House of Commons, 29 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan



WEDNESDAY, March 29, 1905.
The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.


Mr. H. GERVAIS (Montreal, St. James) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 128) to amend the Canada Temperance Act.
Mr. GERVAIS. Mr. Speaker, the object of this Bill is very simple. As every one 3360 knows, in the Criminal Code of Canada, 1892, it is provided that there shall be an appeal from any judgment or any verdict given by any court of criminal jurisdiction, whether this court has an inferior or a superior jurisdiction in criminal matters. If hon. gentlemen will look up articles 742, 743 and 782, they will see that there is an appeal from any verdict or judgment given by a court having superior jurisdiction in criminal matters. There is an appeal in cases of jury trial, summary trial and speedy trial, whether the case is proceeded with under articles 742, 743 or 782, or under articles 659, 765, 782, 783 or 842 of the Criminal Code. Then, in cases of summary conviction, under article 879, there is an appeal under certain conditions and in accordance with certain formalities. All the litigants who have had anything to do with the application of the Canada Temperance Act have been complaining about the denial of an appeal. This feature of the law is enacted in section 119 of chapter 106 of the Revised Statutes of Canada as amended by the Act 51 Victoria, chapter 34. We think, and everybody thinks, that it is most unfair and unjust that the right of appeal which is given under the criminal law in any case should have been denied under section 119 of the Canada Temperance Act. Even in a case of summary conviction, in which the accused is condemned to pay a fine of $5 or go to jail for one day, he has the right of appeal, while, on the contrary, under section 119 he has no such right of appeal in most cases, though he may have been fined heavily or condemned to a long imprisonment. We desire this amendment so that the law giving the right of appeal in ordinary cases shall be made applicable to the Canada Temperance Act. Moreover, by this amendment, we wish that no litigant having to appear either before a criminal court or a civil court, be denied that useful remedy, the British writ of ' certiorari.'
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.



Mr. MONK asked:
1. Is there in existence at lease to John Frothingham, or to the estate of the late John Frothingham, from the government, of water- powers at cote St. Paul on the Lachine canal?
2. What is the amount of the annual rent payable under said lease ?
3. What is the period of duration of said lease ?
Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals) : 1, 2, 3. There is no such lease.


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.
Hon. GEORGE E. FOSTER (North Toronto). Mr. Speaker, the proposition which is at present under the consideration of the House, and the discussion which has so far ensued upon it, have not lacked for variety and dramatic incident. No legislation introduced into this parliament in my time has been more prolific of change and of the unexpected. Changes in principle and in policy and in modes of thought may be discerned comparing the present with the past. Time was when gentlemen who within a few years made an entire change of front in regard to their method of thinking and acting upon any given subject, thought it was at least worth while and in a certain measure necessary that they should endeavour to satisfy the desire of the House and of the country for reasonable explanation. In those days consistency was somewhat prized, but in the later days of the new Liberalism cabinet ministers have grown too practical for that consideration and do not even deign to give an explanation for a complete and entire change of front brought about within the space of a very few years. A time there was when principle was considered as something somewhat precious and not to be repudiated ; a time there was when responsibility attached to principle was considered to be of weight and importance. But, this new Liberalism which is confronting us, seems, when it starts for parliament, to put into its valise every other thing necessary or utilizable, and the last thing thought of is principle. Party fealty and party attachments are carefully stowed therein, and these gentlemen think that these fill the bill—or at all events fill the valise. There was a time when the constitution of this country had something stable and sacred about it. The fathers of confederation who met in Quebec and modelled our constitution, the palladium of the rights of the provinces and the Dominion alike ; they believed the constitution to be an important, a stable and sacred thing. But to-day the constitution is thrown idly aside, relegated to the garret of the archives, and ministers are too practical to think of the constitution stopping them when they want to carry out their desires. And, although the Prime Minister had courage, and old-fashioned thought and method enough to bring it out and lift it to something of its old-time importance, the ministers who spoke after him kicked it as a football from floor to ceiling, and where we are to-day we scarcely know. 3364 Changes of principles once cherished are apparent to the most casual observer, but they are treated with so delightful a carelessness as to consistency and consequence, that it makes it interesting to the mere spectator, even though it is somewhat painful to the man of thought.
Let us take into consideration for a moment the circumstances which have preceded and up to this time have accompanied the introduction and discussion of this matter in the House. Weighing these circumstances, would not the unimpassioned spectator come to the hypothesis that some time ago the Prime Minister of Canada, smarting under events which took place in 1896 and since, had determined that with reference to the great Northwest the situation should be retrieved from a certain point of view, and that in the constitution which should be given to the new provinces the principle of separate schools should be embodied, cost what it might. Would that be a violent hypothesis ? Let us see how the circumstances fit in with it. For two, or three, or four years previous to the election of 1904 in the Northwest, in this parliament, and to a certain extent in the whole Dominion, the question of autonomy for the Northwest Territories was to the front. It was particularly to the front in the Northwest Territories; in 1901 a draft Bill was prepared and resolutions which met with the approval of the Northwest Legislature were adopted.
Negotiations were undertaken ; the matter was pressed ; the matter was considered, as we know from the speech made here by the ex-Minister of the Interior, and considered often, and to a certain extent carefully and on all sides. But the Prime Minister had determined that to that creative body whose duty it should be to give substance to the constitution of the new provinces, no possible mandate should be given by the electorate of this country before they came to this parliament and were asked to consummate the creative Act. That is important to be remembered. The Prime Minister himself refused to undertake the erection of provinces two years ago, although there cannot be any sufficient reason given as to why, if the Territories to-day are equal to the work and the duties that follow therefrom, they were not ready to an almost equal degree to be constituted two years ago, or one year previous to the elections of 1904. But it did not suit the purposes of the Prime Minister to undertake the erection of those provinces before the general election. Little less did it suit him to have the subject mooted during the time of the election of the responsible and representative body which was to be asked to consummate the Act of creation of the provinces. And so the word went forth. His own minister of the Interior, long a resident of the country, one of the most prominent if not the most prominent men from that district, one who prob 3365                 MARCH 29, 1905                     ably knew more about the circumstances and the history of that country than any other man he had in his cabinet, and probably than any other man in this country, went to the Northwest, if not under seal and pledge not to open his mouth with reference to the conditions of the creation of those provinces into an autonomy, yet certainly practically carrying out such instructions by absolutely refusing to be led into the utterance of a single word which would go to show the people of the Northwest under what probable or possible conditions autonomy should be given. But it cannot be said that the question was not mooted. The premier of that country, speaking in Regina one week before the Minister of the Interior spoke there, challenged an expression of opinion from the Minister of the Interior ; left a certain number of questions to be answered, if the Minister of the Interior would have the goodness to answer them, as to the information to be given to the people of the Northwest just then, when they were about to elect representatives who would be called upon to consummate the Act of formation into provinces, as to the conditions, with reference to territorial division, lands, education and finances, under which the new provinces would be brought in. Was it not a subject which might well have engaged the attention of the Minister of the Interior ? Were those points of information which it would not have been right and proper for the minister to discuss before the people whose interests were chiefly to be affected ? But the minister's only reply was : You must trust the government ; and to the gentleman who put the question his only reply was, you are a mischief-maker, that is what you are. The question was also put to the candidates who were running in the Northwest. They were challenged. They had one reply- the reply of the drilled and the taught : You ask us what the probable conditions will be ; we trust the government ; we have faith in the government. The cry of the minister was : Trust the govermnent ; and the declaration of the candidates was : We have faith in the government. But from neither minister nor candidate was there a single intimation as to what would be the probable conditions. So much with reference to that. Carrying out my hypothesis, when the elections were over and the first of the probable five years of the government's term commenced, with those incidental advantages which every one knows quite well, immediately negotiations were taken up, immediately the government set to work, immediately the Northwest candidates who were elected were called into council, immediately the representatives of the government of the Northwest Territories were called to Ottawa. Negotiations were undertaken, conferences took place, and in the course of a few weeks or a few 3366 months parliament was called together and the Bill was introduced. The creative instrument was formed, and it was presented to parliament. That creative instrument, as it was brought down on the 21st of February, was accompanied by a certificate of parentage given to it by the premier. He himself as premier, his united government, the representatives of the Northwest, on that side of the House at least, whose advice he had the advantage of, and the representatives of the government of the Northwest Territories, all had had their part in consultation or information ; and this child was brought forward with the certificate of parentage of a strong and united government, having had full consultation with the representatives of the Territories to be affected. Shortly after that was brought down, something occurred. A trouble arose, disruption took place, and within a few days one of the most considerable ministers of the cabinet handed in his resignation, and gave as his reason that he had not been consulted with reference to the educational clause, that he dissented from it on the record of his life, and on account of the principles so often and so loudly professed, and that on that account he could not remain longer a member of the government. We immediately asked explanations and we soon found out that another minister of the government,— if not the most important at least one of the most important—had not been consulted upon the measure. Absent from the city and absent from the country, he had not been allowed an opportunity—why such haste ?—of reading the clause of the Bill before it was brought down to this House. There were then two facts of importance. There was the fact that the government, as a united body had not formed that measure and there was the additional fact that there was displayed a haste almost undignified to get the Bill before the House and the country before those two important members of the cabinet should have an opportunity of being present in Council and expressing their views. What was still more remarkable was this, that on the most important clauses of the Bill, two members of the cabinet, who had been the strongest in their opposition to the principles embodied in that clause, were the very two members in whose temporary absence the Bill had been passed by the Council and submitted to parliament.
Other facts came out. It became known in the course of time that if the members from the Northwest supporting the government had been consulted and if they had been aware of the import of the clauses in question, they had not been careful enough or had been too indifferent to make their opinion felt. These hon. gentlemen, every one of them. so far as I know, expressed his dissent immediately after the Bill was brought down and the 3367                     COMMONS                 Minister of the Interior had returned, and went into, if not open yet secret revolt. Something else came out. It came out that the representatives of the only government which the Territories have— there are three members in that government—based on the agitation of the subject in their country and their legislature, based on a draft Bill which they themselves had drawn. based on a desire and agitation for autonomy—it came out that two of the three, backed and supported by the third member of the government, came down to Ottawa, as the authorized negotiators on behalf of the Territories, to confer with the Dominion government. Was it not to be expected that these properly authenticated representatives of the legislature of the Territories and the people of the Northwest would have been given an opportunity to say something in a matter which meant everything to their people, which meant everything to the country which they governed, and governed under large representative institutions ? Was it an unheard of thing or was it too bold a thing to ask that these representatives should have been loyally met and conferred with ? Yet what came out ? It came out that with reference to the most important clause of the Bill, the only clause which to-day, you may say, is claiming the attention of this House and the country—the representatives of that government were casually informed about it on a Friday and were given an opportunity to confer and discuss just exactly three hours before that Bill with that clause was submitted to parliament. What reason was there that in the case of a territory containing half a million people, with immense interests at stake, represented by its own government, the choice of its own legislature, the legislators in which were the choice of the constituents of that same broad territory—what reason was there that the representatives of these Territories should not have had some kind of determining voice in what was to be their constitution ? Was it not to be expected that they should at least have had the courtesy of constant and frequent and loyal and thorough conference ? Was there any reason why the First Minister, who in previous times has been always foremost and loud in his assertion of the rights and duties of provinces in these compacts that are made and are merged into a constitution, should have treated them so cavalierly as to have mentioned the subject on a certain Friday, and only within three hours before the Bill was introduced into parliament sent a sub-committee to talk over the matter with these representatives. Two excuses have been made, both by members of the government. The first was made by my hon. friend the Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding). What was it ? Oh, said he, Mr. Haultain is only the premier of that province, Mr. Bulyea is a member of his government, 3368 Mr. Bulyea has expressed his satisfaction with these clauses, and Mr. Haultain only represents his own opinion. Did I say a while ago that there used to be such a thing as a fair deference for constitutional methods ? That evidently does not exist in the mind of the Finance Minister to-day. That hon. gentleman thinks that when the representatives of a local government are accredited to carry on negotiations with the Dominion government, and when one of these representatives is the First Minister of that local government and the other a member of its cabinet, if the one who is a sub-member, so to speak, signifies his adhesion to the measure, the other who is the First Minister, does not count. It is the tail that swings the body according to the Finance Minister. I wonder why the tail from the Northwest, in the person of the Minister of the Interior, did not swing the Prime Minister ? But another member of the government had a still more ingenious excuse. He said that Mr. Haultain was a very estimable gentleman but only a Tory gentleman and it was his duty and purpose to oppose this government. Delightful constitutional doctrine, that is, especially coming from an almost member of the cabinet, the Solicitor General. If Mr. Bulyea has signified—and I do not know that he has— his assent to that clause, it seems to me that the First Minister of the Territories is still left as a man to be accounted with and negotiated with. Is it true or is it not that during the course of these negotiations- if you can call them such—which took place before the 21st February, the First Minister had frequent conferences with Mr. Bulyea when Mr. Haultain was absent, and unknown to Mr. Haultain.
Is it true that the Liberal members from the Northwest collogued with Mr. Bul yea and the Prime Minister unknown to Mr. Haultain and without any invitation to Mr. Haultain to be present ? That can be answered ; it is either true or not true. But, if it is not answered, and therefore we take it to be true, it is another odd illustration of the strange metamorphosis that has taken place in our constitutional methods. These things are a part of what has occurred. But something more strange and startling and dramatic even than all this has occurred. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) stood in his place in this House and said that he had resigned because clause 16, introduced without his knowledge and without his consent, was in contravention of his principles and of his life-long political record, and consequently he had nothing to do but to resign from the cabinet. And, after three weeks of fightings within and rumours without, of multitudinous midnight parleys and countless journeys by noonday, the Minister of the Interior came down and told us that at last he had been able to put the ring into the nose of the government 3369                 MARCH 29, 1905                     and bring it to its knees. He had lassoed a wild steer of the prairies and brought it up to the ring-bolt. Now, a strange, a luminous, in some respects a lurid, light is thrown upon this whole transaction by this speech of the Minister of the Interior.
An hon. MEMBER. Ex-minister.
Mr. FOSTER. He was minister before he resigned.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. And he may be minister now.
Mr. FOSTER. We do not know. This may be the last day he will be out. What did the Minister of the Interior say ? He stated that he had dissented from clause 16 because he was opposed to the principle of it. And what did the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) say the other day ? He said that the moment he read that clause, he went to the Prime Minister and discussed the matter with him and laid before him his objections to it. Did the Prime Minister meet him in any way ? We only know that the result of that conference was that Mr. Sifton, the Minister of the Interior, resigned because he could not accept clause 16. And, now, a strange thing happens, and one most difficult to reconcile with all that has gone before. The Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) himself, in his place in parliament, declared : I never intended that in that legislation any more should be granted than is at present enjoyed under the ordinances of the Northwest. And the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) from his place in this House declared that it was never the intention of the government that anything more should be put into the constitution of the new provinces than absolutely what was enjoyed under the ordinances I have spoken of. Now, it is to be presumed—at least, it ought to be presumable-that when the Minister of the Interior, an intelligent man, went to the Prime Minister, another intelligent man and, as we suppose, told him that because of his reading of clause 16 he was obliged to dissent and leave the cabinet, it ought to be presumable in that case that the other intelligent man the Prime Minister must have said to him : Mr. Sifton, I never meant what you read in that clause ; all that I meant, or mean to-day, is that the Northwest shall enjoy, as to separate schools, only the privileges that it has at the present time. Did that conversation take place? The moment it did, Mr. Sifton, and the Prime Minister were at one, and there was no cause for resignation. Did that conversation not take place, at least so far as the Prime Minister is concerned ? Then, if the Prime Minister's statement, made in this House, is correct and he never intended anything but what is in the present ordinances, it was clearly his duty to 3370 state that fact to his Minister of the Interior and so make the resignation of that minister unnecessary. But the Prime Minister does not appear, so far as the records show, to have done either the one thing or the other—or else there is a mystery, a most mysterious mystery, as to why the Minister of the Interior resigned. Was it on the cards that he should resign anyway ? And was this misunderstanding allowed to continue in order to give him a chance to resign? For, what happens at the end of three weeks time ? The clause is brought down exactly to the liking of the Minister of the Interior. If the Prime Minister did not wish to get rid of his Minister of the Interior, why did not he agree with him in the way and before the breaking out took place. Can there be any explanation of that mystery? I leave it to hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House.
But, Sir, something else happens. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), the other day, gave us the reason why it was impossible for him to agree to clause 16. I am not going to make a scrap-book of myself in these remarks, because it is not pleasant to the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) to hear scrap-book quotations. But let me give, in effect, the reason why the Minister of the Interior could not assent to clause 16, as that reason was given by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) himself. He said, in the first place, that the Prime Minister had been very ill-advised to bring down that clause without giving him a chance to impart his knowledge and opinions concerning it. It turns out that that was correct on the part of the Minister of the Interior anyway. But the reason why the Minister of the Interior could not swallow clause 16 was this—that in the verbiage, compact, well thought out, put together by the hand of a master, there was something concealed. Not altogether concealed from himself, the Minister of the Interior said— he knew too much for that. But what was concealed in that verbiage ? There was an irrevocable constitutional ear-mark upon the public funds devouring them for ever to a separate school minority in those Territories, an ear-mark which made one of the greatest endowments in the whole history of the world for sectarian institutions and sectarian purposes, in the fifty million dollars' worth of Northwest lands. That is why the Minister of the Interior could not swallow clause 16. Now, it would be a pity if we could not take the Minister of the Interior at his own valuation.
But we have endorsements, for when the Minister of the Interior stated that in no unequivocal language, in face of his former leader, his former leader assented by utter silence, the Minister of Justice assented by utter silence, and the Postmaster General applauded to the echo, as did also the Minister of Customs and the Minister of Fin 3371 COMMONS   ance. Now the further question that arises is this: What potent and soporitic drug had been administered to the Postmaster General, that lynx- eyed man of business and reader of constitutional law, what strange mixture had been administered to the Minister of Finance, generally clear-headed and long-sighted, and to our incomparable Minister of Customs—what had been administered in order to put them into a sleep of months, whilst that aptly-worded, finely phrased clause concealed within its innocent outside the foundation and formation of an irrevocable constitutionally ear-marked sectarian endowment, than which there has been none greater in the history of the world? The Postmaster General was a member of the sub-committee that framed the Bill. The Postmaster General has only one of two alternatives: Either he did not know what was in that clause, and consequently he is unworthy of his position; or he did know it, and he assented to it ; and if it had not been for the superior nerve of the Minister of the Interior, this country would have been no wiser to this day, that clause might have gone through, and the Postmaster General would have had to father the responsibility of it Now has the Postmaster General any excuse to offer? Was he on that sub-committee? Did he help to frame that clause? Did he assent to what the ex-Minister of the Interior said the other day? He applauded his utterance, silent under the lash, but he assented to it. What excuse has he with his former record staring him in the face, read and known of all men in this country? What excuse had he for attempting to ear-mark with a constitutional and irrevocable ear-mark, such an endowment as that for sectarian purposes in the great Northwest ? That is a question which the Postmaster General must answer. The same question may be put to the Minister of Customs and to the Minister of Finance.
But I thought I noticed—am I wrong, Mr. Speaker ?—I thought I noticed that when the ex-Minister of the Interior was flourishing that lash, lead-loaded, and bringing it down on the backs of certain former colleagues, and when he mentioned casually the existence of a draftsman, he was most particularly - not with a tear in his eye, not with a mournful countenance but it seemed to me with something like a manly glee - watching the effect of the tip of the lash on the back of the Minister of Justice. May be I was wrong in my supposition. If so, I give it just for what it is worth. But other things aside, the Minister of Justice I am sure, will not shelter himself behind the back of a draftsman, the Minister of Justice will take the responsibility for that clause, and in common parlance it will be up to him to explain why, surreptitiously shall I say, concealed in fine legal phrase he got ahead of the Minister of Customs, got ahead of the lynx-eyed  Postmaster Gen 3372 eral, got ahead even of his premier. It may be, and concealed in that verbiage the potency and power of a most wonderful, and remarkable, and enduring instrument. It is for the Minister of Justice to explain that matter. 
Now, either the Minister of the Interior is right or he is wrong. Why do I conclude that he is right? Because he has absolutely forced the government, after he had gone out of the government. to come to his terms. and they had three weeks afterwards to employ another draftsman— I am glad to say they did not get another Minister of Justice—but certainly to employ another draftsman, and to take out the concealed virus that was in section 16, No. 1, and substitute for it the plain and easily read verbiage of section 16, No. 2. Now the Minister of the Interior made his protest on these grounds. Three weeks brought him back into this House triumphant, leading the premier and his colleagues in leash, and administering the lash to those sleepy, or incompetent, or careless minnister who allowed such a thing to get into clause 16, No. 1, and came near doing it to the everlasting death of the sturdy yoeman of the Northwest. This last incident is the most dramatic of any that has occurred so far. But we live in a time and we are in a House where we may expect almost anything. Does anybody suppose that this is the last dramatic incident that .will take place? To-morrow. may be, we will have the anonuncement that the Minister of the Interior, formerly the victorious man in his three weeks contest, will be re-seated on the government benches and in possession of his old portfolio. It may be—the premier was not ready to answer the question today, but he thought that he might to-morrow. By the efflux of time I believe it will be a pretty near to-morrow if it is to be in the affirmative.
But here is another thought that comes up at the same time. All this, as I said at first. is in pursuance of an hypothesis that the Prime Minister had determined to put this thing through, cost what it might, and these are the methods he has taken to put it through—the autocratic methods. What is the inducement that brought back the Minister of the Interior and joined him again to his colleagues, his leader and his party, in the advocacy—no, not in the advocacy, but in the voting support of this measure that is now before the House? What was the inducement—because there were strong inducements on the other side. On the other side were his principles, on the other side was his record from the old Manitoba times up to the present; on the other side was his reputation before the country as an adherent of principle. What was on this side in order to induce the Minister of the Interior to come back and put himself en rapport with his leader and his party on a question and 3373 MARCH 29, 1905 upon a clause to the principle of which he still declares he is opposed, and to which, his whole record is opposed ?
Well, Sir, we have seen things. We have seen in this government three of its ablest ministers go out in the prime and vigour of their years. One, the former Minister of Railways and Canals, heralded, lauded, declared to be the strong man of the government, took a stand upon principle upon a certain most important measure and handed in his resignation as a protest because he believed that the measure which was introduced would be a measure fraught with incalculable injury to his country and he could not give his assent to it. The only logical course for a man who did that was to see that a measure so fraught with evil was fought to its latest and did not become part of the statutes of this country. But, Sir, the Prime Minister knows a thing or two. He approached the Minister of Railways and Canals, pistol in one hand, soporific in the other. It is not on record, because these negotiations were verbal largely, as to whether the trigger of the pistol was pulled or not, but it is on record that the soporific was taken and taken effectually. With a fine disregard of the principles of the hon. Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) that public offices and public emoluments should not be used for purely and solely party interests the right hon. First Minister used the money and public offices of this country as a soporific to lull for the time being and until his purposes were accomplished the dissent and protest of one of his strongest ministers. To-day he meets his former Minister of the Interior, pistol in one hand and soporific in the other. Here again the communications are verbal, there is no written record, we do not know whether the pistol had to be drawn positively or not, and we do not know yet what the soporific is, but it is to be powerful and effective. One other minister remained, not by any means the least strong or the least active. On what principle he went out, or assumed to go out, I do not quite know nor do I quite know how he views it. The pistol was evidently applied but whether there is a compensating soporific yet to come or not we shall have to wait for time to reveal. Let me hope and express some confidence in the hope that out of the three there will be at least one minister who will have the manliness to stand firm, and having gone out on principle will stay out on principle.
Now, Sir, having got that far, let me put a question to the Northwest members who are supporting the government in this House. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Their shepherd was sporting peacefully and pastorally in the far off southern hills and his sheep here were without an efficient shepherd, without what we call the leading one—I will not say the leading sheep, it is only a simile anyway. While 3374 the leading one was away the others unled fell into an artful design, a trap, laid —shall I say by the hon. Minister of Justice ?—No, not perhaps laid, but that facility of verbiage, that savoir faire way of putting a thing so that it shall be preserved and yet not seen was too much for the members from the Northwest in the absence of their lynx-eyed, keen and well informed leader. They all fell into the pit, they groaned in the pit and tumbled about in the pit until their leader came back and gently led them by paths out of the wilderness back to firmer and higher ground. But, for ever and for ever, say what you may, or think what you may, to the seven members from the Northwest who were conferred with, who gave their advice to help to formulate this Bill, who knew what was in it–for ever and for ever have they to bear the onus either of ignorance of what was in the Bill, or of indifference as to what was in it or of complicity in what the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior declared was the purpose of the clause. Now, this ought to give food for thought not only to the people of the Northwest but to the people of this country through and through. Then, I put this question to the right hon. Prime Minister : If, before the last election, he had made known his intention to develop two provinces out of the Territories and in giving them autonomy to withhold from them the power over their lands and the unlimited power to control their educational interests, how many men would he have had back here from the Northwest ? I ask the right hon. gentleman what would have been his status in this country to-day ? Is it to his credit that he kept back from the people that information or even an intimation of it and secured a following absolutely unpledged and without a mandate on this subject ? My hon. friend knows that there is only one answer to that. I will put another question to him. If the hon. ex- Minister of the Interior had stood out on his principle as he called it, would one single member from the Northwest have dared to go against him ? If he had stood out and if the rest had stood out with him would the right hon. leader of the government have dared to have attempted to put through his Bill ? That is the question. Therefore, there was an incentive and a motive either for the use of the pistol or the soporific. One or the other has been used undoubtedly as no man would have repudiated his principles and the record of a lifetime on a most grave question, unless there had been some further inducement than the ex-Minister of the Interior declared before us here the other day.
Now, sir, let us go a little further. We heard yesterday an interesting speech from the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). I do not propose to undertake the ungracious task of criticising that speech as every speech, the Prince Minister's and my 3375 own included, has its defects, I suppose, and this speech certainly had its defects as well as its beauties. As I listened to that speech, whilst many thoughts coursed through my brain, two or three might be mentioned this afternoon. The first one was this : what a mild and erudite and tactful pleader for toleration and national unity the hon. member proved himself yesterday ! How helpful it is, when we come to the decision of a constitutional question in the twentieth century, to have a very fine, a very learned discourse offered to us as to the wonderful, enduring and preservative power of the church in the far gone centuries in keeping the light of knowledge and science burning ! But we live in the 20th century ; we cannot decide now as to the merits of a common school system on what were the excellencies of the repositories of learning two, or three, or four centuries ago; we have to take the conditions as they are to-day and by weighing these conditions come to our own best conclusion.
One other thing came to my mind. I could not help but look alternately from the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) to the member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) ; the member for Labelle chock full of religious fervour and enthusiasm, a fervour and enthusiasm that does him infinite credit, declaring, as the culmination of his argument, that it was impossible for Catholics to thoroughly enjoy their religion unless they have complete control of their education. If that is the belief of the member for Labelle, or of any other good Catholic, I quarrel with no man's belief. It has been the fashion during this debate, and it follows from good feeling, to disclaim any personal bias when we speak of each other as Protestants or Catholics. I do not want to enter upon that apology, or to even affirm it is necessary, but I want to say this in justice to myself. I have been in public life since 1882, I have been on the back benches and on the front benches, I have spoken considerably often in this House (gentlemen opposite think quite too often), I have spoken a good deal through the country, and my speeches have been reported ; if any man can put his finger on one single sentence spoken here or spoken elsewhere in which I have uttered one illiberal or bigoted thought with reference to my Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, I would be thankful for him to do it. I don't think any man can. There is one circle which envelops every man that is sacred ground, it is the circle in which his God and his conscience meet. Against what occurs in that inner circle I have absolutely no right to intrude, and I claim the same treatment for myself. But this is what I mean : If these were the opinions of the member for Labelle, and undoubtedly they were, what kind of education does he want in these provinces ? What else can he want 3376 but one that will do him good from his point of view, a thing that is absolutely essential if he is not going to have a mere sham. The half hour privilege at the end of the school day to permit a priest in the school room to teach the dogmas of the church—will that satisfy him ? Is that the culmination of his depth of belief and his power of argument all verging towards the one conclusion ? Evidently not. Beside the member for Labelle sat the ex-Minister of the Interior, who, the other day, whittled it all down to the one half hour of religious teaching ; whittled it down to only that and nothing more. There, near the member for Labelle, sat the Prime Minister, who, in 1896, had the opportunity to prevent what the member for Labelle deplored as the robbery of the rights of the minority in the province of Manitoba. Never before in the history of confederation had such an opportunity arrived ; it is very probable it will never arrive again. The Prime Minister told us, with a convenient forgetfulness of the whole clause 93 : I was opposed to remedial legislation in 1896, because the law of the province of Manitoba had been declared to be a valid law, and I was against forcing Manitoba to relinquish what Manitoba had the right to enact. Is that the worship of the constitution that my right hon. friend has ; is that the only part of the constitution he reads ? There were two things in the Manitoba case in 1896. They had a right to their law and it was valid on one count, and that count was, that before Manitoba became a province there was no system of sectarian or denominational schools by law or practice. But there was another point which was covered by the British North America Act, and for which most especially the British North America Act was framed to cover. When Manitoba became a province it enacted a separate school law, and in 1890 it repealed that separate school law, and, under such circumstances the British North America Act, section 93, came in, and it is the only way in which it possibly could come in. Does my right hon. friend deny the fact ; does he deny the constitution ?
Then. Sir, the Roman Catholic minority came to him in 1896 and said : True, we were thrown down on the bad drafting or the insufficiency of the law, whichever you choose, but the Privy Council have declared that we have the right to get to the federal parliament through the federal government and to appeal as a last resort, if parliament considers it best to give us remedial legislation in order to restore, as far as possible, the rights of the minority. When that appeal was made to the hon. gentleman, could he take a part of section 93 and relieve himself from the duty, because that particular part of the section did not apply, whilst right before him was the other and pertinent part of the constitution which absolutely did apply ?
3377 MARCH 29, 1905
Now, Sir, I never was a separate school adherent, I never believed in separate schools as against national schools. In 1896 I stated my belief, as I state it now; I knew it was not politically to my advantage, I knew it was not politically to the advantage of the Liberal-Conservative party; but, Sir, without thinking of ulterior things, I said to myself: There is the constitution. there is the pronouncement of the highest judicial tribunal in this empire, there is the minority coming with a grievance and having the right to appeal to the Dominion government and the Dominion parliament, the only power that has jurisdiction to right their wrongs; I said to myself : I believe it is right, I believe in the policy of attempting to carry out the constitution. Let me ask this question: If my right hon. friend, in 1896, had thrown his forces with the forces that made for remedial legislation, who can doubt that we would have carried it in this parliament. No one can doubt it. And why was it not carried? The ex-Minister of the Interior told why when he said here the other day : The member for North Toronto wished to restore the schools, but he failed, and he failed because the right hon. the leader of this government threw himself across the way and prevented it.
Why should not the member for Labelle save some of his argument that he so generously distributed yesterday, and apply it to his own chief, the right hon. gentleman who leads the government, and tax him for two things. When he said that they had been robbed of their rights in Manitoba and were suffering from injustice there to-day, why did he not add: and that, Sir, was due to the action of the present Prime Minister, my own leader. More than that: when in clause 16, as brought down on the 21 st of February, his leader had provided for sectarian education in these provinces for ever with an endowment from the fund, Why did he, at the beck and call of the Minister of the Interior, who was their enemy, looked upon in that light, who destroyed their schools system in Manitoba, who prevented them from obtaining and retaining their rights there—why did he take out the clause that gave them something, and substitute the clause that which according to the Finance Minister. the Minister of Customs and the ex-Minister of the Interior, gives you absolutely notihing but the last weary half hour of instruction at the day's end and the name of a separate school. I am carrying out now strictly the argument of the ex-Minister of the Interior, acquiesced in by all the members of the government who have spoken; and no one who has not spoken has deemed it: necessary to rise and express his dissent from that argument. If his argument is correct and his facts are right and they are assented to by the members opposite— what. may I ask the member for Labelle. 3378 does the Northwest Bill provide at present, under those ordinances that are put into the constitution, and that are to become the measure and standard for all time to come? Listen to what Archbishop Taché says :
Nothing essential now distinguishes the Catholic schools from the Protestant schools but the designation, now ironical, of separate schools.
There is the church authority. Judge Rouleau says :
If separate schools exist now in name, they do not exist in fact.
There is the legal side of it.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. Is that in Manitoba?
Mr. FOSTER. No, that is in the Northwest. We have those two, the one representing—shall I mention the word ?—the hierarchy. I do not think hierarchy is an objectionable name ; I think it is an honourable name, and I am quite sure it is an honoured name, and I venture to use it, and to use it in that sense. The one the representative of the hierarchy, the other the representative of the bench, both of them strong Catholics, both speaking the French language, and both on the spot and able to speak from knowledge, thus express themselves. Now, may I ask the member for Labelle, if he is absolutely convinced of his theory and if he drives it to its logical conclusion, why did he sit 'still and not open his lips when the malign influence of the Minister of the Interior and the ex-Minister of the Interior was dragging out of the Bill clause 16, No. 1, which gave to the Northwest minority that which they demand, and which was conclusively demanded by the argument of the member for Labelle ? Must we again and again come to the conclusion, that with the member for Labelle it is the same as with the member for Brandon—they are both strong in the enunciation of their principles, but both very lax in carrying them out. On principle I am with Borden, but when it comes to a vote, I am with Laurier— that is the cynical and outspoken declaration of the ex-Minister of the Interior.
Now, let me come back to the Manitoba case. I was finishing that by saying that section 93 has two parts, and that the Prime Minister cannot get out of the obligation of the constitution by quoting only one part, in which he is relieved by a judgment of the Privy Council, and ignoring the other part, in which he is absolutely bound by the judgment of the Privy Council in so far as having a clear came for the action of this body under its jurisdiction. So much with reference to that.
One other point might be brought up. The ex-Minister of the Interior, speaking of the Manitoba question in 1896, said from his place in the House the other day:
The member for North Toronto and the cabinet to which he belonged endeavoured to put back on Manitoba a useless and inefficient and expensive system of education.
I deny it. All that we proposed to do was to embody the principle of remedial legislation to the largest extent to which it could be embodied ; but never with the idea that we should make permanent there a system of schools which should not be up-to- date, well inspected, well grounded and well carried out. We were not advocates of an inefficient school, neither do I think that the gentlemen who represented the cause of Manitoba were advocates of that kind of a school. No, it was not that. ' But,' said the ex-Minister of the Interior, ' when the commissioners came from Sir Charles Tupper's government, we offered them a compromise, which they refused to accept.' 'After the 1896 elections were over,' he added, ' we offered to the Laurier government, the right hon. gentleman's government, the very same compromise, ipsissima verba '— the very words he used—' and they accepted it.' What does the First Minister say ? When fresh from that settlement, of which there was no written but only a verbal record, he went down to the city of Montreal, and, standing up amongst his own people there, he said :
Yet after we have accepted from the provincial government of Manitoba much more than the commissioners of the late government asked last spring, we are now to be denounced none the less in the name of religion as traitors to our race and religion.
There was the statement made by the ex- Minister of the interior, and here is the statement made by the right hon. gentleman himself. Which is true, which is correct ? —the prime actor in the one case, with his memory fresh, with all the scars and all the laurels from the conflict still fresh upon him, and the Prime Minister of this country, who could not have gone through those negotiations and that contest of 1896 without having his memory also fresh with reference to what had happened. There is what the Prime Minister says in December, 1896 ; here is what the Minister of the Interior says in March, 1905 ; which is correct ? Did the theory that was put forth by the Solicitor General exercise its malign influence then, and did a responsible government in Manitoba, with important interests and grave issues at stake deliberately make up its mind that it would not give to a Tory government what it was prepared to give to a Liberal government ?
Now, Sir, look again at what takes place. The Prime Minister comes down and makes his argument absolutely on the constitutional phase of the question. He disclaims the breeding of strife, the letting loose of the demon of discord in this great parliament where different races and religions are represented. He says: Though I believe 3380 in separate schools, yet I argue this out on the constitution. His statement, is in so many words, that the constitution binds us, compels us, to give to the minority in these provinces that we are forming in the Northwest the same rights that are given under the constitution to Quebec and Ontario minorities. That is his exact statement ; it is in the unrevised 'Hansard ' ; it is in the revised ' Hansard '; it has been quoted before ; it has not been denied ; he will not deny it. Well, Sir, I do not commend that version of the compact of confederation to this House, and I do ask the House and the country to look into that for a little. So much has been said about toleration in Quebec, so much has been said about the binding power of the constitution, that, if my hon. friends opposite will allow me, I want to reason that out with them for a moment. I do it in the broadest and kindest spirit. You say you are tolerant to the Protestant minority in Quebec. I am glad to hear it. I am not going to stand here and deny it. But, when you say that you are tolerant to the minority, I ask you, ought not you so to be? They are your fellow-citizens. They are not your wards ; they contribute to your finances ; they build up your country ; they live side by side with your families ; the weal or woe of the province of Quebec must he shared equally by them and you. Ought you not to be tolerant toward them ? But, will the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) allow me one word to show why he should be a little self-contained when he makes this the plea for any extraordinary toleration for those of his own faith and race in other provinces. Here is a Protestant child in Quebec. He goes one morning to what is called the Quebec school. You may call these your national schools if you like ; but am I wrong in saying that, from the time that child enters the school at nine o'clock in the morning until he leaves it at four o'clock in the afternoon, he is under the direct, impressive, constant, inculcatory spirit and teaching of the Roman Catholic church ? I am not mistating the facts in that. For, the hon. member for Labelle, speaking on behalf of his people, says : We believe we cannot properly exercise our religion unless we have the right to teach our children our religion as and when we please So, does it not come to this, in all reason— that your schools in Quebec are not national schools; they are Roman Catholic schools ? The influence of the church, in the books, in the teachers, in the adornments in the positive dogmatic teaching is there from nine o'clock in the morning until four o'clock in the afternoon. And the Protestant boy has no other school to go to, unless you make provision for him. Is it extraordinary tolcration that, having no national schools, no schools that are undogmatic and unsectarian. if there is a Pro 3381 MARCH 29, 1905 testant minority in the province of Quebec, you are bound, to make provision for the Protestant—who is just as honest in allegiance to his creed and maintenance of his religious belief as is the Catholic—to give to him a place where he will not be constantly under the watchful and persuasive power and teaching of the Catholic Church. I am not going outside of the record in saying that. When you talk of toleration, I want you to think of that. And, now take the other case. Here is a Protestant child in Ontario. He goes to the public school. From the time he enters the school at nine o'clock in the morning until he goes out of it at four o'clock in the afternoon, there is no vestige of denominational or clerical teaching [or] influence. The Catholic child comes from the bosom of a Catholic family and returns to the bosom of that family at night absolutely unassailed and uninfluenced by any dogma denominational or clerical which is against his belief or against the course of his religious training. That is to say, in Ontario there are national schools. Now, the only ground you have to stand upon in objecting to this system in Ontario, is that it is the very absence of dogmatical teaching that you object to. Then, if you object to that, but not to any direct teaching or persuasion, that is the limit of your plea. But you cannot say that the Catholic child is under perverting influence. In the province of Quebec it is absolutely different from what it is in Ontario ; do you not see that ?—and consequently you must not stretch this claim of your toleration too far.
Mr. BOURASSA. Will the hon. gentleman allow me a word ?
Mr. FOSTER. Certainly.
Mr. BOURASSA. I would like to impress upon the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Foster's) mind the point of view we take ;—we say that it is as unjust to compel a Catholic child to go to a non-sectarian school as it is to compel a Protestant child to go to a Catholic school. And that has been acknowledged by the highest Protestant authorities in England.
Mr. FOSTER. I do not dissent from the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Bourassa's) statement of the Catholic position. But what I answer is this : Is it as unjust to have a child forced by necessity, or by environment, to go to a national school in the province of Ontario where he is not perverted, as it would be if these national schools taught Methodism or Presbyterianism from morning until night and perverted your child ? We must take all these things into the consideration.
Now, we go back to the compact. And I may say that whatever may be the similarity of words, I see a difference between the compact of confederation and the British North America Act. By whom was the 3382 compact made, and where ? The compact was made in 1864 by the representatives of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. These representatives met together to form a confederation. They made what we call the constitution. In that constitution you find two divisions of powers. One division puts certain things exclusively under the control of the province, and the other puts certain things exclusively under the control of the Dominion. Now, read these over, and do you find anything in the list of powers given to the exclusive control of the Dominion which has the remotest relation to or connection with education ? You cannot find it. What was the dominant idea in the minds of all the representatives ? The dominant idea was that education was a local concern, and the Dominion must keep its hands off.
And that was Mr. Oliver Mowat's original resolution, what was afterwards added was only an incident. Do not let us confuse the incidental with the essential. One is the powers themselves. The other comes from an after thought, viz: Granting those powers, can they be used to prejudice the rights of the minority? If so, let us put on a check. That is the incidental, but the other is the essential. Now the essential thing is that the province should have exclusive control of its education. But those wise men sitting there in Quebec city said : Here is Ontario and here is Quebec we have separate schools for Catholics in Ontario and for Protestants in Quebec, and a suggestion was made by Mr. McGee to this effect : Yes, we will give the exclusive power, but we will add this rider to it, ' save and except the minority rights of the two Canadas.' That is all that was done at Quebec. That is all to the very letter, and that was passed by the legislature of Upper and Lower Canada. There were present representatives from the maritime provinces and also the representatives from the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. That was their compact, and that was all of it. But this gave no right for anybody to say that, because they saved by that compact the rights of the minorities in those two provinces, when forty or fifty years later you make provinces out of the Northwest Territories, you are obliged on account of that compact, to establish separate schools for the minorities in those provinces. Not in the least. This compact in order to become law went to London. The Protestant minority, voiced by Mr. Galt, said : That compact does not suit the Protestants in Quebec; we are peculiarly situated ; we have been trying to get certain amendments to our Act to better protect us ; these have been promised us. but you have not been able to carry them out ; now we cannot willingly go into confederation unless we 3383 COMMONS get those. In the last analysis, it came to this: The Protestant minority could not get the legislation until after confederation. Then Mr. Galt said at London : Very well, then we must make that promise binding by the constitution ; we must add that other clause that not only if at the time of confederation separate schools exist but if legislation is had after confederation giving separate school privileges and then that these should be taken away, and the rights of the minority thereby be prejudiced, there will be an appeal to the sovereign power, the parliament of the colonies. That is the history of it and the whole history of it. You may search the whole history of it from first to last and that is a fair statement of the case. For New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, not by compact, but in London, was this united Upper and Lower Canada saving clause extended into a saving clause which applied to all the provinces at the time of the union. It was generalized, it was the compact principle extended to the other provinces. That is the Confederation Act. When you come to the British North America Act, you can get all there is in that Act and you have a right to get it. But I say to the right hon. gentleman who contends that he is bound by the Confederation Act to give to these Northwest provinces the same rights that are possessed by Ontario and Quebec, that he has pushed the contract beyond its absolute and reasonable meaning, and in the opinion of lawyers equally as good as himself he has no warrant for saying that he is compelled by the British North America Act to place into the constitution of the Northwest Territories such a principle as he proposes to embalm in that constitution.
One point more with reference to the Manitoba case. I have said that the Catholic or any minority in this Dominion never had a case so clear for remedial legislation as had the Manitoba minority in 1896. All the legal difficulties were out of the way, all the decisions were given, and the path was absolutely clear between that minority with its grievance and the power which had jurisdiction to remedy it, namely, this parliament. But the right hon. gentleman threw himself across the way and prevented it ; and if my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) complains that the Manitoba minority is suffering from injustice today, it is because his leader threw himself across the path of the Remedial Bill and prevented its enactment. More has happened since that. I regret in no single jot or tittle my act in 1896. Under similar circumstances, I would do the same thing, but I do not at all say that I will ever do the same thing under the circumstances that may arise after this, Why ? Because there is a power which after all is mightier than the constitution. We invoked the constitution in 1896. We tried 3384 to give it its full force in a clear case and we were prevented by the leader of a great party. After we were prevented, that leader and his party went to the people in 1896, 1900 and 1904, and the people declared that they did not want remedial legislation. In the interests of the 41 per cent which has been talked about in this House, in the interests of the province of Quebec which was specially interested, we on this side tried to get for the minority their rights in the only way we possibly could under the constitution. We were prevented from doing it by the Liberal party, and during three successive elections the Liberal party have endorsed the contention that no hands be laid on any province even though it deprives the minority of that province of the rights guaranteed it under the constitution. And I make hold to say that as long as grass grows and water runs, I shall not feel disposed to contravene that will three times expressed by the people of this country. Aye, Mr. Speaker, three times expressed, and expressed especially by that very 41 per cent we hear so much about, and in the province where it is strong set. To the man who says that this agitation is on to-day simply because we are opposed to a French premier—to the gentleman from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) I have no answer to make. A statement of the case is quite sufficient. To the same gentleman who said in another part of his speech that this is on because it is a party agitation, I have no answer to make. His statement answers Itself. We read the newspapers. we scan the petitions, we know what is going on in this country, and if this is a party agitation very suddenly the Tory party must have greatly enlarged its sphere. Sir, I want to state one other thing. Whatever may have been said in 1896, I approached that question, and the government of which I was a member approached it, against the wishes of many of our best friends, not because we thought we had a political cinch in prospect, not at all ; but knowing that in all probability we were going down to our political death, and doing it because we thought we were under a constitutional obligation.
Now, Sir, I had intended to address an argument to the Minister of the Interior, but that hon. gentleman is not present ; perhaps it will be better to keep it for another time. But there is one point I cannot afford to let pass, because it is a point made by the Minister of Finance as well as by the ex-Minister of the Interior. It used to be good doctrine, good constitutional doctrine, it is yet—it used to be good Liberal doctrine, I don't know that it is now—but it used to be, formerly they coincided,—that if there was a member of the government who, on a grave question of principle, did not agree with his party on a measure involving that principle, he had no other hon 3385 MARCH 29, 1905 ourable course than to go out from the government and voice his opposition to that measure. Is that a good Liberal principle to-day ? Is it, or is it not ? That is the only raison d'être that the Minister of the Interior had. He has not abjured his principles, he keeps them still. He declares that it is with reluctance that he will vote for the measure. He says, " section 1 is an interference, and he wishes it were not there ; but on one consideration he will vote for that interference. Why ? Because it is supplemented by a subsection which declares that money shall be put behind the interference to make it effective. There is consistency for you. He hates the plague, he says it destroys the family, it decimates society, but if only you support it by a money vote by which you can scatter the plague far and wide, then he welcomes it. That is the argument, that is the reasoning of the Minister of the Interior, if he has any left at all. He declares that his principles are not abjured, but he straightway repudiates them by his vote. The man who cried for freedom from slavery, cried it from 1890 to 1896, through all the concessions and counties of the west, and of Ontario, cried for unshackled limbs in the provinces, comes in to-day, and while declaring that he has not abjured his principles in the least, he votes to do what he declares himself shackles and creates an interference with the free life of two great provinces in the west, enduring and irrevocable. Time was when a man who held a principle as strong as that on so grave an issue, would not have dared to stand before the public an instant after having gone back upon his principles. Why does he do it ? Why ? I am not going to search for any reasons at all, I am going to give the reason that he gives—the King's government must go on. The Finance Minister says, the King's government must go on. Do they not mean in their heart of hearts that the Liberal government must go on ? It is the Liberal government which must go on, and principle, consistency, constitution, everything must be sacrificed, but the King's—to wit, the Liberal—government must go on. The Minister of Finance used it as a threat—I never heard a more unworthy argument in this House, and hope never to hear such an argument again. If that principle and that method is adopted what government can be pure and well conducted ; for never, if not in this case, will men go out because they do not agree in principle with the legislation which is proposed. Yet the King's government must go on, that is to say, the party must be kept in power, principle and constitution may be thrown to the winds.
But the Minister of the Interior has wonderful knowledge from his acquaintance on the street. He has been too much on the street. Too close a connection with the man 3386 on the street is apt to becloud the moral sense, is apt to throw a pall over principle, it is not conducive to the highest and clearest thought. What is his argument ? The constitution orders this, says the right hon. premier. The constitution does not compel it, says the leader of the opposition. So the ex-Minister of the Interior says that the man on the street gets confused. He hears both say that they are correct, sees both stand on the same rock. The man on the street says, he cannot understand the constitution, but wants to know what you are going to enact. But there are men on the street and men on the street. I can conceive of a man on the street who cultivates a very valuable farm out in Carleton county. I go to him and say : My good friend, you think you own that farm.—Yes.—Well, I think I own it. Let us sit down now and let us discuss what is the best method of cultivating that farm. What does the man on the street say to me ? The first thing he says is, Sir, don't you think I had better know first how the title reads ? If the title in in me. I wil take your advice, but I will not take your domination ; if the title is in you, I may give you advice, but I will not try to dominate you. My first duty is to ascertain the title of the property. I will discuss the details of the business afterwards.
So there are men on the street and men on the street, and it is not the better class of men on the street from whom the Minister of the Interior has received his inspiration. Forty-one per cent of the people of this country, the Minister of Finance says, bids us put this article into the constitution. Forty-one per cent of this country in 1896 seemed to be up in arms against remedial legislation in the province of Manitoba. What right has the Minister of Finance to say that forty-one per cent of the people of this country demand it ? But does he pay a compliment to the forty-one per cent of the intelligent, educated, 1aw-abiding, patriotic Catholics in this country, if, when a question comes up and has been fought out in the high court of parliament, and the majority is against them, he makes them say that they will make government impossible in this country
What Catholic says that ? No intelligent, patriotic Catholic says it. Every patriotic and intelligent Catholic throws that back in the teeth both of the hon. ex- Minister of the Interior and the hon. Minister of Finance and that when they want an excuse for going back on their principles and their records they should get a better excuse than to say that 41 per cent of the citizens of this country, if they cannot get what they want, will cause anarchy and revolution. The Minister of Finance ventured something else, and I commend it to the hon. member for Labelle. He said : Oh yes, we can afford to be tolerant ; we must recollect that 41 per cent of the people are 3387                    COMMONS                         3388 Catholics. They have some rights and we must not be too hard hearted. Let the constitution go ; let us he tolerant ; give them a large and tolerant measure, and what is the measure ? All they get up there is their half-hour of the spent day ; all they get up there is a decrease in their separate schools instead of an increase. Oh, the generosity, the lofty, wide toleration of the Finance Minister ! I did not blame the hon. member for Labelle at all yesterday when he put that little quiet spoke in his wheel and said : Oh yes, Mr. Finance Minister you are quite tolerant down there but you were not always so. You are so now because there is a very respectable number of Catholic votes in your province. What more right has this parliament to put separate schools under the constitution in these two great provinces out there in the interest of the minority than it has to bid the province of Nova Scotia, or the province of New Brunswick or the province of Prince Edward Island to give separate schools to the Roman Catholic minority of those provinces ? When you come down to the essence of the thing and leave forms aside what more right has parliament to do it in one case than in the other ? Would even the hon. member for Labelle introduce a proposition looking to an interference with the province of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick, or to force them to give a legal separate school system to the minority ? No, and why not ? It is more manly, Sir, to attack a full fledged province able to defend itself and say to it : We will make you respect law and justice ; we will make you respect the rights of the minority and we will put a law in force in your province which will compel you to do it under pains and penalties. You have a man to fight then. It is a fair battle, but in this case you take the child, your own ward, the infant in your arms growing up to his maturity who will by and by attain a mighty estate, with powerful, untold possibilities stretching out into the endless future and while he is a child in your lap you bind his limbs with an irrevocable bond, so that however strong he may grow he never can get rid of the bond or the badge that marks him as inferior. The plea for toleration is a good one, the argument for separate schools, as strong as it can be made, may be a good one, but you are in the wrong court when you come here. That is the only mistake. How did you get your separate school privileges in the province of Nova Scotia ? Not by the hard letter of the law. It was the good, tolerant sense of the majority which gave you there all you asked. How did you get your privileges in the province of New Brunswick ? New Brunswick fought the minority, fought it out in the province, went to the elections on it, fought it out in the courts, made no change in jot or tittle, 3387 but when it had ascertained and maintained its full rights the majority turned around and said to their brethren that lived in their midst : We are not so intolerant as you thought, we give you those privileges and to-day, in the city of St. John and in every portion of New Brunswick, you have practically better separate schools than you will have in the Northwest. Why cannot you trust the Northwest ?
Mr. BOURASSA. Not the same kind.
Mr. FOSTER. Not the same kind? I do not respect very much that judgment, which, standing on the small pivot of the present, cannot look out into the future with its progress, its advancement, its increasing light and knowledge and its ever growing generosity and tolerance and be broad enough to say : Men will be men when I am dead and gone, with the same generous impulses in their hearts as those which they have to-day. Men will treat their brethren as brethren then as they treat them now. The argument of the hon. gentleman carried to its full extent is an argument for tyranny, and a bondage complete and enduring.
Now, let me reason for a moment with my friends. You say : We want a separate school system ; we believe in it. Will you look for a moment at the Protestant view ? I do not know whether I am able to speak for all Protestantism or not, but I think I can fairly and reasonably outline the view of that Protestantism which stands behind the national schools. What it it? That the schools shall be national, shall be free, shall he non-sectarian, busying themselves with education alone, not leaving out education in morals and on the general lines of right and religious conduct, but absolutely free from all sectarianism.
Mr. BOURASSA. That is the American system.
Mr. FOSTER. It is not the American system alone, it is the Canadian system in every province except Quebec. Where did the right hon. leader of the government get his information when he stated in parliament here the other day that in the schools of Canada religion and religious dogmas were taught from morning till night ? Has the right hon. gentleman ever looked into our school systems ? Go to the province of Ontario, go to the province of Manitoba, go to the province of New Brunswick, go to all of them and that is absolutely the wrong explanation and the wrong interpretation. These schools are free, non-sectarian and consequently national. They do not allow dogma to be taught whether it is dogma of the Methodist, the Presbyterian, the Anglican or the Roman Catholic. All are treated alike. Is there no reasonableness in the proposition, that, if the great majority of the people of the country feel that the best kind of a system is a system as that, so 3389                  MARCH 29, 1905                     long as it in no way offends against the religious belief, the teachings and the dogma of any class or creed, it shall be a national system to which we shall all contribute ? In that way they declare that the children meet together and that there are no distinctions between them. In their sports, in their studies, in their social growth they mingle and commingle, they learn to know each other, they grow up with a common bond and a common interest in their country and the affairs of their country. That is their view. It may be wrong or it may be right. Then they say that by that system we avoid the divisions into separate districts with their consequent inefficiency, and increased cost. Therefore, they say, we have a more efficient system and we have also a less costly system. That is their point of view. Let manners and morals, let the bases of right conduct be taught in the schools, let those be inculcated, but no dogma of any sect. Let each class teach their dogma where they please ; it may be in the Sunday school, or in the church, or in some other place, but if there is any sect, Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of England or Roman Catholic which wishes to teach their own belief and their own religion in any institution governed by themselves, there is no law which forbids them to do it in this country. There is no prohibition. These are in broad terms the distinctive characteristics of the national school system. Suppose the Presbyterians were to say : We want dogmatic teaching. the answer to them would be : Provide for it as best you may : you have your churches, you have your Sunday schools, teach religion in them : you can have your colleges and your seminaries and your institutions which are entirely under your religious domination, teach religion in them. And the same answer is given to every body, Protestant sect, Catholic sect, any sect. Where is the tyranny in that ?
Mr. BOURASSA. Will the hon. gentleman allow me to interrupt?
Mr. FOSTER. Yes.
Mr. BOURASSA. The very agument which the hon. gentleman now makes was the argument presented by the government of Manitoba on the second appeal in the Barrett case, and the judgment of the Privy Council was that such a system of national schools was a glaring injustice to the Roman Catholics, and the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) was in favour of passing remedial legislation.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. FOSTER. I would advise my hon. friends not to applaud before they hear the answer. The assumption of the hon. gentleman ( Mr. Bourassa) is not correct. There were other circumstances in that case, and one was that the Manitoba legislature had 3390 given rights to the minority under their full powers, that under the same full powers the Manitoba legislature had revoked these rights, and it was on account of the prejudicial effect of what has been given being taken back that the question came before the federal parliament. That was the principal idea that came into the case and upon which the decision rested.
Mr. BOURASSA. I do not wish to interrupt my hon. friend—
Mr. FOSTER. Go on.
Mr. BOURASSA. I simply wish to say that my interruption was not to discuss the legal question, but with the object of refuting the argument the hon. gentleman has made that such a system of national schools ought to be satisfactory to Catholics.
Mr. FOSTER. I do not suppose we can see eye to eye about that, but as I wish to finish before six o'clock I hope my hon. friend (Mr. Bourassa) will not think me discourteous if I do not follow the point further. For the few moments that are left me I wish to take my last point, not to treat it as fully as it deserves, but simply to throw out a few thoughts by way of suggestion. I want to ask in the first place why there should be any attempt to inject into the constitution of these new provinces the principle of separate schools, without authority from them, against the disposition and against the feelings of the people of the Northwest so far as we can judge ? Why is this attempt made to cripple these great provinces? Each of the other provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Manitoba, is absolutely free and sovereign in so far as such legislation is concerned. Each one of these provinces of her own good will may enact a separate school system and it may also abrogate that law, but if it does abrogate it it has to show cause before the jurisdiction of the federal parliament and with the possible consequence of remedial legislation. And if we can trust all these other provinces what reason in the world is there that we should for ever tag with a badge of inferiority these two great coming provinces of the Northwest? When every other province stands clothed in the majesty of provincial rights, why should we single out Saskatchewan and Alberta, and because we happen to be the guardian of the children put upon them for ever a badge of inferiority ? Is it not a retrograde step in thought and in practice to stand on our small platform of 1905 and to hold up a statute of limitations for ever in the face of two provinces, in which, as the centuries roll on changes must inevitably come, systems come and systems go, new methods take the place of old. But the right hon. gentleman stands up here with his small statute of limitation and he declares against the whole possible progress of these great 3391                 COMMONS                             parts of Canada with their coming millions of population, and their conditions in years and centuries to come, as diverse from this year and this century as the human mind can imagine. It is a task which is unwise to essay ; it is absolutely impossible of successful accomplishment. The right hon. gentleman may tag on this badge of bondage; he may put on his restrictions; he may utter an irrevocable decree of tutelage, but I tell him that against the free thought and free will of these two provinces with their coming millions of people, his statute of limitation will be as waste paper and his chains of bondage as weak as thread of fibre. There is no hand which can fashion the chain and drive the rivet that will encompass and restrict these young giants of the Northwest in years to come. You may carry your project through and the Finance Minister may cry peace, peace, but the moment it is carried through and made irrevocable, that moment begins against it the warfare of an unwilling people. The feelings of free men that their right to freedom has been outraged and denied will not long lie dormant. Tolerant, if you appeal to his love of tolerance, the free man will forswear tolerance if you attempt to force upon him by superior and to a certain extent foreign and outside force, a measure which he believes restricts his freedom. Do not run away with the conclusion that we here are able to shackle the millions of the future in the Northwest.
What answer have you in face of the fact that every other province has this liberty, and has treated with remarkable toleration the minority within its boundaries—vaunted and boasted in every part of this House ? What right have you to say to the people of the Northwest : We can trust our fellow-citizens in the other provinces, but we cannot trust you. More illogical still, the member for Labelle said : We could trust the people who are there now. Trust the member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), who voted over and over again for resolutions to destroy the rights of the minority in the Northwest? Trust the member for Brandon, who has abandoned his principles for the sake of his party's success, but who, in the very moment that he abandons them, still plucks up courage to say, I believe in them still, I am proud of my allegiance to them ? You can trust these, but you cannot trust the coming peoples of the Northwest. Never was there a more retrograde doctrine taught by the greatest Tory of the ages than is taught in that sentence by the hon. member for Labelle.
Mr. BOURASSA. The hon. gentleman is stating just the contrary of what I said.
Mr. FOSTER. Will the hon. gentleman say what he said ?
Mr. BOURASSA. I said that even if I trusted the people at present in the North 3392 west, no one could tell what would happen in the future, when large numbers of people from the United States and other countries settled there ; and, so far as the present rulers of the Northwest were concerned, I said I could not trust them in the light of their past legislation,
Mr. FOSTER. If the member for Labelle said that, then I misunderstood him, and my argument does not apply to him. I want only fair argument. There was an argument which somewhat cut the ground from under the feet of the member for Labelle. He said : Put separate schools into the Northwest and treat the French people well and the French people will flow into the Northwest and become your most stable settlers, lovers of the soil, as the French people always are, lovers of their home, as they are wherever they settle. But does the hon. member recollect that into the country to the south of us, with its Godless schools, its secular schools, its denial of the French language and all other rights of the minority, hundreds of thousands of the choice youth of the province of Quebec have gone and go from year to year to make their homes ? Will the restriction, if you put it upon the Northwest, in principle unjust and in practice irksome, be worth the paper it is written upon ? Under the ordinances as they are to-day rules are made by the commissioners. You do not crystallize one of those regulations into law. You simply provide that the ordinance shall stand, and the ordinance with reference to separate schools is absolutely the same as the provision in the law of 1875. Why is it that today those schools are not the same as they were twenty years ago ? Because with the power to make regulations which the commissioner has under these ordinances, regulations have been made which have transformed those schools into what they are today. Pass your ordinance and put it into the constitution, and if the people of the Northwest, in their provincial assemblies, are opposed to the principle, are opposed to reverting to the old form, they will make their regulations as they please, and I would like to know how you propose to stop them. It is absolutely impossible.
All this discussion, Mr. Speaker, if I may be allowed to say so, seems out of place in this House. To discuss the school systems of the United States, of Spain, of Germany, of France, of these provinces, to try to settle which has the greatest merits in all its principles and details, is something that is absolutely foreign to this House, and that never should be brought here—has no place here legitimately. As I said before, the plea may be good, but you are in the wrong court. To the province you should go for these tolerant privileges, these rights which you wish to have by law. The province alone can give them, and, as the ex-Minister of the Interior said the other day : ' I 3393 MARCH 29, 1905 am still strongly of opinion that if the Catholic minority will trust to the legislatures of the Northwest, in the end they will be better off thereby.' If that is done, we can bid farewell to these discussions in this House, where different races and creeds are represented, and where the active passions, good or bad, are always aroused when you come to questions of religious belief and dogma. These questions will then no longer intervene to disquiet and paralyze the business of this country. Let these questions be fought out in the province, which is the ultimate tribunal ; and again I plead for absolute, unrestricted freedom and confidence in the tolerance of the Northwest people, now and in the future, for fair treatment to all their fellow-citizens.
At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.



Mr. GALLIHER moved third reading of Bill (No. 12) respecting the Ottawa Electric Company.
Mr. ROBERT STEWART (Ottawa). I beg to move :
That the said Bill be not now read the third time, but be referred back to the Committee of the Whole with instructions to amend the same by providing that section five be struck out and the following be substituted therefor : Provided that the power to acquire shares in the capital stock and debentures or securities of other electric companies possessing powers similar to those of this company will not apply to the capital stock, debentures and securities of the Consumers Electric Company, Limited, or the Metropolitan Company, Limited, or their successors or assigns.
I desire merely to say a few words. The other day a statement was made by the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) to the effect that the city of Ottawa had violated its contract with the Ottawa Electric Company. In making this statement, I presume the hon. gentleman had in his mind the resolution passed by the city council of Ottawa some years ago. A motion was then presented in the council asking that a monopoly be given the Ottawa Electric Company, and that motion was carried. But, of course, in order to become effective, it was necessary that it should be put in the form of an agreement and that a bylaw should be adopted by the council ratifying that agreement. This was never done. There was considerable feeling at the time, and no sooner was the motion carried than a notice of reconsideration was given. The following day it was pointed out by the city solicitor that it would be a violation of the common law to carry through any ar 3394 rangement of that kind. Of course, the mere adopting of the motion by the council could have no more effect than the first reading of a Bill by this House. There was simply a resolution passed by the council, but that resolution was never put into the form of an agreement, and it was pointed out by the city solicitor that no corporation could have any power to enter into any such agreement. No contract having been made, it is not correct to say that the city has violated any agreement it has with the company. I think it is only due to the city that I should make this correction of the statement of my hon. friend, who, I am sure, would not willingly do any injustice to the Ottawa city council. Another statement to which I wish to draw attention is that made by the Minister of Justice to the effect that the city of Ottawa was endeavouring to trespass on the rights of the Ottawa Electric Company. I wish to give that statement a positive contradiction. The city council of Ottawa are not endeavouring to trespass on any vested rights. It is the Ottawa Electric Company which is asking for this legislation, and the city council are simply asking to be guarded against any injustice. The feeling in this city is very strong against the passage of this Bill. We consider it to be an invasion of our municipal rights. My hon. friend from Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) evidently misunderstood another statement which I made. I was pointing out that members of this House, who are not residents of the city of Ottawa, cannot have the same interest in this matter as the city representatives. We do not dispute the right of any member to make up his mind as to how he will vote on the Bill, but it is only fair that the members from outside the city should pause and consider the effect which this Bill will have on the rights of the municipality. I have nothing more to say on this question. The arguments are before the House. The people of this city consider that it would be an injustice to them to pass this Bill, and I appeal to members on both sides to vote against it.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York). I think that my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Stewart) has made out a very good case. The more we discuss this measure, the more it becomes evident that it is a raid on the revenues of the people of Ottawa, and that this parliament ought to refuse to pass it. This parliament has no reason to occupy itself with the domestic affairs of the city of Ottawa, especially in a matter so extremely local. The question never should have come to this House, and the Bill is evidently an invasion of the municipal rights of the province of Ontario. The matter should really be dealt with in the Ontario legislature. In Toronto this Bill is regarded as an invasion of municipal rights. We have had produced here the testimony of the two members represent [...]


House resumed consideration of the 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.
Hon. Sir WILLIAM MULOCK (Postmaster General). Mr. Speaker, for three hours this afternoon the House had the advantage of hearing the views of the hon. gentleman, not upon the subject under discussion, but upon many matters totally foreign to the measure that the House is now considering. If, this afternoon, a stranger had been in our galleries, and many there were, and had not in advance been informed of the subject under debate, it would have been impossible for him to have known what the subject was that was properly in order before the House. For three hours this afternoon the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) occupied the attention of the House ostensibly in order to aid by some useful contribution in the solution of a very important public question, but instead of bringing to the aid of his country his great talents, I think it will be found on a careful perusal of his words that his efforts were rather to sow the seeds of discord to the injury of his country. He began by giving us, as he has on many occasions and as he also has given to the public, his views on the question of political principles and political morality. It must be extremely elevating to the people of Canada to take their inspiration of political morality from such a source. He entered politics with principles. He describes the Liberal party as conveniently packing their principles in a remote corner of a small valise, and he states that they are able to get rid of them as conveniently as they can put them in or take them out of the valise. What about the principles of the hon. gentleman ? I can recall many of his professed principles, for perhaps his principles are not very deep- seated, and, like old garments, they are 3401 MARCH 29, 1905 easily disposed of in favour of new ones. I remember the first principle be advocated when he entered public life. He came here with a valise, and I suppose he had his political principles in the valise. What was the first principle he had in his valise ? It was a principle which served a useful purpose. His great political principle, and before it all other great questions faded into insignificance, was prohibition. The welfare of the country demanded that the first consideration, higher than that of party, should be given to the question of prohibition. That was his political capital for many a year ; that was the only article in his political valise. He arrived in Ottawa with his political valise. Perhaps I am wrong in saying that he had only one principle. He had another stowed away which did not take up much room and did not occupy a very long time in that valise, but he entered this House pledged as an independent Conservative to stand up for all good measures. Party was a secondary consideration for him ; his country demanded his first attention. He had these two principles when he entered public life. What became of them ? The independent Conservative principle could not be allowed to stand, because it stood in the way of preferment, and so the first thing that happened his little valise was to deprive it of the presence in it of his principle of political independence. It stood in the way of his entering the cabinet. It was thrown overboard and he got a portfolio. But it was not enough to get a portfolio. It is one thing to get a portfolio ; it is another thing to retain a portfolio. He has had some experience in both of these. He had to get rid of his other principle, and prohibition was thrown overboard, and with it his little valise. As time advanced be deemed it necessary to avow his being devoutly possessed of another principle. What was that principle ? He had taken office. He had become a strict party man. It was essential to him an apostate now but then a party man, that he should stand by his party, that he should be true to the government of which he was a member and true to the premier under whom he enlisted. His principle was—and it was a right one ; it was a principle that he was bound to live up to —that he should be true and loyal to his chief.
That is one of the principles he made profession of, but how long did that principle remain in his valise? It was there until it suited his purpose to dispose of it, and when was that? Sir John Macdonald, who first took him into office, had disappeared, others had been his chiefs and had disappeared also, and at last he enlisted under the banner of Sir Mackenzie Bowell. The history of Canada tells what then became of his principle of loyalty to his chief; the scenes that took place in this chamber and in the ante-rooms and lobbies of this House tell 3402 what he did with that principle. Lastly, in 1896, on the eve of an election, the hon. gentleman evidently believing that it was good politics to stand by the minority, declared his undying allegiance to the cause of minorities. In 1896 he advocated the cause of minorities, he talked of respect for the constitution, but he found it didn't pay and to-day he seizes the opportunity to sever himself from the last of his political principles. No longer has the hon. gentleman any use for a political valise; hereafter a carpet bag will take its place.
Mr. FOSTER. A steamer trunk.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. The hon. gentleman spent part of this day attacking ministers and ex-ministers and in one of his outbursts he said that he hoped for once some minister would go out of office for the sake of principle and would remain out of office for the sake of principle. The thought of going out of office and remaining out of office is a disturbing dream to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster). He cannot address a public meeting nor can he speak in parliament without talking of ministerial explanations and the principles of public men. Let the hon. gentleman be frank and tell us if he resigned on principle. A few months ago he told the electors of North Toronto, if he is reported correctly in his own organs, that he resigned office on a question of policy. I was present in this chamber when he stated to this House the reasons why he resigned office, and in those reasons there was no question of principle involved. He then declared that there was no difference between himself and his leader on any question of principle or of policy, but what is the sequel? That has been told us of late, and it is an extraordinary explanation. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) told us in 1896 that he had resigned not from personal ambition of any kind, but for the good of the party and of the country. But, a few weeks ago, the Hon. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, his late chief and leader, speaking in another chamber, told us why he had resigned. Perhaps he will now admit or deny the accuracy of Sir Mackenzie Bowell's assertion. Sir Mackenze Bowell declared that the resignation of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) was not on account of any difference of policy or principle, but because of the overweening ambition of the hon. gentleman to become Prime Minister of Canada. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) smiles. I will make it clear to him. The hon. gentleman is setting himself up as a standard for the guidance of the public men of this country. but let us see whether he is a safe guide. Sir Mackenzie Bowell said (I quote from Senate ' Hansard,' 1st March, 1905) :
When he told the people of Toronto at the last Dominion election that he left the government on account of differences of opinion, on questions of policy and that His Excellency 3403 COMMONS the Governor General knowing the facts called them back into the government.
I do not like to read the words, but here they are:
He knew he was telling what was not correct.
Sir Mackenzie Bowell continues:
I have in my hand copies of the report of speeches delivered by him in Toronto during the last Dominion election as reported by the 'Globe,' the ' News ' and the ' Mail,' in which I find that in reply to questions put to him he said amongst other things, when asked why he left the government, that he did not purpose to answer the question that belonged to the Privy Council, and that his mouth was shut.
We never find it in that condition in this chamber.
But added that on all points of importance they must have a union of ideas and that any one disagreeing must resign. That, he said, was all they had done. Continuing, he said, ' When a member of the cabinet or members disagreed with their leader they had done as they were bound on their honour to do—resigned.' In another speech he said : ' The Governor had been quite satisfied with the reasons for the resignation of six ministers on a question of policy, and had shown his confidence in them by reappointing them later.' That did not satisfy his hearers, one of whom exclaimed : ' That still leaves the question unanswered. Why did you resign ? ' To which Mr. Foster replied ' I don't intend to answer. I am not at liberty to reveal the secrets of the Privy Council.' An ingenious way of evading an answer. The fact is, the reasons given in the House of Commons for his resigning were never discussed in the Privy Council before he resigned, therefore, he had no oath to respect in that particular.
Again, speaking in this chamber not very long ago the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) said:
Am I not to be allowed to leave the government if I differ from it on points of policy or principle ?
That was the statement of the hon. gentleman in this House during the present session, but how does that fit in with the statement he made on the very occasion of his resignation when he was probably most likely to give an accurate account. Speaking from his seat in 1896 he said:
I may say in the first place that there is no disagreement between ourselves and the premier upon any question of public policy, trade or constitutional, with regard to which action has already been taken, or in respect to which attitude has been assumed by the government under the present premier.
I leave my hon. friend to struggle with these two conflicting statements. He goes on to give what he deems to be the reason, namely, the desire to serve under a gentleman of perhaps greater power. In fact he 3404 describes the cabinet as beyond the control of the First Minister. He was unable to keep those unruly members in order. There was disorder in the cabinet, and the hon. member for North Toronto added to the disorder by trying to break up the cabinet. Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman seems to be troubled when any retiring minister returns to the cabinet, and he seems to be troubled when any retiring minister remains without the cabinet. He takes exception to Mr. Blair not having returned. No person can take exception to his conduct in that respect. But when the honourable member for North Toronto went out of the cabinet, he took precious good care that no one should get into his place. He rendered the reconstruction impossible except by his readmission to the cabinet. Does the hon. gentleman set up that method as a standard ? Is that his idea of political morality ? Is that his conception of what should be the conduct of hon. gentlemen who take office to serve their country ? Surely it is time for him to throw off this hypocritical garb in which he seeks to give moral lectures as to how public men should be loyal to their principles.
To-day, running through the whole of his speech, I thought I was able to discover one distinct line of policy. The Bill before the House is one to deal with a very important question concerning the Northwest. It is a question upon which the people may he honestly divided in opinion; but it is the bounden duty of every loyal citizen and of every member of this House to render such assistance as he can to bring about a satisfactory settlement of this question. What was the action of the hon. gentleman ? If I have correctly read his policy, if I have discovered the object he had in his speech, it was not to be a messenger of peace and harmony, but if possible to light the incendiary fires of religious and racial discord from one end of this Dominion to the other. The hon. gentleman represents North Toronto. In olden days he came from the east. He stayed there as long as the people would keep him. In olden days, Mr. Speaker, I doubt if he would have professed the principles that he has professed to-day. But, Sir, he has rested in another place, and his new principles of to-day are appropriate and fashionable in North Toronto, and he put them on, and with a great deal of force throws off the old discarded ones. What object had the hon. gentleman in asking the member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) whether or not he was content with the amendments of the government ? The hon. member for North Toronto, holding up these amendments to the member for Labelle, who is as we all know a devout son of his church, said to him in triumph: All the comfort and consolation you can get from these amendments is that at half-past three o'clock in 3405 MARCH 29, 1905 the afternoon, when practically the school day is over, a half-hour of religious training will be allowed ; and he asked the member for Labelle if he was content with such a meagre provision as that. What was the object of that ? It was too transparent—perhaps the hon. gentleman thought no one could see it. The object of that was to tell the people of Quebec : Sir Wilfrid Laurier is giving you, not bread, but a stone ; he is not giving you any measure that will meet the views and feelings and perhaps the prejudices of the people of Quebec ; he is deceiving you, and I want to convince the member for Labelle of that fact, and I trust to his being a missionary to disseminate that doctrine in Quebec, and to stir up the good people of the province to demand more from Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and perhaps to embarrass his policy.
When the hon. member for North Toronto comes to deal with - the Territories, what does he say ?   In loud language and in violent terms he says, why bind these young giants in this way ? And he goes on to say : If you give this measure to the Territories, Nova Scotia is entitled to the same, British Columbia is entitled to it, all the other provinces that do not enjoy it are entitled to it. He appeals to the Territories practically to rise in revolt against this measure if it becomes law, and, if possible to make it a great political question ; and at the same time he appeals to the minorities in the other provinces, saying to them : The minority in the new provinces have got something—you demand it too. He thus appeals to one class and another—to the French Catholics of Quebec, to the Irish Catholics in another province, to the Protestants in another, trusting that by raising these fires in each of these provinces, he may at last involve this whole Dominion in one huge, far-reaching religious conflagration. Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the hon. gentleman is here to voice the sentiments of his constituents. But, Sir, I regard them as taking a higher view of the duties of their representative than to demand of him that he shall play the role of the political incendiary on the floor of this House.
The hon. gentleman assailed the ex-Minister of the Interior. Whenever, for a moment, any other line of thought failed him, he turned to the ex-minister, who seemed to be the special object of his poisoned shafts. Mr. Speaker, I have had an opportunity of judging of the services rendered to this country by the ex-Minister of the Interior for the last eight years. He assumed the most important portfolio having regard to the needs of this country, that we have. Other men before him had held it. and had failed. For years our great prairies had remained almost a solitude. The late government had an opportunity for eighteen years to make an impression there, and failed; and when the member for 3406 Brandon (Mr. Sifton) assumed that portfolio, and the Manitoba school question disappeared from the vexed question of the day, a complete change came over the conditions of this country. I venture to say, what I have said before—and I say it without seeking to discredit any person—that of all the ministers who have held portfolios since confederation, none has rendered as valuable services to Canada as the ex-Minister of the Interior, and his withdrawal from our cabinet is a national loss. The hon. member for North Toronto asked me if I was a member of the sub-committee that had had to do with considering the terms of the constitution of these Territories. I was. He asked me if I had discovered the meaning of section 16, containing the educational clauses, which he has described as worded in such a subtle way as really to conceal their true object. Had it not been, he said. for the disclosure made by the member for Brandon of the meaning of those clauses. they would have passed into law, and then this country would have been for ever under the obligation of maintaining an enormous endowment for the Catholic church. I do not admit, nor does the government, the correctness of the construction placed upon the original clause 16 by the ex-Minister of the Interior. Lawyers may differ, and according to the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) 213 members of this House would have been deceived but for the ex-Minister of the Interior. Does the hon. gentleman think that I am more astute to discover the weak points of the clause than the other 212 men?
Mr. FOSTER. As a matter of fact, I did not say that. I said that the clause was so worded that had it not been for the disclosure given of its meaning by the ex- Minister of'the Interior, it doubtless would have passed through this House and its true meaning would have been undetected. That is what I said.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Well, I do not pretend to be more astute than, or even as astute as a very large number of the members of this House, but when the hon. gentleman admits himself that he would not have discovered the hidden meaning in this clause and that all those around him would not have discovered it, surely he will be charitable to another weak member of humanity who was likewise not able to discover it.
Mr. FOSTER. He was on duty.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. I only plead that if the other 212 members of this House were as blind as myself, I am in very excellent company. May I not ask, after this question has been debated for three hours to-day, the House to come back to the real issue ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear. hear.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Yes ; it is sometimes necessary to go outside the record, but I would ask the House to allow me to return to the real issue. The hon. gentleman from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) spoke of the Quebec compact, which is to be found in the British North America Act, and declared that that compact, crystallized into the Confederation Act, did no more than secure separate schools to the minorities in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. He denied that any other part of this Dominion was entitled to separate schools under that Act. Let me remind him that he gave the contrary view to this House nine years ago. Then he was arguing in favour of the constitution. Then everything outside the constitutional argument was, in his judgement, out of order. When the hon. member for Wast Grey (Mr. Sproule) ventured to interject something that did not appear to have any strict bearing on the constitution, he was immediately rebuked by his colleague from North Toronto. He was immediately told by him that the subject was one solely of the true construction of the constitution. To-day he tells us that under the British North America Act, and the compact out of which it grew, no province, except the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, is entitled to the benefit of the 93rd section of that Act. Speaking on the 13th March, 1896, in this House, as reported in 'Hansard,' page 3476, he made use of the following language:
The first question then for me to solve when I approach the consideration of this subject is this : Is there any compact or agreement arrived at in this country and embodied in the constitution under which we live which has first to be considered before we can give our decision upon this question ? the answer is plain and definite. There is a compact in the constitution of the confederation ; there is a second compact in the constitution of Manitoba, ratified by the British parliament, and under which she became a part of the Dominion
Then he proceeded to say, in answer to an interruption by the late Mr. Wallace :
If the hon. gentlemen will allow me to proceed I will answer that question in due course, and I will answer it thoroughly. Arising out of long years of sectarian and religious strife under united Canada, opinions and convictions in reference to this matter because gradually modified, and when the representatives of the four provinces came together at Quebec to take up, discuss and settle articles of confederation, these convictions rapidly and definitely resolved themselves into the determination that it should be laid down in the constitution of the country that whatever rights and privileges religious minorities had in the provinces at the time of confederation should maintain their status quo and shall not be changed. And so the first paragraph of the educational clauses of the confederation resolutions gave by general consent to the provinces the power to deal with respect to education ;
Saving the rights and privileges which Catholic or Protestant minorities in both Canadas 3408 may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the union goes into operation.
The only change which took place in that clause was this, that instead of its being confined to both Canadas, it was broadened to include the provinces which entered confederation.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. Foster. It does not matter very much ; but if the hon. gentleman will pardon an interruption, I would remind him that what he has just read is exactly what I stated to-day.
Sir William Mulock. In that case, I think that on a perusal of this remarks the hon. gentleman will find that he did not give expression to the ideas which were in his mind. If the repeats and affirms what he said in 1896, we start from that ground instead of the new ground which, I think, he was taking to-day.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Hear, hear.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. However, what is the issue now? Once to-day the hon. gentleman said it was a question of provincial rights. His leader moved an amendment, and in supporting that amendment said that the question was not, with him, one of separate schools, but of provincial rights, and the proposed to take his stand on that ground. And it is argued by some on that ground. And it is argued by some gentlemen that the proposed legislation would be a violation of provincial rights. But there can be no violation of a right until that right is created. First you must show that the province has a right, and then that the the right which is possesses, is being violated. The first question in my judgment, therefore, is : What are the rights of a province when it is created ? There we immediately enter upon debatable ground, because there are two conflicting views as to how a province may derive its constitutional power and rights. If I understand my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, his contention is that the moment a territory acquires provincial status, that moment it automatically becomes possessed of certain rights under the British North America Act, that it inherits these rights that moment without more being done, without any act on the part of the Dominion parliament or the Dominion government, and without any imperial legislation—the moment you give the provincial status to a territory, that moment, according to the leader of the opposition, it acquires its provincial charter, and its rights are there set forth or may be found. He takes the literal interpretation and makes that the rock of the constitution. He would have us believe that the rock of the constitution is the letter and not the spirit of the British North America Act. Here we see the lawyer—he looks to what is nominated in the bond. I care not, he 3409 MARCH 29, 1905 says, whether it works well or ill ; I care not whether it is to the public good or the public injury—every province has the same constitutional charter the moment it becomes a province. The opposite view is that the province does not derive its charter automatically from the British North America Act, but that the spirit of the British North America Act must be considered, and so much of its provisions as may be reasonably adapted to the provincial status is given to the new province. The British North America Act, in conferring upon the people of Canada certain legislative powers, has set forth in a general way a scheme for the distribution of legislative powers to be exercised by the Dominion or the provinces. It suggests in a general way that some of these powers, of which it gives a list, may properly be given to a province, and the others may properly be left to the Dominion. But the British North America Act, according to those who look at its spirit rather than its letter, does not in itself contain a model constitution that automatically attaches, without the variation of a word or a letter, to every province the moment it becomes the province. If the reasoning of the leader of the opposition is right, there is no reason why, when a province is establishcd, parliament should trouble itself to declare any of these powers. And yet, if you trace the history of the several provinces of Canada from their creation up to the present, you will find that, in every instance, the parliament of Canada, or the government of Canada, or the imperial parliament, has conferred upon each province powers somewhat different from those that the Confederation Act would suggest. If each province gets its constitution automatically from the British North America Act, we in this House cannot in any way frame or limit the constitution of the new provinces. But if we interpret the British North America Act, not by its letter, but by its spirit and by the manner in which it has been applied in the creation of every one of the provinces from confederation down to the present time. we fail to find a single instance where the doctrine of the leader of the opposition has been adopted, where any province has been given a constitution exactly in harmony with the general scheme of the British North America Act. There are no two provinces whose constitutions are the same, though all derive their constitutions from the British North America Act. It is the spirit that suggests how the constitution shall be framed. So, where is the model ? And how can it be argued that when a province acquires the provincial status it acquires immediately certain rights and powers without any intervention or exercise of discretion on the part of the Dominion parliament or any other legislative body? To illustrate what I mean, consider the character of the British North America Act. Sections 91, 92 and 93 cover 3410 the distribution of powers, some powers to be exercised by the central parliament and others by the provincial parliament. Take, for instance, the important subject of divorce. Under the British North America Act, divorce is assigned to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dominion parliament. If the literal wording of the British North America Act is adopted in giving a constitution to another province, you would not find any province entitled to maintain a divorce court unless it was so authorized by this parliament. This parliament has never established a divorce court in any province. And yet to-day there are divorce courts in several provinces—in Nova Scotia, in New Brunswick and, I think, in British Columbia. How comes it that the subject of divorce, which, under the British North America Act. is assigned to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dominion parliament, is dealt with by several provinces? Simply because, when it came to the creation of confederation, certain provinces had at that time this institution. Nova Scotia had a divorce court and desired to retain it. The British North America Act allowed it to be retained in that province. In that respect it allowed a departure from the British North America Act. The province of Quebec had no divorce court, and no divorce court was given it under the British North America Act—the Act recognized the status quo as respects that subject in the province of Quebec. New Brunswick had a divorce court and wished to retain it, and the British North America Act recognized the wish of that province and allowed it to retain the divorce court, thus making an exception from the letter of the Act. Ontario had no divorce court and was given no divorce court by the Act. Later on British Columbia came into confederation. As I understand it, British Columbia had a divorce court then, and it was left in the employment of that institution—the letter of the law was departed from, but the spirit was observed ; the general scheme of confederation was made applicable, but, with exceptions, recognizing local peculiarities and local institutions. Then—going rapidly over the subjects of special importance to the provinces —take the subject of languages. This is an English-speaking country ; and it was assumed, doubtless, that English would be the prevailing language throughout the country. The use of language in the courts and legislatures of the provinces is a civil right, and, as such, is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the province. Yet, turning to the constitution as affecting the province of Quebec, you will find that, unlike the other provinces, Quebec was not left to determine what languages shall or shall not be used in its courts and legislature, but the British North America Act declares that the English language, along with the French, shall be lawful in the courts and legislature of that province.
The letter of the constitution was departed from as to the subject of language in the province of Quebec, and was made suitable to the local conditions, needs and interests of that province. Yet if the letter of the law is to be regarded, you have no justification for this departure from the constitution which is to be found in the British North America Act. Take the subject of education. At the time of confederation it was found that the minority in the province of Quebec had separate schools. the British North America Act preserved- separate schools to them; it was found that there were separate schools in Ontario, and the British North America Act retained separate schools in Ontario; there were no separate schools in Nova Scotia, and the status quo was recognized there; there were no separate schools in New Brunswick, the status quo was recognized there. But although the British North America Act in its general scheme declared that the subject of education should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces, it made two exceptions in the case of Ontario and Quebec, as my hon. friend admits to-day, and that exception extends to other provinces as well. Yet, if you were to adopt the strict letter of the law, you have no right in a constitution resting on the bed rock of the British North America Act to make these exceptions in the constitution of any province. Take the subject of finance. Although this is not strictly a constitutional subject, you will find that whilst the general scheme is to treat all the provinces alike financially, in the case of Prince Edward Island there was a material departure made from the general scheme of finance. In fact, you do not find the same corresponding financial arrangements made in any two provinces. In fact, there are just two ways of looking at the British North America Act; you may look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer, or you may look at it from the standpoint of a statesman. It' you look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer—and I submit that is the standpoint of the leader of the opposition—you take the letter of the constitution without regard to its bearings and its application to the time being, and apply it literally, whether the application tits the time and occasion or not. But taking the spirit of the Act on each occasion of creating a new province, you adopt the constitution. as far as possible, to the new province, having due regard to the conditions then prevailing.
Take the case of Manitoba to which my hon. friend has referred. The province of Manitoba was established in 1870, prior to that it had been under the jurisdiction of the Hudson Bay Company. There were no laws there except the old common law of England. There were no schools established by law, but it was thought that there were some schools established by practice, 3412 and, therefore, when it came to creating the province'of Manitoba the educational question arose. What was done? They did not even adhere on that occasion to the language and t0 the provisions of section 93 0f the British North America Act dealing with the subject of legislation. The language of the British North America Act dealing with education reads as follows:
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions:
Nothing in any such law should 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.
'Have by law.' The British North America Act only protected the rights of minorities which they have by law. When it came to creating a province out of Rupert's Land, the words 'by law' would have afforded no protection to the minority, and accordingly those who were engaged in framing this legislation sought in some other way to secure to the minority in Manitoba their right to whatever schools they alight then have; and so the words 'by practice' were introduced, and the province of Manitoba was secured in its separate schools in these words:
Nothing in any such law should prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law or by practice.
Now, the words 'by practice' are a radical departure from the letter of the British North America Act. Why was that departure ? How do we account for that departure ? Simply because the strict letter of the British North America Act would not have met the case of Manitoba, and it was necessary to apply it in spirit, and in that way the legislators of those days felt justified, within the constitution, in so modifying section 93. Now, what happened after that? Manitoba was carved out of Rupert's Land, the Territories we are about to raise into provinces are part of the remainder of Rupert's Land. The Manitoba Act was confirmed by imperial legislation, and that same imperial legislation which confirmed the Act creating the province of Manitoba proceeded to confer upon the Dominion parliament power to grant a constitution to new provinces. Section 2 of the amendment to the British North America Act, 1871, is as follows :
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 the time of such 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 3413 MARCH 29, 1905 province, and for its representation in the said parliament.
The very same Imperial Act that recognized the change in the words from the British North America Act to the words used in the Manitoba Act, gave to this parliament for the first time the power to give a constitution to new provinces. Now, what is the meaning of section 2 of this Act if it is not to give to this parliament discretionary power as to the kind of a constitution we may give to a province? If it was intended that this parliament should do no more than mark out the limits of a province and declare that it was made a province, the Act would have said so; but instead of that the Act proceeds to say that we may establish a province and make provision for its constitutional administration, for the passing of laws, for the peace, order and good government of such province and its representation in this parliament.
In mentioning these exceptions to the general scheme of confederation another instance occurs to my mind, the case of British Columbia. Under the British North America Act, representation by population in this parliament is the general scheme. The provinces may lose representation if their population falls, but as far as British Columbia is concerned its minimum representation is guaranteed by the British North America Act. No matter what the population of British Columbia may be, its representation here cannot go below a certain minimum—another departure from the letter of the Confederation Act. Under the British North America Act each province is given a legislature, but as regards the province of Quebec it is not permitted to control its own local provincial constitution as far as its parliament is concerned, for the British North America Act declares that there shall be two houses and it does not leave it in the power of the province of Quebec to alter that portion of its constitution. It does more. Take the matter of representation of the house of assembly in the province of Quebec. All the other provinces have the power themselves to alter their electoral districts, making boundaries as they see fit, but in the case of the province of Quebec it is entirely different. There are twelve constituencies in the province of Quebec that the legislature cannot interfere with. In the province of Ontario our legislature can, if it sees fit, alter the boundaries of all the electoral districts, and so it is in all the other provinces of the Dominion, Quebec alone excepted. Why was the exception made in the province of Quebec ?—simply to meet local conditions and thus we have from ocean to ocean all these provinces, deriving their constitutions from the British North America Act, but not one of them having the same constitution, all varying in some respects and yet all in substance formulated in accordance with 3414 the true spirit of the British North America Act. There are seven provinces in this Dominion. Four of these provinces were created at the same time and created by the same instrument, the British North America Act, which declared the constitution of all the provinces. But that very same instrument, that very same Act of legislation that gave life to our British North America Act gave four distinct kinds of constitution to the four different provinces that formed the original confederation of Canada. Yet, we are told that there is a model to be found within the four corners of the British North America Act, or in the constitutions of the different provinces created under the British North America Act, which furnishes to us full information as to what are to be the powers of each province when it becomes a province. For forty years parliament has been interpreting the meaning of the British North America Act and in no one instance has parliament taken the view that the hon. leader of the opposition now presents to this House. In no one instance has parliament up to this moment felt that it was bound by the letter of the constitution, or that it was at no time to modify according to the local conditions the general scheme of confederation in applying that constitution to a particular province. I ask you then, if, up to this present moment, all who have been engaged in creating these seven provinces, if all the parliaments either here or in England have been disposed to look not to the letter but to the spirit of the law, do you not think that the bed rock of our constitution is the spirit and not the mere letter of the British North America Act. Why, Sir, is it common sense to suppose that when the British North America Act was passed forty years ago the parliament of that day intended that that instrument which for all time was to form the constitution of this Dominion, with its changes and with its future, was literally to be applied, not having regard to the conditions of new provinces when its application was to be made but having regard to the dead past ? I can imagine a hundred years hence some question arising in this country ; perhaps it may be the question of taking away from a province some of its powers, or it may be a question of taking away from the Dominion some of its powers, or it may be a question in some way or other of rearranging legislative powers, and I can understand that it might be thought of vital importance to the safety of the country that some change should be made. Under these circumstances I can almost anticipate a lawyer of that day rising in his place in parliament and saying : You propose to alter the constitution for the public welfare. I admit that the public welfare may call for a change of the constitution, but I take my stand on the letter of the constitution and I interpret it in the light of 150 or 200 years ago. Is that the spirit 3415 COMMONS in which laws are to be construed, or should they be construed as living and moving laws to be construed so as at all times to meet the altered conditions of the occasion ? I sympathize with the view of the premier and I put him in contrast on this occasion with the attitude of the leader of the opposition. In one case, you have an interpretation of the constitution by a lawyer ; in the other case, may I be permitted to say, by a statesman ? Which view is the more likely   to be correct? Which view is the more likely to be in the best interests of the country? I take this view of it then; I began by arguing that there could be no infringement of a right until it has been created. A province possesses no rights until this parliament has declared what its rights are. According to the spirit of the British North America Act and according to the letter of the amending Act of 1871, it is in the discretion of this parliament to-day to say what constitution we shall give to these two new provinces.
How have we dealt with ediication in the seven provinces of this Dominion ? We have left education as we found it when we came to legislate. Nova Scotia had no separate schools ; the British North America Act gave them no separate schools. In New Brunswick there were no separate schools; when they joined confederation the Confederation Act gave them no separate schools. In Quebec at the time of confederation there were separate schools ; the Confederation Act recognized that condition of affairs and left them in the enjoyment of separate schools. In Ontario when it entered confederation there were separate schools; the British North America Act lecognized local conditions and left Ontario in the enjoyment of her separate schools. At the time Prince Edward island joined the union there were no separate schools; the Orders in Council, ratified by the imperial government, left Prince Edward Island in the condition it was in when it entered confederation, without separate schools. When we came to carve a new province out of the territory of Ruperts Land, when we came to establish Manitoba we found a peculiar condition there. They had separate schools but these schools did not fall within the language of the British North America Act. They were not there by right or law because there were no laws. The country was almost uninhabited, no constitution had been declared, it was working under the old law of England, and the legislators of that day, endeavouring to recognize the condition of affairs as they found it, when they were going to make Manitoba into a province said that although there are no schools in Manitoba by law there are some by practice and we will give you a constitution and allow you to retain whatever you had by law or practice. So, they departed from the letter of the law in the case of Manitoba. In British Columbia it is the same. There were no separate 3416 schools in British Columbia, but when British Columbia came into the confederation the Confederation Act recognized the status quo and did not establish separate schools.
Thus, in the case of the whole seven provinces that 110w constitute this Dominion, each province was left either with or without separate schools just as the condition was at the time of its entering into the union. But what do we find in the case of the Territories ? In 1875, thirty years ago, this parliament passed an Act authorizing the legislature of the Territories to establish separate schools. The Act of 1875 did not declare the character of these schools; they might be under church control or they might be under state control. I frankly confess that I disapprove of separate schools under church control, and on one occasion when I had the opportunity I recorded my vote against the maintenance of the status quo of 1875. I object to that feature of it which admits of a school under church control, but the Act remained on the statute-book and it is on the statute-book today. It is quite common practice in this House to belittle the jurisdiction of the, territorial legislature, but within its limits and as to be subjects in respect of which it can legislate the territorial legislature is as supreme as is the legislature of any province. For thirty years the people of the Territories have been in the enjoyment of rights under the Act of 1875, and they have made clear their views on their educational system in the form of laws passed by their legislature. The ex-Minister of the Interior correctly described the educational laws of the Territories. He pointed out that under the ordinance, chapter 29, which we propose to accept as the standard, the separate schools as they are to-day are really national schools; that the teachers must be qualified equally with the teachers in the public schools, that the schools must be organized under the state and not under the church, that the text books are pres cribed by the state, that the inspection. the examination and the whole control of these schools called separate schools, is with the state. We have been assailed indeed by people opposed to us because these schools are not sufficiently under church control. The existing school system in the Territories is the outcome of thirty years of legislation by the people of the Territories. Their educational laws have reached the present status, and they give supreme satisfaction I understand throughout the Territories. Although some gentlemen on the other side of the House are endeavouring to induce the people to rise in revolt, we do not find any such hysterical appeals made by the people of the Territories who are most directly concerned. I see before me the minister—I beg his pardon I was only anticipating a little perhaps—I see before me the member for East Grey (Mr. 3417   MARCH 29, 1905 Sproule). He is deeply interested in this question and from one standpoint is an authority upon it. I have something here which may interest him. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) went to Montreal a year ago and he was entertained by the Jacques Cartier Club of which we have heard a good deal of late in connection with the sending of petitions gotten up in the province of Quebec. I do not know how intimate are the relations between my hon. friend from East Grey and the Jacques Cartier Club, but let me remind him of a pleasing incident: a banquet to his leader and himself. The day after the banquet, the'Montreal 'Gazette' did itself the honour of reporting the hon. gentleman's speech, and I will do him the further honour of reading the report to the House. I may observe that on this occasion the member for East Grey was accompanied by his leader the member for Carleton. The Montreal 'Gazette' of the 20th of June, 1904, reports :
Dr. Sproule, M.P., the well known Orange leader created loud laughter as he called those present his 'brethren.' He was loudly applauded as he told of his impressions on seeing Cartier for the first time. He wanted more French Conservatives at Ottawa to help carry out Mr. Borden's policy. Ontario, he said, had no desire to rule this country without the help of French Canada.
Mr. SPROULE. Nothing wrong in that.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Does the hon. gentleman express himself that way up west ?
Mr. SPROULE. Exactly the same.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Well, we will see what happened after that.
The one province was necessary to the other.
Oh, here is something rather interesting:
He said that the much decried Orange lodge was nothing more or less than a Conservative committee room.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. I want to correct the Postmaster General if he has read that as he finds it in the paper. There were two reports out, and I want to say that this is 'an incorrect report. What I said was that it was allegel by our opponents that it was nothing more or less than a Conservative committee room.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Well, I am reading the Montreal ' Gazette.'
Mr. TAYLOR. Will the Postmaster General ask the hon. gentleman who sits immediately behind him if the member for East Grey said so.
Mr. FINLAY. I am the only one sitting immediately behind the Postmaster and I do not know anything about it.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. There is something more that can be contradicted perhaps. At all events this is What the Montreal ' Gazette ' says :
He said the much decried Orange lodge was nothing more or less than a Conservative committee room where Catholics and Protestants met to do the good work of the Conservative party.
How far is that correctly reported ?
Mr. SPROULE. Not correct at all.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. The report proceeds. Oh. Here is a dreadful threat, I wonder if it is correct.
Dr. Sproule received another cheer when he declared that if Quebec did not do better at the next election he would come down and establish Orange lodges throughout the province.
Mr. SPROULE. I admit that.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. That is correct?
Mr. SPROULE. Yes, that is correct.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Has the hon. gentleman carried out his threat?
Mr. SPROULE. I think I will carry it out.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. The hon. gentleman says that the 'Gazette' report is not correct. I have the Montreal 'Star' here and we will see what it says.
Dr. Sproule replied first for Ontario. He recalled the first time he had seen Cartier and the deeds of that distinguished Canadian with his twin brother Macdonald.
There is internal evidence about the genuineness of that, because the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) is rather fond of the subject of twins.
He hoped to see the people of Quebec rally to Borden, as they had in the past to Macdonald and Cartier and Tupper and Pope. He asked them to rally to their Pope.
An hon. MEMBER. Which Pope ?
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. The leader of the opposition. I can fancy the hon. member for East Grey making his confessions to the leader of the opposition when he came back from this gathering so unlike the gatherings which he is accustomed to assemble in the west.
Mr. SPROULE. The hon. gentleman is entirely out in his reference there.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Did not the hon. member for Grey ask them to rally to their Pope ?
Mr. SPROULE. If the hon. gentleman will allow me, I will explain. I was facetiously making reference to the fact that we had in our ranks a Pope, pointing to the member for Compton, who was near by, and I said that if they were willing to sup 3419 COMMONS port their Pope, surely they were willing to support our Pope.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. The hon. gentleman has two Popes—his Pope and the leader of the opposition. It applied to both. Let me proceed :
The two nationalities were planted here together, and must live side by side, and work in harmony to build up a great and lusty young country. Mr. Borden had the people at his back, as did Macdonald and Cartier in the old days.
Yes, a long way behind his back.
The wise men had come from the east, and of late had saved a Daniel from the lion's den, Dr. Sproule raised a great shout of laughter—
I wish he would do the same here occasionally—
—when he jokingly referred to the old story that every Orange lodge in Ontario was a Conservative committee room. He would not take the trouble to deal with that theory. Suffice it to say that in Ontario the Orange and Green were working together as they had in the past, for the return to power of the true party of united Canadians.
A beautiful sentiment.
Mr. SPROULE. Is there anything wrong there ?
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Nothing wrong at all. Let us see now how they are working together.
Mr. SPROULE. Will you be good enough to inform the House now what clause of the Bill that refers to ?
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Mr. Speaker, this House is being favoured with petitions. The hon. gentleman says that the Orange and the Green are working together for the good of the Conservative party. He is doing his share in one way, and the Jacques Cartier Club, his host, appears to be doing its share in another way ; and thus the Orange and the Green are getting in their work. I hold in my hand a copy of a communication signed by Elie Maurault, Secretary of the Jacques Cartier Club. I do not know the gentleman ; but the writer of this communication does not appear to share the sentiments of the member for East Grey. The member for East Grey has been promoting one line of campaign, while his club in Quebec has been promoting another line. It is all right if it stirs up strife, so long as both get in their work for the good of the Conservative party ; the Orange and the Green, as he says, working together ; two fishermen out, he with his hook baited with the orange, and some one else with the green. May I ask the member for East Grey what part he took in getting this communication and these petitions from the province of Quebec. Fancy the Conservative party, through the Jacques Cartier Club, rallying to the support of the premier of Can 3420 ada against the member for East Grey. This letter is dated Montreal, 8th March, 1905, and it reads as follows :
Dear Sir,—Referring to the important matter which is at present being discussed in the House of Commons re the separate schools to be established in the new provinces in the Northwest, reliable information shows us that the opponents of those schools are doing their utmost to prevent justice being done to our compatriots and co-religionists, and are flooding parliament with petitions against the school system which is so dear to us.
Mr. LENNOX. We have had it before.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Since you have had it before. I will only state the tenor of it. This is a letter from the Jacques Cartier Club of Montreal, sent broadcast throughout the province of Quebec, appealing to all parties to resist the action of the member for East Grey. The hon. gentleman may have had suggestions from the Jacques Cartier Club that he should put his fighting forces in order in Ontario, and so the two forces are working in harmony for the good of the Conservative party, the member for East Grey rallying one party and the Jacques Cartier Club rallying the other.
Mr. SPROULE. Might I ask the hon. gentleman a question ?
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Certainly.
Mr. SPROULE. A large number of petitions have been received in favour of this Bill from Reformers in Quebec. I hold one in my hand containing twenty-one names marked Liberals and fourteen marked Conservatives. These Liberals are asking that the Bill may not pass, while Liberals on other petitions are asking that it do pass. Were they working in concert ?
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. May I ask who marked them Liberals ?
Mr. SPROULE. The gentleman who went around with the petition. I will pass it over to the hon. gentleman.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. What is the name of the gentleman who marked them ?
Mr. SPROULE. I take it that it was the gentleman who went around with the petition.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. If the hon. gentleman does not know who marked them, I do not think the evidence amounts to much. I would like to show how the work is being done. The hon. gentleman is making his appeals to passion on the floors of this House.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. Yes. He delivered an address in this House a short time ago, ostensibly on the school question, but the most of his speech was taken up with pointing out the infirmities of the 3421 MARCH 29, 1905 Roman Catholic church. What did the hon. gentleman mean when he said that certain races, such as the Galicians and the Doukhobors, had come to Canada to escape the tyranny of their church in the old land.
Mr. HENDERSON. The Doukhobors are not Catholics.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. What did the hon. gentleman mean when he said that we were seeking to make use of the old cast-off tattered garments of the church in the old world as the swaddling clothes of these young giants in the west? Was that not an attack on the church and an appeal to passion ?
Mr. SPROULE. It was an appeal to his history.
Sir WILLAM MULOCK. That was not the occasion to give us history. It was an occasion for an appeal to the constitution. At all events. it is interesting to see the methods pursued in different parts of this Dominion.
We have in the province of Ontario a campaign denouncing these amendments as being concessions to the hierarchy. 0n the other hand, in the province of Quebec, the Liberal party is attacked by the Tory newspapers because the government are doing nothing for the Roman Catholics. Surely both these contentions cannot be well founded. Let me read from a couple of the leading Tory papers published in the city of Quebec in what terms they speak of what they declare to be a surrender of the rights of the minority. In 'L'Evenement' of the 10th March, 1905, which is one of the organs supporting the opposition in the province of Quebec. I find the following article:
The Northwest Territory Schools—A deep treason. The rights of the Catholics of the Northwest are shamefully sacrificed.
The Liberal press has just received from Ottawa the pass-word and is cleverly preparing the electorate to accept and approve what Mr. Laurier and Mr. Fitzpatrick are asking parliament, the shameful sacrifice of the rights of our fellow men and co-religionists in the Northwest Territories. Mr. Laurier and Mr. Fitzpatrick are giving away before fanaticism, and in a retreat without glory they cowardly abandon rights which they themselves declared to be inalienable fifteen days ago. We ask our readers to read attentively what follows, and to seriously study the question which we will treat, and to open their eyes and see the deep treason of which French Canadians and Roman Catholics in the Territories are victims.
It is Catholic Laurier and Catholic Fitzpatrick who, for the purpose of retaining power. do not fear, do not hesitate, powerful as they are, to crush under the heels of their boots the French Catholic minority of the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
That is a Tory opinion for consumption in the province of Quebec, and the article proceeds in equally violent language to the 3422 end. Another paper ot the same kind, published in the city of Quebec, 'La Verite,' in its issue of the 18th March, has the follow— ing editorial:
Trebly deplorable.
In our article of last week we qualified as truly deplorable the letter of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to an old friend of George Brown, the full text of which we published at the time.
This letter is trebly deplorable. disastrous, heart-rending, we say, after having re-read this document calmly.
From a political point of view, a national point of view, from a religious point 0f view, it is all that; and it is inconceivable that a. chief of a party, a. French Canadian and a Roman Catholic could have made up his mind to make public such a document.
Then it proceeds to say:
By his cowardice and blindness. Mr. Laurier is on the way to depriving for ever his co-religionists in the west, of separate schools, thoroughly Catholic. No, there is no possible comparison between the work of George Brown and that of Wilfrid Laurier, as political men on the educational question. The former has done for his people a work as durable as granite. The latter, of his own free will, places his co-religionists in a position of manifest inferiority. Such was the work of both men from a purely political point of view.
Further on the writer says:
The separate schools of the far west will be so little separate, so little French that the teaching will be in English.
Lastly, a word as to the religious aspect of the question; it is clear that Sir Wilfrid Laurier, as a Catholic statesman, is perfectly satisfied of practically neutral schools for his co-religionists. Read over again attentively the discription which he makes of the so-called separate schools which exist in the west, which his Bill proposes to maintain, which our people must accept, and which the Protestants are humbly requested to tolerate, and you will see that they are really neutral or national schools, because, in the mind of Sir Wilfrid Laurier the two terms are synonymous.
Where is the separation in these schools from a religious point of view ? It does not exist more than it does from the national point at view. They are institutions which are neutral, neutral, absolutely neutral.
The famous half hour of religious teaching at the closing of each class does not change the essentially national and neutral character of the class itself. Mr. Laurier proclaims this with persistency, and he is perfectly right.
Instead of this measure being a surrender to the Roman Catholic Church, which is the charge made against it in the west, it is denounced in the province of Quebec by our opponents because it simply allows the minority to enjoy what we call national schools. Both these contentions cannot be true. Either the contention of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule), that we are surrendering to the Roman Catholic minority, is wrong, or the contention of his allies in Quebec that we are not doing justice to 3423 COMMONS the Roman Catholic minority is unfounded. Both cannot be correct. Perhaps my hon. friend from East Grey. in his supreme desire to do justice, will, in talking the matter over with his western friends, point out to them the view which the Quebec Tories take of this measure as compared with that which he and his friends take. But what is the attitude of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition? He simply takes his stand on provincial rights. The hon. member for East Grey does the passion part of the play. He acts the tragic role and appeals to passion; other members of the party opposite indulge in melodramatic appeals to sentiment; others attempt more or less skilfully to excite prejudice, but one and all they are working to the same end, and that is the success and glory of the Conservative party, no matter by what means that may be secured. But there is one thing which these gentlemen might well bear in mind. It is that the welfare of this country depends on our people living in harmony; and let this question he once settled in a broad spirit of tolerant justice and we will continue in that career of progress in which we have been advancing for the last eight years. For several years during the agitation accompanying the Manitoba school question, the progress of this country was stopped, and stopped it would be again if the opposition could have their way and succeed in throwing this question into the arena of political strife. But the good sense of parliament, I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, will prevail, and the country will breathe a sigh of relief when this question is settled for all time, without any sacrifice of principle on either side and in a manner which will enable all classes to live in harmony. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition said that because the Act of 1875 was passed When there were only 500 people in the Northwest it should now be done away with when there are 500,000 people in that country. But it seems to me that if 500,000 people have gone into that country, knowing the law and the conditions which prevailed, they furnish us, with 500,000 argu ments in favour of the maintenance of the status quo. Why should we deal with the people of the Territories when we make them a province in a different manner from that in which we deal with the people in other provinces when they were brought into confederation? What we propose now is in harmony with the unbroken practice in similar cases, respected in every part of this broad Dominion. Therefore, I am unable to understand why, when we are raising these two Territories to the dignity of provinces this agitation should be excited. Some time ago, in reading a history of India, I came across a passage which might very well be brought to the attention of this House. Speaking of the treatment by Great Britain of the many nationalities throughout her broad empire—races with 3424 out number and creeds without number— the writer said that he had yet to find an instance of the mother country haVing ever oppressed a minority or failed to recognize the beliefs and feelings and sentiments and even the prejudices of that minority. And when at the close of the great mutiny in India, it was said that the imperial government might interfere with the religious views of the people, Her Majesty herself caused a proclamation to be issued to the people of India in which she pointed out that she had derived so much comfort and consolation from her own religion that she would never allow hands to be laid 011 the religions or creeds of the various great tribes that composed her loyal citizens throughout India.
And, go where you will throughout this broad empire, with its. four hundred millions of people of different races and different creeds, you find all left in the enjoyment of those things that they regard as sacred. It is that policy, that method of treating the people, that has made Great Britain's empire, what it is to-day—widespread, powerful and stable, resting upon the affections of the whole people and holding the people together by the bonds of affection and not by force 01' coercion. If our own Dominion is to be held together we cannot do better than follow the example of the mother of nations and yield, if need be, occasionally to prejudices or sentiments involving no sacrifice of principle in order to enable the different classes that are coming to our shores to live in peace, in harmony and in the enjoyment of those institutions to which they attach great importance and the enjoyment of which by them makes them more loyal citizens. yet does no injury to the common welfare.
Mr. E. A. LANCASTER (Lincoln and Niagara). Mr. Speaker, I do not know who is to apologize, unless I do—for I suppose the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) will not—for the time that hon. gentleman has taken up in what was supposed to have been a discussion of Bill (No. 69) now before the House. I must say that I sympathize with those gentlemen supporting, or supposed to be supporting, the Postmaster General who have been brought back this evening to hear, as they supposed, a reply to the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and who, after trying to listen for half an hour or so, were obliged to leave the Chamber because they could not under-r stand where the Postmaster Genera-1 was or what subject he was dealing with. I sympathize with them, because we cannot blame them for thinking the Postmaster General would give them some information or some light—something which they could take to their constituents and offer as an apology or plea for forgiveness for their vote against the contentions of the hon. member for North Toronto. And what has the Post 3425 MARCH 29, 1905 master General done ? He has occupied the time of this House from nine o'clock until twenty minutes to eleven. And evidently he has tried to say something. Several times he has said : ' What is the question before the House ? ' But he never told us what that question was. I do not know whether he was'discussing the Manitoba remedial legislation of 1896—whether he was dreaming that he was out in the province of Ontario abusing Sir Charles Tupper for granting that remedial legislation,— or whether he was trying to offer some plea for interfering with the autonomy of the Northwest. He did say at the opening of his speech, that there was a Bill before the House. But he did not read a single section of it. He evidently does not know the provisions of the British North America Act. He has never read that Act or he would not have made the wrong statements about it that he has made. He has simply wasted the time of the House for an hour and forty minutes—I say this with all deference; but I have as much respect for the members of this House as I have for the Postmaster General, and I think that some one ought to apologize. So, as one of the members constituting this House, as the Postmaster General does not apologize for wasting our time, I can only hope that the House will accept the apology I offer. The House has asmuch right to accept my apology as the Postmaster General has to propose, in the name of autonomy, a throttling piece of legislation for the Northwest Territories. This House has as much and more right to say that the member for Lincoln and Niagara (Mr. Lancaster) should apologize for the Postmaster General as to say that the provincial parliament of the Northwest shall not control its own affairs. At nine o'clock the Postmaster General began to address this House. I have kept track, as well as I could, of his wanderings about the question —if it can be said he was so near the question as to be wandering about it—and the discussion—if you can call it discussion— that he has inflicted upon the House. He spent half an hour in abusing the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster.)
Mr. LENNOX. He apologized.
Mr. LANCASTER. I have no doubt he will apologize if somebody makes him do so, but he Will not apologize out of the goodness of his heart ;—he might to save a libel suit if a libel suit could be taken against him. Then for forty minutes he was supposed to discuss this Bill, if you can call it a discussion of the Bill to tell us over and over again that the British North America Act had dealt differently with different provinces—and I am in the judgment of the House when I say that that is all this discussion amounted to. Then, for the next thirty minutes he gave kind advice to the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) 3426 about his duty in regard to toleration. He talked about intolerant speeches in this House and about vehemence. And what was the other word he used ?—I have a note of it here ;—some word that, I think, we hardly understand as coming from the Postmaster General. He spoke once of brotherly love. He spoke also of inflammatory and impassioned speeches—but he did not tell us at which side of the House he was directing his lecture. I have been in this House throughout this debate, and I am not in the habit of sitting here and not listening. I have not heard one impassioned sentence in this debate coming from this side of the House, and neither has any other hon. member. The Postmaster General seems to think he has heard that kind of thing from this side. I heard the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick), before the Bill was read the second time, make what I suppose the Postmaster General would call a speech of brotherly love. The Minister of Justice said in effect : If my brothers of the Dominion of Canada will not give me something to which I have no constitutional right ; if they will not give me justice and let me be the judge of what is to be considered justice, there shall be no peace in this country. That is the style of speech we get from the King's chosen representative of justice in this House, the occupant of what ought to be the highest and grandest of cabinet positions. He told us that forty-one per cent of our people demanded this legislation. I take issue with him there. All the Roman Catholics in this country are not in favour of this legislation.
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. Oh, oh.
Mr. LANCASTER. But I tell my young friend from Montmaguy (Mr. A. Lavergne), who has interrupted every speaker in this House since this question began, that he has got a lot of things to learn yet, and some things to learn about his own race in the province of Quebec. I will tell my young friend that if he wants to get any standing in this House, if he wants anybody to listen to him, he must be more tolerant, he must not take his lessons of tolerance from the Postmaster General and he must make less inflammatory speeches, and exercise more courtesy to hon. gentlemen who have just as much right to their opinions as he has.
Now, Sir, I say to all these gentlemen that in the county of Lincoln, which I have the honour to represent, I do not believe there is a single Roman Catholic who wants any thing done that is unconstitutional or contrary to the spirit of the constitution. When the Minister of Finance spoke on this question he sneered at the constitution. The Minister of Finance, acknowledging, I suppose, that the constitution was dead against him, tried to make out that the constitutional aspect of this legislation was of no 3427 consequence. What did he say ? I am going to read it from the 'Hansard' lest I make any mistake:
I do not propose to go into that constitutional question, not because I say it should not receive any consideration, but because I say it is not the great question involved, and I prefer to go on and deal with the practical questions which are before us. If it is a constitutional question above all others, then perhaps the best thing we can do will be to request the legal members of this House to adjourn to the Railway Committee room and thresh it out, while we who have not the good fortune to belong to that learned profession will stay down here and discuss the practical question involved, or proceed with the ordinary business of the House.
And further on:
Now the first question is whether or not the time has come when we should give a provincial constitution to these new Territories in the west.
But before saying that. and having been interrupted by the leader of the opposition. to whom he was apparently speaking, he said :
I believe the people of the Dominion to-day are not going to have their minds engaged with an elaborate analysis of constitutional questions which nine out of ten will never read, and which the whole ten will fail to understand. I believe that the people of Canada, since this unpleasant question is brought before us, will expect us to meet it plainly and openly, and discuss it with the hope of finding a happy solution.
Now, on behalf of the Catholic citizens of the garden county of Lincoln. I tell the Minister of Finance, who is now in his place, that they will resent as much as the Protestants will resent any such imputation on their fairness. They do not want things to be done that-are unconstitutional. No true citizen of this country, be he Catholic or Protestant, wants legislation to be put through this House on the ground that it may be wise and practical, if it is not constitutional. If it is not constitutional, it cannot be either wise or practical. In saying this, I speak for three or four thousand Roman Catholic inhabitants in the fair county of Lincoln, and I speak for the Protestants as well. The Minister of Finance thinks that this educational section of the Bill cannot be supported on constitutional ground. He thinks, according to his speech, that the law is also against the government if they undertake to force this legislation through, for he says: I will not discuss it, I will let the lawyers discuss it. But does he say he will leave it to the new provinces to do as they like ? Oh, no ; but he says: I will butt in and take the provinces by the throat, while the lawyers may study the legal question. I think he ought to wait until the jury comes in; I think he ought to keep his hands off these provinces until 3428 he finds out whether he had a right to put his hands on them. Now, let me suggest to the Minister of Finance, to the Minister of Customs, and to all those gentlemen who have spoken on this question: Supposing you do not interfere with the power of these provinces to deal with the educational question, are you doing a wrong thing or not? The lawyers say there is a doubt whether we have a right to interfere with the provinces, but nobody says there is a doubt about the provinces having a right to deal with this question of separate schools. Now. if separate schools can be dealt with. as it is admitted they can be, by the provinces, why not let them deal with it? Nobody suggests on either side of this House that these new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan cannot deal with the question of separate schools as soon as this Act is passed in any way that they like; the whole dispute is as to whether there is power in the Dominion parliament to deal with the subject. But there is no question about the fact that the provinces can do it if the Dominion parliament does not interfere. Now, have hon. gentlemen made a good case for separate schools or have they not? I am not going to discuss that question. I believe in provincial rights. If this question was up in the province of Ontario I would claim the right to record my vote upon it. and in the same manner I do not wish to take away the right of the people of the North west Territories to record their votes on the subject if they want to. I am willing to give my fellow-countrymen in the Northwest Ter ritories the same right to do their own voting on this school question that I claim for myself. So in regard to every other question, they should be treated in the same way. Can it be suggested that if this was not an educational and, incidentally, a religions question, there would be any wrenching of the constitution to interfere with the provinces ? Everybody knows the answer. Everybody knows that if this was not a question that affected education and, incidentally, religion, nobody would dare to suggest that we should wrench the constitution of those provinces, that we should undertake to throttle them in regard to their right to say What system of education they shall have. Of course, if we are going to give provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories. let us give them something that will be autonomy, and not a mere pretense. Why are the government dealing with this question of provincial autonomy ? Does the Prime Minister believe that these provinces have reached the stage where they are entitled to have autonomy? If he says they are entitled now to have autonomy on all the subjects mentioned in the British North America Act, then are they not entitled to exercise the same judgment with regard to education ? If they have brains and intelligence enough, if they are far enough advanced to deal with all the other subjects 3429 MARCH 29, 1905 that are assigned to the provincial legislatures under section 92 of the British North America Act, surely they are intelligent enough and far enough advanced to deal with the subject of education? That section gives the provincial legislature exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the subjects of direct taxation, borrowing money on the credit of the province, management and sale of public lands, the establishment, maintenance and management of reformatories and prisons. establishment and maintenance of hospitals and asylums, licenses, local public works, marriage, property and civil rights, administration of justice, and generally all matters of a merely local nature in the province. Now. if the Prime Minister thinks that the people of those Territories are sufliciently advanced to deal with all these subjects I have mentioned, surely he must believe that they are sufficiently advanced to deal with the subject of education.
It is idle for the right hon. Prime Minister or any person else to pretend that there is any other reason for excluding education from the operation of this Act or taking the question of education away from these provinces except it be on the religious ground. I say this and 1 say it forcibly because it is necessary as we are drifting away back into the dark ages. When we are dealing with this Bill this question ought to be dealt with exactly on its merits, the same as any other question would be, and if there is no meritorious reason for butting in the question of religion, or for sticking it in the Bill at all, if there is no logical, sound, businesslike reason for putting it in, there is no excuse for putting it there any more than there would be for putting in any other question that had no business to be there ? Are we not sufiiciently intelligent to deal with this question of education calmly, deliberately and as business men? Can we not ask ourselves the same question in regard to this question as in regard to any othe'r question? Cannot we say: Does this properly come within the subject of this Bill, is it proper that we should deal with this question any more than that we should deal with any other question ? There is not an hon. gentleman on the other side of the House who has made up his mind to record his vote for the government on this question. but will admit or will conscientiously say to himself that a judgment of this kind should not be forced upon him more in respect to the religious question than it would be in regard to any other question. I venture to say that if the British North America Act were attacked in regard to some other of its features. if it were proposed, for instance, to give the Northwest Territories control of post oihces instead of leaving it to the Dominion parliament the hon. Postmaster General would say : No. that is unconstitutional: that is one of the subjects that the British North America Act exclusively 3430 leaves to the Dominion parliament to deal with. and you cannot change the British North America Act in that respect. But. the Postmaster General does not mind taking from the provinces the right to deal with the subject of education although it is exclusively assigned to the provinces except in the cases that he has mentioned to-night. If a province after it was a provinée, being of age and able to do it. deliberately knowing what it was doing, inflicted upon itself a system of separate schools it could not abolish that system upon joining the union. There is no warrant whatever for dealing with this question except upon the lines of the British North America Act. And section 92. containing an enumeration of the different classes of cases which I have mentioned, lays it down that these cases are to be dealt with exclusively by the provinces.
Mr. L. P. DEMERS. Do they education in clause 92 ?
Mr. LANCASTER. Not in that section. Section 92 which I have just read says, and I have used that for a purpose, that :
In each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to matters coming within the classes of subjects next hereinafter enumerated.
And so on. Section 93 says that the 'legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education.' These provisions are exactly the same in the operative parts of these two sections. Section 92 dealing with matters which neither the Prime Minister nor any one else has dared to interfere with, which are subjects which are admitted to be exclusively within the jurisdiction of the province and which are always to be dealt with by the province, contains exactly the same phraseology as section 93 does in regard to education:
In each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to matters coming within the classes of subjects next hereinafter enumerated.
Is one section, and
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education.
Is the other section. Exactly the same operative words are used in both sections. The province may make laws exclusively in relation to education
Subject and according to the following provisions. '
Exception No. 1 no one but the premier pretends has anything to do with this case; exception No. 2 no one pretends has anything to do with this case. Exception No. 1, is as follows :—
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.
In the province at the union ! In the province at the time that it joined the union, as for instance, Ontario and Quebec as the hon. Postmaster General admitted to-night. He said we have these schools here because we had them when we came into the union, and he then proves our case further by saying that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick do not have these schools because they did not have them when they came into the union, and that British Columbia did not have them when they came into the union. That was the reason why they did not have them. Now, here is where I begin to disagree with him. He says it is fair to say to the people in the Northwest : You are not a province, we are about to make you a province for the first time, we do not know whether you will establish separate schools or not but we will take you by the throat and make you do it. That is great logic. That is a wonderful argument to come from a statesman like the hon. Postmaster General, as he called himself two or three times to-night, although nobody applauded him when he did it. That was the logic that came from this would be statesman. If we apply his logic it means this : Here are people twenty-one years of age having the right to vote who have voted for a certain thing, being fully enfranchised and entitled to vote on the question, while on the other hand we are going to enfranchise another man who has not now a vote and make him vote what we direct all his life. That is a fair interpretation of the argument which the Postmaster General has made. We are going to say because we are creating a province that you shall do exactly what Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia did not have to do. Although British Columbia did not have to adopt a separate school system we say to these new provinces that if you come in you must establish a separate school system because they have one in Ontario and Quebec. No such thing was said to British Columbia. Prince Edward Island did not have to adopt the separate school system, but in regard to these new provinces we say : You have not a system of separate schools but we are going to make it certain you must have one because you cannot come into the union if you do not have separate schools as they have them in Ontario and Quebec. These other provinces were allowed to do as they liked. They were provinces that were fully enfranchised and entitled to make their own bargains. The hon. Postmaster General, the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Minister of Customs cannot see any distinction between enfranchising a man and letting him do as he likes after you have enfranchised him and taking a man by the throat and saying : You must do so and so or we will not enfranchise you at all. Both of these hon. gentlemen who are sitting beside each other at this moment and who spoke upon this question said that in effect. They did not 3432 want to bother with the legal aspect of this question. The hon. Minister of Customs was very anxious to get away from the legal question. He said that Christopher Robinson's opinion was not quite the same as that of the hon. leader of the oppostion, that they were both excellent lawyers—he spoke correctly about that—that the hon. the Minister of Justice disagreed with the legal opinion of these gentlemen and that he was a good lawyer. But I have not seen the opinion of the hon. Minister of Justice yet. The hon. Minister of Customs may know quietly, or through some secret channel of the cabinet, what the opinion of the hon. Minister of Justice is, but I do not know what it is. But, we will assume that it was contradictory of and different from the opinion of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition. What was the wise solution of the Minister of Customs ? What was the advice that he gave us in his great wisdom ? He says that as these lawyers differ about the question as to whether the Dominion of Canada has the power to go on and settle that question we should take the power.
The argument of the Minister of Customs was, that as the lawyers differed as to whether Canada has the power to enact this legislation, the wise thing to do to settle the question was for this parliament to take the power. It is an easy thing for the Minister of Customs to get away from the legal and constitutional aspect of the question, but it never occurred to him that there was a still more common sense solution, and that is that provinces could grant separate schools if they wanted to and nobody disputes that the provinces have the power—and that being so, it would be a wise thing to let the new provinces do as they like on the question of education. There is no dispute that the provinces have the power to legislate on education the whole dispute is whether the Dominion government has the right to force a particular system of education upon them. The Minister of Customs could not see that the easiest solution of the difficulty was for us to say : as there is a great difference of opinion as to whether we have the right to do this or not, and as there is no difference as to the right of the province to do it, then let us trust the province. And so these gentlemen opposite believing they have a good case for separate schools on the merits, should have no reason to fear. But that solution did not occur to the champions of provincial rights. Sir, in that beautiful garden city of St. Catharines in my fair county, early in the month of June, 1896, I heard the Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier appeal to return Mr. Gibson (now Senator Gibson) to this House, and Mr. Gibson was returned by a majority of nearly 500. On that occasion I heard the Prime Minister of Canada declare, that when it came to the question of coercing a province even at the instance of people who belonged to 3433 MARCH 29, 1905 his own religion, he was a Canadian and a provincial rights man first and he would not interfere with the province even at the risk of being accused of disloyalty to his own religion. That argument prevailed with the people of the county I have the honour to represent, but the people soon discovered their mistake. Mr. Gibson who came to this House backed up by that pledge of his leader, four years afterwards in the same constituency was defeated by so weak and humble an individual as myself by a majority which represented a change of several hundred votes compared with the previous election. The people of Canada want public men to keep their political pledges. They do not want the Prime Minister to be in favour of provincial rights one day and against provincial rights another day when it suits his purpose. They want public questions to be dealt with on their merits whether these be religious questions or any other questions.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I shall not do as the Postmaster General did and talk for two hours without dealing with the legal and constitutional aspect of the question except in so far as mere personal assertion is concerned. I shall quote the rest of the British North America Act which deals with the question, and leave it to the common sense of the members of this House and the common sense of the people of Canada to say Whether the policy of the leader of the opposition as announced in his amendment, or the policy laid down in the redrafted Bill, is the correct one for us to pursue. The Bill undertakes to do something that is considered to be statesmanlike by the Postmaster General, but which unfortunately is not sufliciently statesmanlike to be constitutional. In the clause relating to education the Bill undertakes practically to amend the British North America Act, for it says :
Where the expression ' by law ' is employed in subsection 3 of the said section 93 it shall be held to mean the law as set out in said chapters 29 and 30, and when the expression ' at the union ' is employed in said subsection 3 it shall be held to mean the date at which the Act comes into force.
Now, the British North America says exactly the contrary to this, and we have therefore the sad spectacle that these gentlemen opposite who were once so loud in their pledges to protect provincial rights, now in their efforts to assail provincial rights not only jump clean over the autonomy of the provinces. but undertake to amend a law of the imperial parliament into the bargain. Well, I suppose they have just as much right to do one thing as the other ; they have just as much right to amend an Imperial Act as to deprive the provinces of Canada of their constitutional powers. To listen to these gentlemen opposite one would sometimes think we were in the imperial House of Commons creating a new 3434 British North America Act, and at another time that we were assembled in the legislature of the new provinces debating as to whether the provinces should have separate schools or not. I notice that every gentleman on the other side of the House who spoke in this debate took good care to stop short of discussing the question as to whether the Dominion or the province should pass educational laws. Some of them ventured to deal with the question whether or not we have the power, but none of them attempted to give a reason why, even if we had that power, we could exercise it any more sensibly than could the provinces themselves. They tell us that separate schools are good here and good there and good somewhere else, but they have no business to draw the deduction that separate schools would be good in Alberta and Saskatchewan. If this parliament is going to decide whether separate schools should or should not exist in Alberta, then we are going to do exactly the opposite to what occurred in relation to the same matter in the case of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Separate schools exist to-day in Ontario and Quebec because the people of these provinces administering their own local affairs, deem it wise that they should have separate schools. We are here dictating to the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta what they shall do in this regard, but the Dominion parliament never inflicted separate schools on Ontario or on Quebec or on British Columbia or on Nova Scotia or on Prince Edward Island. The hon. gentleman who for the time being is Postmaster General of Canada—we do not know how soon he will resign when he gets to understand this educational clause ; he does not understand it yet. The Postmaster General told us that none of the statutes admitting new provinces into the confederation were alike. He told us that Ontario and Quebec had separate schools, but that in the case of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia separate schools were not established by law. I have here the statute under which Prince Edward Island was admitted into the Dominion, and that statute is silent on the question of separate schools. But the Postmaster General did not tell us why it is silent. If there is anything in the argument of the government it must be : that the province of Prince Edward Island was not entitled to have separate schools unless the Act gave power to establish such schools in that province. The logical result of the argument of the government is, that the Prince Edward Island Act being silent on the question of separate schools the question can not be dealt with at all in the case of that province.
They argue that the Bill now before us would be incomplete if section 16 were not there. It has never occurred to any of them 3435 COMMONS that you could leave out the whole of section 16 and the result would be that section 93 of the British North America Act would apply, and the power of the province to deal with the question of schools would be absolute. It is so in the provinces of British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. In the constitutions of these provinces there is not a word about education or separate schools, and therefore, according to the argument of these hon. gentlemen, the logical conclusion would be that these provinces could not deal with education at all. That is where their argument would land them. Now, what does it all mean? It means simply this—and everybody of common sense can see it—that if the Dominion parliament, in constituting a province, does not deal with the question of education, then the question can be dealt with by the province. Nobody can get away from that conclusion with the intelligent electorate of any province of this Dominion. They will say: Why did you not, as a government of the Dominion. leave that matter in the hands of these new provinces as you did all other local questions, giving them provincial autonomy in every respect? Is the case for separate schools in those provincse good or not? If I were going to-morrow to live in the province of Alberta, and made up my mind that I wanted separate schools there, I would condemn the leader of this government for the manner in which he brought this question into this House and spoiled my chance of getting them. If he is honestly in favour of separate schools, and is not simply playing the game of politics, if he is really sincere in his appeals to keep racial and religious questions out of this House, why does he bring them in? If this Bill were passed without section 16, everybody knows that the provinces would have the power to deal with education, and this question would not have been brought into this House. Does the premier understand that the new provinces are not going to give separate schools? Then, if he thinks they are wrong on that question he should not give them autonomy. But if he thinks the provinces have a right to decide the question, then he should leave clause 16 out of the Bill, be cause they have the power-without mentioning it in the Bill. Does he think, on the merits of the question, having in view the future welfare of those provinces, that the majority will not be in favour of separate schools? If he thinks they have no right to that opinion, then, as an honest man, he should say, I will not give them autonomy for ten years yet, because I do not think they are sufficiently educated to deal with the subject of education. But that is not his position. He knows that the people of the Northwest are entitled to autonomy. and he practically says, I am afraid that in exercising their right they will or may not 3436 establish separate schools, and, therefore, I will not leave them free to decide the question. No sensible man, applying his common sense to this question as would a jury, no matter how he votes, can easily feel in his heart of hearts that the premier really wants separate schools out there peaceably or else he would leave the provinces to deal with the question. I am not saying that I would or would not be in favour of separate schools if I lived in the province of Alberta. Without living there for two or three years I could not say whether I would be in favour of them or not. For that same reason I ought not to be asked to vote upon this question; for that same reason the supporters of hon. gentlemen opposite ought not to be asked to vote upon this question; for that same reason the premier ought not to have brought this question into the House; for that same reason every man of us, whether he is in favour of separate schools or not, ought to vote against the Bill. It is a matter entirely of local concern which you are only in a position to decide after you have lived out there and understand all the conditions. You do not want to take newspaper reports, letters from friends, sketches or literature of any kind; you have actually to live in a community before you know how to deal with the educational system in that community. It may be that if I lived in Alberta two or three years, I would be a strong advocate of separate schools there, or it may be that I would think separate schools were not good things for that province; but for that very reason every hon. member of this House should vote against this Bill, except perhaps the premier, who introduced it, and who, perhaps as a matter of consistency, should stick to it.
The hon. Postmaster General, in the course of his remarks, said that if you trace the history of the constitutions of other provinces and the various changes in them, you will find that no two of them are exactly alike, and he instanced the divorce courts which he seemed to think were a wonderful instance of that fact. But he gave the whole thing away by saying that it was because the provinces with divorce courts had established them before those provinces came into the union. Although the British North America Act assigned divorce to the Dominion, yet it provided that those provinces should continue to have them. That is the constitution, and therefore there is no straining of the constitution in that provision. Yet here is the Postmaster General, a self-styled statesman, objecting to this being done on legal grounds. If I did not know otherwise. I might suppose that the Postmaster General had never been near a law office or had never seen a statute. I am told that he is a lawyer, though he does not want to be called a lawyer, and I understand why. Because lawyers are men of 3437 MARCH 29, 1905 common sense, if you leave them alone and do not put them into grit cabinets or on pedestals where no one can reach them.
The Minister of Finance wants it to be known that when he talks about this matter he discusses it from the point of view of common sense. But the Postmaster General takes a higher ground. He sets himself up on the pedestal of a statesman and tells us that he looks at this matter from a statesmanlike point of view and wants to have the question settled in a statesmanlike way and not in a legal way. He evidently does not believe that legality and statesmanship ought to go hand in hand in any properly constituted country, but he will no doubt find that if the people can only have a chance to see that their wishes are fulfilled, these two essentials will be joined together and not divorced from one another as the Postmaster General thinks they ought to be. Well, this statesmanlike Postmaster General or postmaster-general- like statesman—you can put it either way you like—says that because the British North America Act, which is our constitution —but which he does not seem to understand is our constitution—makes a difference between different provinces, therefore the Dominion parliament has the right to change that Act as it pleases. I am not quite sure whether the Postmaster General is not labouring under the delusion that he is really in London, England, to-day, and not in Ottawa, because he does not seem able to distinguish between the powers of the Dominion parliament and the imperial parliament. But he cannot produce, nor can the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Justice, nor the Solicitor General—lawyers though they be—produce any Act of the Dominion which has ever undertaken to say that the British North America Act shall mean something different to what it really does say in its own language. No, this Bill new before us is the first measure in which any attempt was ever made by the Dominion parliament to change the wording and the meaning of an Imperial Act. Not a single Act of a Dominion parliament has even been drawn which. has undertaken to say that the British North America Act shall be read as containing language different from what it really does contain. Surely the First Minister must have known that the British North America Act did not give him the right to impose these restrictions on these provinces about to be created, or else he would never have undertaken by this measure to amend the Act of Confederation. No hon. gentleman will pretend to say that anybody ever before undertook to resort to the very doubtful and suspicious expedient of having this tribunal alter the Act of another tribunal, or having this parliament declaring that an Act passed by the British parliament shall be taken to contain a different wording to what it really does contain.
Mr. SCOTT. Does my hon. friend not know that very thing was done in the case of Manitoba ?
Mr. LANCASTER. Can the hon. gentleman show me any Act with regard to Manitoba which has the words that are used here ? I am referring to this substituted section. I am not referring to the section that lost the vote of the Minister of the Interior, but to the section which has brought him into line and which the other Northwest members supporting him are swallowing. This is the language of that section :
Where the expression by-law is employed in subsection 3 of section 93, it shall be held to mean the law as set out in chapters 29 and 30 of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories.
There we have it set down that where the expression by-law is used in an Act of the British parliament passed in 1867, it shall be held to mean certain chapters of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories which were not passed until 25 or 30 years later.
Mr. SCOTT. I understand the hon. gentleman to argue that it was impossible for this parliament to vary the terms of the British North America Act, and I was undertaking to remind him that that was done in the case of Manitoba.
Mr. LANCASTER. I dispute that statement. That was not done at all in the case of the province of Manitoba. That province had, as a province, established separate schools, and it afterwards repealed the law establishing those schools.
Mr. SCOTT. The hon. gentleman is attempting to get away from the point.
Mr. LANCASTER. I am not attempting to get away from anything. My hon. friend says the same thing was done in the province of Manitoba Act. He will find no such expression in that Act or no expression that could be taken to mean the same thing. He cannot find anything in that Act declaring that certain words in the British North America Act shall be taken to mean other words or something else different entirely from what they express. When we find the First Minister declaring that what he is about to do, he could only do under the authority given him by the British North America Act, and then resorting to the expedient of changing the language of that very Act which gives him the authority, his case is a very doubtful one indeed. It really amounts to this that he is interfering with the document which the other man signed. One man gives another a power of attorney. The question then comes up whether that power of attorney gives the right to do certain things, and in order to remove any doubt or difiiculty the attorney says : I will take my pen and change the language of the document, and then I will 3439 have the right to do what I propose doing. That is the position in which the right hon. gentleman has put this government.
Mr. SCOTT. That was what parliament did in 1870 in the case of Manitoba.
Mr. LANCASTER. I say it was not at all what parliament did in the case of Manitoba. My hon. friend had better read the statute.
Mr. SCOTT. I will give you the very clause if you will permit me.
Mr. LANCASTER. I have read it as often as the hon. gentleman has. I am not a candidate for a cabinet position, I am not anxious to take the job of my former leader, I am not trying to make myself a champion of what I do not believe, I am not trying to show that I am able to swallow a section which it gave the ex-Minister of the Interior a good deal of trouble to swallow, but which, when he did make up his mind to take the dose, he did swallow with more gusto and less of a wry face than my hon. friend. Here is the enactment we are asked to pass as a Dominion parliament :
Where the expression ' by-law ' is employed in subsection 3 of the said section 93, it shall be held to mean the law as set out in said chapters 29 and 30—
Chapters 29 and 30 are ordinances of the Northwest Territories, which did not come into existence until years after the British North America Act was passed. And it will hardly be contended that that Act could have meant to apply to things that did not exist until years after it itself had come into existence.
—and where the expression ' at the union ' is employed in said subsection 3—
That is, subsection 3 of section 93 of the British North America Act.
—it shall be held to mean the date at which this Act comes into force.
In other words, the date of the passage of this British North America Act by the imperial parliament shall, by the great power which this Dominion of Canada possesses under so-called Reform rule, and by a declaration such as it never undertook to make before, be carried forward until next July.
Mr. LEMIEUX. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lancaster) allow me a word ?
Mr. LANCASTER. I would like to deal with this subject in consecutive fashion. I do not wish to be discourteous to the Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux), and I am sure that he knows that I would not show him any discourtesy. If he will allow me to finish the point that I am now dealing with, I shall be glad to have him put to me any question he wishes. I want to keep myself right with the hon. member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). He has interjected the 3440 statement that I will find the same section in regard to the Manitoba school laws.
Mr. SCOTT. No.
Mr. LANCASTER. Well, words to the same effect.
Mr. SCOTT. No.
Mr. LANCASTER. Then what could the hon. gentleman have meant by his interruption ? What does he want to take back now ? He said I would find the same in respect to Manitoba—
Mr. SCOTT. No.
Mr. LANCASTER. Then he had no right to interrupt me and cause me to waste five or ten minutes of the time of the House in proving to him that he was mistaken. He had better have another conference with the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) to find out where they stand on this question.
Mr. SCOTT. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lancaster) allow me to explain ?
Mr. LANCASTER. I think it is not fair for a gentleman addressing you, Mr. Speaker, to be interrupted even by an hon. member from the Northwest Territories, as I have been interrupted. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) had better have the local responsibility in this matter—for he is not yet elected for the provincial legislature— before he undertakes to have an opinion about it. Even a gentleman with cabinet aspirations ought not to stand up in this House, after the exhibition the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) made of himself, and undertake to tell an hon. member reading plain English that there was the same provision in the law relating to Manitoba schools, and, when it was proved up to the hilt that he was mistaken, explain that that is not what he meant. It is wasting the time of the House as the Postmaster General wasted it—not quite so completely. perhaps, but very near even that limit. I have been wondering, Mr. Speaker—and I am sorry that your mouth is closed and that you cannot give me the information—having seen what I have since eight o'clock, I have been wondering whether there is another cabinet crisis, and whether that is the reason why thc cabinet is wasting the time of the House. The Postmaster General took up nearly two hours, and proved only one thing, and that is that a man could talk that long and say nothing. And now an aspirant to the cabinet takes up more time in the fashion I have shown. Now, the Solicitor General wished to ask me a question.
Mr. LEMIEUX. Listening to the hon. gentleman's very able argument, I understood him to say that we could not alter the terms of the British North America Act, nor give any meaning to the clauses of the Act under such a statute as that now before us.
3441 MARCH 29, 1905
Mr. LANCASTER. That is not quite what I said.
Mr. LEMIEUX. Last year the Privy Council gave judgment in the representation cases, with which my hon. friend (Mr. Lancaster) is familiar. Section 5 of the British North America Act says:
Canada shall be divided into four provinces, named Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
As my hon. friend knows, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick took exception to the representation of these provinces as had been fixed by parliament and contended, with some appearance of reason, that the aggregate population of Canada as mentioned in section 51 was the population of the four original provinces. But the Privy Council decided that the word 'Canada' mentioned in section 5 was a variable term, which, at the beginning of our history, meant four provinces, but later meant five, six and seven provinces, thus explaining that the British North America Act was quite an elastic instrument, which should be interpreted according to the sound principles of the law.
Mr. LANCASTER. The Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux) does not seem to realize that there is a difference between the British North America Act being construed by the courts and this parliament undertaking to throttle the construction by an Act of its own. With all his legal knowledge, he cannot understand the common sense difference between a judge construing the language of this Act of the British parliament and this parliament undertaking to throttle the court and prevent any interpretation except that which the Prime Minister sees fit to give. I do not wonder that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) wanted common sense in this matter. I do not wonder that the Postmaster General has assumed so much with regard to the law. I do not wonder that the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson), having in view the advice that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) would give on this question, desired to look at it in a common sense way. I am glad that I am a man of common sense, and not down in the cellar of the law, where I cannot see the daylight. I am willing to leave the matter to the common sense of the common people of this country. The ordinary man whom you meet on the streets, or on the farm, and who needs no lawyer to tell him what the constitution of Canada is, but knows it as well as we do ; he will say : Do not talk to me only of law or of what the judges have said ; the constitution of Canada was made in Britain, and the courts have decided that it means something. If the Prime Minister of this country thinks it should be decided to mean something else, why not let them decide it and not throttle the courts 3442 by an Act that he has no power to pass— for he is not the imperial parliament.
Now, a great deal was said by the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) with regard to the petitions sent him through the action of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule). The Postmaster General insinuated that the hon. member for East Grey was getting up petitions on the one side for the other of this question. He undertook to say the petitions had been sent in here from Orange lodges. Now, let me be understood. I am not an Orangeman. I am not a Roman Catholic. But I am a Canadian, British born ; and I believe that the Orangemen and the Roman Catholics, taken one with another, are equally good citizens and equally loyal to the country. The petition the hon. member for Grey is sneered at for bringing into this House is a petition that every Roman Catholic could sign, and the signing of which he could justify to his priest. That petition is as follows :
We, the undersigned electors of the electoral division of                do pray that in granting provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories the Dominion parliament will not by any enactment or otherwise withhold from the newly created provinces full and unrestricted freedom of action in all matters affecting the establishment, maintenance and administration of schools.
This is spoken of as a partisan petition. Yet it is a petition that every citizen could properly sign. It says in effect : Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; render to Alberta the things that are Alberta's, and don't take away from the little fellow what belongs to him at the dictation of Quebec, which has no right to butt in at all. There is nothing here either in favour of or against the principle of separate schools ; it is simply an humble request, put in perfectly constitutional form. It is such a petition as we were asked to vote for four years ago by the Prime Minister, at the instigation originally of the hon. member for Victoria, N.B. (Mr. Costigan). It was moved that this parliament should exercise its right of petition, should go to the foot of the throne and ask that the Coronation Declaration made by the King should be amended so that it would not be offensive to His Majesty's Roman Catholic liege subjects in the country and throughout the empire.
These people, I care not whether they be Orange lodges or Roman Catholics, have the same right to petition, and their petition is equally sensible, equally just, equally correct, equally constitutional, and that is the petition that my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. 'Sproule) is sneered at for bringing in here. I presented a lot of them myself, they were sent to me and I presented them ; and it they petitioned this parliament against provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories, I would present the petition, though 3443 COMMONS I would vote against the prayer of the petition, because I would think it was not right, and the people could turn me out when l sought re-election at their hands. That is the petition that so much has been said about, and I thought it wise to put that petition upon record. That is the petition that is called by the Postmaster General, one side of the question; a petition that asks separate schools to be established is called the other side of the question. Could anything be more unfair? There are no petitions coming from Orange lodges asking us to throttle the little province and prevent it from establishing separate schools. I call the attention of the statesmanlike Postmaster General—I will assume that he is a statesman, although he is self-appointed, self- adjusted and self—labelled as a statesman.
An hon. MEMBER. Union labelled.
Mr. LANCASTER. Well, perhaps not union labelled, and not so labelled by the people of Canada. The hon. gentleman who is so statesmanlike, the hon. gentleman who is at present running the Post Office Department of this country, undertakes to call that petition which I have read, one side of the separate school question ; and a petition which asks this House to throttle a province is the other side of the separate school question. What would a gentleman from Quebec who advocates separate schools in the Northwest Territories, say if we attempted in this House, ten years or five years from now, supposing the country got incensed at Quebec butting in on these matters concerning the Northwest, supposing the country got aggravated, annoyed and disgusted, and say we will insist for a certain term in doing what the Finance Minister says is so deplorable, we will put some people in power who will settle this school question for ever in Quebec, just as these gentlemen want this government to settle the school question in the Northwest Territories, and we will abolish separate schools in the province of Quebec and Ontario. Now what would they say to that ? In principle what is the difference ? What is the difference between taking away a man's right and preventing him from exercising the right ? In common sense, what is the difference between the two propositions? Am I doing a greater wrong if I go into a man's barnyard and steal his horse than if I said to him, although you have got a horse I will not allow you to use it, I will control it so that you shall never have the use of it? To be practical, what is the difierence '? He cannot use that which is his own in either case. He cannot deal with that which is his own, and which he has a right to deal with. There may be a difference in the way it may strike one man or another in the application, but on the moral principle—and we heard something even from the Postmaster General about 3444 morals to-night—on the moral principle what is the difference between your saying to the province of Quebec ; although you have yourselves established a right to your schools in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario ; you shall not have them any longer, because we think it was a mistake when you established them—what would be the difference between saying that and saying to the Northwest provinces, you shall not exercise your right to declare whether you want separate schools or not, we will tie you up so that you shall never make a declaration either way ? There is no difference in principle, no man can pretend there is.
Now I want to put on record the statements of some of the friends of hon. gentlemen opposite. In 1891 Sir Louis Davies spoke on this question of education in the Northwest Territories. That gentleman is now a judge of the Supreme Court. He was one of. the gentlemen who came into power on the cry that we should not coerce Manitoba. This is what Sir Louis Davies said in 1891 :
My opinion is now, and has been for years, that when that time comes (the time to erect the Territories into provinces) you cannot withhold from the provinces so erected the right to determine for themselves the question of education in one way or the other. I would be the last to favour this parliament imposing upon the people there any system of education, either free or separate. I only claim that when a. Bill is introduced to erect those Territories into provinces that Bill should contain a provision enabling the people of the different provinces so created to decide what system of education they will have.
The Hon. David Mills, in the same year, spoke, not about separate schools in Quebec or Ontario, not about the British North America Act, but in regard to the Northwest Territories, the very part of this Dominion which this parliament is now dealing with. The Hon. David Mills was recognized as an authority on constitutional law by the Reformers of this country, and I think by a good many Conservatives. In fact, he was held up by hon. gentlemen opposite as the great constitutional model of this Dominion, and this is what he says :
When the people of the Territories, or any portion of the Territories, are sufficiently numerous to constitute a province—when, in fact, they attain their majority in regard to local matters and when they propose to set up for themselves—this parliament has no right to exercise control over them. It can give good advice, but it has no right to give commands.
When the Territories have a sufficient population to entitle them to become a province, they must decide for themselves whether they will have separate schools or not.
I have my view as to what will be the best decision for them to arrive at, but I must not impose on them my view as to how they should be governed after they have attained their majority.
3445 MARCH 29, 1905
Now then the ' Globe ' newspaper came out very lately. I know people lately have said, the ' Globe ' is going wrong. I do not know, everybody seems to be going wrong who does not agree to throttle the new provinces. Everybody except hon. gentlemen opposite is agreed that this House should leave questions of sectionalism alone and attend to the business of the House. The ' Globe ' newspaper has been talking about this question, and the ' Globe ' of March 11 said this :
The only settlement of the disturbing Northwest school question that will be just or safe or permanent is that settlement most strictly in accord with the spirit and letter of the constitution.
The hon. Postmaster General wanted the spirit of the constitution and not the letter. The ' Globe ' wants both, and I think I have shown that the hon. Postmaster General's opinion of that kind of spirit is not a very good one. I do not pretend to be a judge of any kind of spirit than that, but I think that I am as good a judge of that kind of spirit as the hon. Postmaster General is and he has said that he wants nothing but the spirit and not the letter. The ' Globe ' says :
The only settlement of the disturbing Northwest school question that will be just or safe or permanent is that settlement most strictly in accord with the spirit and letter of the constitution. Anything that swerves from that straight course, squinting in the direction of any faction or creed or race, is charged with dynamite—
These are the people that are raising the religious question in this House—the 'Globe' newspaper. I do not know whether the hon. Minister of Customs makes the 'Globe' pay duty on this dynamite or on these dynamite articles or whether hon. gentlemen opposite are now using the dynamite as well as the pistol and medicine that my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) spoke about this afternoon.
—and sooner or later may work havoc in the provinces, if not in the Dominion. The personal opinions of individuals or the preferences of classes or communities are not sufficiently certain and substantial to form a sure foundation for the institutions of the country. In the present instance, political safety, social progress and national peace can be found nowhere but in standing by the constitution.
Now, it goes on to discuss the question at some length and I will not trouble the House with it, but it reaches this conclusion :
Provincial autonomy under the constitution carries with it for the new provinces, unless expressly prohibited by the constitution, autonomy in education.
It was necessary for the ' Globe ' newspaper to tell the premier of this country that autonomy meant autonomy, that it did not mean something else. It was necessary 3446 for the ' Globe ' to try and pull a line on the Prime Minister as the organ of the party in the city of Toronto. I presume that the ' Globe ' would say that it was the chief organ of the party in the whole Dominion. I cannot pronounce upon that point, but certainly it is one of the principal organs in the Dominion, and before this Bill could be read a second time, in the hope that some other policy would be adopted, the ' Globe ' gave the advice that provincial autonomy under the constitution means autonomy in education. Is it any wonder that my hon. friend who leads the opposition here is obliged to put on record an amendment to this Bill to say so ? The ' Globe ' said that it was necessary to tell the Prime Minister that autonomy meant autonomy in education as well as in anything else, and for fear that some people would think that the government could say that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition did not agree with the ' Globe ' I would point out that, as it happened on these two occasions these two gentlemen—I think the gentleman who wrote this article was an honest man, and I know there is no more honourable man in the Dominion of Canada than my hon. friend the leader of the opposition—came forward and took the same view as the whole Dominion of Canada will if it gets a chance. If the government went to the country upon this question to-day, the government know very well that the whole Dominion, whether Grits or Tories heretofore, would unite by their votes in saying that the ' Globe ' was right on this occasion. Then, the ' Globe ' proceeds :
To this doctrine we can ask all classes and creeds to subscribe.
The ' Globe ' thinks, as I do, that all classes and creeds ought to subscribe to the constitution or else get off the earth as far as Canada is concerned. If they stay in Canada and get the benefit of our constitution which we all say affords the greatest freedom that exists anywhere they should subscribe to and support that constitution.
To this doctrine we can ask all classes and creeds to subscribe. In so far as they appreciate and approve the principles of responsible self government, all citizens should here be in agreement. The question of the value of separate schools is not primarily involved.
And it is not.
It is not the primary question. It may be forced to the front by the Orangemen of Ontario and the Ultramontanes of Quebec, but, in so far as the problem is one for the Dominion parliament to solve, the question of separate schools is not the real issue. To make it the real issue is to misplace the emphasis and to engender strife.
Who misplaced the emphasis and who engendered strife ? The right hon. leader of the government, when he brought in this Bill. The ' Globe ' is not a perjured wit 3447                                             COMMONS                                                                       ness ; it is not even a retiring member of the government. It did not go out for principle, because it never was in.
The issue before parliament is this: In giving provincial status to the Northwest Territory is parliament under obligation to make the maintenance of separate schools a permanent responsibility of the new provinces? In dealing with this vexed question parliament should go not one hair's breadth beyond its indisputable constitutional obligation. Leave everything provincial to the provinces. Any other course will lead to inextricable confusion, and put a new root of bitterness into the fertile soil of our national life.
Who has put the root of bitterness into the fertile soil of our national life ?—The right hon. Prime Minister who cannot pass his Autonomy Bill without dragging that question into parliament that the 'Globe' tells him should be left to the provinces. The ' Globe' has evidently been found fault with by somebody, some man on the street that we have heard about, has been to see the ' Globe,' but the ' Globe' thinks it has done right to have its own opinion. The 'Globe' on March 11 said what I have just read, but I have also here the 'Globe' of March 21, just ten days later. Somebody has been after the ' Globe ' in the meantime with this result that the ' Globe' says that what we said before we believe and we are still more of that opinion than we were at the time you found fault with us. That is our argument, and the more hon. gentlemen opposite argue, the more we are satisfied they are all wrong. The more they are finding fault with the 'Globe' the more the ' Globe ' feels convinced that it is right and it repeats what it said before only that it says it in stronger terms : This is what the ' Globe ' says on March 21 :
1. The 'Globe' stands for the provincial rights of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Those rights are created and secured by and under the British North America Act. The 'terms and conditions' of their provincial autonomy must be ' subject to the provisions of this Act.' They can have no rights as provinces that are not expressed or implied in the British North America Act, 1867 to 1886. They can be deprived of no rights to which they are entitled under that constitution.
2. The ' Globe ' holds, as has been argued in these columns again and again, that the new provinces now to be created do not come under the separate school obligation of section 93, clause 1, of the British North America Act, and, therefore, they are free under the constitution exclusively to make laws in relation to education, to continue their present system, to modify it or to substitute another for it, as their legislatures shall decide. Our reasons for holding to this view were stated yesterday, and in several earlier articles, and at the very opening of the discussion.
3. The ' Globe ' is persuaded, by its first-hand knowledge of western conditions and by the assurances of representative western men, that had the education question been left without 3448 direction or trammel to the legislatures, the present system would have been enacted, and all the privileges possible under any obligatory federal clause would have been secured to the Catholic minorities without dispute or acrimonious debate.
4. The 'Globe' holds that the educational clauses in the first draft of the Autonomy Bills are ultra vires of the federal parliament, especially the third clause which is held to contravene the Dominion Lands Act and to interfere with the provincial control of the details of school administration.
5. The 'Globe,' as a logical consequence of the foregoing, holds to be ultra vires of parliament and an infringement, in theory if not in practice, of the rights of the provinces under the constitution, any legislation based on the assumption that in the meaning of the British North America Act there is no difference between the creation of a province out of territory for thirty-five years a part of Canada and under federal supervision, and the union to the Canadian confederation of an independent, self-governing, autonymous province or colony such as British Columbia was prior to 1871 or as Newfoundland is to-day. A territory is not a province, and the constitutional obligations of a province cannot rest upon a territory until it becomes a province.
That is the 'Globe's' statement and that is my idea of what is right. I do not say it is right because the 'Globe' says so, but I do say that when the 'Globe,'which is not going out of its way to injure the government says so, it means a great majority of the people of this country, Liberals as well as Conservatives, the independent thinking people on both sides of politics, are of the opinion that the government is doing wrong. But, says the government, we are in for five years anyway and what matters it ? Well, I say to them that the five years will go by. They may hold themselves in power for five years, but when the election comes the people of Canada will do as the people of Lincoln county did four years after the pledge of the Prime Minister was broken and on which pledge they returned a supporter of his to this House. The chief whip of the Reform party held the constituency of Lincoln by a majority of nearly 500, but the government broke its pledges as to provincial rights, as on every other question, and the people of the county of Lincoln punished the government because of its broken pledges, and a man of no greater ability than your humble servant was elected and the chief whip of the Reform party was left at home. As the people of Lincoln county did in that instance, so shall the people of the Dominion do when they get the opportunity. It may be that the Prime Minister will retire from office before an appeal is again made to the electorate; it may be that the Minister of Finance or the statesmanlike Postmaster General will make himself or get some one to make him Prime Minister, but whoever be the Liberal Prime Minister who appeals to the people of Can 3449                  MARCH 30, 1905                 ada he will find that the people of this Dominion will not stand for interference with the autonomy of the provinces, will not stand for broken pledges, will not stand for the shackling of these great provinces of the Northwest with onerous restrictions as to education and the administration of their public lands. Why have we no Minister of the Interior to-day? Why is the government afraid to appoint a Minister of the Interior and send him for election to the people of the west? I have not the assurance which some gentlemen on the other side have to say that they speak for the people of the Northwest Territories when they have no mandate to speak on this question ; I do not pretend to speak for the people of the Northwest Territories except to say that they want to be left alone to attend to their own business, but I do believe that the people of the Northwest Territories will treat this government as it deserves to be treated for interfering with their provincial rights. The government does not dare to appoint a Minister of the Interior because they know that the people of the Northwest would reject him by an overwhelming vote. The Prime Minister is not here to-night, but in times past he has learned something from this side of the House, and I invite the Minister of Customs and the Minister of Finance who are now present to tell the Prime Minister that it is his duty to appoint a Minister of the Interior and to test the feelings of the people of the west on this question. That is the constitutional way to proceed, but these gentlemen do not want things done constitutionally. They had not much respect for the constitution when, the Minister of Finance being absent in England, they introduced without his knowledge this Bill which deals with great financial issues seriously affecting the Dominion. They had not much respect for the constitution when in the absence of their Minister of the Interior, who is specially charged with matters pertaining to the west, they drafted and proposed in parliament this measure which vitally concerns the people whose interest he was specially charged to guard. Let them appoint their Minister of the Interior and they can soon find out whether we are right or they are right. Sir, as a man trying to do the honourable thing and representing an honourable constituency, I have no course left to me but to vote for the amendment of the leader of the opposition. In doing so, I believe I am voicing the opinions of the Reformers as well as the Conservatives, of the respectable Roman Catholics as well as the respectable Protestants of my county. If I do that I am doing my whole duty, and, Sir, if the members of this cabinet would study more what the people want and not what may suit the political exigencies of the moment they would be representing the people of Canada better than they are to-day.
Mr. L. P. DEMERS moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Fielding, House adjourned at 12.15 a.m. Thursday.


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



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