and you will come to the conclusion that the main object of the imperial legislature was to unite the varied provinces together and to distribute among those provinces, with the most absolute measure of equality, the different powers which were assigned to each. It is impossible to read these Acts and not arrive at the conclusion that this is the proposition which is the outcome of the efforts made by the imperial legislature in the direction of confederation. The plan of confederation itself rests upon the absolute equality, the equal division of powers between all the provinces, parties to confederation. Any variation, however small, from this rule is 3068 destructive of the fundamental principle of our constitution.
Section 146 which provides for the admission of other provinces into the Dominion upon the Order in Council of the home government, especially declares that the admission of those other provinces of Prince Edward Island and British Columbia and Newfoundland is to be done by the mere operation of an imperial Order in Council which shall bring those provinces into confederation, subject to all the dispositions of the Confederation Act. This was so very well understood at the very inception that we find British Columbia first of all entering into confederation by the operation of section 1-16 by the mere passage of an Order in Council bringing the province into confederation and touching in no respect whatever upon any of the powers which are to be attributed to the new provinces or upon any of those powers then lying in the lap of the new province and which were by necessary implication to be transferred to the Dominion. It is undeniable that when British Columbia and Prince Edward Island were brought into confederation. no other mention was made of the Order in Council which brought these provinces into confederation but this that they came in with a certain representation in parliament, stipulated and agreed upon between the Dominion government and the provincial powers, but as to a distribution of powers nothing whatever is said ; reference is simply made to section 146 of the Confederation Act. It is there declared that these provinces come into the Dominion subject to that distribution of powers which, according to my interpretation of our constitution, acts automatically the moment the province enters the Dominion.
In the case of Manitoba there were special circumstances. Manitoba did not enter confederation under the ordinary rule. It was an exceptional case, and the terms upon which that province entered the Dominion were the subject of a special agreement between the representatives of that then part of the Northwest Territories and the Dominion government. An Act was passed beforehand by this parliament in order to create that province with certain rights, certain broad possibilities, and the charter of Manitoba is so little founded upon that Act of our own parliament and that Act was so clearly, in the judgment of competent lawyers, ultra vires, that it became necessary to pass in England the Imperial Act of 1871 which is really the charter of Manitoba, so that Manitoba did not enter the confederation under the same machinery as that provided for other parts of British North America. Its charter is a special one, and it is taken altogether out of the ordinary rule with regard to its entering 3069 MARCH 23, 1905 into confederation. These provinces, Sir, are to be created under a section-of that Act of 1871, passed mainly in order to validate our own Manitoba legislation, and to the second section of which Act I wish to call your attention particularly. The second section of the Imperial Statutes of 1871 amending the Confederation Act says:
The parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof, and may, at time of establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province, and for its representation in the said parliament.
Now, that section is of some length. It is the only section under which we are empowered to act. It is in virtue of the powers conferred upon us by the imperial parliament by this section that we are creating this province. It is known, Mr. Speaker, to many members of this House that a popular impression exists to the effect that this parliament has the power of creating provinces and that at the time of the creation of provinces it can give those provinces such a constitution as it thinks fit. That is the popular impression and that impression is created no doubt in the minds of many by the reading of this section. But is that proposition well founded ? I think not; I do not think there is anything in this section which authorizes us, in creating a province, to give any constitutional aspect to that province. We are not called upon to give it a constitution, we simply perform, if I may use that expression. a creative Act; we create the province, the constitutional Act of 1867 provides the rest. That is how I read this section. It is true that in this section the words 'establish' and then 'constitute.' and then 'administer' are used. But what do these words mean? There is one thing it seems to me that they do not mean. It is this, that in creating a province we can in any way vary the terms relating to the powers of that province that have been laid down in a uniform and definite manner by our Constitutional Act of 1867, and that is the reason which no doubt has led many and has induced probably the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) to arrive at the conclusion that we have no power in creating a province to make any disposition in regard to that province as far as educational matters are concerned, because if when creating a province we can give to that province a particular educational system we can equally confer upon this province other powers, for instance. those which are mentioned in section 92 of the Constitutional Act. We could deprive the province of a part of these powers. We can confer upon the province powers which it has not under 3070 the Confederation Act, which are enumerated under section 91 as belonging to the Dominion parliament alone, and that is, no doubt, the reason which has led many to conclude that we have no power under section 2 which I have just read to the House but that of creating a province, automatically come into force and are applied the dispositions of the Confederation Act limiting strictly the powers of the province and on the other side defining the extent of the powers of the Dominion parliament.
What is the sense which one must attribute to the words ' establish, constitute and administer.' To my mind it is clear that these words were used by the draughtsman for the purpose of giving to the Dominion parliament, when carving provinces out of the Northwest Territories. the powers necessary to perform fully all the functions of the creative act. We decree for instance that a province will be established. The word 'constitute ' means that we define the limits of the province, that we declare what it will comprise. when it will come into existence and other details which are all comprised in the word ' constitute,' and we further have the power to administer that province until these automatic provisions of the Confederation Act come into operation, by which a power superior to our own has provided what will be the political constitution of the province. Otherwise if you once pretend that the words of the statute confer upon this parliament the power to modify in any way, what will be the political constitution and the atttribution of the new provinces, where will you end ? Suppose to-morrow we should carve a province out of the Yukon. could we, in creating that province, declare that the minerals shall remain the property of the Dominion power? Could we declare that the lands would remain in our possession ? I hold we could not, and that the only power we have is to create the province ? That however is my own individual opinion. It is the opinion of a lawyer, and we all know that lawyers differ very considerably, particularly on consitutional points. For instance my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, in defining the constitutional position he takes with regard to this Bill, gave it as his opinion. if I mistake not. that section 3 of the Confederation Act does not apply to the new provinces coming into the Dominion without any previous provincial organization, and consequently did not apply to provinces created by ourselves under the Imperial Act of 1871 and carved out of the Northwest Territories. I cannot, after a careful examination of section 93, agree in that conclusion, although I believe it is shared by gentlemen eminent in the legal profession. I believe that at the moment a province is created, even if it did not possess beforehand full legis 3071 COMMONS lative autonomy, even if it did not enter confederation as an independent province, it falls ipso facto under the provision of section 93, and whatever rights in school matters the minority in that province may possess at the moment of its creation are preserved by virtue of that section. That is the way I read section 93 and I think the terms are extremely general. Subsection 1 of section 93—Which is a section of very great importance in the determination of this question says:
Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the time of the union.
Doubt might exist if instead of those very general words, the words used were ' which any class of persons possess by virtue of a provincial law or a law passed by the legislature of the province' or other such words clearly indicating that the legislators had in view exclusively the case of the entry into confederation of a province having full possession, previous to such entry, of its entire autonomy. But the words are extremely general. They speak of the rights with respect to denominational schools which any persons have by law within the limits of the province at the union. I therefore arrive at the conclusion that the moment a province is erected in the Northwest and that within the territorial limits of that province there exists a law passed by competent authority securing certain rights to any class of persons with regard to denominational schools, those rights are preserved by the mere fact of that territory coming as a province within the limits of the Dominion. That is the opinion I have, and much of the conclusions at which I have arrived in respect of this question is the result of that opinion. My hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) asks me if I consider the words 'establish, constitute. coming in,' to be all synonymous. My interpretation of section 2 of the Imperial Act of 1871 is that that Act clearly gives us the creative power. it enables us to decree the establishment of a province, to constitute it by defining its limits and entering into other details which are absolutely necessary for the purpose of such creation, but the moment that act has been performed our power is exhausted and the new province comes under the control of the different clauses of the Act of 1867, and these clauses apply in their entirety to it. Will the House permit me to give an example in another field. Take the question of the lands. It seems to me that in the new Bill now submitted for second reading, we have gone entirely beyond our power as regards the lands. Why? Because under section 109 of the Confederation Act all lands, minerals, and royalties of every kind in every province are absolutely the property of the province and not of the Dom 3072 inion. And in legislating as we, have done with regard to these lands, in withholding from these new provinces the whole of their lands, for a consideration it is true, but keeping the lands entirely in our possession we are legislating ultra vires, we are decreeing what we have no right to do ; and not only as an act of policy, as a political act, but as a constitutional act, those Bills are absolutely in violation of the constitution.
Mr. BELCOURT. Are we to assume then that the Manitoba Act, which was in terms practically the same as this Act, which declared the ungranted lands of that province to remain subject to the control of the Dominion government, was ultra vires ?
Mr. MONK. As I stated a moment ago, the Manitoba Act itself was ultra vires— was so considered by the legal advisers of the Crown in England—and in order to make it valid it was necessary to pass the Imperial Act of 1871.
Mr. LEMIEUX. To remove doubts.
Mr. MONK. That is the preamble that my hon. friend (Mr. Lemieux) is citing. But, if he will go to the sources. he will find that there was a very strong opinion in England and also here—I believe it was shared by Mr. Blake—that we had no right. It validated the section to which my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) has referred.
Mr. BELCOURT. My hon. friend (Mr. Monk) will not contend that any one questioned at that time or since that the Act was ultra vires in respect of the lands. The necessity of the Imperial Act, as I understand, was in reference to other matters, to remove doubts in reference to other matters than the lands.
Mr. MONK. It did not arise in that case. There was, as I stated, an agreement between Manitoba that was to be and the Dominion, and the lands clause to Which my hon. friend has just referred was the outcome of that agreement. At any rate, it was never questioned before the courts. As my hon. friend, no doubt, is aware, this question has come before the courts in many instances and the interpretation given by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council upon section 199, to which I have referred, has always been favourable to the provinces, and has gone very far in the direction of maintaining that all public lands, whatever may be the source of the ownership of the public lands, once the province is created. fall under provincial control. A case arose in the province of Quebec, the case of Fraser who died without leaving a will. and without heirs. My hon. friend (Mr. Belcourt) is familiar with that case.
3073 MARCH 23, 1905
It was the case of the Attorney General of Quebec against the Attorney General of the Dominion. It was held in the province of Quebec, that, under section 109, the lands in dispute reverted to the Crown in right of the province. In the courts of the province of Quebec they held that upon the ground that, as the province had the exclusive right to legislate in regard to property and civil rights, it followed as a consequence that it might have legislated equally in regard to these lands, and consequently that these lands were the property of the province. And that judgment went through the courts and was maintained in the Privy Council. Then there was the Mercer case in Ontario. I speak of that frmi memory only and under correction. The last court of appeal in Ontario held that escheated lands fell to the Dominion, if I mistake not—the contrary of what our own Court of Appeals held. But the matter went to the Privy Council, and the Privy Council held that in the case of an escheat, the province had the right to the land under section 109. And, in the case of the St. Catharines Milling Company vs. the Queen, a case that lawyers will remember, the question involved was as to an Indian reservation which had been abandoned by the Indians. The Privy Council held that, under section 109 of the Confederation Act, these lands, abandoned by the Indians who were under control of the Dominion government and under the legislative control of the Dominion parliament, fell into the provincial domain under section 109. The latest case I have is the case of the Attorney General of British Columbia vs. the Attorney General of Canada, in which the question arose in a still more pointed manner and in which, I think, the Privy Council went even further. In that case, as hon. members will remember, British Columbia had conceded to the Dominion government a forty-mile strip upon the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway for a consideration, I believe, of $100,000 a year. That was an absolute cession of the lands. Gold was found in that forty-mile strip, and the question arose as to whether the Dominion power or the provincial power had a right to that gold and the royalties upon it—which of the Powers owned the mineral wealth. In that case, if I remember aright, the Lords of the Privy Council held that the words ' British Columbia ' must be read into section 109 of the Confederation Act—that not only the four provinces then parties to the confederation compact, but, said the Lords of the Privy Council you must read into section 109 the names of British Columbia and all the provinces that have since been added to the Dominion, and the right to this gold and the royalties upon it is in the Crown in right of the province. So I am 3074 correct, I think, in saying that jurisprudence seems to favour the view that section 109 is of a most general character, and that all lands belonging to the Crown, fall to the Crown in right of the province the moment that province is created. It was so understood in regard to the provinces that entered the Dominion since confederation. It was so understood in regard to British Columbia. There was no special mention of the lands in the Order in Council by which the gates were opened to that province for its entry into confederation. There was no mention of lands in the Order in Council under which Prince Edward Island came into confederation. But, in the case of British Columbia these lands, by the very vigour of the Confederation Act were supposed to remain the property of the province, and, in the case of Prince Edward Island, where there were no public lands, the Dominion had to agree to a certain sum to be given to the province in lieu of public lands. So. I say, by common understanding of section 109 and the interpretation put upon that section since our constitutional questions have arisen, it would seem to be evident that public lands, by the very terms of the constitution belonged to the province the moment they enter confederation. And I see no reason for departing from that rule in regard to the province created out of a portion of the Northwest Territories.
Mr. BELCOURT. Are we not proprietors of the land in Manitoba, and proprietors of the lands in these provinces?
Mr. MONK. I do not know that that makes any difference. And as regards the observation of the Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux) that we purchased the lands, I do not think that that proposition is well founded. Even had we purchased the lands, they are not vested in the Dominion government, they are the property of the Crown, the property of the King. And under our confederation scheme, all public lands situated within the province continue to belong to the King in right of the province. As a matter of fact, We did not purchase the landed rights. There was an amount given to the Hudson Bay Company in consideration of the abandonment of its rights in that territory. But those rights were not rights in the lands, but hunting rights and commercial rights under charters obtained long ago under Charles II. But I do not think that those charters conferred any special title in the lands. So I do not think the hon. gentleman is right in saying what he does as to the purchase of the lands. The same remarks apply to that section of the Act in which we enjoin upon the province that it shall not interfere with the Canadian Pacific Railway. I venture the opinion that that is not intra vires. We can create a province, but we have no 3075 COMMONS right to formulate an enactment in the creating statue to say that the province or its municipalities that may in future exist shall not tax the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. That is an interference with that provision of the Confederation Act contained in section 92 which gives the provinces absolute and exclusive control over municipalities. It is an interference with section 92 which says that the province shall have the right to raise money by direct taxation within its limits. I do not say for instance that the Canadian Paciflc Railway has not any valid defence to offer to any exactions that may be made by the province or by municipalities within that province. There may be a defence, although the question is certainly one that admits of much doubt. But in my understanding of the constitution, we have no power by positive enactment to say to the new province: Here are two powers which you have under section 92, the power of taxing directly, and the absolute control over municipalities, but you shall not exercise these powers in either case with respect to this particular company.
Mr. BELCOURT. It seems to me the point to decide is the jurisdiction of this parliament concerning lands contained in the Bills now under consideration. I would like to know from my hon. friend exactly what his legal view is. I understood him to say, in reply to my question, that the provision in the Manitoba Act with reference to lands, by which the control of these lands was retained in the Dominion government, was ultra vires, but that that defect was cured by the Confederation Act. of 1871, section 1 which he read to the House. I would like to know whether, in the opinion of my hon. friend, the amendment of 1871 has had the effect of amending the British North America Act of 1867 generally or only with reference to Manitoba, particularly as regards lands?
Mr. MONK. Well, it has amended the Confederation Act, no doubt; it has added powers in order to define more clearly our power to create provinces. But the question has never arisen before the courts as to the validity of our enactment with regard to lands in Manitoba.
Mr. BELCOURT. I want to know whether, in the opinion of the hon. gentleman. our powers given in the British North America Act of 1867 have been extended by the provisions of 1871. not only with reference to Manitoba. but with reference to any new province coming into the Dominion ?
Mr. MONK. I think section 2, which is the basis of our powers under which we are acting now, is an addition. a further extension of what is contained in section 148 of the Confederation Act. There is an increase of powers—if that is what my hon. 3076 friend means. Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to be brief, and I find it is very difficult. I am arriving at the point I wish to make with reference to the Educational Act. I have wandered away from it in order to give the House a better understanding of my opinion of these Acts, since we are on the second reading. and it will save me the trouble of explaining my views at a later stage. I hope that is the view which will prevail. I would like to point out, as a member from the province of Quebec, that it would be a great calamity indeed if the Minister of Justice and the government did not arrive at a conclusion that it is necessary to modify that section which has regard. for instance, to the lands. I do not see, looking upon it as a question of policy. what we have gained in the province of Quebec, and in the older provinces generally, by this enormous indemnity we are undertaking to pay the new provinces of the Northwest for their lands. As I understand it they have a legal claim to these lands. They are better able to administer them than we are here in Ottawa. They are on the spot, they know the necessities of their province, they have every interest in administering them with care, because these lands are their principal asset. and they are the best judges of the requirements of their province in respect to the lands. As to us in the province of Quebec, why, Sir. we have over 25.000000 acres of good land for settlement, which we are trying to settle, which we are doing our best to settle. Instead of devoting all our energies and all our moneys and public resources to settle the lands in our own province, under the terms of the constitution. we are going to pay millions of dollars to keep a hold on the lands of the Northwest, which properly belong to our sister provinces. That is the way I understand this clause, and I hope it will be reconsidered.
Now, Sir, taking the views which I have offered to the House, being my own humble interpretation of the constitutional Act, I have entertained no doubt at any time that section 93 of the Act applies to this territory which we are to-day erecting into provinces. In section 93. as we all know, there was a protection for the rights of the minority in those new provinces. I assume that. but is it the case? Eminent lawyers, men whose authority on constitutional matters is far greater than my own, do not assent to this view. They do not think that section 03 applies to these new provinces. which is a proof, if proof was required at all, that lawyers, like doctors, will disagree on constitutional points particularly. There is no set of cases coming before our courts where we have had a more uniform spectacle of disagreement among our judges than constitutional cases. Therefore, I say there is a grave doubt in my own mind as to whether section 93 applies. If it does not apply, then what guarantee. what security has the minority of these two provinces on entering confederation ? If it applies. if that 3077 MARCH 23, 1905 was certain and was admitted by everybody. you could-not say more of this amendment which is before the House at the present time than that it duplicates what the constitution provides, and duplicates it uselessly. But if, as is pretended by some. section 98, the protecting section of the Confederation Act. does not apply. then they have no protection. Then I say, if that claim is well founded in equity, there is a moral obligation on the part of this parliament; if the claim of the minority is well founded, and if they do not find that protection which it would seem they have in section 93, then should we not provide it ourselves? Is there a man in this House, be he from the west or from the east, who will deny that at this very moment when we are creating two new provinces, we particularly of this parliament, who have for more than thirty years maintained, rightly or wrongly, the minority in that immense territory in the possession of their educational rights, we who have been the guardians of those rights. and on two occasions have solemnly affirmed that those rights exist—is there any man who will deny that we should at the present moment, when we are creating these provinces, when doubts are expressed as to our right to legislate in regard to this important point, is there a man who will pretend that we ought not, in the preservation of our own honour, to maintain those rights as far as we can ? If the enactment is unconstitutional, it will be so declared by the courts. If the minority, under section 93 of the British North America Act, have full protection, this Act is surplusage. The same question would arise if we went beyond what section 93 assures, if we gave more than they have at the present time, or if we took from them something which has always been secured. But we are merely assuring to them the rights which they possess at the present time. In this connection, let me say that we have before us three drafts of proposed legislation. In the very able communication made by Mr. Haultain to the government, which has been brought down in this House is one of these drafts. That is a draft which, at first sight, seemed to me to go even farther than did the first educational clause of my right hon. friend, [and farther than this last one, and that clause is to be found in Mr. Haultain's draft, at page 14 of the papers produced before the Northwest Territories assembly. Section 2 of the draft is as follows :
On, from and after the said first day of January, 1903, the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, except those parts thereof which are in terms made or by reasonable intendment may be held to be specially applicable to or to affect only one or more but not the whole of the provinces under that Act composing the Dominion, and except so far as the same may be varied by this Act, shall be applicable to the province of in the same way and to the same extent as they apply to the several provinces of Canada, and as it the province of had been one of the provinces originally united by the said Act.
As I at first felt under my interpretation of our Constitutional Act, I assumed that in regard to all school legislation the Act of union drafted by Mr. Haultain brought us back to the 1st of July, 1867, and I say that that disposition of law went even farther than the two other enactments that are before the House, because, if we went back to the date of the Union in 1867, the minority in these new provinces might properly urge the claim that Since legislative autonomy has been conferred on the Northwest Territories they have had their educational committee. They have had their own administration of their own schools conferred to a greater extent than they have at the present time and therefore under that enactment and under section 93 of the Constitutional Act they may claim to be fully restored to all their privileges. I think they might urge that at any rate. As to the first educational clause that was brought down 'I must say that it did not seem to me to have any other effect than to create in the public mind an extremely erroneous impression as to what we were doing for the new provinces. Any man who takes the trouble to inquire will be able to ascertain that by the clause relating to education which was first submitted to the attention of the House we were not breaking in upon the educational system of the Northwest Territories, not introducing a separate school system exactly as it existed in the province of Quebec, but that we were following the established order of things in the Northwest Territories, and it is probably due to the haste with which that clause was drawn that all the agitation that subsequently arose is to be attributed, because, in reality, what did that clause give to the Northwest Territories? It gave separate schools. They have them. They have had them since 1875, but it gave nothing more. It is true it made a provision as regards the distribution of moneys resulting from the Northwest Territories Trust School Fund, but, as I understand that part of the question, I think there is no doubt whatever that under section 93 of our Confederation Act the words 'public schools' in the Northwest Lands Act is understood as applying to the schools of the Northwest Territories as they exist today. They are called separate schools but they are in reality public schools and will be so interpreted by any tribunal. We have this amendment in which it has been suggested that concessions have been made -
Mr. BOURASSA. Before my hon. friend leaves that subject of the Trust Fund may I just remind him that in the appropriations which have been made by the legislature of the Northwest Territories since their existence of the moneys coming from the Trust Fund supplied by the federal government the separate schools have always participated and not only have they parti 3079 COMMONS cipated in the Trust Fund but in the money voted by the legislature.
Mr. MONK. I did not know that, but it goes to prove that interpretation and there is no other interpretation possible because anybody who takes the trouble to read from end to end the ordinances of the Northwest Territories in respect to schools must arrive necessarily at that- conviction. I do not know what distinction there would be between what are called separate schools and public schools. They are not separate schools in the sense that we ordinarily understand the term.
Mr. LEMIEUX. They are separate schools but not denominational schools.
Mr. MONK. They are not denominational schools; certainly not. So, I do not see in the last enactment that there is any concession—very far from it. I think the last amendment goes perhaps a little farther than the original enactment which caused so much excitement because it defines more clearly what the privileges of the separate schools are. They were not defined at all in the original enactment. It defines them by reference to the chapters of the Northwest Ordinances where they are fully explained so that it defines more clearly these privileges and it may be argued that it secures to the separate schools the right of religious instruction. I am not just sure under the first enactment it would not have been possible to say in the Northwest Territories: You have the right to separate schools, that is granted, you will have them but you have no right even to the half hour of religious instruction because it is not laid down in the bond. It is not in the Dominion enactment and we will withdraw that right from you. This enactment goes a little farther because it refers to the ordinance which secures the right of religious instruction.
Will you just allow me to say one word in regard to What has been referred to by my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) ? Is it a fact that we are by this Bill establishing denominational schools in the Northwest Territories ? Before I touch upon that let me say this to the House. The fact that a very great difference of opinion has existed among lawyers led me to the conclusion that there is certainly no harm, holding as I do that the minority is entitled to the preservation of its rights, in repeating in the form of an enactment, as we do by this Bill, what is already assured constitutionally to the minority by section 93 of the British North America Act. And, I may go a step farther. That section forms part of the constitution, it is true, but I think one, who has at heart, as I have, I must admit, the maintenance of the very limited privileges that the minority are going to enjoy under this enactment might say in addition that we have had the ex 3080 perience of Manitoba. Surely no case of any province could be presented in which greater precautions had been taken than were taken at the time of the creation or Manitoba for the maintenance of the rights of the minority. Everybody knows what happened. I will not repeat the story of that unfortunate affair, but, as a matter of fact, by legislation of the province, the rights of the minority were taken away. They were taken away after every assurance had been given to that minority that their rights would be preserved. There never was anything to my mind more unworthy than the action of the Manitoba legislature in abolishing its legislative council, and at the time of that abolition giving the minority who helped to put through that abolition, every possible assurance that honourable men could give that at no time would their privileges be interfered with. They were taken away. The minority carried their claims before the courts. Ultimately, after an endless litigation, the highest court in the realm declared that they had a right to redress. That judgment of the Privy Council rendered years ago remains, as the members of this House know, unsatisfied to this day. Does that not give to those whose mission perhaps more particularly it is to secure the rights of the minority in these new provinces, the right to take every imaginable precaution in order that those rights should be maintained even in the Northwest? And I say this with due regard ts the people of the Northwest, because I have implicit confidence in that population. I hope on this occasion at any rate that confidence will not be misplaced. I know the disposition of the people who inhabit that large territory. They are generous, they are broad-minded, and I have every confidence—because, as any educationist knows, everything depends on the way in which an education law is administered— that they will treat that minority with justice. But we must admit that after the Act of 1875 had been passed, and after the Act of 1880 had been passed, the Northwest legislature did confer rights upon the minority—gave them a council of public instruction, gave them certain rights without which up to the present it has been considered impossible, by the minority, to carry on Catholic education, and they had the use of the French language. These things have been taken away, and, in reality as was said yesterday, what we are endeavouring to preserve for them is merely the right to the material separation of schools, the right to be exempt from double taxation in educational matters, to which Catholics are subject all over the United States, and the right to that half-hour of religious instruction at the end of the day which exists in the Northwest for all denominations alike, I am happy to say, because I am 3081 MARCH 23, 1905 not a believer in any sense in those schools where the name of God is never mentioned. But is this education, Mr. Speaker— denominational education? So much has been said that is displeasing, that is hurtful, we have heard so much about the hierarchy, about priestly control, about endowing the Catholic Church in the Northwest. I have met men who have told me this: We are ready to give every facility to our Catholic fellow-countrymen in the Northwest, but we are not prepared to endow a church. This is the way they understood this enactment. Well, it is reasonable, it seems to me, to ask ourselves what is in reality the effect of this enactment? Is it the endowment of a church ? Is it even denominational education, as they have it freely all over England? It is not denominational education at all, because that supposes that the education in denominational schools is entirely under the control of men of a particular denomination. It supposes that the particular creed of that denomination is taught with the same care as other branches of knowledge. It supposes that the education in the schools, the text books, the qualifications of teachers, all that goes to make up denominational education, is under the control, not of clerics, not of priests or bishops, but of men who belong to that denomination. This is not at all the character of the education that is being provided for in these new provinces. Let me just indicate to you what has already been indicated, but what cannot be repeated too often in view of what has been said, that under the new regime in the Northwest Territories there is no Council of Public Instruction. There is a commissioner of education who with his department controls everything that is important in education—controls absolutely the formation of school districts, controls everything connected with normal schools for forming teachers; regulates the qualifications of those teachers, and can revoke them at any moment ; controls the books, the courses of study, the hours, the holidays, compulsory attendance of pupils, the requirements of the schools in regard to sites and buildings. All these matters remain absolutely under the control of the government, at present a government entirely Protestant. It is true, there is an educational advisory board composed of five members, two of whom are Catholics, to whom these matters are referred. But that board can only advise; it has no power of deciding; and, as a matter of fact, the control of education in what are called separate schools, though they are really not so, is absolutely in the hands of the government. What, then, is the power of the Catholics under this legislation which we are called upon to sanction ? Well, they engage teachers, but these teachers must have the qualifications which 3082 have been settled beforehand by the government, and those teachers may be revoked; they provide for the half-hour of religious instruction, and they levy the rate of taxation; and even in regard to these matters they are absolutely accountable to the government, are inspected by an inspector named by the government and having instructions from the government, and who may be and in most cases is not of their own creed. Under these circumstances I do not think we are imposing a great deal on the Northwest Territories, nor introducing a very revolutionary measure. The best proof of that may be found in the appreciation given by Archbishop Taché of the legislation which at present exists, and we are anxious to preserve, because it keeps for the minority some shred of what they had before. Archbishop Taché, speaking of the schools in the Northwest, said :
The Catholic schools are under the control and direction of a council of public instruction (now it is a commissioner) in which there is not a Catholic who has a right to vote. The choice of all the books, both for teachers and for pupils, is entirely in the hands of Protestants, as well as the final formation of teachers and the right to give them permission to teach. The inspectors may all be Protestants, and in any case the inspection is made apart from any consideration for Catholic ideas. The ordinance destroys the Catholic character of the schools which formerly distinguished those schools, and leaves them no point whatever upon which the faith of parents can rest with any degree of confidence.
Further on, Archbishop Taché appreciating the system of education condemns the system and as a matter of fact those who have seen that system of schools in operation in the Northwest Territories, who have been called upon as Catholics to take part in it, have time and again been obliged to apply to the authorities for the redress of grievances which must necessarily take place under such a system of law. I shall give as an example the case of religious orders going up there to teach, nuns and Christian brothers. They are obliged to qualify under the ordinance of the Northwest Territories and Without this qualification on certain occasions they have not been allowed to teach. This has given rise to a great deal of difficulty. As I said before everything depends in an educational law on the manner in which it is administered and what we are claiming by this enactment is little enough. The Catholics in the Northwest will have to a very large extent to depend on the generosity and broadmindedness of the majority there in order to be able to carry into effect the legal privileges which they have kept up to this day. These are the reasons which have led me to the conclusion that the very least we can do, taking my interpretation of the constitution, is to support that part of the Bill which relatcs to the maintenance of separate 3083 COMMONS schools. Of course it would be useless at this stage to point to the great differences which exist between our own country and England in respect to broadness of concession in regard to education, but in connection with this very important subject I have had occasion to look over the English educational law and the debates which have taken place on the Bill of 1902, and it is amazing, it is edifying to see to what extent they have gone in England in order to maintain the principle of religious liberty in connection with schools. of course as every one knows, denominational education exists in England ; there are there denominational schools such as exist here, but denominational schools helped by the state, supported by the state, and in the educational Bill of 1902 they have gone to a great length, they have improved the system in every way but. they have stuck with admirable tenacity to the principle that there shall be no schools without some kind of religion. There are board schools in England. where secular matters are taught. subject to what is known as the Cowper-Temple clause which provides that there will be religious education but not of any particular denominational character. They have not wished even in the board schools to exclude the religious principle. In the voluntary schools denominational education is provided and encouraged by the state, and, always faithful to the principle of liberty of conscience, there is in the voluntary schools a conscience. clause which exists since the educational law of 1870 and which provides that any pupil attending a school, may, if his conscience or the conscience of his parents require it, absent himself during religious instruction. In England they have stood firm throughout all educational changes to the principles of absolute religious equality in the schools and true to the principle of religious teaching.
There is in this country, for some reason which I am unable to understand, a servile desire to imitate the United States.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. MONK. We are very proud of English traditions, of constitutional liberty, of all that the British flag, and the British constitution represent in the way of freedom; but. for a reason which I do not know, when we come to schools, amongst a certain set of people we have a desire to do exactly as they do in the United States.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. MONK. But as a matter of fact, Mr, Speaker. that system is on trial, it is on trial. It has only existed for some fifty years. Up to 1812. the primary education provided in the United States was exactly the same as that provided in England and out of those schools which existed in the United States and which were similar to 3084 the schools that we have in Quebec, and that exist in Ontario, have come the most famous men whom we have had in the world during the last century. These schools have produced men like Washington, Jefferson, Colquhoun and Webster, and many others who have not been followed by men of equal value in the public life of the United States. And even those state schools which originated in New York in 1842 and have since spread over the whole republic, are in a tentative state; they are on trial. Have they given absolute satisfaction? Far from it, they are only on trial and many people have condemned that system of schools, have found it insufficient, inadequate to meet the wants of the nation. I have taken the trouble to find out What the judgment in the United States upon that system of schools has been, the judgment of men whose opinion is worth considering. not men of my own creed, but men of other creeds, and I find that opinion is very much divided as to the value of these schools. If anybody has any doubt as to the matter, he should read the ' New York Herald' of October 20, 1871, in which are given the results of an inquiry made by no less a person than Professor Agassiz of the value in 1871 of the new educational system established in the United States. Speaking of the New York Act of 1842 which was the beginning of the new system, an eminent American publicist, Richard Grant White said:
It was a misfortune, not only for the city of New York, but for the state and for the whole country.
In the 'Popular Science Monthly.' March 1871, H. M. H. Wilson said:
Of all the acquisitions of American liberty, our educational system is the most vaunted, and as usual the most spoiled.
However bitter it may be, the inevitable conclusion is this: the development of our present system of. education carries with it the destruction of individuality, and that destruction means political, intellectual and social stagnation.
In the 'Journal of Education,' March 17, 1881, Mr. Hazen said:
The moral aspect of our schools is distressing. It is no more a question of the Bible to be kept or excluded, of Catholic or Protestant influence, but rather of such immoral tendencies that our public schools are a menace to the family, the state and the nation.
The Rev. John Donne, at the ministerial meeting at Cleveland, Ohio, in June, 1888, said :
I believe that immorality and drunkenness often are the work of that American God, the public school.
The Rev. Thomas Green, pastor of the St. Andrew's church, in Chicago, said in November, 1886 :
There is a great evil in the public schools as directed.
3085 MARCH 23, 1905
Mr. Green's opinion was that the secularization of the schools is largely responsible of the evils to be found in the business and social world. Without the Bible, without Christ, Without religion. almost without morals, they can only engender atheism and infidelity, and he desired the establishment of parochial schools to counteract to a certain extent the evil influence of the public schools.
The New York 'Methodist,' some years ago, declared the public schools to be ' hot beds of infidelity.'
At the beginning of the year 1889, the Boston 'Pilot' said :—
Let us be just and honest, It is a notorious fact which we should not forget that thousands of children or both sexes, born of Protestant and American parents, do not receive in this country any religious or moral education.
Dr. Shearer, president of Dawson College in North Carolina. declared in December, 1889, that the non-sectarian character of the schools impeded the religious education of Presbyterian youths. He strongly recomended the establishment of schools to be maintained by the church for this purpose. The Presbyterian synod of California in 1881, adopted a report of the education committee presented by the Reverend Dr. Scott, recommending the opening of denominational schools. 111 1862. the superintendent of public instruction for the State of New York reported that the teachers were so lacking in knowledge that the matter had become a source of great embarrassment. In 1873, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., speaking of the Quincy schools says :—
In other words, it was evident that after eight years at school, children in general could neither write nor read with facility.
In 1877, a member of the Cleveland, Ohio. Board of Education complains of the system of schools and says :—
There is a positive delusion in the development of our schools.
In his report of 1878-1879. Mr. Ezra Carr quotes approvingly, the following from the 'Atlantic Monthly ':—
Two things are particularly noticeable in our system of popular education :
It tends to stifle the taste for literature and the sense of the value of modern history. It is a serious defect. However its most characteristic and common result is a. distaste for manual labour.
The Boston correspondent of the San Francisco ' Call ' wrote in his paper in 1877 :
A great many people concerned in the administration of our public schools have come to the conclusion that the system in our city il a complete failure.
According to Mr. Richard Grant White, it was established officially in 1875, that the examination for matriculation of candidates for West Point during the preceding twenty- five years had shown a gradual falling off 3086 as far as elementary knowledge was concerned.
In 1880, Reverend Dr. McLean, Congregational church, said :—
Throughout the United States there is a continually increasing number of people who are dissatisfied with our present school system.
In 1881, the Boston Journal of Education' said :
In many of our large and small cities, the painful conviction is gaining ground that our public schools are not giving us our money's worth and are not realizing our expectations.
Mr. Z. Montgomery, formerly of Oakland, California, and a high official of the Department of Justice in Washington, made a campaign against public schools. He was a Catholic. Yet during his campaign he received many Protestant approvals. Rev. W. D. Blackwell, of Trenton, New Jersey, wrote him :
I am a Presbyterian, but in perfect accord with you on this question of the schools.
In February, 1882, the San Francisco ' Examiner,' in an article on education, said :
One of the most serious questions we have to examine in this regard, has reference to the value of our public school system; the conclusion to which an impartial and intelligent observer is driven, is far from recognizing the wisdom and efficacy of the school organization maintained by the public.
Dr. Boyce, in his work entitled ' Deterioration and Race Education,' says :
Our present school system kills in the child every natural inclination for physical labour; it fills the country with place hunters and the working classes feel that the children who are called to succeed them derive no benefit from such schools.
Richard Grant White, in an article in the ' North American Review,' in 1880, gave statistics as to criminality in states where public schools system has been in existence for the longest time. Finally, the National Christian Association, composed of over fifteen Protestant denominations, protested in 1880 against secular schools as follows :
To cultivate the intelligence without improving the moral character is to develop clever men only. The Bible must therefore be associated with books of science and education in all our institutions.
I do not wish to multiply these citations. There are a great number, and they all go to prove, not that the system is to be condemned, for you cannot condemn a national system which is untested. but that outside of Catholics themselves, there are in the United States a very large number of thinking men who perceive in these schools, from which religion is absolutely banished, a grave danger to the state. That is all I want to prove. I am not passing judgment on the system. I am not in a position to do it. But I say that all people are not 3087 COMMONS unanimous as to its merits. Under those circumstances, it seems strange that we should wander away from British traditions and be seduced into favouring a system which, to my mind at any rate, presents some very serious objections.
I did not wish to take up more time than I should, but I wished to give fully my views to the House. I regret to have to say it, but there has been in the public discussion of this question an endeavour to convey to the public that outside of all other considerations, outside of the constitutional question, which is a very grave one, it would be, from the point of view of expediency and policy, a great misfortune to see established in these provinces the schools of the Catholic minority. Are they then so inferior ? Are these schools productive of nothing but ignorance ? One is entitled to ask that question in view of what one reads and hears every day. Is that the fact? Well, in the United States where the natural rights of the parent to educate his child, the natural right of the citizen not to pay taxes for the support of schools to which he cannot send his children, is disregarded, what do we find? The calculation has been made and the statistics are there to prove it. We find that the Catholics, who cannot conscientiously send their children to these public schools, are obliged to expend, and do expend annually —what amount do you think ? Over $50,000,000 a year in order to provide that adequate education for their children which their consciences oblige them to provide. I forget how many millions they expend in the city of New York alone. And they expend those millions to provide schools of their own with Catholic teachers. These schools are sometimes visited by impartial judges, and the education given in them is found just as good, and often better, than that given in the public schools. So that we have this spectacle in the United States, of a large portion of the people being obliged to pay taxes for schools to which they cannot send their children, and having to tax themselves further in order to provide schools which will satisfy the dictates of their conscience and enable them to exercise that right which is the natural undeniable right of every parent, the right to educate his own children in the manner he thinks best. But under this tyranny exercised under the American constitution, they are obliged, in order to exercise that right, to pay double taxation. Is that what we want to see under the British flag in Canada? I say it is not desirable that anything of the kind should exist in this country. And outside, of constitutional considerations—the value of which I acknowledge and to the opinions of those who hold them I pay every deference—I will always uphold the principle in discussion under the present Bill,namely, the right of a parent 3088 to educate his child as he thinks best. And at the risk of being a little lengthy, will you allow me just to quote what the First Minister of England had to say with reference to that phase of the question in discussing the Educational Bill. Speaking of the religious question, Mr. Balfour said :—
I cannot leave this topic of the necessity of the voluntary schools without saying that in my opinion they are necessary also for another and a very different reason. What is the theory which, on both sides of the House as I think— I do not recognize any difference of principles between us—we ought to adopt with regard to denominational education in public schools. We do not insist, as everybody knows, upon teaching the children of this country any particular religion. We do insist upon teaching them a recognized arithmetic, a recognized geography, history, &c. In the one case we decline the responsibility, leaving the responsibility to the parents, and in the other we are agreed that the state may properly take the responsibility of saying to every parent, so far as secular education is concerned, your child shall learn what we think fit to teach it. Of course the reason of this difference is known to all. We are agreed about secular education. We are not agreed about religious education. Whatever be the historic origin or the present state of things, we have, as a community, repudiated responsibility for teaching the particular form of religion. We maintain the responsibility, we gladly assume the responsibility for teaching secular learning. As we have thus left to the parents the responsibility for choosing what religion their children are to learn surely we ought, as far as we can consistently with the inevitable limitations which the practical necessity of the case put upon us, make our system as elastic as we can in order to meet their wishes.
And he goes on to explain exactly the position they take in England in regard to this difficult matter and how they have solved it. I have read many of the speeches of English statesmen upon this Education Bill, a Bill which has afforded ground for so much discussion in England. I venture to say that there is not a word in those speeches that could not be uttered from the pulpit of any Catholic Church in my province and to every sentence of which every member of the congregation would not be prepared to say, 'Amen.' Which shows how far they go in regard to religious liberty in educational matters on the other side oi the water.
And now, Mr. Speaker, I feel that I have sufficiently made known my opinions in regard to this matter. I wish before resuming my seat, to make a very brief allusion to the character of the discussion of this matter in the public press. We have heard a great deal about freedom of the Northwest and about common schools ; we have seen in some papers a clear indication that, were opportunity offered, there exists a great desire to deprive this minority, once for all of even a shred of the rights which they preserve at the present moment in the 3089 MARCH 24, 1905 Northwest Territories. The discussion has gone even farther, and it has been time and again written and said that those in this House who defend the rights of the minority are under clerical influence, are acting under the dictation of the hierarchy, whatever that may mean. What is the meaning of these insinuations ? If they were uttered once or twice. if they appeared, so to speak, by accident, one would be prepared to treat them with the tolerance which must necessarily be the quality of a public man if he wishes to live. But it has been so often stated that those who in this House adopt the view which I adopt are under the domination of the clergy, that I wish at any rate for my part, to enter my protest against that insinuation. There is no foundation for that accusation, and those who make it know not of what they speak. I say, I come to this House to fulfil my duty to my country without any control over me of priest or bishop or anybody else. That control I have never admitted, and that control never existed. As a matter of fact, I venture to say, the clergy in my province "do not exercise any control upon the decision of public questions and the votes which we give in this House. That control does not exist ; it is a figment of the mind. And, when men take the trouble to write in newspapers—not to speak in the irritation of the moment, but to write deliberately —that those who are in my position in this House are under outside control, are, so to speak, led by extraneous influences, they are casting upon us a libel which we do not deserve. I venture to say there is not a voter in the Dominion of Canada who would be more free from clerical influence than the average voter of the province of Quebec. Priests exercise no influence in these matters. They refrain from action in them. And they could not interfere with the exercise of the franchise. Take the case of my own county; I verily believe that if the parish priests of my county—and they are respectable men—were to unite to secure my election, I would lose my deposit. They do not interfere in elections; they scarcely vote. I am prepared to admit that there are isolated cases where a clergyman, not of my own denomination only, but of other denominations as well, has interfered. What has been the consequence in Quebec Where these isolated cases have occurred ? They have led to lawsuits and to the final departure of the parish priest from the charge of the parish—that has been the history of such cases. As a matter of fact I repeat there is no man who would resent more promptly (and I could give numberless examples of it) any interference by the priest with the exercise of the franchise than would the average voter of the province of Quebec. And, as a public man, I believe that everybody is in the same 3090 position of independence that I am in myself. I would like to see anybody be he priest or bishop, interfere with me in the exercise of my functions in this House. I thought it necessary to make this declaration, because, these things being so often repeated it becomes essential that they should be denied. As to the boring underground of the black-robed men who are all the time acting by hidden, obscure, mysterious conspiracies upon members of parliament, upon the electors in general—all this is nothing but a chimera.
Mr. Speaker, I have finished. I do not wish to go one step farther, but you will allow me in closing to quote the last sentence of Mr. Balfour's speech upon the Education Bill :
No other scheme—be it what you like—will give to the educational evils of this country the complete, radical, and final cure which this Bill will give. I count upon the support of our countrymen to enable us to close for ever these barren controversies which for too long have occupied our time, and in the interests alike of parental liberty and of educational efficiency to terminate the present system of costly confusion.
If I quote these sentences it is because they express in far better, far loftier language than I can command my own view in regard to these questions in general. If I could have my wish in the forming of these two new provinces, it would be that in the conduct of public affairs, particularly in the treatment of the minority—which, practically whatever we may enact, is entirely confided to the generosity of the majority— they may have men to lead the destinies of these two great provinces according to the example of these great statesmen of England.
Hon. CLIFFORD SIFTON moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, House adjourned at 11 p.m.


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



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