House of Commons, 31 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan



FRIDAY, March 31, 1905.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.



Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton, Ont.). Before the Orders of the Day are called, I wish once more to call to the attention of the House the quite unprecedented condition of affairs which exists at the present time. During many months we have not had in this House the presence of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Sutherland). That gentleman is one of my personal friends, although we are opposed in politics, and no one regrets more than I do the unfortunate circumstance that illness prevents him from taking his place among us, and any remarks which I have to make with regard to violation of constitutional usage by the government are, of course, not connected in any way with that gentleman, because I would be very glad indeed to have him restored to us, to once more have his assistance in the House and to have him back at work in his department again.
But my right hon. friend seems to take for granted that he is at liberty, so long as he may see fit, to deprive parliament and the country of the services of a Minister of Public Works possessing the authority and invested with the responsibility which that position gives to him. I have looked a little into this question, which has arisen more than once in Great Britain, and I find that the rule there acted upon is not at all in accordance with that 3555 3556 suggested by the right hon. gentleman. To cite just one instance, in 1871, action was taken in both Houses of parliament in regard to the absence of Mr. Childers, the First Lord of the Admiralty, during the early part of the session, on account of the state of his health, and within a month after his resignation took place. It has been asserted in this House, I do not know with what truth, that the Minister of Public Works some time ago placed his resignation in the hands of the right hon. gentleman, or at all events told him that his portfolio was at his service whenever the interests of the country required it. However that may be, I wish courteously to place on record a remonstrance against the continuance of this condition of affairs. I do not think there is any warrant for it under the constitution. Indeed, I do not think there is any warrant for it under the terms of the Order in Council which was discussed somewhat last session, and under which one minister of the Crown may under certain circumstances act for another minister of the Crown.
On another occasion, which is referred to by Mr. Todd in his work on constitutional government, Lord John Russell had accepted the seals of the Colonial Office, at a time when he was absent on a diplomatic mission in Vienna. Within two weeks after he had accepted the seals of office, the matter was brought to the attention of parliament, and again on two or three occasions subsequently, and was made the occasion of a grave criticism of the administration, which only ceased when he took his place in parliament on the 28th of April. Now, so far as my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works is concerned, he has been absent from his duties in parliament and from his duties in the department for a very long time ; and if there be any foundation for the rumour that he is ready to surrender the seals of office at a moment's notice, I do not know for what reason the right hon. gentleman proposes to carry on the business of the country in the way in which it is carried on at the present time.
We have not only the case of the Minister of Public Works, but we have what seems to me a much more serious violation of constitutional usage in the conduct of the government with respect to the vacant portfolio of the Interior. I do not want to repeat to-day what has already been said in this House. I have asked the Prime Minister more than once for an explanation of his extraordinary conduct in passing over that gentleman in introducing a very important measure, a most momentous measure, into this parliament without even having submitted the terms of perhaps its most important clause to that gentleman, although his return was daily expected. My right hon. friend has treated that very 3557 MARCH 31, 1905 lightly. He has treated also very lightly the circumstance that he also withheld the terms of that clause from the knowledge of his Minister of Finance, who certainly of all ministers of the Crown, should have been acquainted with the provisions of the measure. I might almost venture to say that the conduct of the Prime Minister, in bringing that Bill down while withholding from parliament the knowledge that those gentlemen had not approved of it, amounted to an insult to this parliament ; I think I might even go further, and say that the right hon. gentleman, in taking that course, demeaned himself ; and not one word of explanation with regard to that very peculiar circumstance has fallen from the right hon. gentleman's lips from that day to this. Instead of that, we have had mere flippant replies or absolute silence when any explanation has been courteously demanded across the floor of this House. Moreover, we have had rumours, 1 do not know with what truth, but it is right that they should be stated and some answer made—we have had rumours from the press of the province of Quebec in close touch with this administration, and even direct statements, that the cause assigned to this parliament for the resignation of the Minister of the Interior was not the true cause. Further than that, a certain journal published in the province of Quebec with which a very devoted champion and warm and intimate personal friend of the Prime Minister is connected, has seen fit to make that statement in the form of a cartoon, which most of us have seen, but to which I will not make any further reference by way of description.
Mr. LEMIEUX. What paper ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. ' Le Nationaliste.'
Mr. LEMIEUX. I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon. It is not a paper friendly to the government. It is opposed to the government every Sunday.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I accept at once the superior knowledge of my hon. friend the Solicitor General. I do not profess to be an expert in regard to the opinions of that paper ; but my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), who is a warm champion of the government with regard to this measure with which the resignation of the late Minister of the Interior is closely associated, has a very close connection with that paper, if I am rightly informed.
Mr. LEMIEUX. If the hon. member for Labelle were here, I am sure he would dissent from my hon. friend's statement. The hon. member for Labelle has repeatedly declared before this House and before the public that he had nothing to do with the 'Le Nationaliste.'
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I accept the statement of my hon. friend as I would accept 3557 3558 the statement of the hon. member if he were here ; but I have been imformed, perhaps incorrectly, that the hon. member for Labelle has been one of the regular contributors to that journal, and I myself have seen contributions in that journal which purported to be signed by that hon. gentleman. I do not think my hon. friend will deny that.
Mr. LEMIEUX. I can say to my hon. friend that when the paper was started about two years ago the hon. member for Labelle wrote two or three articles which he signed 'Henri Bourassa ;' but since then he has declared over and over again that he has nothing to do with the paper.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I accept whatever my hon. friend states about it without the slightest reserve, either parliamentary or otherwise, and I will leave that for the gentlemen from the province of Quebec to settle. I do not pretend to know anything about it. There is another little interesting rumour which has come to us from time to time, and I observe that in former days my right hon. friend was very much interested in these rumours and used always to bring them to the attention of parliament in order that they might be contradicted. I have looked up his record in that regard and find that I have good precedent for what I am about to mention. There is a very strong rumour, said to have emanated from a certain member of the administration, who lately received a pretty severe little stab in this House from the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), that the ex-minister was not so absolutely ignorant of the terms of this measure, in the first instance, as had been suggested in this House. I do not know about that, but my right hon. friend can perhaps give us information and set at rest at once that disquieting rumour.
But what is the position to-day, so far as the Department of the Interior is concerned? We have a statute which says that there shall be a Department of the Interior and there shall be a Minister of the Interior. We start with that in the first instance. That statute goes on to say : ' The Minister of the Interior shall have the control and management of the affairs of the Northwest Territories.' Those are the exact words of the statute, and that statute has been in force during every one of the thirty-one days which have elapsed since the ex—Minister of the Interior has resigned. What was my right hon. friend's view with regard to this constitutional question not long ago ? I have already brought it to the attention of the House, but it is not out of place that I shall repeat his own words again :
In the practical working out of responsible government in a. country of such vast extent as Canada, it is found necessary to attach a special responsibility to each minister for the public affairs of the province, or district with which he has close political connection, and 3559 COMMONS with which his colleagues may not be so well acquainted.
Well, we have a statute which says that the Minister of the Interior shall have the control and management of the affairs of the Northwest Territories, and we have the words of the Prime Minister himself who tells us that the Minister of the Interior, apart from any statute, has a special responsibility with regard to the affairs of the Northwest Territories with which he is more closely connected than his colleagues. But What are we proposing to do at present? We are proposing to take a step which the right hon. gentleman and his colleagues declare to be one of the most momentous ever taken by a parliament of Canada. Yet the right hon. gentleman has not filled the post of Minister of the Interior. That position is still vacant. We are now in the heat of debate upon the Bills he has introduced. Before long we shall be in committee on those Bills, and we shall not have the advantage of the presence and counsel of a minister specially responsible for the administration of those Territories. We do not find at present in the cabinet any minister who is able to carry on the work of that department. I have been informed by men. whom I have no reason to disbelieve, on various occasions during the last two or three weeks, that the work of that department is practically at a standstill for the lack of a responsible minister, familiar with its affairs and able to give his undivided attention to them. Why is this the case? Is there any reason for it? Let me show my hon. friend how zealous he was in respect of such matters when little difficulties, such as have recently occurred in the present administration, happened to occur some ten years ago in the Conservative administration of that day. What was the right hon. gentleman's view then:
No administration would dare to sit and discharge the public business of the country unless the different provinces, or at all events the great provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, were properly represented in the cabinet; and when it is known that at present three of the ministers representing one province—that three of those gentlemen who represent a great portion of the population of the country—are out of the cabinet at the present time, whether ofiicially or not, they are practically out of the cabinet. I say that we are not only in the midst of a great political crisis, but that we have reached a position unprecedented in the history of Canada, where the government would undertake to carry on the business of the country, one great province. the second in the Dominion, being altogether unrepresented in the cabinet.
But what is the right hon. gentleman proposing to do to-day ? We have in the Northwest Territories today a population 150,000, greater than was the population of New Brunswick at the time when it served as an illustration for the comments of my right hon. friend which I have just read. 3559 3560 He is proposing to give to these Territories a constitution which at no time in the future will a Canadian parliament be able to change, and, forgetting the great constitutional rule which he laid down in days gone by, he is proposing to do this in the absence of any representative of those Territories in the cabinet. He is proposing that parliament should finally deal with a measure vitally affecting the Northwest Territories while these Territories are absolutely unrepresented in the cabinet. For what purpose was that statute passed creating the portfolio of Minister of the Interior ? Why, if not that there shall be in the cabinet a minister representing that country who would be thoroughly competent to safeguard its interests especially in matters of such importance as the one now before us? Why, in those days my right hon. friend was so anxious in this regard, that upon the mere rumour of the resignation of ministers from Quebec, he moved the adjournment of the House and discussed the question at length. Later on, upon full explanation being given, when he had been assured that those gentlemen had not resigned and were at one with their colleagues, he was so much interested in the constiutional aspect of the case that he again moved the adjournment. But today when we inquire whether or not the vacant portfolio of the interior will be filled, my right hon. friend seems to emerge temporarily from a condition of forgetfulness. He is as one who would say: 'Why, bless my soul, then there is a Department of the Interior: I must look after it one of these days. There are Northwest Territories, but I had almost forgotten their existence. One of these days we will take the question up when there is nothing else to do ; but in the meantime we will go on and deal with most important questions affecting these Territories without any regard Whatever to the statute.' In those days he was a stickler for constitutional usage but today he displays a complete change of front. Let me read one more brief extract from a speech of the right hon. gentleman of those days :
Moreover here are two seats vacant, vacant since yesterday, and although the hon. gentlemen who occupy these seats may not have tendered officially their resignations to His Excellency, it is quite evident that they are no longer in harmony with their colleagues. otherwise they would be in their places to discharge their share of the business of the country.
In view of the cynical disregard of the constitution which we see every day in this House, is not the reminiscence, brought up by the utterances I have just quoted, perfectly delicious ? Here are two-thirds of the cabinet not in harmony with the other one- third, if we apply the test which the right hon. gentleman himself applied ten years ago. How many of the colleagues of my right hon. friend are present in the House to-day ? There is a vacant seat next to him. 3561                MARCH 31, 1905                     The one next to that is vacant. There is another vacant on his left and another alongside of the Minister of Inland Revenue. There is also a vacant seat immediately behind the right hon. gentleman. But still there is an unusually large number of ministers in the House to-day, and I have taken, I must admit, an unfortunate occasion to exhibit an object lesson to the country. Usually we have only about three ministers present, and we must therefore, according to the test which the right hon. gentleman applied ten years ago, conclude that the other ten are on the eve of resignation. However that may be, let me say that I do not observe in anything which has been suggested by my right hon. friend any reason why the portfolio of the Interior should not be filled.
He has said nothing on the subject. Has he no material ? If he does not appoint my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) to be Chief Justice of the Northwest Territories, in view of the constitutional argument he gave us the other day, I imagine that that hon. gentleman would make a very good Minister of the Interior, and I am inclined to press his claims. He is a very good friend of mine personally, though we differ somewhat politically ; and I stand here to urge the claims of my hon. friend from Edmonton to this position. He is a gentleman of ripe experience and great ability, and, as we all know a gentleman of absolute and perfect independence on all questions. But, if we cannot have my hon. friend from Edmonton, why should we not have the hon. member from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). Is not he capable ? Is there any apprehension on the part of the right hon. Prime Minister that there will be any difficulty about securing the election of either of these gentlemen ? Does he propose to let this matter stand until after the close of the present session, in defiance of all the high constitutional principles which he professed ten years ago ? If there is a lack of material among the members for the Northwest Territories, why not appoint some broad minded man like my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt), who spoke last night, or my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) ? Could not one of these gentlemen be induced to go up and teach these men in the Northwest Territories, whom they described as so narrow and bigoted that they could not be trusted, some of these men whom my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) described as regenade Liberals?—why not send one of these broad-minded tolerant gentlemen to these men of the Northwest Territories to teach them what true Christian charity and toleration really are. I do not think there could be any objection to that, though, of course, my hon. friend from Labelle might be himself a candidate for the Chief Justiceship in oppositon to my hon. friend from Edmonton, for he has said that he is ready 3561 3562 to discuss the constitution with any man in this country or anywhere else.
Now, just one more observation on this subject. The right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was rather facetious ten years ago. He told us of those two ministers coming back and likened them to kittens coming back to their cream. Well, we have had a couple of kittens who were a little skittish on this occasion. One, it is true, did not leave the cream. It arched its back and curved its tail, but remained within a reasonable distance of the cream, and is still lapping. The other did leave the cream.
Mr. FOSTER. Shooed away.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. There is a disquieting rumour throughout the country, to which the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) might address himself, that, although the minister in question, like the kitten, has left the cream for the time being there is being prepared for him an exceedingly dainty dish of cream which will be served up in due season. We do not know whether that may be the case or not; but, perhaps it would be well for the right hon. gentleman, remembering the analogy which he gave to the House some time ago, to tell us whether or not there is anything in this rumour.
But, in all seriousness, Mr. Speaker, I do think it is due to the House and to the country that the Prime Minister should state what the intention of the government is in regard to the filling of the portfolio. The government, in defiance of all constitutional usages and of constitutional rules laid down by themselves on many occasions intend, apparently, to press this measure through parliament without having in the cabinet any minister who is more especially responsible for the Northwest Territories. We should be informed, in view of the delay in filling this position, what is the cause of that delay and also when the Prime Minister expects to fill this portfolio. Or, if he does not propose to fill it in the immediate future, may I not, respectfully, and with every right, ask him to announce to the House and to the country what the difficulties really are which prevent him, at the present time, from calling to his cabinet some gentleman from the Northwest Territories or elsewhere, who, in the cabinet, will particularly represent these Territories.
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). Mr. Speaker, I have no serious fault to find with my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) if he has chosen to have another little joke upon a subject which is evidently congenial to him. I have no fault to find if he has brought to the attention of the House the resignation of my hon. friend the member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) from the portfolio of the Interior and the 3563                    COMMONS                         reason why he has not yet been replaced. Yet, I might have hoped that my hon. friend would abstain on this occasion from referring to another gentleman, a highly respected member of this House, who, unfortunately, is not in his seat, from a cause which, we might have hoped, would appeal to the hon. gentleman's sympathy as to the sympathy of every member of this House. My hon. friend, I think, was not well actuated, nor do I think his remarks were at all called for, in directing the attention of the House to the fact that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. James Sutherland) has not been in his place in this House during the present session. The fact is correctly stated, and, perhaps, under different circumstances, no fault could be found with the observations which my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has made. But I was under the impression that the well known cause of the absence from the House of the Minister of Public Works would warrant everybody in allowing that absence to pass without remark. The hon. gentleman (Mr. James Sutherland) has been absent from this House because of the state of his health. I am reminded that, some six or seven years ago, when another of my colleagues, the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) having suffered a severe shock in a railway accident, was absent from this parliament for a whole session, not a word was ever uttered upon the subject. Everybody understood the circumstances and hoped that the hon. gentleman would resume his duties as we hope that the hon. Minister of Public Works will, in the near future, be able to resume his place. And that is the reason why the absence of the Minister of Public Works should not be commented upon. My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has referred to a rumour that the Minister of Public Works has tendered his resignation to me. I would have preferred not to speak upon this subject. I do not know that the House expects me to speak upon it even after the reference to it made by my hon. friend. Still, I may say that the Minster of Public Works has not placed his resignation in my hands. When he told me that he was in poor health and could not attend to the business of the session, I took it upon myself to say to him, ' My friend, you had better go away and stay away until you are better ; we will arrange to carry on the work of your department ; and every member of the House will be glad to know that there is hope that you will soon come back again.'
Now, with regard to the resignation of my hon. friend the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), I have only one observation to make in answer to the numerous queries my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has put to me. So far as I know, and I have no reason to believe to the contrary, the only difference that occurred between 3563 3564 myself and the late Minister of the Interior was that he resigned upon this educational question and for no other reason. I owe it to my hon. friend from Brandon to make this statement openly, widely, and, as I hope, for ever to set at rest any rumours to the contrary.
Now, it is true that my hon. friend has not been replaced yet. How many days have elapsed since he resigned his portfolio? Just thirty-one days. But, before I come to that, let me say that I do not think there is any anology whatever between the resignation of my hon. friend the late Minister of the Interior and what took place some ten years ago, in 1895. Then we saw a very different spectacle—members coming in and members going out, members resigning one day and taking back their resignation the following day, or the following week, members absent from parliament, not because they were called away a few days for any reason, but members not in their seats because they were neither in nor out of the government, and because they did not appear to know what position they occupied. There is nothing of the kind here, we know where we are, at all events. But when there are disagreements amongst ministers, the honourable course is for the dissenting minister to proffer his resignation, and to say to the Prime Minister : I do not agree with your policy. This is what has taken place ; and therefore there is no analogy whatever between what took place in 1895 and what is taking place to-day. It is true, as I say, that the hon. member for Brandon has not been replaced in the cabinet. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition asks, for what cause ? Is it any lack of material ? Perhaps it may be for an opposite cause, perhaps it is too abundant material. There is such a thing as an embarras de richesse, although my hon. friend appears to be suffering from the reverse, he is suffering from penury. while we on this side are suffering from abundance and that may be just as good a reason as the reason suggested by my hon. friend.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Make two ministers then.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I do not know but that would be a good reason, I will think of it. It might be well to have two ministers instead of one ; but I am sure that if I were to ask parliament for an appropriation for another minister my hon. friend would be one of the first to object, he would not allow us to do it. However, we will have to be content with one Minister of the Interior, that is all we are called upon to appoint. I do not think my hon. friend can charge the government with negligence because it has not appointed another minister to a portfolio which has been vacant only thirty-one days. I do not think there has been any negligence whatever, on the contrary I think the government has done right 3565 MARCH 31, 1905 to deliberate, to consider what position they are going to take, who they are going to call upon to fill the very important place left vacant by the late minister.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The right hon. gentleman appreciates of course the fact that in this connection I called attention to the peculiar condition, namely, that we are about to pass a very important Bill with regard to those Territories.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Yes, and this is a reason why, in my estimation, instead of pressing the matter. we should exercise a little delay. This Bill cannot be postponed if we intend to have these provinces begin operations on the 1st of July next. There are many reasons why this should be done. the people expect it, and therefore we cannot delay the prosecution of the Bill. But the hon. gentleman wants us at the same time to proceed with the Bill and to proceed with an election in the Northwest Territories, or somewhere else. I do not think, under the circumstances. we can do anything else than to proceed. as governments have always proceeded in these matters, and to take time to consider who is the best man to seek to fill this position. There are numerous precedents, of which I will refer to a few. There has been a vacancy before in the portfolio on the Interior. For instance, the Department of the Interior had been filled by a very able man. the Hon. Thomas White. from the 5th of August. 1885. to the 21st April, 1888, and then a vacancy occurred through the death of that gentleman. That vacancy remained from the 21st April to the 3rd August, 1888. not one month. not two months, not three months, but more than three months elapsed before the vacancy was filled. This occurred during a session of parliament. and I do not remember that any word of criticism was made against the government because they did not proceed immediately to fill that portfolio. But that is not all. I would call attention to another important department of the government, the Department of Railways. That department was created on the 20th of May, 1879. it was filled by Sir Charles Tapper, who occupied the position until the 23rd of May, 1884, when the position became vacant and remained vacant—how long? To the 25th of September, 1884 ? No, but until the 25th of September, 1885, nearly a year and four months. But that is not all. The Hon. John Henry Pope occupied the portfolio from September 25, 1885, to April 1, 1889. when a vacancy again occurred by the death of Mr. Pope, and the portfolio remained vacant until the 28th of November, 1889, when it was filled by Sir John A. Macdonald. He occupied the post of Minister of Railways until the 6th of June, 1891, when the portfolio became vacant and remained so until the 11th of January, 1892, when it was filled by the hon. member for Lanark 3565 3566 (Mr. Haggart). Yet there was not. so far as I remember, much criticism on the fact of these vacancies remaining so long, one of them for a year and four months. On the present occasion, a vacancy has occurred in the portfolio of the Interior, but it will not remain vacant for one year and four months. not even for four months, not even for three months, but in due time, and before long, I shall give my hon. friend the fullest satisfaction that he desires to have on this question.
Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER (North Toronto) The right hon. gentleman has, as usual, risen to the occasion in his own way ; whether that way is satisfactory to the House and to the country is another matter. He has, as often happens recently, not treated the matter seriously. He seems to think that. as the responsible head of a government, he is not bound to give any sufficient reasons for violations of constitutional practice, violations of precedent and violations of the canons of good government. He read my hon. friend. the leader of the opposition, a lecture upon propriety, which I think was altogether uncalled for. It seems to me that the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) introduced his reference to the Department of Public Works in the most kindly and most courteous way. He attempted to find no fault with the minister personally. But what did strike him, and what, I think he expressed to the House very properly and very reasonably, was the fact that one of the most important departments of the government is now, not for one month, or two months. or three months, or four months, but for many, many months more than that, practically without a head. Well, whilst disposed in every way to have a kindly feeling to the hon. gentleman who has the misfortune by illness to be away from his department, I think it is very well understood that there is not a probability of that hon. gentleman again administering that department. He has been out of it for a long series of months. It. has been practically taken over by another gentleman who is not responsible in the way that a minister is. I am not at all saying that he would not make a very good responsible minister, but no man can in a lay position, so to speak, administer a department with the same power and with the same sense of responsibility as one who is specially appointed under the law. So that, in reference to that the maxim which has been so often mentioned here of late that the King's government must go on applies. The King's government must go on. It will not wait even for illness or for death or for any of these circumstances. The affairs of the country are over and superior to all these and there is not the least doubt in the world that the department suffers from the lack of a responsible head.
Saying no more about that, if this department is, for the reasons that the right hon. First Minister stated, vacant and has been vacant for ever so long it ought to be an additional reason and a very strong additional reason why other departments which are vacant or virtually vacant in this House should be filled up. For instance, take the Department of the Interior. The minister himself of that department for a long time, by reason of illness, was unable to be at the department. I suppose there is no department of this government which has so varied a range of interests and requires so much a constant, steady and firm head as the Department of the Interior. The hon. gentleman who was the minister has been away from that department for a considerable length of time. Changes took place whilst he was away, changes which have never been explained to this House. The deputy minister retired or was forced to retire, I do not know which, and a new man was placed in the department. There is an additional reason why there should be some responsible head of the department. With its varied interests, with its multiplied avenues of approach—approach for all kinds of influences extending from the administration of the gold regions in the far north down all through an immense range of territory in Canada itself, with its branches all over the United States of America and all over Europe as well there is not a department which lends itself so much to abuse and to results which inevitably arise from the want of careful and firm handling than that very same department. There have been things said against that department and they are said against that department now. The right hon. gentleman has not read the newspapers and moved up and down Canada without knowing all these things. For that reason then, and when a new deputy minister takes hold, nominally, there should be a strong, firm and responsible man at the head of the department. During the whole session we have not been able to get any information from the Interior Department such as we should have got. There has not been a question of moment brought up because there has been no person in the House representing the department to answer for the department. The right hon. gentleman who leads the government says : I am nominally the head of the department. ' Nominally' that is the correct word. It is absolutely impossible for him to master the details of that department with the multiplied duties that he has as premier—absolutely impossible and still that portfolio remains open? Why ? Because of lack of material ? The Prime Minister will not say that. In his easy way he has rather attributed it to an embarrassment of riches. Well, the right hon, gentleman cannot delay for ever. He can make up his mind quickly enough if he wishes to. He 3567 3568 can delay just as long as any other man if it suits him to delay, but we know that at this very moment he has within his mind's eye the man he proposes to appoint as Minister of the Interior. Why does he not have him go to the west? Is he afraid that his Bill will be through before the election can be carried out. I think he can possess his soul in patience so far as that is concerned. He will have ample time to send his man to the Northwest Territories and give one single, solitary opportunity, the only one, of permitting the Northwest 8. voice of allowing one portion at least of the people of the Northwest Territories to pronounce upon the policy of this Bill which is so all important to that great western country. The right hon. leader of the government, stickler for precedent that he is when he is out of office, puts it lightly away when he assumes the badge of office. He erects into a constitutional principle what had never before been taken is a constitutional principle in order to serve a purpose. The purpose once served he throws away his invention, he has no use for it, until another circumstance arises which will call for another constitutional principle. What is his constitutional principle ? It was adverted to by my hon. friend here (Mr. R. L. Borden). It was the result of a circumstance which was none too creditable to the government of my right hon. friend. An hon. gentleman went into a department in the temporary absence of another minister meddled in a matter of its administration and so brought about some considerable confusion in the government of this country. It was then that the new constitutional principle was devised, invented, brought out brand new. that there was a geographical ministerial responsibility as well as a constitutional responsibility—all very good for the occasion and yet when you have a great part of this country to be erected into provinces, to be, by an irrevocable decree fashioned, moulded and formed the right hon. gentleman refuses to consult with the representatives of the government of that country. He brings down here at his own express request and call the only representatives that are available of these two great Territories—the premier and one of his cabinet, backed up, as I said the other day, by a third member of his cabinet. When he gets them here he throws them lightly aside, at least the Tory part of the reprensentation, he finds sources of information in his own way and he refuses almost absolutely upon the most important part of his Bill to recognize the legal and constitutional representative of that portion of the country for which this Bill is being specially provided. As he himself says this is the most momentous of questions before the House affecting absolutely and particularly that portion of the country, and yet he will not either test the feeling of the people of that country, or what is of much more im 3569 MARCH 31, 1905 portance than that, he will not give to that portion of the country its minister with geographical responsibility as well as constitutional responsibility.
Now, a circumstance occurred not long ago which rather lends force to the argument and which affects some men in the right hon. gentleman's cabinet. What did we find in October of last year ? We found the right hon. gentleman coming down to the province of Ontario, getting down upon bended knees before a luminary of the law and saying to him in so many English words: My dear Mr. Aylesworth I have colleagues and representatives in the government from the province of Ontario who have been with me for some time, but I find that in Ontario my hold is growing gradually weaker. I am not only not increasing the strength, but I see that strength diminishing. I do not want to turn these out to pasture, poor as they are, and so I must have you come in and save the remnant in the province of Ontario. The right hon. gentleman needed some strength, and if ever there was a practical illustration of that need we have it this year. The lynx-eyed minister, the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), is not here, and I suppose I may venture to mention him to-day Without his inflicting upon this House that oft-repeated story repeated so well along the concessions and side lines of North Ontario, learned and conned and repeated so often up and down the province of Ontario, and repeated so often in this House, that it is becoming a tale oft-told, with the little interest that attaches to a tale oft-told. I suppose that I may refer to the fact that he slept at his post while the most important legislation was being performed for these orphan territories in the Northwest. Is there not some reason why there should be a brave, bright, strong, wide-awake man brought in from the west who will not sleep at his post, but who will know What is going on and see that his geographical ministerial responsibility is fully exercised in the representation of the people in the country from which he comes. If the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) can keep constitutionally portfolios open for one month, he can keep them open for two, three or four months. He was the gentleman who, in opposition, pleaded always for a full cabinet, for the ministerial responsibility to be properly divided and distributed, and that there should be at the post of power in each department a responsible head. He knows as well as we all know that that is proper constitutional doctrine, and that it is necessary for the good government and good administration of the country. Yet he does not fill the vacant position, and he does not give us any valid reason why.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES (Victoria and Haliburton). The First Minister has referred 3569 3570 to the fact that after the death of the late Hon. Thomas White the portfolio of the Interior was vacant for some time. That is true, but he also knows that at that time a new principle in constitutional government, the principle that there must be a responsible minister for the district, had not been engrafted on the constitution of this country. The First Minister has given us that new line in the constitution. At that time also there was no great crisis in the Northwest, as there is on the present occasion, for it must be remembered that the vacancy in the portfolio of the Minister of the Interior to-day is caused owing to the fact that legislation is before this House which the responsible minister from the district refused to endorse and which he claims is not satisfactory to the people of that region. Therefore, the circumstances are entirely changed, and, as far as the parallel goes, the Prime Minister's argument will not hold godd. The custom in all these matters in the old country is that there shall be a responsible minister at each post. The leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) has referred to a case in point, where, in 1871, objection was simply taken in the House of Commons to the fact that Mr. Childers, First Lord of the Admiralty, was absent during illness, and within one month thereafter Mr. Childers resigned. This is even more important than the case of the absence of a minister through illness. We have before us an important measure which is going to affect that Northwest country for weal or woe. The minister refuses to sanction that measure and retires from the cabinet, but owing to certain pressure, I do not know what the pressure or arrangement may have been, time may solve it, but owing to some negotiations—and they are good at carrying on negotiations and bringing about mediations in the cabinet—the Ex-Minister of the Interior has agreed to vote for the government's emasculated measure, as he terms it, although on every solitary point in the Bill he differs essentially from the First Minister and the cabinet. The circumstances are such that I maintain they warrant the action of the government in filling the post at the very first opportunity. The First Minister has stated that this Bill cannot wait, that it must become law by the lst of July. It is not very long from now until the 1st of July, and if the First Minister is anxious that the measure shall get through by the lst of July it might be advisable for him to seriously consider whether or not its passage would not be facilitated by the appointment of a new Minister of the Interior, who might go before his constituents. seek re-election and test the feeling as to the reception which the Bill will likely meet when it has been passed by this House. The Prime Minister would likely make time if he adopted such a course rather than trusting to the Bill being passed with 3571 COMMONS out opposition and becoming law by the 1st of July, so that he could thereafter have the election of the Minister of the Interior.
I want to say a word about the position of the Minister of Public Works. The acting minister (Mr. Hyman), I regret to say, has just gone out. No man regrets the illness of the present minister—I refer to the Hon. Mr. James Sutherland—more than I do myself. He is a gentleman for whom I have always had and always shall have the very highest personal regard, and no one will more heartily welcome him back to health and to this House than I. But what are the facts of the case ? It is generally understood, in fact a gentleman whom the minister himself has consulted, has stated that the Minister of Public Works has asked the First Minister to accept his resignation, but for some reason or other this resignation has not been accepted. That responsible position, which the constitution requires shall be held by a member having a seat in the parliament directly responsible to the people, has not been filled, and one of the largest spending departments of the public service is without a responsible head in this House to-day. I am not saying one word about the hon. member for London, the minister without portfolio (Mr. Hyman), a gentleman who I believe undoubtedly stands head and shoulders over his colleagues from that province. I am not saying one word about his fitness, and that is all the more reason why he should be made the responsible minister. He occupies a peculiar position. His position in the cabinet is simply that of a minister without portfolio. He is not responsible for any department, and has not appealed to the people for reelection after his appointment as minister. I am sure the First Minister will hear me out when I say that the position he now occupies is entirely unconstitutional. It is pointed out in Todd, page 483, volume 2, in reference to the case of Lord Russell, spoken of by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) :
On March 9 the Earl of Derby took notice in the House of Lords of 'the very great inconvenience and injury to the public service' occasioned by the absence from the country and from his official duties of the Colonial Secretary—
It was only in February that Lord Russell went to Vienna.
—more especially as no Under Secretary had been yet'appointed to represent the department in the House of Commons.
Earl Granville (the president of the council) replied, that for the present the Home Secretary (Sir George Grey) would also take charge of the Colonial Department, being 'formally and technically' competent, as a secretary of state, to control any branch of the secretariate.
As a matter of fact. Lord Jehn Russell returned and resumed his seat on April 30. 3571 3572 Although the Prime Minister was in his place, the minister who was both formally and technically responsible returned in less than two months, and that satisfied the House and the country. The case of the Minister of Public Works was entirely diferent. The member for London is not technically qualified. He may be formally qualified as a member of the Privy Council, but he is not technically qualified for the office of Minister of Pubilc Works, and therefore I maintain that there should be no delay in accepting the resignation of the Minister of Public Works. Then the member for London, one of the most popular men in the country, will have an opportunity of proving whether or not the present cabinet has the confidence of the people of this Dominion, not only in regard to the Public Works Department, but in regard to their general conduct of other matters. The custom of the English constitution is that all important measures involving important principles, such as that involved in the Bill before the House, should be pronounced upon by the people before becoming law. The First Minister knows that this measure was not at all discussed before the electorate. No one dreamed that there were going to be the contentious matters in this Bill that have been found in it. Therefore I maintain that the duty of the Prime Minister is to hold this Bill off until the feeling of the country in regard to it can be tested in a general election. I maintain that there is only one of two courses open to him at the present time. One is to go to the country and test the feeling of the electors in a general election; another is to appoint a new Minister of the interior and put him in the field in some riding in the Northwest and test the feeling of the country in that way. The portfolio of the Interior should not be held open a moment' longer than is absolutely necessary.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey). Mr. Speaker, I beg to say a few words on this question before the motion is disposed of. it seems to me that we are face to face with a very unusual state of things both in this House and in the country. We are confronted with what may fairly be regarded. under constitutional government. as a very grave crisis. Confederation is yet on its trial. It was adopted many years ago to overcome difficulties which experience had shown to exist in our previous form of government, and with the object of doing justice to every interest and every locality. The fathers of confederation wisely and carefully considered this constitution before it was adopted. for the purpose of endeavouring. as far as the experience of the national life would enable them to do up to that time. to avoid the troubles of the past and to provide a pm. per government for the future; and the principle they laid down was representation by population in the popular chamber—this 3573 MARCH 31, 1905 is, that every member should represent a certain number of the electors or population. But they provided that every member should represent a certain area as well. The delimitation of the areas each of which should elect a member was made in the first statutes, and that was observed and carried out in our first election. The fathers of confederation believed that we required an upper House as well as a lower House—a corrective chamber that would not be subject to the excitement of elections but that would be appointed by the Crown; and the selection of the men who were to form that chamber was made on the principle that each should represent not only a certain province, but a certain district in that province. From Quebec there were to be twenty-four, from Ontario twenty-four, and from the maritime provinces twenty-four and each was to represent a certain district within his particular province. There were not only twenty-four members of the Senate assigned to Quebec, but the British North America Act says :
In the case of Quebec each of the twenty-four senators representing that province shall be appointed for one of the twenty-four electoral divisions of Lower Canada. specified in schedule ' A ' to chapter 1 of Consolidated Statutes of Canada.
I am giving this recapitulation to show that the designers of confederation had in view not only representation by population, but representation of locality as well, and that this principle applied not only to the popular chamber, which was to be elected, but to the Senate, which was not to be elected, and to the cabinet ministers. With regard to ministerial representation, we find that a certain number of ministers were assigned to Quebec. Originally it was three. Now it is four, with an extra one, which makes the number five. The same number was assigned to Ontario and the same number to the maritime provinces ; and these were so arranged that each locality would be represented. That principle was followed for years as strongly as any other principle to be found within the four corners of the constitution. It was a part of our unwritten constitution, and we lived up to it carefully and closely, because it was believed that by doing so we did justice to all parts of the country and to all interests involved, and no injustice to any. A certain number of cabinet ministers was assigned to each province in proportion to its population, its importance and its area. As time went on and settlement went westward, we were obliged to change that a little. We dropped some of our representation in the smaller provinces in the east, and endeavoured to give representation to the west ; because it was felt that so long as there was a section that had no voice in the cabinet, we were not fully carrying out the principle of representation that was adopted by 3573 3574 the fathers of confederation. What was all this intended for ? That every locality should have its voice and its spokesman in the parliament of the nation and in the cabinet, so that justice might be done to all parts of the country. That was the aim and the reason why this unwritten constitution was followed as closely as any portion of our written constitution.
There are two objects in view in organizing a cabinet. What are these two objects ? The first is to select men who are fitted for the position. The second is to make the selection so that each member of the cabinet may represent a certain locality and the special interests in that locality. These interests may be commercial or maritime or something else. And the selection should be such as will receive the endorsation of the people. These are the two objects in view in filling a cabinet. In a well balanced cabinet, every district has its voice at the council board, every district has its representative in council. But applying this principle to the present condition of things, what is the situation today. We have in this confederation about 2,100,000 square miles of territory. How much of that territory is represented in this cabinet ? Take the combined provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and they only represent 564,000 square miles. Take the balance of the territory which is not represented, which has no voice in the cabinet, which has no say at the council board, and we find that it comprises 1,558,888 square miles.
Mr. CAMPBELL. What is the population of that ?
Mr. SPROULE. I am not going into details as regards population, but if you take the map of the Dominion and draw a line straight through it from south to north. going as far west as you will find a cabinet representative at present—that is the city of London—you will find that two-thirds of the territory of the Dominion is without a cabinet representative. Is that just or unjust ? Is that carrying out the design of the fathers of confederation ? Is that doing justice to all and injustice to none ? I say it is not. Two-thirds of the Dominion to-day have no voice at the council board. Whatever policy may be introduced and decided upon there, they have no opportunity of expressing their dissent or assent or of shaping it any way whatever. A rather eminent writer on confederation said that it was the solemn duty of each province keenly to watch and promptly to repel any attempt faint or forcible which the federal government might be disposed to make on the rights and privileges of any one of them. That is Mr. Watson's idea of the duties of the provinces. But how can a province exercise this scrutiny unless it has its full representation, not only in the House of 3575 COMMONS   Commons, but on the council board of a nation. And if this large portion of the Dominion has no voice in the council, surely it is deprived of a portion of its undoubted rights. I find that two-thirds of the area of this Dominion is not represented at the council board, and that at the very time when a most important question, one vitally affecting the interests of that country, is about to be decided. One of the provinces to-day has almost been driven into revolt, if we can believe what we read in the newspapers. I refer to the province of Manitoba. The absolute refusal of the rights of that province to have its boundaries extended, the absolute refusal to do its claims justice when these new provinces are being created, has irritated it to such an extent that its government has threatening to resign as a protest against the conduct of this administration. Are we not then face to face with a very serious crisis?
A great question is now before us for determination, namely, the establishment of two new provinces out in the Northwest Territories. What ownership shall these provinces have in the soil? What representatives shall they possess ? What legislative power shall be given them ? What interference shall we make with what they believe to be their undoubted rights in the future ? All these great questions are being discussed by this parliament, and these Territories have no voice at the council board. They had a voice there not long ago, but their representative resigned as a rebuke against the high-handed and unwarranted conduct of the government on the Autonomy Bill. A Minister of the Crown, representing that country, gave practical expression of his dissent from that policy by resigning his portfolio. Under the circumstances, it certainly is the duty of the government to fill that portfolio at the earliest possible moment and have a united cabinet on the policy which they are submitting to parliament. Why are they not acting in accord with the principles of constitutional government ? Why do they not appoint a minister and let him go before the people, so that the people may have an opportunity of endorsing or condemning the policy of the administration? The reason, Sir, is evident. They dare not do it. They want to force the Bill through without giving the people chiefly interested an opportunity of declaring their will regarding it. They refuse to respect the sovereign rights of the people. They are acting in utter disregard of the great electorate which can make and unmake parliament ? Are they afraid to appeal to that power ? I am justified by their conduct in coming to the conclusion that they are afraid to trust the people.
Then, are we not justified in raising our voice in rebuke of the conduct of the government ? Are we not justified in calling public attention to that conduct as a violation of the principles of constitutional gov 3575 3576 ernment under which we live ? We should clearly be doing less than our duty if we refrained from inviting public attention to the present condition of affairs. As I have said, it is clear that the government dare not allow the people to speak, to signify their agreement or disagreement with the measure now before the House. At best, the representation of the Northwest in regard to this measure could only be indirect so far as the cabinet is concerned. The people of the Northwest Territories sent their Prime Minister, their accredited representative. Except for this delegate they are represented only by a few members in this House whose voices are but little heard. The government has acted in a most highhanded and tyrannical fashion in its treatment of the rights of the people of Manitoba and the Northwest.
Now, when a member is selected for the cabinet, he is selected on two grounds— his fitness for the position and the locality he represents. And who is to determine his fitness ? First, the Prime Minister who chooses him. But the judgment of the Prime Minister must be endorsed by the people, for, according to our constitutional forms, a minister, on his appointment, must go before the people to be endorsed by them. Have the government dared to appoint a minister and so seek the judgment of the people on their policy? They have not. This policy was not before the people in the last election, and so there has not been the opportunity for the people to express themselves upon it. The only conclusion that we can come to is that the government are afraid of the people and dare not take the step of appointing a minister to fill the present vacancy because the effect of that would be to give the people an opportunity to express their opinions upon this important measure. The financial interests of that great country in the Northwest are involved ; their whole future is involved. Yet, they have no one in the cabinet to speak for them or determine their rights,—the people of the Northwest must go into the ' Blind pool' to which the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) referred last year. Yet, the Prime Minister declares over and over again that he admires the British constitution and tries to follow it. His conduct, in my opinion, is the very reverse of all that; he violates every principle of constitutional government by the course he pursues. He acts like the Czar of Russia, deliberately against the people's rights and wishes. The people are given no opportunity to determine what their legislative rights shall be with regard to their property, their financial relations to the Dominion or any of the other great questions involved in this measure. And their accredited representative, their Prime Minister, is spurned when he comes here and seeks to speak on behalf of his people.
The conduct of the government is a direct 3577 MARCH 31, 1905 invasion of provincial rights. The present Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) should be the last man in Canada to disregard or ignore provincial rights in carrying on our government. The fathers of confederation, when they were determining what form of government we should have, were compelled, owing to the sentiment of Quebec to favour a federal union rather than a legislative union. Under the federal union the boundaries of provincial rights are clearly marked and held as sacred, while, under a legislative union the provinces would have only such powers as were given them by the central authority. I find the following passage in the life of Sir John A. Macdonald. Speaking of the discussions which took place before confederation was consummated he said :
But, on looking at the subject in the conference, and discussing the matter as we did most unreservedly, with a desire to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, we found that such a system was impracticable.
This refers to a legislative union. And why was it impracticable ?
In the first place, it would not meet the assent of Lower Canada.
And why not ?
Because they felt that, in their peculiar position—being in a minority, with a. difierent language, nationality and religion from the majority—in case of a junction with the other provinces, and their institutions and their laws might be assailed and their ancestral associations, on which they pride themselves, attacked and prejudiced.
And, for that reason, they would not accept a legislative union. So, they secured a federal union, in order that their provincial rights might be maintained. But the Bill now before the House infringes provincial rights, determining in advance the course of action of the new provinces in the Northwest. It deprives these new provinces of the right to manage their own affairs as the older provinces are free to manage theirs. In this respect, the measure does not carry out the principle of confederation. And it comes with doubly bad grace from a Prime Minister who comes from Quebec, a province that insisted upon a form of confederation which would make their provincial rights secure. Now that the rights of his own province are established, the Prime_ Minister attacks the provincial rights of the new provinces in the west. In view of all this I say we are face to face with a great crisis and there is strong excitement throughout our country. And why ? Because of the outrage upon the feelings and opinion: of the people who have no opportunity to help themselves. Should this continue ? I say it should not. I have called attention to the fact that disregard of our constitutional system almost drove one province into revolt, and, if it 3577 8578 is persisted in, it may arouse to revolt the people of the new provinces. The sooner the government place themselves squarely upon the principles of the constitution and give to the Northwest a representative in the cabinet, the better it will be for everybody. We shall then have an opportunity to work out our constitutional system to a success, instead of making it the discouraging failure it undoubtedly will be if this government and their SUCcessors set constitutional principles at defiance.
Mr. A. A. STOCKTON (St. John City and County). Mr. Speaker, I think the points made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) are well taken. I hope the First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) will pardon me if I say that I do not think that he met the question asked by the leader of the opposition with the frankness which the circumstances demanded. It will be remembered, that, after the introduction of the Bills which have produced so much discussion in this House, the question was asked of the Prime Minister whether the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) would be back in time for the discussion of these Bills. The First Minister replied that he did not know when the Minister of the Interior would be here, meaning that he did not expect, and did not care whether the Minister of the Interior were here 01- not, since he, the First Minister, had charge of the Bill.
Now, let me say that the First Minister has not answered the question put by the leader of the opposition except by citing the instances which took place ten, twelve or more years ago. What is the opinion of the First Minister with respect to those instances? Did he approve of them, or does he approve of them now? Does he think that citing those instances is a sufficient answer to the question put him by the leader of the opposition? I would like to know what the opinions of the First Minister are upon those instances. I say, Mr. Speaker, thatif there ever was a time in the history of this country when it was necessary that a responsible minister from that Northwest country should be here on the floor of this House, it in to-day. We know that the proposition has been put forward that the ministers represent localities, and that they are to be trusted to a large extent with the administration of affairs in those localities. How stands the matter to-day? Is there any representative from the great Northwest here today to look after the interests of that great country, which is causing so much discussion and occupying so much attention in this House and in the country at large? Not one, Sir, and so far as any information is given by the First Minister to-day, there will be no representative in the government from the Northwest until after these Bills are passed. Is that fair to the people of that country? 3579 COMMONS Is it fair to the representatives of that country in this House to force this measure through without the people of the Northwest, by their responsible minister, having a voice in the consideration of the measure? I think not, Sir, and I think it is unfair to that country that it should have no responsible minister here while this discussion is going on, and while this measure is being passed through the House.
But, Sir, there is another phase of the question. When the ex-Minister of the Interior appeared here, apparently to the confusion of the First Minister, two days after he had introduced this Bill, what took place? The resignation of the Minister of the Interior. Why ? As a protest against the action of the First Minister in introducing the Autonomy Bills in his absence, and particularly against the educational clauses thereof, which the ex-Minister of the Interior could not endorse, and he vacated his seat as a protest against the action of the First Minister and of his government. That was a challenge thrown down to the First Minister and to his government upon their polict with respect to these Bills. There is a vacancy in the government now, the government is without a Minister of the Interior. Let the First Minister test the feeling of the people of the Northwest upon this question by selecting from his plethora of ability that he has behind him a gentleman to fill the position of Minister of the Interior, and let him send that gentleman back for re-election in order to test the feelings of the people of the Northwest with respect to his policy. That would be the manly way, that would be the bold way, that would be the proper way on the part of men who are willing to trust the people. Is this government willing to trust the people in connection with these Bills?
Mr STOCKTON. The conduct of the government apparently shows that they are not willing to trust the people. I say, don't gag the people of the Northwest, give them an opportunity to say whether they want this legislation or not, give them an opportunity to say in a constitutional way whether they are in harmony with the government with respect to this measure. The right hon. gentleman has an opportunity of doing that. If he and his government do not do it, they show that they do not trust the people; although the right hon. gentleman is reported to have said that he was a democrat to the hilt. Now, Sir, I should say no more on this question. I felt that I could not remain silent while a question of this importance was before the House. I repeat that the conduct of the government in keeping this seat vacant is not fair to the people of the Northwest, it is not fair to the people of the rest of Canada, and, furthermore, it is contrary to the constitu 3579 3580 tional usages which obtain in the mother country and all the great self-governing colonies of the empire.
Mr. H. LENNOX (South Simcoe). I did not intend to speak on this question until the main question came again before the House. But I do feel that this is a time for hon. members of the House to speak out, and say distinctly what they think of the conduct of the government. I had hoped, there being seven representatives in this House from the Northwest supporting the government, that they at all events would defend the interests of their own section in this matter. When I find that the First Minister has been able so far to influence and to control those hon. members, I think it necessary that the rest of us should speak definitely on this subject. Now the First Minister has been perfectly consistent, and with my great respect for the First Minister, I shall take the liberty of addressing a few plain words to him in the English language which I hope he will fairly understand. I hope that the people of this country will become seized of the situation, and although it is vain to hope that the government will listen to the voice of reason on this subject, there is one power in this country great enough to arrest the action of the government, and that is the press. I hope that they will take this matter up and agitate from end to end of Canada before this measure goes through, in order that we may guarantee the interests of the great west in this House. I say that the First Minister to-day has been consistent in his attitude throughout this whole matter, not only in this matter, but during the last two sessions, in treating lightly subjects of great importance and in treating the representative of the people with levity by neglecting their just demands. The First Minister must apprehend that he has not on any occasion when the leader of the opposition, either to-day or previously, asked for information which this House has a right to obtain, given a fair, square and honest answer to a question.
Now the First Minister says, we know where we are. Well, perhaps they do. It is rather recent information, for they did not know where they were two or three weeks ago, but the party lash has been applied. They know where they are to-day but they do not know where they will be to-morrow. They do not know where they will be a week hence and I warrant there are some hon. gentlemen opposite who do not know yet quite what is going to develop during the course of this discussion, and who do not know where they will be a week hence. Probably the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) thinks he knows where he is. The hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) probably thinks he knows where he is 3581 MARCH 31, 1905 or where he is going to be, but, they do not both know it. One of them will probably get the office and we will then see a display of the anger of the one who has not got the position he desires. The right hon. First Minister says that it is only thirty-one days' delay, and he also said that in 1888 it was a matter of months or probably more that the position of Minister of the Interior was vacant. Does the right hon. gentleman want that to go to the country as the honest, statesmanlike utterance of the First Minister of the Dominion of Canada ? But, if we have, as was said by hon. members on his own side of the House, and as is the fact, before us one of the most momentous questions that have at any time involved the consideration of this House, a question that will affect the future of the west, half a million miles of the best territory of this Dominion and the best agricultural country that exists to-day, is there any analogy between this case and the case of the Minister of the Interior in 1888 ? 'Only thirty-one days ago,' says the right hon. First Minister, and in a while when it suits my convenience, when I get entirely ready, after I have held at bay the office-seekers who want the position and whom I dare not now offend because I want to dangle before them the plums of office and not offend any one of them until after this crucial period has gone by, then, after the 1st of July, after I have riveted upon the west and established the system of fetters that I desire, then, at my convenience, as the great Czar of Canada—for the time being ; not for all time to come, thank God,—I will announce what I will do. He says that he is embarrassed by a wealth of material. Very likely. The right hon. First Minister is perfectly sincere. He has a wealth of material in this House. One man says that he is as good as the other. Each man says: I am the big man for the situation; and this is a source of embarrassment perhaps to the right hon. First Minister. He dare not fill that position because he is afraid that some of his followers whose votes he depends upon might not be available in this crisis. I do not know that I need say much further in reference to what the right hon. First Minister has said. The right hon. gentleman is more remarkable for what he does not say on these occasions than for what he says. But, he asks : Would you expect us to have an election and to have this discussion going on at the same time ? What does the right hon. gentleman mean by that ? Does it require his personal supervision to engineer the election in the west ? Does it require that the strength of the cabinet shall be transferred to the west or to any of the most important points of the west while an election is going on ? Does the right hon. gentleman feel that the situation is so delicate and dangerous in the west that it will require all the power of the government, 3581 3582 and probably more to bring about the result that he wants ? Does he anticipate now that when the 1st of July has gone past and when he does appoint a Minister of the Interior the people of the west will visit with condemnation the administration which is now in power at Ottawa ? Or, does he simply mean that it will require so much manipulation that it would be impossible to carry on this discussion in the House and carry on an election in the west at the same time ? What is the meaning of it ? Is it an admission to the people of Canada (wrested from the right hon. First Minister) because we have not had such an admission made often in this House, that he realizes that it will take the most superhuman effort on his part to win in the west if he were to open a constituency there at the present time ? In other words that he has not, with all the wealth of material that he has in this House or out of it, because he could select a minister for this position out of the House as well as in it—he could send Mr. Aylesworth up there if he could be elected,—the least chance of electing his Minister of the Interior if he will accept the challenge which is a fair and square challenge, to give to those people who have not been allowed to voice their opinions the opportunity of testing this question and of saying whether they want this measure proposed by the right hon. First Minister or not.
Now, I had intended to refer to another aspect of this case, but I find that I have got excited and that is not usual with me. I must excuse myself. I believe I am justified in asking for the indulgence of this House if I do get a little excited on this occasion. I believe as the right hon. minister says, that our passions on some of these occasions are not wholly ignoble, it is probably ' the exaggeration of a noble sentiment,' the right hon. minister says and perhaps there is a little exaggeration of noble sentiments from time to time as the debate goes on. I think that when we cannot get a solitary member representing the west on the government side of the House to stand up and advocate the rights of the west, when we cannot get the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) who was an advocate of opinions which are in direct conflict with the proposition of the government to-day, when we cannot get that great democrat to rise up and say that in this day the people shall be supreme, when we cannot get back into the House that champion of national schools, the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), to speak one word on behalf of the great people of the west, a place which is to be the garden of Canada in the future and the grandest agricultural territory within this country,—when we cannot get these hon. gentlemen to stand up and say one word on behalf of the great people of the west, then, I feel that I am justified in having got a 3583 COMMONS little excited and not being able to pursue a distinct and logical argument as I intended when I rose to speak.
Mr. J. B. KENNEDY (New Westminster). Mr. Speaker, I rise for a little information, not that I expect to get any from the solon who has just addressed the House. But, the principle has evidently been laid down this afternoon that a province is not represented in this House unless it has a member of the government. In this case it seems to me that there has been a rather gross insult addressed to the ten men who represent these Territories in the House to-day.
Mr. A. B. INGRAM (East Elgin). Mr. Speaker, in the opening remarks of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition this afternoon he referred to the course pursued by the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he was leader of the Liberal opposition in this House some years ago. The right hon. gentleman on that occasion drew the attention of this House to certain rumours going the rounds of the newspapers of this country coupled with the fact that His Excellency the Governor General had postponed a trip that he anticipated making. He thought the circumstances sufficient to warrant him in calling the attention of the government of the day to the importance of these rumours. One of the arguments he employed in that case was to the effect that the government was not in the position in which it ought to be before asking parliament to transact the business of the country. He said :
The government, I submit, has no right to ask parliament to vote a single penny under the circumstances.
What circumstances? The circumstances arising from the rumours going around the public press of this country that certain seats in the government were vacant. It seemed to him a remarkable thing that he found some of these seats vacated, vacated by whom ? By the representatives of the west ? No ; the right hon. gentleman seemed to be exercised particularly about the representatives, not of the Northwest Territories, but of the province of Quebec. Why was my hon. friend so much exercised on that occasion ? It was not because of any particular or important question brought up in this House on that occasion. In 1893 parliament met on April 18. This matter was brought up by the right hon. gentleman on July 9, and that session closed on July 22, thirteen days after he had given the government notice of the fact that certain ministers had not been in their places the day before. Why was he so much exercised over the fact of these ministers not being properly representative of the province of Quebec ? Was it bcause parliament was liable to vote a penny unwiseiy in their absence ? Every man who knows anything 3583 3584 of the political history of this country knows what was taking place at that time ; he knows that an issue similar to that which is being discussed to-day was being considered by the people and the government, and it was more due to that fact, I venture to say, that the right hon. gentleman objected to these ministers not being in their places on that particular occasion. My right hon. friend has been asked civilly and often lately by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) why it is that the position of Minister of the Interior is not filled. The right hon. gentleman rises in his place and says that the leader of the opposition again has another little joke. And what is the little joke ? It is not the spending of a small amount of the people's money, but it is the passage of legislation for all time affecting the Northwest Territories, that will involve millions of dollars, and yet the Prime Minister says this is a little joke, and that there is no occasion to have a Minister of the Interior appointed to perform the special duties of that portfolio. The right hon. gentleman has submitted to the House, in the .speech from the Throne, this paragraph :
The rapid growth in the population of the Northwest Territories during the past two years justifies the wisdom of conferring on these Territories provincial autonomy. A Bill for that purpose will be submitted for your consideration.
Before I deal with that, let me refer to a rumour or two that we have recently heard, because if the hon. gentleman was justified in those days I am justified to-day in referring to these rumours. A rumour went abroad in this country previous to the 23rd of November last that certain gentlemen met at Three Rivers, in the province of Quebec, and that certain arrangements were entered into by the government with respect to provincial autonomy in the Northwest. Again I say that I cannot understand how the right hon. gentleman and his government placed that paragraph in the speech from the Throne and submitted it to this House, and then come to this House and told us, as members of this House, and told the people of the country, that he had not consulted the Minister of the Interior upon this important plank in the platform in the speech from the Throne. What did the right hon. gentleman say when he introduced this Bill in this House ? I shall quote his own words. He said :
How many provinces should be admitted into the confederation coming from the Northwest Territories—one, or two or more ? The next question was : in whom should be vested the ownership of the public lands ? The third question was : What should be the financial terms to be granted to these new provinces ? And the fourth and not the least important by any means was the question of the school system which would be introduced—not introduced. because it was introduced long ago, but should be continued in the Territories.
3585 MARCH 31, 1905
Of the four questions which are to be embodied in provincial autonomy, the education question was in the mind of the right hon. gentleman the most important. I again ask the Prime Minister are we to believe, are we to suppose, that in the preparation of the speech from the Throne, which was prepared during the early part of this year, the Minister of the Interior was in no wise consulted in respect to these four planks ? I for one refuse to take that view, because I do not think the ex-Minister of the Interior is so ignorant with respect to the contents of this Bill as he would leave this House and this country to believe. Reference has been made to the creating of a vacancy. What do we find in the city of Toronto ? We find a bargain day for the Conservative party. Why have we a bargain day now ? Is this the old system of the Liberal party of this country, when they have a government backed up by a large majority and a seat becomes vacant, is it now the new Liberal policy to give the Conservative party a bargain day and to allow them to elect their candidate by acclamation ? I have here the statement of the executive of the Reform Association of the city of Toronto. We have the candidate in the last contest coming to the city of Ottawa, consulting with the Prime Minister and his cabinet, going back to Toronto and advising the Liberal executive of the city of Toronto not to put up a candidate, refusing to be a candidate himself and saying that it was not a wise policy to put a candidate in the field ; and, therefore, the Liberal party are going to allow the Conservative candidate to be elected by acclamation. Why is this ? Is that the way to ascertain public opinion in this country on an important question of this kind ? I venture to say that if the right hon. gentleman had an election in Toronto he would find that the policy which he is now pursuing would be rejected, not only by the Conservative party of Toronto, but by a very large number of the Liberals as well. I would like to ask the premier, if he has any influence upon the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) or upon the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Greenway), one the late premier of the province of Manitoba and the other one of his ministers, to kindly whisper into the ears of these gentlemen the suggestion that they should stay a little more in this chamber and give the people of this country the benefit of their presence and advice, even as private members. Is it any wonder that members of the opposition find fault with the government, when we find important members like these absenting themselves when one of the greatest and most important issues ever brought up in parliament is being discussed from day to day ? They absolutely refuse, by their absence from this House, to take part in the discussion. I am sure it would allay, to some extent, the feeling of the people of this country if they knew that men entertained the views which 3585 3586 the late premier of Manitoba did entertain— I do not know if he does now or not—but certainly the views entertained by the ex- Minister of the Interior, were to stay in their places in this House and give us the benefit of their views from time to time as occasion requires. Then probably they would assist in allaying the strong feeling that exists in this country that these gentlemen are overlooking the interests of the Northwest Territories by their undue absence from this House. The Prime Minister referred to-day to the fact that the opposition are making a great deal of capital out of the thirty-one days of non-appointment of a Minister of the Interior. Let me point out to my hon. friend that the Minister of the Interior has not been in this House during this session. He came in after the introduction of this Bill. Let me remind the premier that since 1896 we have had minister after minister absent from their duties during the session, and no one has been a greater sinner in that respect than the Minister of the Interior. To-day he is seen passing by this chamber, paying attention for a moment or two to the proceedings here, but then, in his high and lofty way, he retires from the chamber and allows the members to discuss these important matters in his absence. It is high time that these hon. gentlemen fully understood that it is their duty to attend in this chamber and give us the benefit of their advice on these important matters. If the right hon. gentleman and his friends were correct in 1895, when they said that it was important for ministers to be in their places, they should take a little of their own medicine to-day, and see that their ministers are in their places in this House.
Mr. W. H. BENNETT (East Simcoe). Mr. Speaker, I usually agree with the leader of the opposition, but I think he is rather too exacting this afternoon. My hon. friend asks that the First Minister should go back on his official record since he has been premier of this Dominion, and start from this day on a new course. That is altogether too much to ask of the First Minister, and I think my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is rather drawing on his imagination when he expects that the First Minister will do it. My hon. friend referred to the fact that the First Minister found fault with the government of Sir John Thompson on one occasion for not filling up his cabinet and complained that at that time for nearly two days two ministers had absented themselves from the chamber. Well, Sir, the circumstances were very different then from what they are now. Neither of these hon. gentlemen had resigned his seat ; the present premier was not in a position to know that either intended to resign his seat ; but the fact that they had not been in their places, and some newspaper comment which he saw on the cir 3587 COMMONS cumstance, suggested to him the idea of dividing the House on the matter, and he did divide the House. What do we see on the present occasion ? We see the Minister of the Interior absent from the first day of the session. Whether his absence was owing to ill-health I know not, and I think the public are very little concerned about it. But we do know that as soon as the First Minister introduced certain legislation into this House, the Minister of the Interior was here to dissent from the proposition of the government ; and we know that as a result of his dissent he has gone out of the cabinet and is out of it to-day ; and every one knows that the First Minister and his cabinet are afraid to take the bull by the horns—I am speaking metaphorically—and test popular opinion in the west, just as they are afraid to test popular opinion in the province of Ontario. What is the report of the hon. gentleman's own political friends from the city of Toronto ? It is that he has become a Czar and an autocrat. Mr. Robinette, their candidate in the last election came down here the other day ; he was seen here ; his presence was reported in the newspapers ; and because Mr. Robinette informed the First Minister that he would not be a supporter of the government's policy in regard to the Northwest, the Czar, the leader of this administration, says there must be no contest in Centre Toronto. Now, I am going to appeal to the First Minister to remember the watchword of the late premier of the province of Ontario, his own right arm, which was paralyzed on the 25th of January, when the people got a chance. What was the watchword of the Hon. George W. Ross ? It was : ' Build up Ontario.' What did that mean ? It meant to build up Ontario in every possible way—mentally, morally, educationally and commercially ; and I appeal to the First Minister to build up Ontario to-day. In the first place, build it up morally by keeping faith with the public there. The First Minister went through the province of Ontario last November—but I will not harrow up his feelings by mentioning the places where he spoke, because every one knows what followed—desolation and disaster to the Liberal candidates. He came to East Simcoe, and the result there is seen. He went to the city of Toronto and to other points and said, it is true, my cabinet representatives from Ontario are a rum lot ; I have one in the Senate who is past four score years ; I have Sir Richard Cartwright on my hands, but he is to be transferred to the Senate at an early day ; although the Minister of Customs is a benevolent, good-hearted soul, he is not known beyond the confines of his own bailiwick. But, he said, I am going to strengthen the cabinet in Ontario ; I am going to bring in a big man in the person of Mr. Aylesworth. The First Minister 3587 3588 has not got Mr. Aylesworth yet, but there is a chance to get him. There are two counties in Ontario which he could carry, and only two. Why does he not give Mr. Aylesworth a chance to run in Russell or in Prescott ? I know he will not trust himself in North Oxford, nor will he trust himself anywhere else in Ontario.
An hon. MEMBER. Centre Toronto.
Mr. BENNETT; Mr. Aylesworth knows Toronto ; he lives there. Now, the First Minister has not kept faith with the electors of the province of Ontario. He promised them last November that if they would only support him, he would build up a stable aggregation from Ontario. What has he done? There was a time in this House when our dull moments were enlivened by the oratory of Sir Richard Cartwright ; but he has stolen Sir Richard Cartwright from the House and sent him to the Senate. We have left only our benevolent friend the Minister of Customs and our soporific friend the Postmaster General. I think it has come to a pretty pass in the province of Ontario that we have to content ourselves with the cabinet representation that we have. But let us go a little further. Let us bear in mind that these two gentlemen are seriously restricted—that they are not allowed to perform any acts of importance. They are allowed to manage departments which extract money from the pockets of the people ; neither of them is allowed to spend a dollar, practically ; but when it comes to spending money, all the departments for that purpose go to ministers from the other provinces. True, the Minister of Public Works for a time had some disposition of patronage, but the Minister of Marine and Fisheries came up and filched that from the province of Ontario, and to-day what is left for the Minister of Public Works amounts to practically nothing, and even that is not controlled by a minister who has the consent and approval of a constituency in Ontario. It is quite true that my hon. friend who represents North Oxford (Mr. Sutherland). and whose absence we all regret just as sincerely as any gentleman on the other side of the House, is practically out of politics. The kindly reference made by the hon. leader of the opposition did not deserve the reply which it received from the First Minister. We all acknowledge that circumstances sometimes arise in politics to deprive both political parties of some of their friends and leaders; and it is to-day a notorious fact, admitted by hon. gentlemen opposite, that Mr. Sutherland is not coming back to this House. Nay, I go further and say that I saw a letter myself the other day, written by a friend of Mr. Sutherland in Mexico, where he is, in which it is stated that his health was precarious, and that no one seriously believes 3589 MARCH 31, 1905 he will resume his duties in the Public Works Department.
And the First Minister knows, just as well as he knows that the sun will rise tomorrow, that Mr. Sutherland does not intend to come back and take charge of that portfolio, and we all regret it. He knows equally well that the hon. member for London (Mr. Hyman) has been named for that portfolio—named months ago—and has been discharging the duties for the past year. Yet in the face of that fact, this government are so much in terror of the Ontario electorate, that they dare not open the seat in London to-day. You may boast that you have a majority of five hundred or six hundred for the hon. member for London in that city, but that majority was reduced to something like twenty in the last campaign. The excuse given by his friends is that they were over-confident or he would have received his old-time majority. Well, this is the time and place in which, if the government have a scintilla of confidence in the people of Ontario, to show that confidence by throwing down the gauntlet and opening up the constituency of London. But if they should, the hon. member for London (Mr. Hyman) knows, and the cabinet knows, what will be the result. Here we have a cabinet in this humiliating position that it has only two ministers of the Crown on the floor of this House from Ontario. True, there are two in the Senate, but I do not suppose the public are much exercised about them. The Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) has been over the stony path and the thorny places. He spent all his life in the constituency of South Brant but that constituency finally turned him out. Then he went over the corduroy road in North Grey but did not dare return there, and finally sought solace in a haven of rest with a solid Liberal majority of 1,000, but that hon. minister knows that so low has his party fallen in the estimation of the people of Ontario that nearly every seat went against it in the last local election. And what is the position of the hon. member for North York (Sir William Mulock)? That riding was long in the Liberal fold, but the hon. gentleman knows that if it were open to-day it would return an opponent to the present government. Then there is my hon. friend from Centre York (Mr. Campbell), who, we all know, is knocking at the threshold for admission to the cabinet, and who represents a riding specially constructed for him. He has been standing at the door waiting and watching long, but they dare not open it for him, and it is a notorious fact that another gentleman who has been aspiring to cabinet promotion, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) has openly gone out in revolt against the government on this question. Yet the government intend to rush this Bill through the House this session. If we were in the last days of a last session of parliament, the government would never be able to put 3589 3590 their Bill through, but if this Bill cannot be killed in this House, the government which brought it down will be killed when they go before the people of the Northwest. This government may force the Bill through by means of what I would call a machine, if it were parliamentary, or what I would call a servile majority, if the rules of parliament would allow it ; it may be voted through by a majority who have promises of preferment and place; but all I can say is that the government will not get preferment at the hands of the electorate when they go before the country. There is one power which is irresistible and that is the power of the people, and those gentlemen who vote for this measure will certainly stultify themselves in the eyes of their constituents in the Northwest Territories. They know that they are stultifying themselves to-day. Their own leaders have told them, as the hon. member for St. John (Mr Stockton) told them a little while ago, that this cabinet is afraid to trust the people who are most vitally interested. It knows that it cannot have a cabinet minister elected in the west. What is the standing of the government today in the great city of Toronto ? Why, a large number of their friends want to precipitate a fight there, but they will only do it on one condition and that is that the policy of the government on this question must be condemned. What a pitiable spectacle does not this government represent ? In a riding like Centre Toronto, which was only carried by the late Mr. Clarke, probably the most popular man in that city, by a bare majority of three hundred in the last contest, this government and their followers dare not put up a candidate to-day. They call however on their followers to vote for this measure and to trust that in time it will be forgotten. They should remember that there was a statesman named Stratton in Ontario who asked the people to forget, but the people did not; and we have a spectacle presented to-day by this government exactly similar to that which was presented by the Ross government in Ontario, and in like manner when this government does go to the people it will have as little chance as it expects to have in Centre Toronto and share the same fate which overtook the late local government. It may win Russell and Prescott but will be beyond help in the rest of the province.
Motion (Mr. R. L. Borden) to adjourn negatived.


Mr. SAM. BARKER. Before the Orders of the Day are callled I might ask the right hon. leader of the House if there has been any correspondence between his government or any member of it and the late government of the Hon. G. W. Ross or any member of it, with regard to any extension of the boun 3591                COMMONS                           daries of Ontario and whether, if there be any such correspondence, he will lay it on the table.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I am not aware of any, but if there should be any, there is no objection at all to bringing it down.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.
Mr. WALTER SCOTT (West Assiniboia) If, Mr. Speaker, the Bills before the House to create the two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan constitute to representatives from the other parts of Canada the most important measure that has been submitted to parliament since confederation, how much more should their importance be impressed upon one, who, like myself, is entrusted with the duty of representing in this House a very considerable section of the country which it is proposed to form into these new provinces. I may say, Mr. Speaker, in all sincerity that I regret to a very much larger extent to-day than on any former occasion that I am not gifted with that felicity of expression which has distinguished so many of the speakers who have preceded me, and that consequently I shall not be able to embellish the remarks I shall have to present to the House with flowers of oratory such as have adorned many of the speeches we have had on this question.
Of the magnitude of the subject, of course, there can be no question. We are proposing to round out the confederation of half, and probably the richer half of the North American continent, affecting an enormous area of exceptional fertility and capable of sustaining millions, if not tens of millions of people. We are fulfilling the dream of those far-sighted men, the fathers of confederation. We are, once for all, placing upon the half million of people who, at present, constitute the population of these areas and upon the future millions that will constitute that population, the duties of self-government according to free British principles. And we are, at the same time, fixing for all time to come the financial status, setting apart the financial resources, upon which these people shall be enabled to carry on their duties of self-government, We are giving by charter to these new provinces many powers which the people there have been exercising up to the present time, as well as a number of powers, which, until now, have been exercised on their behalf by this parliament. We are proposing to make these people 3591 3592 fully responsible for their own self-government in the important matters of education, public works and all affairs of internal development which, it may be said, are the most vital, the most constant, and the most intimate affairs affecting the life of the people of any country, and the management of which, it may be said, is so much more difficult in a sparsely-settled country such as these areas are at the present time, than in old communities. Upon the importance of the subject of education there is no occasion for comment here. In my opinion, the House has been, during the present debate, giving more attention to a matter which has developed into an extremely sentimental issue, than to the practical, substantial phase of the education question. I may say that I am more concerned, and I am satisfied that the people that I represent are more concerned, as to whether they are to be enabled by the powers which parliament proposes to confer upon them and the financial resources the House proposes to place at their disposal, for all time to come to keep up an efficient system of education than they are as to the extremely narrow issue which divides the proposition of the government from the proposition of the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden)—no, I beg the pardon of the opposition,—of the hon. member representing the county of Carleton. The matter of local public works, the matter of bridges. the matter of fire guards, the matter of drainage, and in some localities the matter of domestic water supply—these are all affairs of exceeding importance to the people now, and will be of importance to the millions of people who, we expect, will be in that territory in the years to come. And these matters now must be dealt with, and, for a considerable time to come, will have to be dealt with, by the provincial government more than is the case in older communities where these affairs are handled municipally. These are matters which lie at the very root of the existence of a people in a new country and upon these things depend whether the settler in these new provinces is to be encouraged to wage the battle of life under the conditions to be found in that country, or whether he shall labour under disadvantages too great to be borne—as unfortunately, has been the fate of some who went into those Territories in the past, though not, I am glad to say, in the very recent past. The condition of the settlers' land as to drainage ; the state of his range,—whether devastated by the prairie fire or properly protected—the existence of a bridge over the creek or river so that the settler may pass over with his team without risking his life at a crossing ; the efficiency of his school —upon these matters, I say, depends to a very large extent the whole future of the new provinces which parliament by these 3593                 MARCH 31, 1905                     measures proposes to create. The subject of transportation is one to which very great attention has been given by this parliament in recent years. The subject of railway transportation is a very important one ; but I may point out that in these Territories at the present time, I think it is not going too far to say, the matter of wagon roads is of quite as great an importance as the matter of railway communication. Railways of course, are necessary. But the railway cannot be brought to every man's door, and, to reach the railway, the wagon road is necessary. A computation has been made which goes to establish the fact that the settler or farmer who is fifteen miles from the railway shipping point is under as great a cost in getting his wheat to the shipping point—supposing that that point is Regina, where I live—as he is under for the carriage of that wheat from the shipping point to the head of the Lakes, nearly 800 miles.
Therefore, there can be no question of the importance and magnitude of the questions involved in the Bills. I have, on several occasions before, had the privilege of addressing this House ; but on no previous occasion have I felt so greatly the responsibility resting upon me as upon this occasion. And, whether my tenure of office here as the representative of a constituency prove long or short, I do not think that at any future time it will be my duty to address the House upon a subject of such importance as I feel the subject now under discussion to be.
In replying to the admirable speech with which these Bills were introduced by the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) devoted a good deal of attention— more attention than I had expected him to give—to certain aspects of the case which had formed the subject matter of discussion up and down the township lines and in the school-houses of the Northwest up to the third of November last, but which did not seem to me to be quite in keeping with the kind of discussion which might be expected from the leader of the opposition speaking upon such an occasion, and dealing with such a measure as this, before a body as this House. The hon. gentleman sought to establish the proposition that the right hon. First Minister and his government had made a right-about-face since last session upon the question whether or not provincial autonomy should be granted to the people of the Northwest Territories. And, in his endeavour to sustain a very weak position, he sought to make use of a remark or rather an ejaculation of the Prime Minister on one occasion about two years ago. It was alleged that the Prime Minister had said 'Hear, hear,' when the hon member for Marquette (Mr. W. J. Roche) had made some remark to impress the idea that the 3593 3594 government was not favourable to provincial autonomy. I do not know whether my hon. friend—in fact I must take it for granted that my hon. friend was not aware that before the end of that session the First Minister had set himself right on that point, and I will read a passage which may be found in the 'Hansard' of 1903, page 13907 :
Mr. ROCHE (Marquette). I stated that I was putting the Prime Minister's sentiments correctly before the House to the effect that for many years to come the Territories need not expect autonomy at the hands of this government, and the Prime Minister said ' hear, hear.'
The PRIME MINISTER. It I said ' hear, hear ' it was not affirmation. On the contrary, it was negation.
Why, it is within the knowledge of everybody in Canada, and should be within the knowledge of every member of this House who was in the last parliament, that on several occasions responsible ministers of the Crown stated their opinion authoritatively that the time had nearly come when full provincial powers must be conferred on the people of the Northwest Territories. The hon. member for Brandon, then Minister of the Interior, as long ago as three years, stated in the House that he had arrived at the conclusion that provincial autonomy must very soon be meted out to the people of the Northwest Territories. During the session of 1903, the Minister of Finance, in the most explicit terms, stated two or three times that the government had arrived at the conclusion that the time was near at hand when full provincial powers must be conferred on these people.
Mr. Speaker, I listened with a great deal of interest to the able address given to the House last evening by the hon. gentleman who represents the district of Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) in this House. If it would not be presumptuous on my part to say so, I would congratulate the House, I would congratulate the Northwest, and particularly I would congratulate our hon. friends opposite upon their acquisition of that hon. gentleman, who was elected last November to represent the district of Qu'Appelle. Of course, I do not quite agree with every one of the statements made by that hon. gentleman ; but I will say this for him, that he made the class of speech that friends of the Northwest Territories desired to be made before this question of provincial autonomy was determined, before the details and terms were determined ; it was the class of speech which the true friend of the Northwest felt it proper to make, and just the class of speech I have made myself the first session I came into this parliament. But I cannot agree with quite all the things which my hon. friend stated as facts. I understood the hon. gentleman to say that Mr. Haultain's draft Bill, prepared, I think, in December, 1901, or January. 1902, was unanimously endorsed by the assembly of the Northwest Terri 3595                      COMMONS                             tories, with the exception of one point, that point relating to the number of provinces, whether there should be one province or more. I think I can convince my hon. friend that he was mistaken in that regard. One strong objection was raised, not by a Liberal in the assembly, but by one of the Conservative members, a gentleman who acts in conjunction with the member for Qu'Appelle, and who was a Conservative candidate in one of the districts of the Northwest Territories last fall, Dr. Patrick, of Yorkton, who took violent exception to the terms of the draft Bill, because, as he said, it was attempting to grab too much, the terms were extravagant and would do damage to the interests of the Territories by attempting to grab too much. Then, I understood my hon. friend to lay down the proposition that because that draft Bill had been endorsed by the assembly, and because it was before the people of the Northwest Territories last fall during the general election, therefore no member representing a district of the Northwest Territories had any mandate or right to do other than object to any kind of a Bill which was not framed entirely upon the lines of that draft Bill, voted upon by the Northwest legislature. If that was the position taken by my hon. friend, and I think it was, for I listened to him carefully, I may tell him that he is entirely out of accord with his mentor, Mr. Haultain. Mr. Haultain never took such a position. My hon. friend from Qu'-Appelle, as well as myself, heard Mr. Haultain declare himself explicitly, in a meeting of the legislature towards the end of 1903, that he never expected to get all he asked for, they were simply laying down their proposition, and were asking everything that was possible, leaving to those on the other end of the bargain to say how much the terms had to be cut down.
However, Mr. Speaker, I suppose that in this discussion it is rather the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) which is engaging the attention of the House. That amendment reads :
All the words after the word 'that' to the end of the question be left out and the following substituted therefor :—
Upon the establishment of a province in the Northwest Territories of Canada as proposed by Bill (No. 69), the legislature of such province, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1886, is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of provincial self-government including power to exclusively make laws in relation to education.
That is a proposition, Mr. Speaker, that commands my warm approval in some respects, but I am sorry to say that my hon. friend's speech did not quite fit in with his amendment. It is a proposition that, on the face of it, would be looked upon with favour by every resident of the Northwest Territories. But when we look at it a little more 3595 3596 closely, it may not be such a favourable proposition. As the members of this House can readily believe, particularly when they listen to such representatives from the Northwest as the hon. member from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) and the hon. member from Brandon (Mr. Sifton), the people of those western prairies like to have things placed before them definitely, and I may tell the hon. member for Carleton that before the residents of the Northwest Territories will be able to accept his proposition they will want to know what class of schools he means, whether he means absolute freedom to settle their school system or whether he means anything else ; whether he means, for instance, the application of section 93 of the British North America Act, which would not leave the people of the Northwest absolute freedom to settle this question for themselves. And upon another phase of the question, that concerning the lands, I am sorry to say that my hon. friend's speech entirely disagrees with his resolution. With reference to the matter of the retention of the lands by the federal power, to which proposition he takes exception, giving his opinion that the land should be transferred to the provincial authorities, he said :
May I not further suggest that even if there were any danger—and I do not think there is— it would be the task of good statesmanship to have inserted, if necessary, a provision in this Bill with regard to free homesteads and the prices of those lands.
We had a suggestion in the discussion that took place this afternoon and we had a more particular suggestion in the discussion that took place some days ago as to there being at the present moment no friend of the Northwest in the government. The friends of the Northwest must be looked for amongst hon. gentlemen opposite. Well, I am bound to say that I think the friendship of the hon. member for Carleton will bear a little analysis. If it has a sentimental feature, something that is not going to cost anything, something that is not going to bear on any other section of Canada, our hon. friends opposite are great friends of the Northwest, but, whenever we come down to a substantial matter like limiting the self governing powers of the people of the Northwest in regard to their actual and substantial resources the boot is on the other foot. That is an entirely different aspect of the case. There are hon. gentlemen behind my hon. friend from Carleton who are great friends of the people of the Territories too. It would be such an awful thing if any power of self government were denied to the people of the Northwest Territories, but they are anxious to take away about half the territory of the people of the Northwest Territories.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. May I ask my hon. friend without wishing to interrupt him 3597 MARCH 31, 1905 unduly, at what page he quoted from my speech ?
Mr. SCOTT. I have not the page here but I will ask one of my friends to hunt it up.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I will quote it. The hon. gentleman began in the middle of a sentence and did not give the whole quotation.
Mr. SCOTT. Will the hon. gentleman quote the whole sentence ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I will. I had first stated that I believed in handing over the lands to the people of the Northwest absolutely and had pointed out the objection that the right hon. Prime Minister had made to that. Then, I said :
Are they not the people chiefly interested ? May we not rightly conclude that if these lands are handed over to them, they will so deal with them as to best conserve their own interests by forwarding and assisting a vigorous policy of immigration ? May I not further suggest that even if there were any danger— and I do not think there is—it would be the task of good statesmanship to have inserted, if necessary, a provision in this Bill with regard to free homesteads and the prices of those lands, and obtain to it the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories.
My hon. friend began in the middle of a sentence and closed his quotation before the end of it. That is all I desire to call attention to.
Mr. SCOTT. I fail to see what difference there is in the meaning between the portion that my hon. friend has quoted and the portion that I quoted, except the suggestion added that the consent of the Northwest might be asked. And let me tell him that he will very much more readily get the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories to leaving in perpetuation a system of schools which is absolutely satisfactory to Protestant and Catholic alike than he will get their consent to any such invasion of their rights as is involved in his suggestion. On the sentimental question of lands, on the sentimental side of the school question hon. gentlemen opposite or a section of them, headed by the leader of the opposition, are great friends of the Northwest Territories, but when it comes down to substantial things, as I said, the boot is entirely on the other foot. Talk about invading autonomy. Why, Sir, no such radical and substantial invasion of Northwest autonomy as this suggestion involves—as read and repeated again here now by himself—could be imagined by an avowed enemy of provincial rights.
At six o'clock, House took recess.
3597 3598

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.



House in committee on Bill (No. 64) respecting the Central Counties Railway Company.—Mr. Stewart.
On section 16,
Mr. SPROULE. All of this Bill is expunged except the preamble and section 16. Is this railway company already in existence ?
Mr. CAMPBELL. This Bill asks for a great many powers which the Railway Committee did not see fit to give them. They granted them only an extension of time in their old Bill. Clause 16 only gives an extension of time on the charter obtained a few years ago.
Bill reported, read a third time and passed.
Bill (No. 60) to incorporate the Algoma Copper Range Railway Company—Mr. Dyment.


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.
Mr. WALTER SCOTT. When you left the chair at six o'clock, Mr. Speaker, I was commenting upon the violent difference between the purport of the amendment moved by the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) and the direct suggestion contained in his speech. The proposals of the government contemplate a payment in lieu of the public domain to these two new provinces aggregating $750,000 per annum at the beginning ; as the population of the provinces increases, this payment is to increase to an amount in the future of $2,225,000 per annum. The gentleman from Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) objects to these proposals and suggests instead that the public domain should be transferred to the management of the provincial governments, but with the proviso that those provincial governments shall be limited in their management of this public domain, the suggestion being, if I understood my hon. friend accurately, that the homestead lands should continue to be given away as they are now given by this government as free 3599                                       COMMONS                                                                       homestead lands, and that the odd-numbered sections should continue, in accordance with the policy of the present government, to be sold at low settlement prices, probably not greater than $3 per acre. The proposition then of the hon. gentleman is to turn over that land to the provinces, to saddle on these provinces all the expenses of administration and say to them : You must give away free your own property or you must dispose of that land at low settlement prices, as is now done, to induce settlement. Much of this land might be disposed of to great immediate profit if a purely revenue policy was applied. You say to those provinces that they must use their own property for all time to come, not for their own purposes but for the purposes and benefit of the Dominion. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that I am amazed that any man in this House would give voice to such a suggestion, for such a violent invasion of provincial autonomy, as is contained in the suggestion of my hon. friend. It needs no argument to show the difference that might be made in the receipts from this public domain by the application of a different policy. The policy which is being pursued by this government is a settlement policy which yields practically no net revenue. There has been practically no net revenue from these lands in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories since these lands were acquired thirty-five years ago.
But a purely revenue policy might be followed, as it would be right of those provinces, if they were to assume the responsibility and the expense of administering the domain, to follow a purely revenue policy. The probability is that a provincial government, as has been well explained by my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), not having the same inducement, or the same opportunity, to reap indirect profits from the settlement policy of the federal government, would be driven by necessity to adopt a purely revenue policy ; and the suggestion contained in the speech of the hon. leader of the opposition would simply amount to putting a limitation upon the new provinces amounting in the years to come to perhaps scores of millions of dollars.
Mr. Speaker, I dare say that it is hard for the leopard to change his spots, and it is hard for our friends of the Conservative party to do more than express sentimental friendship for the Northwest Territories. It is hard for them to get away from the policy with regard to provincial autonomy which was announced on their behalf last session, when they gave us to understand that they were anxious that the people of the Northwest should be granted autonomy, so that hereafter they should be under the expense of building their own railways and this parliament should not be under the expense of maintaining the 3599 3600 mounted police force. It was suggested in their campaign literature that the reasonably generous money grants voted to the Northwest government were a proof of the gross incompetence and extravagance of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance; and there was the further suggestion from one of their front bench members that provincial autonomy ought to be granted to the Northwest Territories and independent legislatures should be created there and put in charge of the public resources, so that those legislatures might be able to turn handsprings with those resources in favour of the corporations.
Mr. Speaker, there are a number of important details embodied in this provincial autonomy proposal ; and different items in this collection of details gave different members who felt the seriousness of the proposals different difficulties. My hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton) explained to the House a week ago to-night that the school phase of the matter constituted the most serious difficulty for him. I have to confess that another detail constituted a very serious difficulty for me. That was with regard to the Canadian Pacific Railway tax exemption embodied in section 23 of the Bills. This is one feature in these provincial establishment proposals with regard to which I think that less than justice has been meted out to the people of those new provinces. As a matter of fact, as the Prime Minister can testify, and as my fellow Liberal members from the Northwest Territories know, in my opinion the unsettled position of that tax exemption matter was a sufficient reason to justify further delay in granting autonomy to the Territories ; and if act, protest or influence of mine could have prevented the preparation and presentation of these Bills, the Bills would not be before the House. But when I found this Dominion government unanimously, together with the Northwest government and a majority of the Northwest members all determined to proceed now, I had to come to a decision which would either prevent me from exercising any influence in the details of autonomy or agree to forego my own opinion on the point, agree to action now, and take my part in obtaining a settlement of terms and conditions according to the wishes of the electors whom I represent. Even now, were I not satisfied that the financial terms as a whole are so ample and generous as to offset in a great measure the financial handicap meant by the exemption feature, I should deem it my duty to myself and the Northwest Territories to oppose the Bills. I may say further that the overturning by the Supreme Court of the decision given by the Manitoba Court in 1903, does seriously lessen the force of the position I held against creating these provinces at present, and my reluctance is also relieved in some degree by the intimation given by the premier of probable 3601 MARCH 31, 1905 action in the future by this government towards removing the incubus of the exemptions. The mention in the Bills of specific compensation to the provinces on account of the exemptions was deemed unwise for the reason that such mention might complicate such action at a future day. While voting for the Bills, I hold myself free to perhaps move an amendment in some direction in committee to section 23.
One of the questions which had to be considered in connection with this matter was the question of the number of provinces — whether there should be one province, as was contemplated in the request made by the Northwest government and legislature, or more than one province. I may be permitted to say that I was myself quite strnngly in favour of the proposition that only one province should be created ; and even yet, looking at the question purely from the local and territorial point of view, I can see no reason why one government, one legislature, one set of machinery, should not have been sufficient for that territory. But, on the other hand, I was bound to recognize, as the people of the Territories generally have recognized. that the other partners in confederation had a right to an opinion in this matter, and the decision which has been come to, to create two provinces, is, I think, generally satisfactory to the people of the Northwest as a whole. Except for the protest in the letter of Mr. Haultain, which was given a mild echo by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) last evening, I know of no protest raised in the Northwest Territories against the creation of two provinces. Those of us who originally favoured one province were finally compelled to recognize the impossibility of having the whole of that great area erected into a single province while leaving Manitoba in its present size, and the people I represent were unanimously against the extension of the Manitoba boundaries westward. My duty to the people I represent, therefore, seemed to be clear, and I believe that I have done my duty by those people in assenting to the proposition to have two provinces created.  
My hon. friend from Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy), speaking two or three nights ago, voiced an objection against the dividing line which has been selected, the fourth meridian, contending that it should have been farther east, and pointing out that the ex-Minister of the Interior had contended that. the line should have been sixty miles farther east. Well, the question of the dividing line was not looked upon, on my part at least, as being a contentious matter. From my point of view, it would have been better for my province, in one sense, to have had the dividing line brought farther east, because if the financial position of each province were to be the same it would be better for the province the 3601 3602 smaller it was. But on the basis that each should have equal financial strength, each member in giving advice was under great responsibility as regards the line to divide the area. I may say that my own advice was that the present eastern boundary of Alberta should be selected as the dividing line and I still believe that the future will Show that that would have been the most equitable dividing line between the two provinces, looking to their future populations. It must not be forgotten that the province of Alberta will have in the extreme north a large habitable area, the counterpart of which the province of Saskatchewan will not possess. My hon. friend from Calgary suggested that the area covered by the foothills in the Rocky Mountains should, so far as population is concerned, be eliminated. I do not agree with him at all in that regard. There are immense coal deposits in that area. and I have no doubt that in the years to come there will be immense coal-mining towns in the southern part of Alberta in the Rocky Mountains.
A question has been raised regarding the interests to stockmen and the branding of cattle. Well, if there should be any difficulty in that regard, it is one that will be very easily overcome by such a means possibly as the creation of a commission by the two provinces acting conjointly to deal with the administration of brands. But no matter how far east you might put the dividing line. the whole ranching country would not be included in the western province. There have been years when the town of Yorkton, at the extreme east side of the eastern province, was the largest cattle exporting point in the Territories.
In the matter of representation, as well as other non-contentious matters which have been dealt with in the Bill, the people of the Territories have nothing but satisfaction to express. The provision for a census to be taken next year and for a redistribution for the purposes of this House on the basis of such census is entirely satisfactory, as is also in a general way the provision with regard to representation in the Senate.
Now I come to the matter of the compensation for the lands and the financial terms. I may say at once that the financial terms and the compensation for lands command together my very hearty endorsation. I propose to trouble the House with a few details. They will be pretty dry, but I am inclined to think that they have more bearing on the case and should interest the people concerned considerably more than a good deal of the matter that has been presented to the House. Taking the two provinces together the financial terms include a grant for government of $100,000, a per capita subsidy at the rate of 80 cents per head on a basis of 500,000 population—a very generous computation at present—amounting to $400,000 ; an annual payment as 3603 COMMONS debt allowance of $810,750 with a land allowance of $750,000, being a total annual subsidy to the two provinces of $2,060,750. And in addition to that there is a grant in the first five years towards public buildings in the two provinces of $937,500. In some respects these terms are even better than those which were demanded by the people of the Northwest through their legislature and government. We must bear in mind that Mr. Haultain's draft Bill contemplated only one province whereas now we are creating two provinces. The draft Bill asks for a grant for government of $50,000 and we are giving a grant of $100,000. The original draft Bill asked for a debt allowance which would have yielded only $405,375, being calculated on a population of 250,000 for the whole area, whereas the population to-day is estimated at 500,000 and the allowance is just twice the amount in the draft Bill. The claim in the draft Bill with regard to the per capita subsidy was 80 cents up to a limit of population of 1,300,000, that being the limit applied in the case of the province of Ontario, whereas this Bill provides for payment up to a limit of population of 1,600,000. This will mean a difference eventually of $163,200 annually to the advantage of the two provinces. In these respects the proposal of the government is better than the petition made by the people of the Territories through .' their legislature. To put the thing briefly, each province will start with a revenue as follows :
Grant for government.. .. .. .. .. $ 50,000
Per capita subsidy.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 200,000
Debt allowance.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 405,375
Land allowance.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 375,000
When each province has 400,000 population, it will receive :
Grant and debt allowance .. .. .. $ 455,375
Per capita subsidy.. .. .. .. .. 320,000
Land allowance.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 562,500
When its population reaches 800,000, its revenue will be :
Grant and debt allowance.. .. .. $ 455,375
Per capita subsidy.. .. .. .. .. .. 640,000
Land allowance.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 750,000
And when it has 1,200,000 population, it will get :
Sundry items.. .. .. .. .. .. .. $1,095,375
Land allowance.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1,112,500
Analyses show that these revenues will yield at the beginning on the present population $4.10 per capita. When the population reaches 400,000, they will yield $3.33 3603 3604 per capita, when the population amounts to 800,000 they will yield $2.30 per capita, and when it reaches 1,200,000 they will give $1.84 per capiita.
Of course any autonomy proposition is a matter of comparison. There is no such thing as absolute autonomy. We are not professing to grant absolute autonomy to the people of the Northwest Territories. All we are professing to do, and all we are asked to do, is to put the people of the Territories in an equitable position compared With the other provinces. All the Territories asked was that in the matter of local self-government, they should be put on an equal footing with the other provinces. It is therefore necessary to make some comparison between the conditions which these new provinces will enjoy and those enjoyed by the other provinces. I find that the province of New Brunswick during the year 1903—which is the last year for which I was able to obtain reports—had an approximate population of 331,000 and drew a subsidy of $491,361. That province derived from its public domain a gross revenue of $176,570, from which ought to be deducted the expenses of administration ; but taking the gross figures, that province received $2 per head of its population as compared with $3.33 per head which the new provinces will receive when their population is 400,000, and $4.10 which they will be entitled to receive as soon as this Bill goes through. The balance of the revenue of New Brunswick was of course derived from local taxation, such as receipts from licenses, &c.
In the same year the total population of Nova Scotia was 460,000, and it drew a subsidy of $432,807 from the Dominion. From the Crown domain its gross revenue was $681,731, making a total of $1,114,538 or $2.42 per head. whereas the province of Saskatchewan, with the same population, will receive $1,337,875 or $2.90 per head. And, in 1899, four years earlier, Nova Scotia had only a total of $336,000 from the Crown domain, and, from the two sources of subsidy and lands derived only $1.60 per head.
In 1899 Quebec drew a subsidy from the Dominion government of $1,086,714 and derived from the Crown domain $1,029,473, or a total of $2,116,187, which, with an approximate population of 1,600,000 meant $1.32 per head. The province of Saskatchewan, with a population of 1,200,000 will draw $2,207,875, or $1.84 per head ; and, with a population equal to that of Quebec, or 1,600,000, will draw $1.38 per head, as against $1.32 per head in the case of Quebec.
In 1899, Ontario, with an approximate population of 2,180,000 drew as subsidy $1,339,287, and derived from Crown domain $1,302,562, gross, a total of $2,641,849, or $1.20 per head. And, with an equal population Saskatchewan will draw $2,217,875. 3605                 MARCH 31, 1905                        or only $1.10 per head. With Manitoba I will make no comparison, because that province, I think every one admits, is not under fair terms. In 1899, with an approximate population of 250,000, Manitoba drew only $524,281 from lands and subsidies, as against a little over $1,000,000 for Saskatchewan with the same population. For the last two years Manitoba has been selling railway lands and increasing her annual revenue. But that cannot long continue. In 1903, even with these sales of nearly $300,000, Manitoba's total lands and subsidy revenue was $826,175 with a population of 255,000.
I think, that as a whole, these comparisons will show that the terms which have been granted to the people of the Northwest Territories while not over-generous, are fair ; they simply place the people of the Northwest Territories, judging by the conditions of the other provinces, in a fair and equitable position to carry on their affairs of local government.
Attention has already been called to the fact that I gave expression to some opinion in this House on the matter of dealing with the lands when the question of autonomy came to be settled. That is perfectly true. I may be permitted to read again some of the very good doctrine that I then uttered, as it is preserved in 'Hansard.' In 1901 I said :
If the proper principle is adhered to, if the principle of absolute equality be observed, if parliament places the new provinces upon an equitable basis, the local government will be given a proper grant for government, also the per capita subsidy, and be given what may be shown to be due as the debt allowance; and they will be put into possession of the public resources, lands, timber and minerals, in the same way as the other provinces were put into possession of these resources.
I might point out that that is not an absolutely accurate expression. These other provinces were not put in possession, but left in possession of these resources. Very young members sometimes fall into these inaccuracies.
I appeal to the House whether it would not be unwise and impolitic to create provinces on any different basis from that on which other provinces stand. Entire equality is the only sure guarantee of the permanency of the confederation structure.
I think that is a perfectly true sentiment.
Is it not a fair proposition that the citizen of the Northwest should be looked upon in all respects as equal to the citizen of any other province. The proper policy for this parliament to pursue is to make the Northwest citizen in all respects equal to the citizen of any other province of Canada. The subjects that come under the purview of the local government affect the people more closely than those subjects dealt with by this parliament, and the best way to promote the progress of that part of Canada will be to give as much financial ability as possible to the local legis 3605 3606 latures to deal with their local affairs, so that education, public works, and all local services may be efficiently and adequately dealt with. My opinion is that by no other means can parliament do as much at one stroke to promote the progress and the true welfare, not of the Territories alone but of Canada as a whole, as by placing the main portion of Western Canada in a strong, efficient, capable position as concerns its local government.'
It will be observed that the burden of my statement related not so much to the question whether the lands should be transferred to local management as to the question whether these local governments should be given an equitable financial status in comparison with the local governments in the other provinces. And that object is achieved in these propositions presented by the government, not precisely, as I then urged, by actual transfer of the lands, but by a method, which, I am convinced, is financially even better for the local governments. I was a strong believer in the principle of the ownership of the lands by the province, or at all events, that the province should have the right of the beneficial interest in them. I am a strong believer in that principle still, and it is that principle that is practically assented to in this measure. But I may say, that in 1901, when I made that statement, and even later, the principle found no general acceptance in this House or amongst any of the people east of the great lakes ; and my main purpose in uttering these words here was to try and impress upon the people of eastern Canada the necessity of recognizing the right of possession or, at least, of the beneficial interest in the lands of the Northwest Territories by the people of these Territories. Now, this House has already heard the very clear and ample statements made on this subject by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) and by my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver). They have made arguments which in my opinion are unanswerable. There has been no genuine attempt on the part of hon. gentlemen opposite to answer them. At all events those arguments were sufficient to convert me to the proposition that it is absolutely better for the people of those new provinces to have the lands administered here, so long as the provinces obtain a sufficient sum in lieu of lands to place them in an equitable position to carry on their educational system, their public works, and, generally, their local affairs. And I am the more confirmed in that view by the expressions which have fallen from hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster), who, we assume, is the chief financial spokesman for the Conservative party in this House, gave expression on the 15th of March, to the following with regard to the financial terms embodied in these Bills. Addressing the Minister of Finance, he said :
His financial terms will bring upon him every province in the Dominion. Take it on any ground you like, and by the proportions which you have meted out to the Northwest, you have gone beyond the financial conditions of every other province of this Dominion.
What did the hon. gentleman mean ? There is no difference in the item, grant for government. No one will contend that that is a better grant than the other provinces are drawing. There is no substantial difference in the per capita subsidy. There is just one province, Nova Scotia, up to the present time, exceeding the limit of 400,000 souls. Their population now is 460,000. But, except in that case there is no difference at the present moment in the per capita arrangement made for these provinces and the arrangement at present in existence with other provinces. There is no difference in the debt account ;—no other suggestion would be listened to with regard to the debt. The only meaning that can be attached to the hon. gentleman's words is that too much money is being paid to these provinces in lieu of their public lands. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) gave expression to this sentiment on March 23rd :
I would like to point out, as a member from the province of Quebec, that it would be a great calamity indeed if the Minister of Justice and the government did not arrive at a conclusion that it is necessary to modify that section which has regard for instance to lands.... As to us in the piovince of Quebec, why, Sir, we have twenty-five million acres of good land for settlement, which we are trying to settle, which we are doing our best to settle. Instead of devoting all our energies and all our moneys and public resources to settle the lands in our own province, under the terms of the constitution, we are going to pay this enormous indemnity, these millions of dollars to keep a hold on the lands of the North-west.
It is evident from these expressions that our hon. friends in the Conservative party, if they had the making of these proposals, would not have granted as good financial terms as we have now, would not have granted the amounts which are stated in the Bills to be paid to these new provinces. Now I find, in looking up the public records, that in pursuit of a proper and wise policy of settlement and development, this government has derived practically no profit from the Crown lands in the Northwest Territories since the Dominion first acquired them. From 1870 to 1880 the administration of Crown lands in Manitoba and the Northwest cost $1,244,499.34 in excess of receipts. In the years 1881-1890 the accounts show $753,576.53 in excess of expenditure. In the years from 1891 to 1900 there was again an excess of expenditure amount ing to $184,398.95. In the years from 1901 up to 1904 there has been an excess of expenditure over receipts of $11, 733. 49. Taking the whole period from 1870 up to date, therefore, the administration of lands in the Northwest has cost this Dominion $687, 3607 3608 055.25 in excess of receipts, to which must be added refunds amounting to $329,950, making a total of $1,017,005.25. But if we take into account certain lands granted in redemption of scrip issued for rebellion services, half-breed claims and other purposes, amounting to $3,758,490, there is shown a favourable balance of $2,741,484.75, or an annual average of $78,328.13. As has already been stated, the Dominion profit from the policy so wisely pursued has to be looked for in other quarters,—from the customs and other receipts and from the generally improved conditions throughout Canada. The total revenues of Canada have increased in the last seven or eight years by about 100 per cent. In 1896 the total revenue was $35,000,000 or $36,000,000, last year the total revenue was over $70,000,000. We have been spending money in administering the lands, not for the purpose of making direct profit, but, on the other hand, we have brought about an exceedingly favourable result, in seven or eight years doubling the total revenue of this Dominion.
The particular benefit to the provinces in the plan that is being adopted as opposed to the plan of transferring the public domain to the local governments, is found in the fact that we have from the start an assured revenue ; whereas, if the lands were transferred to the local governments, and if no change of policy were put into effect by them, they would have great difficulties, in the initial years of their provincial experience, in getting enough revenue to carry on the affairs of government, Moreover, their financial position is assured in the far future years, fifty or one hundred years hence, as long as this confederation lasts ; whereas, on the other hand, and in the case of some of the other provinces fifty or one hundred years hence, the Crown domain cannot be worth very much to those provinces so far as concerns their revenues. The principle of the provincial right to a beneficial interest in the land is recognized in the most substantial manner, and I am pleased to be able to say, because I believe it to be the truth, that the people of the Northwest are emi nently satisfied. I venture to say that there is scarcely a man in the Northwest, who is not actuated by partisan sentiment, but has stated, either to himself or to his neighbours, that this is a better proposition than would be the proposition to turn over the lands to local management. I may be permitted to give to the House some actual expressions of opinion on this point. So far as possible, I will not give partisan opinions. The 'Standard' newspaper of Regina, published by a gentleman of independent tendencies, neither Conservative or Liberal, since the publication of the terms of these Bills, has written :
It is difficult, at the present stage, to pass judgment upon the terms proposed in the Autonomy Bills. It is, however, quite evident that 3609 MARCH 31, 1905 the Dominion will retain control of the Territorial public lands. Perhaps, under the circumstances, this is best for all concerned. The two great needs of the new provinces at first, will be population and railway development. To secure the former, the inducement of free homesteads must continue to be offered, and to secure railway extension, lands, or the proceeds of lands are usually granted. Thus, we see, that if the new provinces owned the unallotted lands they should have practically to give them away. At the same time the cost of land administration would have to be borne. The duties of the immigration Department, too, would follow the land. The new provinces could not be easily equipped for these onerous duties. It took the federal authorities many years to bring immigration work up to its present status. They have it now in a state of high efficiency, with experienced agents at work in various parts of the world. It is important that the good work shall continue to go on undisturbed. A handsome equivalent, either in cash or in interest- bearing credit, will suit the new provinces much better than the extra responsibilities which are involved in the ownership and control of the public domain.
The circumstances of the old provinces were altogether different. They had railways and population long before confederation, and they also had the lands and their respective. land departments in full organization.
By all means let Saskatchewan and Alberta have each an adequate allowance ' in lieu of lands,' but let parliament take due heed of the full import of the term ' adequate ' as it applies in this instance.
I do not think, Mr. Speaker, I could find any better authority on this subject than Mr. Haultain. In that famous letter of protest which Mr. Haultain directed to the Prime Minister, and which, it strikes me, was merely a formal protest in that regard, he stated at the conclusion :
But I am not unwilling to admit that an immediate income, increasing with population and certain in amount, may in the long run prove quite as satisfactory as any probable net income resulting from local administration of the public domain.
Now, I am going to read to the House a portion of a letter which came to me from a gentleman in Regina, dated February 24th, three days after these propositions had been presented to the House and had been reported in Regina. This letter was not sent me for publication, or with the idea that its contents would ever reach any person but myself. I think a letter of this kind is the best sort of evidence to show the actual situation as it struck the gentleman who wrote the letter :  
So far as the feeling here is concerned, it could hardly be stronger in favour of the government's propositions.
Such pronounced Conservatives as C. E. D. Wood, S. B. Jamieson, W. B. Pocklington, Norman Mackenzie and James Brown voluntarily expressed not only their surprise at the generosity of the terms but their complete satisfaction with them. Mayor Laird stated to me that as to the lands what the people wanted 3609 3610 was money and if they received from the Dominion as much as they would realize by handling the lands themselves there would not be the slightest complaint.
All these gentlemen whose names are here contained are well known Conservatives. Mayor Laird is a gentleman who took a very prominent part in the campaign of last fall.
Mr. SPROULE. What is the name of the writer?
Mr. SCOTT. I have not the slightest objection to sending the letter across to my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule), but I would rather not publish the name of the writer. I think I have advanced a fair measure of proof that as far as concerns the treatment given to the provinces in connection with public domain it is treatment that is eminently satisfactory to the people chiefly interested.
I come now to a subject which is perhaps more contentious in its nature, although I am obliged to repeat again that I think that a totally disproportionate amount of attention has been given to what is only a phase of the educational matter. The matter of education is one of very prime importance, the most important matter to the people of any province and the most important subject that could possibly be dealt with by any parliament or local legislature. But the matter that is being debated in the House is the narrowest kind of an issue as between the proposition of the government and the proposition, as it is explained by himself, of the hon. member for Carleton. However, before actually taking up the educational clause, let me make another brief reference. The year of confederation, 1867, chances to be also the year in which I was ushered into this world and it will not be a matter of surprise, therefore, that some of the negotiations and some of the events that occurred prior to that time are not very definitely within my recollection. I was thrown into circumstances which did not conduce to a great deal of research or study historical or constitutional. Probably there are many people in Canada, in Ontario, in Manitoba and in the Northwest Territories who may be like myself in this regard. We have had it in our minds, from what we have seen in the newspapers and from the sentiments we have heard expressed by people around us that the responsibilty for the insertion of the clause protecting the rights of minorities in the Canadian constitution, the British North America Act, was upon the Roman Catholic hierarchy, that they had in some way engineered that provision into the Confederation Act and that it was probably only the Roman Catholic people of the Dominion of Canada who were interested in the observance of that principle. Or, to state it the other way, we have had the impression that the Protestants in Canada were and 3611 COMMONS ought to be antagonistic to the observance of that provision for the protection of minority rights which is embodied in the British North America Act. I have to admit that it came with a kind of a shock to me in the first instance to hear that it was not the Roman Catholic hierarchy but the Protestant people of Canada who stood up for the insertion of that protection in the constitution. The House has heard the indisputable proof of that fact which was given by my hon. friend the First Minister in his speech in this House on the 21st of February and again in another speech on the 22nd March of this year. But, perhaps, it will do no harm if I quote from another gentleman for whom some hon. members on the other side of the House may have a higher regard. The late leader of the Conservative party, Sir Charles Tupper, referred to this matter in a speech delivered in this House in 1896. Sir Charles Tupper was one of the fathers of confederation who took part in the negotiations which resulted in confederation, and he speaks as a man having knowledge. He said:
I say with knowledge that but for the consent to the proposal of Mr. Galt, who represented especially the Protestants of Quebec, and but for the assent of that conference to the proposal of Mr. Gait, that in the Confederation Act should be embodied a clause which would protect the right of minorities, whether Cathoics or Protestants, in this country, there would have been no confederation. I draw attention to the fact that when you contrast our present position with that which Canada. occupied when Mr. Geo. Brown and Sir John A. Macdonald felt impelled, by the necessities of the case, by the condition of their country, to seek some change in its constitution which would relieve it from the terrible war of religion and race that had been maintained in old Canada down to that time, it is significant that but for the clause protecting minorities, the measure of confederation would not have been accomplished, and no man can say how humiliating might not have been the position either of Canada or any of the smaller provinces if that great work had not been accomplished.  
I find that at that same time the hon. gentleman who at present represents North   Toronto (Mr. Foster) in this House said of that provision that it was the sine qua non l of the Protestant minority of their entrance 1 into confederation. I may just at this point   read a little further from the speech made; by the then Minister of Finance:  
And so the first paragraph—
Referring to section 93 of the British North America Act.
—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 may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the union goes into. operation.  
3611 3612
The only change which took place in that clause was this—
That is the change that took place in London.
—that instead of its being confined to both Canadas, it was broadened to include the provinces which entered confederation. . . . It was the sine qua non of the Protestant minority of their entrance into confederation.
There cannot be any doubt, if we accept that statement, that this provision which was put into the British North America Act referred, not only to the two Canadas, but to all provinces entering confederation, and, I take it, to all provinces that will enter confederation in the future.
Mr. SPROULE. May I ask the hon. gentleman this question: In the original resolutions that were moved, and upon which the British North America Act was founded, is that provision not strictly confined to On tario and Quebec ?
Mr. SCOTT. That is just exactly Mr. Foster's statement. This was the original resolution adopted in Quebec :
Saving the rights and privileges which Catholic or Protestant minorities in both Canadas may possess.
And he went on to say that the change which took place in the clause was this, that instead of its being confined to both the Canadas, it was broadened to include all the provinces that might enter confederation. 0f the fact, therefore, that this provision was inserted for Protestant interests. and not for Roman Catholic interests, there cannot be any successful dispute. It was not inserted for the Protestants of Quebec alone, but it was inserted for what was expected to be the Protestant minority in the territory lying west of the great lakes. Parliament, in 1870, in creating the province of Manitoba, provided for minority rights in separate schools, not for Catholic interests in Manitoba, but for what were believed to be Protestant interests. There was just as much expectation that the minority in Manitoba would be a Protestant minority as that it would be a Roman Catholic minority. Let any gentleman read the 1875 debates. read the debate that took place when the Northwest Territories' Act was passed, and it must be plain to him, if he has an open, impartial mind, that the parliament of Can ada in 1875 provided, not specially for Roman Catholic minorities, but provided for expected Protestant minorities in the North west Territories. At all events, let any gentleman read these 1875 debates impaiu tially, and he cannot possibly deny that Blake, Mackenzie, Sir John Macdonald and Sir Alexander Campbell—I believe that none of these gentlemen was a Roman Catholic; each one of them bears an honoured name, and each one of them was a Protestant—supported the separate school clause in the Northwest Territories' Act, 3613 MARCH 31, 1905 having clearly in mind that he was legislating. not temporarily, but for all time to come.
And George Brown who did not support the legislation ; what did he say?
The moment this Act passed and the Northwest became part of the union, they came under the Union Act, and under the provisions with regard to separate schools.
In the face of that language if the late Mr. Brown were still alive and had a seat in this House and were confronting the legislation which we have before us, what would he do? Support the protection to minority rights ? Certainly. That therefore should I do even though I be as violent an opponent of the separate school as was Mr. Brown.
Take the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy ; he proposed in the year 1894 in this House to do what was the duty of any one who had a seat in this House, and believed that the separate school in the Northwest Territories was an iniquity, an impropriety or an injury to the Northwest Territories. He proposed that they should be abolished so far as this House was concerned. He proposed to leave the people of the Northwest Territories free to abolish separate schools if they wished to do so, and one of the very reasons he urged was that if the separate school provision was not abolished until the moment when the Territories entered the union as provinces then it would be impossible ever to abolish separate schools in that Territory.
But looking at the whole history of the matter, we must remember that it was for Protestant minorities as well as for Roman Catholic minorities that this protection was placed in the British North America Act. I want to speak with perfect sincerity. This is a serious question especially for those of us who come from the Northwest Territories. I want to say, speaking as a Protestant, not as a member of the minority, that in view of the history of this matter I would be ashamed of myself as a Protestant and ashamed of the Protestant majority if we would wish now, merely because we have the power and because it is no longer our rights that will be affected, to use that power, to deny the very thing which we as Protestants stood out for when a Protestant minority was affected. The principle is there clear and distinct to me. as I think it must be to every man with an impartial mind.
It is urged against the Liberal party to-day that they are taking a course contrary to their course in 1896 in the Manitoba case. I do not think so. In 1896, as the right hon. gentleman who to-day fills the position as leader of this House expressed it :
The government is proposing a course which is a violent wrench of the principles on which our constitution is based.
3613 3614
Was he speaking truly or falsely? Was the course proposed in 1895 and 1896 a violent wrench? I think that nobody who understands the situation, especially nobody living in the country west of the great lakes and familiar with the sentiment of Manitoba, could deny that he was telling the truth. It was such a violent wrench that if that action had not been prevented by the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) the chances are that confederation would have been split into its original fragments. The hon. gentlemen opposite were taking a different course from what they are taking to-day. but then as now they were forgetting that constitutions are made for the provinces, not provinces for the constitution. The right hon. gentleman who now leads the House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was standing then for respect for established rights. the established right of the people of the province to have such a school system as they saw fit to have within its constitution. He is doing the same to-day, he is standing to-day for respect for the established rights of minorities in that area of country which is going to constitute these new provinces. Is he proposing any wrench of the principle of the constitution as the government of 1896 did? Why Sir, he is proposing the very opposite as has been conclusively proven by the extracts from speeches which I have read to the House. The principle of protection for minority rights is there in the constitution, and no impartial man, no man who wishes to be fair, can disregard the existence of that principle in the constitution ; whether it is there by letter of law, whether the letter of the constitution would hear this interpretation, or not, there can be no successful denial of the fact that in providing as these Bills do, for the continuation to the minorities of exactly the rights they are enjoying when they enter this confederation as provinces, the government is purely and simply regarding the spirit of the Confederation Act.
There has been a good deal of cavil upon the point as to whether that area should be considered as a province before its entry or as a Territory. No person will deny or seek to deny that it is only a Territory but after all the human beings on the areas out there are just the same as they would be if they were in provinces, and their interests and conditions are practically not different at all from the conditions under the same institutions if the areas were provinces instead of being territories. On this point perhaps it will not be out of place for me to quote from a gentleman whose authority is very considerably respected at least by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule). Mr. Haultain said, speaking in the legislature at Regina in 1900 :
We have been created what I may be allowed to call a political entity. We are for purposes 3615 COMMONS of self-government as separate a part of the Dominion as any of the provinces. We have a legislature and form of government bearing a. very close analogy to that which exists in the provinces, and in every respect, therefore, except in respect of the necessary means for carrying on those institutions, we stand in very much the same position as a province, and we may for present purposes be fairly called 'an integral part of the Dominion'.
Mr. SPROULE. What were the present purposes ?
Mr. SCOTT. (reading).
We have been created what I may be allowed to call a political entity.
Of course that is for present purposes.
Mr. SPROULE. I have no doubt he was speaking of rights which were quite within their power and which they were entitled to exercise ; for present purposes they were to all intents and purposes a province, but that would not give them the same rights as if they were really provinces.
Mr. SCOTT. As I have something more to say on this point later on I will not take up further time at this moment.
A great deal of discussion has taken place throughout the country and I am afraid there has been a good deal of misconception with regard to this school matter. I am afraid that some of it has not been entirely honest misconception. I am afraid that some public journals in this country are not very careful to create a proper conception with regard to this subject. In one paper we have a motto appearing day after day.


Articles and inflammatory cartoons under that motto have led the innocent citizen to believe that the proposals of the government are entirely in the teeth of this motto. I say that every item proposed by the government is in strict observance of these principles. Where is there to be found any religious inequality in the proposition of the government. Read over the resolutions; are Roman Catholic minorities especially singled out? The protection is for Protestant as well as for Roman Catholic. It may be that the Roman Catholics as a whole in the Northwest are in the minority but that is not the interpretation of this section ; it is the minority in each public school district that is concerned. It may be that in time to come there will be—there may be now for all I know—as many Protestant minorities as Catholic minorities in the two provinces. At the present moment I believe the majority of the Roman Catholics in the country are in groups. They do not constitute minorities. Provincial rights, as I have already said, 3615 3616 is a comparative term. I believe—and the large majority of the people in the Northwest Territories that I have heard from since these proposals were brought down also believe—that provincial rights are being granted to them in the fullest sense in which they are enjoyed by any other province of Canada. A common school—that is just what we are asked to vote for in this proposition; a non-sectarian school, absolutely under state control. A free west—that is, a reasonably free west; just as free as Ontario. Talk about throttling the west! Then two-thirds of the people of this Dominion live in provinces which are throttled, are they feeling very badly? They have in Ontario, I understand, what are called church schools, and I believe they have church schools in Quebec also. Are they feeling badly ? If this proposition were placing a severe hardship on the people of the west, it is not as severe a hardship as has been placed on the people of these other provinces, because it is giving the west, not an ecclesiastical school, not a church school, but a free common school under state control. At all events, two-thirds of the people of this Dominion are living in provinces not more free, not so free,—provinces that have always been looked upon as being autonomous provinces, and apparently doing very well. The Bill, I believe to be in strict harmony with that motto: 'A free west, a common school, provincial rights and religious equality.' These provinces will be as free as any other province if we are to regard and apply the principles of the British North America Act—I for one believe more free, because, by section 16 of the Bill, we restrict and diminish the full and complete application of section 93 of the British North America Act.
Autonomy, as I said before. is a comparative term. As was pointed out very well by the hon. Postmaster General last evening, there are no two provinces of Canada with the same constitution. I venture to say that the average citizen of the Territory, if he had been asked if he would accept the autonomy that British Columbia has would have said: No, the limit of population would not suit either of these new provinces. If asked if he would accept the autonomy that Manitoba has, he would say certainly not, notwithstanding that Manitoba is absolutely free in regard to the school matter, because the financial terms given to Manitoba would be entirely unsatisfactory to the new provinces. For the same reason as in the case of British Columbia he would not be prepared to accept the autonomy which the maritime provinces possess. Make the suggestion to him that he accept the autonomy which Quebec has, and what would he say? Quebec is limited in the matter of language; it is obliged to recognize officially two languages, and it is limited in other respects. He would not ac 3617 MARCH 31, 1905 cept that. The average citizen of the Territories, if asked to accept the autonomy of the province of Ontario, would at first blush say yes; but some of us on inquiring a little further would say: Certainly not; there is a limitation in Ontario with regard to schools which we do not want to apply in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and in these Bills it is not applied.
Mr. SPROULE. Might I ask the hon. gentleman one question ? I understood him to say that the Northwest provinces are getting exactly the same provincial autonomy as the other provinces. Is it not a fact that every province in confederation today, except Ontario and Quebec, has the absolute right to legislate with regard to education ?
Mr. SCOTT. I have endeavoured to explain to the House very clearly my position on that point—that there are no two provinces in Canada with exactly the same measure of autonomy, and probably the people of the Northwest Territories would not be willing to accept the exact position occupied by any other single province in Canada. I believe that the provisions of these Bills will place the Northwest Territories in a position as nearly as possible of absolute and satisfactory average equality with the other provinces of Canada. I know that the hon. member for East Grey, in the depth of his sincerity, would like to have a contrary impression created. I said a moment ago that there were some misconceptions prevailing, and we have heard some of them voiced in this House. I am going to read to the House a communication which I have received which puts those misconceptions a little more bluntly than we hear them put in this House, but it expresses the same spirit. This letter reached me this week. To satisfy my hon. friend from East Grey, I will say at the beginning that I am not going to give the name.
Mr. SPROULE. Then you should not read it. If a letter is quoted in this House it should be laid on the table. I appeal to the Speaker if I am not correct.
Mr. BRODEUR. The hon. gentleman is entirely mistaken. It is only official documents which are to be laid on the table, not private letters of members.
Mr. SPROULE. A member has no right to quote anything in this House that he is not willing to give the authorship of.
Mr. SCOTT. In this particular case there need be no dispute, because there was no name on the letter. It was signed 'A Lover of Freedom,' and is as follows:
Walter Scott, Esq., M.P., Ottawa.
Dear Sir,—It is with a feeling of shame I read your letter from a clipping sent me from Ontario addressed to A. Banner, of Maple Creek, 3617 3618 and I must say I feel ashamed of those representatives of the citizens of Canada who purpose voting for such an infamous measure as the separate school clause makes, of the Autonomy Bill, with which it is the purpose of the Laurier government to shackle for all time to come the new provinces of Canada. Rather than vote for such a measure I would drown myself or commit suicide in some way, or flee to some place of exile or desert island where no self-respecting man could look me in the face. Have you no eyes ? Have you never read history ? Are you not conversant with the current newspaper news—
The writer, I suppose, must have been reading the Toronto 'News.'
—or have you not any conscience, that for the sake of party politics or for the sake of the emoluments and patronage of the party in power, you propose to shackle the poor ignorant Roman Catholics of these new provinces with the fetters of Romish priesthood, and keep them in ignorance for all time to come ? Look at the peasants of Russia, and of Spain and of Italy and Mexico and Cuba, and all the petty republics of South America where the hierarchy of Rome have the ruling of the people. Look even at your own province of Quebec, and at Manitoba, before it was set free by the Liberal party ; and behold the result of the power of Rome in educational matters; and with all that before your eyes, you still declare that, as far as your vote will do so, you will put shackles on the Catholic element who do not know enough to resist, as well as the coming generations of Catholics for all time to come, in a territory ruled by British freemen, and in extent nearly half a continent.
An hon. MEMBER. That sounds like Sproule.
Mr. SCOTT (reading):
—Why are the Russian peasantry so ignorant ? Is it not because it suits the purposes of the Greek and Roman churches to keep them in ignorance ? And what is true of Russia is also true of every country in the world where the hierarchy of Rome holds sway. You have a Roman Catholic premier in power at Ottawa, and a servile majority at his back whom he purposes to control in the interests of the hierarchy, and is making an attempt to shackle the greater part of the territory of Canada as it has done the laity of the Roman Catholic population of Ontario and Quebec. Be warned in time. Do not permit your name to go down in history as one who was a party to such infamy and calamity to a people that ought to be free. Be a man, do the right thing, and let the Roman Catholic hierarchy go to the devil where they belong.
Mr. INGRAM. Is this one of the hon. gentleman's electors ?
Mr. SCOTT. I am proud indeed to say that that letter was not posted from my constituency, and for the benefit of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule), I will add that I absolve him entirely from any connection with that letter, I merely give it as an expression of a spirit which unfortunately is evident sometimes in this 3619 COMMONS House, though not quite so plainly expressed as it is in this communication, and as a proof of the entire ignorance and misconception under which are labouring the people who are complaining against this measure. What we are legislating for is a common school—not a church or ecclesiastical school—but a common school system to be entirely governed and controlled by the people of those provinces through their legislatures and administrations. I have received a very large number of communications, petitions and protests of various sorts in connection with this measure, from which I ask permission to read just two or three extracts. Here is a resolution which came to me from the Orangemen of Maple Creek :
That the Orangemen of Maple Creek feel it incumbent upon them to protest in the most earnest manner against any question of separate schools being established in the Territories, and, believing that the great majority of the population of the Territories are against the idea, earnestly entreat the premier of the Northwest assembly and his co-delegate at Ottawa, and also the members of the Dominion parliament for the Territories to fight the introduction of separate schools even to the refusal of provincial autonomy with that as a condition thereof.
But, Mr. Speaker, we are not proposing to introduce separate schools. What we are proposing to do is to perpetuate conditions which exist in that area at present, and which have given, and are giving, entire satisfaction to practically everybody in that country. I have a communication from an important hotly, the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Territories, the third clause of which is as follows:
This is a scheme which will provoke discord and defeat one of the main purposes of public school education, which is the unification of all classes. A confederation cannot be sound in which the elements lack the first essential of harmony.
Well. this system which we are perpetuating by the proposed legislation is one which has been in force in the Territories for fourteen years, and I have yet to learn that it has caused any discord. The first essential of harmony therefore must be in that system, or discord would have broken out under its administration at some time or other during the fourteen years it has been in force. Another petition very largely signed contains the following :
We, the undersigned citizens, respectfully urge you to use all influencc you may have against the separate school clause in the Bill now before parliament.
The majority of these petitions are directed against the original clauses, which some of us, at all events, claim were not identical with those now before the House. In a petition, dated March 7th, from the Ministerial Association of Winnipeg, the second clause reads as follows :
3619 3620
Whereas, the rights of the minority are sufficiently protected by the British North America Act in any particular case.
But we are certainly not increasing that protection by this measure. If we should let the British North America Act, section 93, apply mechanically or automatically, we would not be giving any less protection to the rights of the minorities, but would leave the matter in a position of uncertainty, and there can be no doubt that where you leave uncertainty you give opportunities to agitate, and you create, not only the possibility, but the strongest likelihood, that the first years of the new provinces. when the attention of their legislatures should be directed to more profitable things, will be misused in an agitation which my hon. friend from East Grey might take some opportunity in helping to raise for the abolition of that remnant of the separate school which does exist in the Territories.
Mr. SPROULE. I should think that the statement I made would have exonerated me from any such charge. What I asked was that the right be left with the provinces to deal with the school question as they saw fit. I did not ask that they should do away with separate schools or introduce separate schools, but be left free to deal with them as a matter pertaining to themselves, about which we are not concerned, and in which I do not propose to meddle.
Mr. SCOTT. I do not know that it will be possible for me to arrive at an exact understanding with my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule).
Mr. SPROULE. That depends on your mental capacity.
Mr. SCOTT. I would ask my hon. friend whether anybody in the Territories communicated with him in regard to this matter before he commenced communicating with the people out there?
Mr. SPROULE. Yes, several of them.
Mr. SCOTT. I understand my hon. friend to contend that he has had no part in endeavouring to engineer an agitation in the Territories. That is a statement which I accept.
Mr. SPROULE. The hon. gentleman asked me a specific question, and I gave him a specific answer.
Mr. SCOTT. I accepted last evening the frank statement of my hon. friend that he had not written people in the Northwest Territories urging upon them that this was the time for them to get rid of their separate schools.
Mr. SPROULE. And I adhere to that still.
Mr. SCOTT. I do not know that it is of any consequence to anybody that I should pursue this matter further with my hon. 3621 MARCH 31, 1905 friend, but the fact remains that there were people in the province of Ontario who, in last January, before these Bills were brought down, were writing to people in the Northwest Territories; and if I had the file of the Calgary 'Herald' here—which is a Conservative organ—1 could read a very strong article advising the people of Ontario to mind their own business and not meddle in this affair of the people of the Territories, who are well able to look after it themselves. But to continue with these communications and resolutions; here is a resolution which was adopted by a public meeting at Moosejaw :
That the school system now in force in the Territories was brought in force by our local legislature and is giving entire satisfaction, and we respectfully urge that the new provinces be given full control of educational affairs.
Mr. SPROULE. Hear, hear.
Mr. SCOTT. It is evident, on the face of it, that right in that clause there is a misconception. As a matter of fact, this legislation was not brought into existence by the local legislature, but initiated by this parliament. Practically all the protests and communications and complaints which have been raised are based upon misconceptions, though not of so violent a character, I must admit, as those which exist in the mind of the writer of the letter who signed himself 'a lover of freedom.' And a good deal of that misconception exists apparently in the city of Toronto. A gentleman who for many years held, first in Manitoba and then in the Territories, the important position of superintendent of education, spoke at a recent public gathering in Toronto—a gathering held as a protest against the legislation submitted to this House. I refer to Dr. Goggin. I read from the report in the Toronto 'News' that he said :
I take it that we meet here to-night as a body of Liberals, intent upon setting before our party our views on this subject, whether they be right or wrong. That I believe is one of the qualifications of a good party man.
We have all had experience with 'Old Liberal,' 'Disgusted Liberal,' 'Long- standing Liberal,' and various other classes of Liberal who come to the front during a general election or at other periods of excitement. In my own hearing the name of Mark Twain has been used twice in the course of this debate. On one occasion Mr. Clemens, more widely known by his pen-name ' Mark Twain,' was inspecting a group of statuary in the house of a friend. One statue was that of a young woman coiling her hair. The great humorist had a puzzled expression, and, when asked what he thought of the statue he said, 'Well, it isn't true to nature : she ought to have a mouth full of hairpins.' We in the west have been acquainted with Dr. Goggin for many years. but no matter how full of politi 3621 3622 cal hairpins he was even his best friend would fail to recognize him from this description given of him in the Toronto ' News.' We have always known him as a very estimable, a very genial, but a very thoroughgoing Conservative. I entirely refuse to believe that Dr. Goggin is correctly reported. I venture to say that the Toronto 'News,' pursuing its very frequent policy of misrepresentation, has incorrectly reported Dr. Goggin, in representing him as belonging to the class of 'Disgusted Liberals.' Dr. Goggin later on referred to Mr. Haultain's draft Bill :
I would like to say a few words in regard to this draft Bill. Certain things are asked for, including provincial control of public lands, but they make no demand for the incorporation of any provisions for separate schools under the new constitution. They do not say one word about it. Nor at the elections did Mr. Haultain say one word about it. No ! They trusted to the British North America Act.
I will make some further reference to that later on :
Sir Wilfrid Laurier has said that he did not think there was much to be accomplished by discussion. We know where Mr. Haultain was, and we know where we were. That is what he said. I might ask, in view of subsequent events, whether he knew where he was or not. One of our objects in coming here tonight is to help him to discover where he ought to be. We know that the people of the Dominion were not consulted; neither were the people of the west. We know that Mr. Haultain and his colleagues were not consulted, we know that neither the Minister of Interior nor the Minister of Finance were consulted. Do you know whether anybody else at Ottawa was consulted ? Have you heard whether the Papal Legato was consulted? . . . Are you people of the west to be trampled upon by him? It is as a western man that I appeal to you to-night and especially to the Liberal party, to let its voice be heard in no uncertain sound.
And we had one of the representatives for Toronto rising in this House one night a  week ago, at white-heat of indignation because the Minister of Finance had stated that some religious considerations were being imported into this discussion. Is there no religious suggestion in the statement I have just read, no insinuation calculated to excite the prejudices and passions of the Protestant people of Ontario ? Let me say a word with regard to what has been discussed a great deal—' We know that Mr. Haultain and his colleagues were not consulted.' Now Mr. Haultain in his letter has stated that he was consulted in regard to everything except the matter of education.
Mr. SPROULE. Hear, hear—the important one.
Mr. SCOTT. I may remind the hon. member for East Grey that Mr. Haultain came here just after New Years and was here almost continually until the 21st of February when this measure was brought down. 3623 COMMONS There were consultations going on nearly every day. If there were no discussions between the members of the government and the representatives of the Northwest Territories with regard to education whose was the fault ? Was there any prohibition resting upon Mr. Haultain against bringing the matter of education into the conference ? I will point out to you a little later, Mr. Speaker, that in not bringing up the matter of education Mr. Haultain was doing exactly what he had been doing in the Northwest Territories. For years he had been discussing this autonomy matter, and yet until the time of the general election last October you will fail to find any reference he ever made in any discussion to the subject of education. If there were no long discussions between him and the members of the government with regard to education, I venture to say that Mr. Haultain and his colleague are at least as much to blame as are the members of the government.
Now I revert to a matter that I mentioned a little while ago,—I will have something to say with regard to Dr. Goggin a little later—whether this Territory should be treated in these measures, as a territory or a province. There has been a good deal of discussion coming from the other side of the House on that point. I find that the opinion from Mr. Christopher Robinson, K.C., read by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) had that idea in it—in fact that idea was the basis of Mr. Robinson's opinion. Mr. Robinson said :
There is not in any part of the Northwest Territories as a province any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools possessed by any class of persons, created by the province, or existing at such union.
Mr. Haultain, too, in his letter, remarks in reference to this matter :
The first subsection of section 16 of the Bill is drawn in direct contradiction of this principle. It is an attempt to create a province retroactively. It declares territorial school laws passed under the restrictions imposed by the Northwest Territories Act to be provincial school laws. It clothes laws imposed by the federal parliament with all the attributes of laws voluntarily made by a free province. It ignores territorial limitations and conditions. It denies facts and abolishes time. It declares what was not to have been and seeks to perpetuate as existing what never was or is.
Very definite language. Hon. gentlemen on the other side have been using similar language. They have been fairly 'rampaging' through the fields of ridicule so far as concerns that feature of the Autonomy Bill which proposes to treat these areas as provinces. I do not know that it would be any harm just to look for a moment at what was the demand of the Northwest Territories in this regard if we take the view expressed by my hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) that the draft Bill of Mr. Haultain constituted the demand of the people of the 3623 3624 Northwest Territories. Section 2 of the draft Bill is as follows :—my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) I hope, will pay particular attention to this, for he also had something to say about the ridiculousness of treating that area as a province. The name of the province is left blank in the draft Bill, but I supply the name:
On, from and after the said first day of January, 1903, the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, except those parts thereof which are in terms made or by reasonable intendment may be held to be, specially applicable to or to affect only one or more but not the whole of the provinces under that Act composing the Dominion, and except so far as the same may be varied by this Act, shall be applicable to the province of Saskatchewan in the same way and to the same extent as they apply to the several provinces of Canada and as if the province of Saskatchewan had been one of the provinces originally united by the said Act.
As if Saskatchewan had been a province and not a territory ! Create a province retroactively ! Treat territorial school laws as provincial school laws ! Ignore territorial limitations and conditions ! Deny facts and abolish time ! Declare what was not to have been and perpetuate as existing what never was nor is ! Ridiculous when proposed by this government ! But high statesmanship when proposed by Mr. Haultain ! That draft Bill, the famous draft Bill. was prepared, I think, in January, 1902 I have discussed that clause with lawyers, and with laymen, and I venture to say there is not a lawyer in this House or in this country who dares chain his reputation to the opinion that that clause would not have fixed ecclesiastical separate schools certainly and irrevocably on the new provinces if it were adopted or at least have fixed certainly and irrevocably a system of separate schools. I go farther and I say that when that draft Bill was prepared Mr. Haultain, nor any of his colleagues, nor any of the members of the Northwest legislature, nor any of the people of the Northwest Territories who were taking an interest in the matter, ever had any intention of asking for greater freedom in this matter of schools than they had been enjoying for the last fourteen years. Dr. Goggin, as I said. was superintendent of education in the Northwest Territories for a number of years ; he was practically the deputy of Mr. Haultain in the educational department at the time this draft Bill was framed. Dr. Goggin moved to Toronto a little more than two years ago, at about which time he was interviewed on the subject of autonomy by the Toronto 'News.' He was asked his opinion as to the reason of the delay by parliament in dealing with this matter of autonomy, and this is what he said :
There are those who assert that the delay in granting autonomy is owing to the difficulties 3625 MARCH 31, 1905 anticipated in connection with separate schools and the use of the French language. It is said that the legislature will insist upon being left perfectly free to deal with this as with all other questions of internal administration, though I have not seen any declaration to that effect by the premier or the legislature.
Dr. Goggin knew the contents of the draft Bill, he was in Regina at the time it was prepared, and was then Mr. Haultain's superintendent of education. He was there during the local election in 1902 when, as is stated, the people of the Territories voted upon and endorsed the demand made by the government for autonomy, and after he came to Toronto a year later he declared he had seen no declaration by the premier or legislature of the Territories that they wanted additional freedom in the matter of the schools constitution. I say, Mr. Speaker, and I say it solemnly, because it is a weighty statement, not to be made lightly, I say that in view of the fact that in his own draft Bill, Mr. Haultain asked for a provincial charter in which separate schools would be imposed and guaranteed in the new provinces as if the Territories were one of the original provinces, a charter having the effect which the Nova Scotia charter would possess with regard to separate schools if a separate school system had been in existence in Nova Scotia in 1867—I say that the ground taken in this letter of protest by Mr. Haultain can only be classed as a piece of the rankest and most patent partisan misrepresentation ever witnessed in the Dominion of Canada. I ask the hon. member for Qu' Appelle who was a member of the legislature, and was one of Mr. Haultain's closest associates, if, up to April, 1903. if up to the time of the Moosejaw convention in 1903, when Mr. Haultain was dragooned by his party associates at the instance of the leader of the Conservative party here—if the hon. member for Qu' Appelle ever understood that Mr. Haultain, or his government, or the legislature intended to ask a constitution with regard to education different from the constitution that they had at that moment ?
Mr. LAKE. I thoroughly understood that the draft Bill provided for absolute freedom of action to the new provinces in the matter of education.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, the draft Bill speaks for itself, and it asks that these areas be not treated as Territories but be treated as if they were at this moment provinces. And Dr. Goggin had no such understanding as my hon. friend professes. Nor had I. Nor had the assembly generally. I think it is proper for me to point out that this particular conduct on the part of Mr. Haultain is strictly of a piece with his whole conduct of political matters since the convention two years ago when he was dragooned at Moosejaw.
3625 3626
Mr. LAKE. I strongly object to the suggestion being made that I knew Mr. Haultain was dragooned ; nothing of the sort, I think he acted entirely of his own free will.
Mr. HERRON. I do not think the hon. gentleman from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) would dare go into Alberta and make a statement of that kind.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, my present sphere is sufficient for me now, perhaps I may have an opportunity some time to make this statement elsewhere. Mr. Haultain knows since last October and November whether I have fear or hesitation about making the statement elsewhere. I say his conduct in this matter is of a piece with his conduct during the last two years. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) remembers that in the fall of 1903 We had a discussion about a certain matter of capital advance. I read a telegram from Mr. Haultain which practically asked me to get a capital advance on certain terms which he said would be satisfactory to him. Well, later in the assembly he declared that they were not satisfactory, and it is to the knowledge of everybody that that declaration had absolutely no other motive than partisanship and had no other result that the detriment of the people of the Northwest Territories.
Mr. SPROULE. I understood Mr. Haultain's objection was this, that if the increased amount of money was given out of expenditure it was to be regarded as paying off so much debt, it was to be counted as a debt against the province and taken into consideration when autonomy was given, because, he said, we have no right to be saddled with that as a debt.
Mr. SCOTT. That of course may be called a side issue. Mr. Haultain asked us by telegram to get a capital advance on certain terms, we got it on those terms, and he said in his telegram that he would be satisfied. But later on he stated in the legislature that it was not satisfactory, and for purely partisan reasons, which nobody can successfully deny.
Mr. SPROULE. I did not understand that the money was got on the terms that he asked for at all.
Mr. SCOTT. Absolutely. Then as this matter has become one of some interest as we hear it said that here is the opinion of the duly accredited, constitutional representative of the Northwest Territories, their Prime Minister. I think it becomes our duty to look into his credentials. What is his position at the present time ? He is the reputed head of the legislature, but I make the statement on my responsibility as a member of this parliament, that Mr. Haultain does not at the present moment possess the confidence of 3627 COMMONS the Northwest legislature. If he had a meeting of the legislature to-day I know positively that he could not command a majority. There are seven vacancies, since the last meeting of the legislature seven gentlemen have resigned, and I verily believe that if these constituencies were to elect new members, Mr. Haultain tomorrow would not be able to control a majority. He is in a sense, of course, Prime Minister, but if we are going to stick to the constitution as strictly as our friends this afternoon have argued for it, Mr. Haultain must admit that he is not the constitutional representative of the people of the Northwest Territories at this moment. Is further evidence needed ? Mr. Haultain made this very autonomy matter, as my hon. friend from Brandon knows, an issue in the Northwest Territories in the last general election as far as he could to obscure the Grand Trunk Pacific. He stumped the Northwest Territories on it and what was the result ? Seven Liberal members returned, every one with an average majority of 1,200, as against three Conservatives with an average majority of less than 150.
Mr. INGRAM. You ought to have an election for the Minister of the Interior now.  
Mr. SCOTT. We had a good deal of discussion this afternoon and many brave statements were made by hon. gentlemen opposite. We had very similar statements made last year. We had a number of fingers pointing across the floor of the House then as they were pointing across this afternoon and from month to month in 1904 and during the previous session of 1903 hon. gentlemen said: Only dare to come down to the people; only dare to do it. Well, the government did dare do it and the result is as I have said, that in British Columbia there were seven Liberals returned and not a single Conservative, in the Northwest Territories seven Liberals. with a majority averaging a little over 1,200, as against three Conservatives barely squeezed in, and in Manitoba seven Liberals as against three Conservatives. And when we got before the people their complaint was that we had taken them unawares. Let the hon. member for East Elgin (Mr. Ingram) not concern himself. Whether a new Minister of the Interior is selected from British Columbia or the Northwest Territories 0r Manitoba, I venture to say that the government will be able to carry the election of such a minister in whatever district they may choose to select him from.
Some references have been made to Mr. Bulyea, the colleague of Mr. Haultain. Some serious insinuations have been made against Mr. Bulyea. Some were made by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) a few days ago. He insinuated, 3627 3628 and because no direct denial was made he took it as an admitted fact, that Mr. Bulyea had been, as he put it colleaguing with the right hon. Prime Minister and the Liberal members from the Territories apart from Mr. Haultain. I think I am revealing no secret when I say that I have been present at no conference at which the right hon. Prime Minister was present and at which Mr. Bulyea was present. We have had numberless conferences with the Prime Minister and his colleagues, but at none of these conferences was Mr. Bulyea present. Let me turn that proposition around. I am sorry that the hon. member for North Toronto is not here. Is there anybody here who is prepared to state—
An hon. MEMBER. The hon. member for North Toronto did not make that statement at all.
Mr. SCOTT. Is there anybody present who is able to state—and the hon. leader of the opposition will have an' opportunity of answering this question—that Mr. Haultain was careful to have Mr. Bulyea with him every time he was in meeting and in discussion with the hon. leader of the opposition in regard to this autonomy matter? Several hon. gentlemen opposite have suggested that Mr. Bulyea had deserted the position of the Northwest Territories in failing to sign the letter of protest which appeared over the signature of Mr. Haultain. I have already read the letter and it is patent to everybody that the only protest of any kind contained in that letter is in regard to this school matter. He does not lay stress on the matter of the number of provinces, he does not lay stress on the matter of lands; the only thing he does lay stress on is the matter of the schools and I have proved to the House, I think, to the satisfaction of every lawyer and every layman in the House, that Mr. Haultain's own draft Bill, which was assented to by the legislature and the people of the Northwest Territories, asked for the continuation of the separate school system. Is it Mr. Haultain or Mr. Bulyea who has deserted the position of the Territories ? If, as alleged, Mr. Bulyea declined to sign that letter, I think Mr. Bulyea was simply performing his duty. He declined to turn from the position that the people of the Territories had taken on that matter.
The hon. member for North Toronto, too, stated something in connection with the question that had been asked by Mr. Haultain in regard to schools at the time of the last general election and the answer given by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton). That is perfectly true. He went on to say that a question was put to all the Liberal candidates in the Northwest Territories as to what their action was going to be in regard to schools if they were returned to parliament and that they told the people that they must trust to the govern 3629 MARCH 31, 1905 ment. If the hon. member for North Toronto were here, I would put the question to him—perhaps the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) can answer it—what basis is there beyond their imagination for such an assertion as that?
Mr. SPROULE. What assertion ?
Mr. SCOTT. That the Liberal candidates were asked as to what their action would be if returned to parliament on the matter of schools and that their answer was: You must trust to the government. I make this statement here, that beyond the question that was put by Mr. Haultain in Regina to the then Minister of the Interior, who was going to Regina a week later, I never heard the question mentioned in the whole of my campaign. The question was never put to me ; I never gave an answer in regard to this question. Everybody knew that the Northwest Territories were to be granted autonomy very early in the new parliament and no Roman Catholic or Protestant ever came to me privately or ever put the question at a public meeting or asked me in any way, prior to the 3rd November, what my action would be in that regard. This is further proof of the most convincing nature, if any were needed beyond what I have already given to the House, that the Northwest Territories were not asking for any more freedom in regard to schools than that which they have enjoyed for the last 14 years. The hour is late—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Go on.
Mr. SCOTT. Some hon. gentlemen appear to be very much concerned about the meaning of the new section 16, about the meaning of the Bills as they at present stand. The hon. member for Calgary (Mr. McCarthy), the other evening, expressed what he considered a doubt about it and this doubt was repeated last night by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake). They are doubtful whether any change has been made in the Bills. I am not very much concerned with the meaning of the original section 16, because we are not dealing with that. But, of course, we are very much concerned with the meaning of the Bills in the shape in which they are going to be adopted, we hope. I would ask the House just for a moment to try and wipe away some of the technical and constitutional rubbish with which some hon. members seek to confuse our minds. The main question as presented by the original section 16 had reference to the provision for the distribution of the money to all classes of schools. In the first place the right was given to minorities to establish separate schools and in the next place it was provided that an equitable division of the funds should be granted to them. There was no connecting link, so it appeared to us, which would keep the separate schools under state control as 3629 3630 they are at the present time. The new section 16 simply validates and keeps in effect ordinances Nos. 29 and 30 of the Northwest Territories passed in 1901. My hon. friend from Calgary advanced the contention that these ordinances which, when they were of questionable validity, as some men think, yet did undoubtedly effect the total abolition of the church or religious school, will by the process of acquiring unquestioned validity effect the restoration of the ecclesiastical school. It seems to me that the proposition only needs to be stated clearly to constitute its own answer. The right to separate schools is very clearly laid down in section 41 of ordinance No. 29, as follows :
The minority of the ratepayers in any district, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish a separate school therein, and in such case the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate school shall be liable only to assessments of such rates as they impose upon themselves in respect thereof.
I believe this is the exact language imported from section 14 of the old Northwest Territories Act. But that is governed in the ordinance by section 4, which says :
The department shall have control and management of all kindergarten schools, public and separate schools, normal schools, teachers' institutes and the education of deaf, deaf mute and blind persons.
The department, subject to the legislature, in turn subject to the people, shall have the control and management of separate schools and if that were not sufficient we also have section 45 which states :
After the establishment of a separate school district under the provisions of this ordinance such separate school district and the board thereof shall possess and exercise all rights. powers, privileges and be subject to the same liabilities and method of government as is herein provided in respect of public school districts.
It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that if we just keep our minds free from being confused by technicalities, keep our minds on the point which is as to whether or not we are to have a separate school controlled by the church or a separate school controlled by the state, there is no liability of any conflict of opinion about the legislation which the government asks the House to adopt. I am not going to take the time to read the various regulations in these ordinances, they have already been placed in ' Hansard,' but I say that there is in them no limitation of power to control, vary, improve or do anything in relation to the management of schools, all the schools, the separate school and the public school, except that the province must by legislation provide for public schools and permit minorities to have separate schools, both of which, conducted in the same way and 3631 COMMONS yielding the same results, must receive the same public aid. This is the minority right which is enjoyed in the NorthWest Territories at the present moment.
To me this is not so much a constitutional as a practical question. What is the best thing for parliament to do in the interests of the people who live in those Territories ? I may say that the legislation is no compromise for me as it was for the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton). It is exactly what I wanted, I would not care to assent to anything else. it is just what the Northwest wanted, it is in fact, stated a little less clearly in his Bill, just what Mr. Haultain asked for in his draft Bill. It is just what the Northwest people voted for in the general election of 1902 and what the assembly more than once unanimously voted for, or thought they were voting for. I   would ask again if the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has ever heard a protest from any one in the Territories against the condition of things existing there. I say there is no objection so far as I have ever heard. There are I think in the Northwest Territories 11 separate schools, Line Roman Catholic and two Protestant. One of them is at Edmonton, and the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) has already spoken ; I venture to say he has not heard in the town of Edmonton any protest from anybody against the existence of that separate school there. Another one is at Mrathcona and another at Wetaskiwin and the same remark will apply to my hon. friend for Strathcona (Mr. P. Talbot). The hon. member for Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy) spoke the other day and he did not enter any protest against the separate school. There is one at Lethbridge and one at MacLeod. If the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Herron) is still here he may be able to say whether there is any protest in his district against the existence of the two separate schools in that district. There is another one at Regina and another one at or near Wapella. Speaking of the Regina separate school, I say that it is satisfactory to all the people in Regina and that any proposition to abolish the separate school in existence in Regina would be more unsatisfactory to the Protestants who live there than to the Roman - Catholics. I admit that there is some objection against the permission of separation in school matters. That is the only possible objection there can be to separate schools in the west, the objection against separation, but in the practical operation in town school districts there is no practical objection, because, as in the case of Regina, the separate school takes the place of a ward school in the same way as it does in Nova Scotia, as I am informed. For instances, in towns in Nova Scotia there is one ward school set apart for Roman Catholics. It is managed entirely 3631 3632 by Roman Catholic trustees and attended entirely by Roman Catholic children. It is merely in effect the system we have in the Territories. The word 'coercion' used in this case is a deliberate attempt to deceive the people of this country. To speak of coercion in this matter is to distort the meaning of the word. You cannot find a protest in the Northwest Territories against existing conditions. You cannot find an advocate of any alteration in the separate school feature of the existing law. We will have the separate school whether you pass section 16 or not. The most vehement denouncers of these Bills on the ground 0f provincial rights in the same breath proclaim their satisfaction with our separate school. The provincial rights cry in this case has no substance. It is a cry: for a shadow and such a cry becomes ridiculous. I say as a member of the Liberal party that I protest against this attempt to bring ridicule on what is a good sound principle of the Liberal party. Provincial rights with substance is a principle worth fighting for, and the Liberal party has always fought for that principle when it was challenged.
Mr. SPROULE. How is it that so many Liberals from the Territories have signed petitions to this House praying that the right be left to them to legislate with regard to schools ?  
Mr. SCOTT. Some or these people have signed under a misconception. There are peo» ple in the west, as (I shall prove to my hon. friend before I get through, who do not know that we have a separate school system and they signed petitions under the impression that this parliament was trying to introduce a separate school system. I ask my hon. friend now to be candid about it. Would it not be simply and absolutely ridiculous for me coming from the Northwest Territories as I do to be crying for a right and demanding a power and in the same breath protesting that I would not exercise that power if I had it?
Mr. SPROULE. Not at all.
Mr. SCOTT. That is exactly the position Mr. Haultain takes; he is crying for the power to deal with this matter and pro testing in the hearing of. the whole people of Canada that he would not exercise that power if he had it.
It is said that if the privileges of the minority are safe in the hands of the people of the west, we should leave this question for them to settle. That is the position of the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden). He says: Leave it to the provincial legislatures and trust to the justice of the people of the province. That question cannot be put to me. I am not one of the minority who are chiefly concerned; I am 3633 MARCH 31, 1905 a member of the majority. The question must be put to the representatives of the minority in this House. I presume that the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) is to-night representing the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden), and I would ask, when the leader of the Opposition put the question to the representatives of the minority who sit with him in this parliament how many of them expressed their willingness to have the guarantee left out and to leave the matter to the justice of the majority. It is not for me as a member of the majority to answer this question, it is not to the majority, it is to the members of the minority that that question is put. If they say they are willing I would say that possibly we might consent to leave out the guarantee, although as a matter of fact I prefer to have the guarantee left in this shape so that there will be no uncertainty in these provinces. Can we blame the members of the minority after all when we look at the history of Manitoba and the Territories ? We have cut the minority privilege down there from what it was originally interpreted to mean. It was originally interpreted by the legislature of the Territories, the old Northwest council, to mean that there should be church control for Roman Catholic schools. We have cut that down. We all know what occurred in Manitoba and what occurred in regard to the French language. As soon as the Northwest legislature obtained the power to deal with it, it abolished the dual system, and I say as a representative of the Northwest Territories that it did the only reasonable thing. It would have been absurd in that country to have continued the official publication of all laws and court records in French, because not one out of 500 of those who could read laws at all could not read them in English. I say looking at the history of Manitoba and the Northwest, that if I was a member of the minority I would not consent to have the guarantee cut out, because I would fear that the time would come, and that not in the very far future, when the final vestige of the separate school would disappear.
Mr. BERGERON. Will my hon. friend allow me to put a question to him ? Will he tell us what he understands by separate schools ?
Mr. SCOTT. I understand that the minority, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, in any school district have a right to set up a school of their own ; and that school comes under the same government as the public school. Its teachers have to be certificated in the same way, with the same qualifications and the same normal school training. It has the same text books and has to produce the same results to earn the same money grants.
3633 3634
Mr. BERGERON. What is the difference between the two schools then ?
Mr. SCOTT. Not any difference, only the one I have mentioned.
Mr. BERGERON. Where is the separate school then ?
Mr. SCOTT. It is certainly a separate school, though it is not a religious school.
Mr. BERGERON. It may be in a different building. but it is the same school.
Mr. SCOTT. It is the same class of school. When our friends of the minority decline, as, in my judgment, they have good reason to decline, looking at the history of the school question in the Northwest, to have the guarantee cut out of the Bill, then it is reasonable for me as a member of the majority, in view of the fact that it is not going to violate any principle of sound public policy, to leave the guarantee in. Indeed, as I have explained, I prefer to have the guarantee left in in this shape, and, so far as the educational provisions are concerned, I vote for these Bills without any hesitation. This is exactly the proposition I want, for the following reasons :—
1. It removes all uncertainty.
2. It respects the minority conscience without violating any sound public principle.
3. It provides securely against agitation in future.
4. It perpetuates a system which has in practice proved to be eminently satisfactory to all classes.
5. It means coercion in no sense or adaptation of the word, because it merely guarantees what would be continued by the almost universal will of the provinces.
6. It continues a system preferable in its practical working out to the public school system of Manitoba, where the minority have a theoretical grievance, which interested parties are constantly able to exaggerate, and who continue to chafe under what they believe to be an infringement on their rights.
7. It furnishes a possible common ground of action by the members of this House, and thus maintains unity. No common action was possible either upon the original section 16 or upon the amendment of the leader of the opposition.
8. More than all, it is satisfactory to me as a citizen of, and one of the majority in, the Northwest, because it not only reasonably secures minority rights, but it absolutely secures majority rights against such invasion as was attempted by parliament in 1896 in the case of Manitoba. It is the only absolute guarantee of educational autonomy contained in any suggestion made to this House, excepting only that of the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), to specifically make the provinces free and get imperial ratification of the free charters. Mr. Haultain's draft Bill left the door specifically 3635 COMMONS   open for the sectarian or ecclesiastical school.
Mr. LAKE. Do I understand the hon. gentleman to state that Mr. Haultain deliberately did that ?
Mr. SCOTT. If my hon. friend has listened to me at all carefully, I think there can be no doubt in his mind as to what I have stated. I say that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, Mr. Haultain, until that convention two years ago, when he changed from being a non-partisan in local politics to being a partisan all along the line—in fact, down to the time of the last general election in October, 1904—had no intention, as nobody connected with the public affairs of the Northwest had any intention, of asking for any different constitution in regard to schools than that we have had in force for the last fourteen years.
Mr. LAKE. Of course, the hon. gentleman is entitled to his legal opinion as a layman in regard to this question ; but I can assure him that Mr. Haultain holds an entirely different opinion from that which the hon. member for Western Assiniboia has expressed in regard to the effect of the draft Bill ; and I may say that Mr. Haultain has been responsible for the drafting of the vast majority of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories during the last thirteen years, he being an experienced draughtsman.
Mr. SCOTT. As I have already stated, Mr. Haultain not only apparently neglected, during all the conferences held with the government here, until two or three days before the Bill was presented to the House, to mention the subject of education, but neglected during all the discussions that took place on the subject of autonomy in the Northwest—and there have been discussions of that question for years—to mention the subject of education. He pointed out the advantages that autonomy would give, and the changes it would mean, but never once referred to the matter of schools. I will read to my hon. friend the description which Mr. Haultain himself gave in 1900, in a formal address, of the advantages and changes that would be brought to the Territories by provincial establishment. He said :
But, to put it shortly, in order to show what a very slight difference there is between the powers enjoyed by the Territories to-day, so far as political institutions are concerned, and those which are enjoyed by the provinces, I will state in a few words the exact differences which exist. I need not take the House over a description of the powers which we do enjoy.
The educational power was one we did enjoy, and so he made no mention of it. He went on :
We have nearly all the principal powers a province has. Where we fall short of provincial powers is in these points : We have not the power to amend the constitution outside of the 3635 3636 power to deal with certain phases in our election law ; we have not the power to borrow money ; we have not the power to deal with the public domain ; we have not the power to establish certain institutions, such as hospitals, asylums, charities—eleemosynary institutions as they are called in the British North America Act ; we have not the power to take cognizance of public undertakings other than such as may be carried on by certain sorts of joint stock companies ; and our powers are limited to the extent that we have not the administration of the criminal law in the Territories. That, I think, will suffice for any reference which it is necessary to make to the eighth recital.
Take all the speeches that were ever made by Mr. Haultain, or by anybody else in the Territories, for that matter, and there never was any reference to the question of schools. And if there had been in the mind of any person a desire for more freedom in the matter of education than the Territories already possess, is it not ridiculous to think that, when the cue was given by Mr. Haultain last fall, in the heat of the election, there would not have been some one to present the matter to the candidates, and to seek to obtain an expression from them as to the position they would take on the subject if elected to parliament ?
Mr. SPROULE. I understood the hon. gentleman to say earlier in the debate that during the election the question was not brought up or discussed, nor was there any truth in the statement that the government, through Mr. Sifton, had requested the people to trust the government and they would do the best for them. I understand him to say there was no such statement made during the election.
Mr. SCOTT. I say that the question was never presented to me, and I met Mr. Haultain himself twice, once at Medicine Hat and again at Moose Jaw, and he never asked me any question about it. Nobody asked me anything about it.
Mr. SPROULE. Will my hon. friend allow me to refresh his memory ? The hon. gentleman lives in Regina. That is in his riding. The Manitoba ' Free Press ' of October 20, 1904—during the time the elections were going on—reports Mr. Sifton as having spoken at Regina as follows. After referring to the question of annexation to Manitoba, Mr. Sifton said :
I believe that Haultain has further suggested that I should be asked to state what the policy of the government would be with regard to public schools. I do not believe that Haultain is doing the people of the Territories any service when he makes suggestions of that kind. Any man of ordinary intelligence in public life, and Mr. Haultain is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, knows full well that one member of a government consisting of fourteen members would not come here and without consulting his colleagues, undertake to bind them and the parliament of Canada on questions of such importance. Therefore the suggestion is made in a spirit of mischief. Let 3637 MARCH 31, 1905 me say to you in all seriousness that the subject of school legislation in Canada is a serious and important subject. I have had a good deal to do with it in my own province and I know the difficulties that beset it. But let me say this. We shall endeavour with every possible thought, with every possible power the Lord has given us to settle this question in such a way as will not raise a racial or religious cry in this country.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. SPROULE. My question was whether he was not asking the people to trust the government then. He went on to say :
But I want to say that the man who gets up in the heat of a political contest and makes his strongest endeavour to bring that question into political discussion is not a friend of the Territories in any sense or shape. He is endeavouring to do a thing which might bring very serious results to the people of these Territories. I have no authority whatever to say anything with regard to the subjects Mr. Haultain has mentioned, but we shall be in the position of having not four but ten members from the Territories in the next parliament and we will get their views ; and while we do not say that their views will prevail—for the entry of the Territories into confederation is a matter of contract with the other provinces— and while the terms we will be able to give you will be those we can get the other provinces to agree, yet I can say for myself that I will do my best to get the most liberal terms possible.
Yet the hon. member will have us believe that the people of the Territories were never asked to trust the government and that they never heard the question mentioned.
Mr. SCOTT. I appeal to the House if my hon. friend has not taken up quite a bit of my time in a wholly unnecessary fashion. What he has just read is exactly what I said. I have stated, as is described in what the hon. gentleman read, that the cue was given by Mr. Haultain, that Mr. Haultain, as a Conservative partisan, endeavoured to start the flame even then with the idea that it would injure the Liberal candidates. Mr. Haultain gave the cue and put the question, and the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) gave the very sensible and proper statement in reply.
Mr. SPROULE. The answer was, you must trust the government.
Mr. SCOTT. I was never asked the question. I never heard the question raised except as it was asked by Mr. Haultain and replied to by the hon. member for Brandon. The very best proof which can be advanced to convince any reasonable man, who wants to arrive at a just opinion of the sentiment in the Territories on the question, is the fact that not one of the candidates, so far as I know, was asked what he would do in the matter of the schools.
Mr. TURRIFF. Let me in reply to the question of the hon. member for East Grey 3637 3638 (Mr. Sproule) say that I had thirty-nine meetings in my constituency last fall. At every one of these there was an able lawyer representing the Conservative candidate. At every one the question of autonomy was discussed, and I was never asked at any one of them by anybody, Liberal, Conservative, Catholic or Protestant, one word about the school question in any shape or form.
Mr. SPROULE. Will the hon. member excuse me just one moment ? I want to settle a question of fact. We are told that there is absolutely no difference between the conduct of the minority schools and the majority schools. We are told that the qualifications of teachers are the same, the inspection, the curriculum, the text books, and that the only difference is the last half hour in the day.
Mr. SCOTT. There is not even any difference then ?
Mr. SPROULE. Well, here is the annual report of the Department of Education of the Northwest Territories for 1903. What does it say with reference to the readers :
The Ontario readers (part one, part two), second, third and fourth (The Canada Publishing Company) ; the new Canadian reader, book V (W. J. Gage & Co.) ; the Dominion reader, first (part I, part II) and second—these are optional for Roman Catholic, separate schools.
Surely that is a difference.
Mr. SCOTT. Does my hon. friend think the point is essential ? If he will study the effect of the legislation we are passing, he will find that we are giving the provinces full autonomy in the matter of those very text books.
Mr. SPROULE. I was setting right the statement that the schools both of the minority and the majority are conducted exactly the same in every respect with the exception of the last half hour.
Mr. SCOTT. I was about to make a sort of confession to my hon. friend. I would have had no objection at all to stating my views during the election regarding what would be the proper action for the Dominion parliament to take on the school question. I will give my hon. friend the proof of this. Two years ago his leader put on the order paper a motion with regard to autonomy, concerning which I prepared some notes. The debate came on very late. I spoke on the question after midnight and did not use all of my notes. In the next session of 1904, I expected the leader of the opposition to again raise that question and I amplified my notes. The question never did come up ; but if it had. I have here exactly what I intended to say and I shall read a portion of it for the benefit of my hon. friend :
To-day 95 out of 100, probably 99 out of every 100 of the Northwest people are eminently satisfied with our present constitution and system 3639 COMMONS as regards schools. Technically the minority in Manitoba lack the guarantee of separate schools, while in the Northwest Territories they possess the right. Practically the Northwest Territories system is just as satisfactory to the majority as the Manitoba system is to the majority in that province. In the Northwest Territories we have public and separate schools under uniform inspection, uniform training and certificates for teachers, and uniform text-books.
The difference my hon. friend alludes to is so slight that it is generally not considered worth referring to. There is a difference in the authorized text books used in the first two standards, but we are giving the provinces full autonomy to deal with this question of text books themselves.
In Manitoba prior to 1890, there was popular complaint, and very well justified I believe it was—against the conduct of the separate schools. In the Northwest Territories there is not a vestige of popular complaint against our separate school management.
I intended going on to say that I believed the legislature of the Northwest Territory did not intend and Mr. Haultain's draft Bill did not contemplate any change with regard to schools. I had Dr. Goggin's interview given two years ago, a portion of which I have read, in which he said that he had not seen any declaration by the legislature or the premier that they intended to ask for any change with regard to schools. The interview is a very considerable one and I shall not read any more from it. In the manuscript which I had written out. I went on to say :
Doubtless there are extremists on both sides who will seek to foment trouble over the school question when autonomy is dealt with, but speaking not as a member of the minority but as one of the Protestant majority, I have no hesitation in expressing my belief that if our legislature and people were free to act to-morrow thy would retain the present school system which permits the minority to have their separate schools. In Regina, where I live, we have excellent public schools and we have also an excellent separate school, and I verily believe that any step taken to abolish that separate school would find its most active and resolute opposition amongst members of the Protestant majority.
That was typewritten some time in June or July last, and it was really amplified from notes made nearly two years ago. If the question had ever come up, I should have had no hesitation at all—and this is the truth—in expressing my opinion on the separate school matter prior to the election that was supposed to be impending, or in the campaign for that matter, just as I am expressing it here to-night. I consider the proposition before the House is better for these provinces than any other suggestion that has been made. The proposition of the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden) to permit the application of section 93 of the British North America Act, even if his inter 3639 3640 pretation were correct—which other able lawyers deny—and 1870 was the time of union for the purposes of interpretation, would leave the provinces subject to the cast-iron rock-ribbed, irrevocable—as the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) said—system of church and ecclesiastical schools which this Dominion parliament, by a majority of eighteen, at the instance of hon. gentlemen opposite, endeavoured to force upon the people of Manitoba in 1896. Who can guarantee that a similar juncture is impossible at some time in the future, when parliament, regardless of the sentiment of the people, may be cajoled and coerced, by threats, by intimidation, by any of the devices known to unscrupulous political leaders—by the same means that the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) knows better than any of us were used in 1896, parliament might be induced to attempt to invade the autonomy of these new provinces. The hon. member for East Grey knows that if the remedial legislation of 1896 had been enacted there was no power 111 the Dominion of Canada that could have repealed it. I find that this Bill not only protects minority rights to a perfectly justifiable extent without coercion or invasion of substantial provincial autonomy, but it is also intended to protect the majority rights in the way I have described. It embodies a charter, secure and safe against the possibility of a later invasion of the political autonomy of the provinces, which the application of section 93 as intended by Mr. Borden's amendment would leave room and invitation for ; and this Bill is a far more complete and secure measure of autonomy than is the proposition of the leader of the opposition.
Mr. Speaker, since the opening of the present session this House has lost one of its valuable and prominent members, the late hon. member for Centre Toronto, Mr. E. F. Clarke. He was prominent not only in this House but in the organization of which the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) is an ornament. Amongst all classes of people and in this parliament he was recognized as a very broad-minded man. It is fortunate, perhaps, that he has left his opinion with regard to this very subject. In his newspaper the 'Orange Sentinel' of which he was the editor for many years is the following statement, published in the issue of February 9 :
It is not certain whether the people or. the Northwest Territories and their representatives object to having separate schools fastened upon them. There has been no organized or official . protest against such a course, although it has been known for two years or more that the change was imminent. This makes it appear that the people interested are satisfied. If that is the case, there is nothing for the other provinces to do but to acquiesce with what grace they may. The attitude taken in 1896 was that a province should not be co 3641 MARCH 31, 1905 erced. It is strong ground still. But if a province should not be coerced into establishing separate schools, it follows that it should not be coerced into rejecting separate schools. Consequently the logical position for Ontario electors is to remain silent and allow the measure to become law if the Territories are satisfied.
Mr. SPROULE. I may say to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) that it is not proposed to coerce them even to doing away with separate schools to-morrow. We do not ask the question whether it is wise for the people of the Northwest to do away with separate schools or whether they desire to have them. We do not even take the opportunity to give advice. We only ask that the people of the Northwest should be allowed freedom to legislate on this subject.
Mr. SCOTT. That is my hon. friend's (Mr. Sproule's) position. But his colleague's position was, 'The logical position for Ontario electors is to remain silent and allow the measure to become law if the Territories are satisfied.'
Now, perhaps the House will bear with me while I deal with this point. I appreciate the fact that I am infringing upon the good nature of hon. members. I propose to give the House some proof that the Territories are satisfied, and that there is no agitation, no well founded agitation, no widespread agitation in the Northwest Territories. I will quote first an expression of opinion from the Calgary 'Herald.' This is a Conservative newspaper, probably the chief Conservative newspaper in the Northwest Territories—certainly the principal one in Alberta :
Mr. HYMAN. What is the date ?
Mr. SCOTT. It is subsequent to the revised Bill—I think it is March 15 :—
If the news from Ottawa that there is to be no interference with the present educational system of the west is true, the agitation which   has arisen, mainly in Ontario, will in all probability subside. A creed disturbance is always of a most rancorous kind—it spreads like a prairie fire and in its train leaves a bitterness where harmony prevailed. Sir Wilfrid's decision is sure to be regarded with strong favour throughout the west.
With regard to the existing separate schools the. Calgary 'Herald' goes on to say :—
All regulations have been made by the Regina government, and he must be blind indeed who cannot see that even if separate schools were detrimental to the country's true interests, all objectionable features have been clipped off. Harmony prevails : why disturb it ? It is worth repeating that the west is glad that the federal premier has changed his mind.
I have here an expression of opinion of a member of the Northwest legislature. a gentleman who voted for Mr. Haultain's draft Bill. I withhold the name. This letter was written on March 25 :—
3641 3642
I must congratulate you on the Autonomy Bill. It is almost impossible to find a person here who is dissatisfied with it. Of course, some people, for political reasons probably, are very sorry that the public lands have not been given us, that Canadian Pacific Railway exemptions are to be allowed to remain, and that the separate school question has been forced upon us, but their opposition is so very faint that no one has for one instant any idea but that everybody is more than pleased with the way things have been managed by our representatives, and the generous treatment we have received from the Ottawa government. As far as I can see we have got everything that we hoped for and a good deal more than we expected, and I think the sentiments I express are only those of the people at large throughout the country.
One of the newspapers of the Northwest Territories which took strong ground against the original section 16, the Medicine Hat 'News,' speaks as follows :—
A general feeling of relief and pleasure is being experienced throughout the Territories by reason of the announcement that the Autonomy Bill has been re-introduced with the educational clauses modified to meet the wishes of the people principally concerned and their representatives in parliament. The provisions affecting the school question are now so framed as to maintain in the west the same system which has been in vogue in the past and under the conditions of which educational matters were conducted mcst harmoniously. The amended clauses have already met with the endorsation of the leading papers in the Territories, including the Calgary 'Herald' and others which were greatly concerned as to the effect which would be the outcome of the clause as originally presented.
Mr. SPROULE. May I ask if the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) was present when the hon. member (Mr. Lake) who spoke last   night read the account of the meeting of the Reform party convened at Indian Head, which passed a strong resolution against interference with the Territories.
Mr. SCOTT. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) surely understands that you will never get unanimity of opinion over a great area like this. The people in some quarters hold a contrary opinion to that of the government. sometimes a contrary opinion from that of their neighbours The Reform party has always been specifically a party in which divergence of opinion has existed and is not only permitted but expected.
Mr. J. J. Young. who is a Conservative member of the legislature for Calgary, and the proprietor of the Calgary 'Herald,' made a statement immediately after the introduction of the original Bills, in the course of which he said:
As to the school question, the present arrangement is working satisfactorily, and as long as the federal authorities leave things as they are, I apprehend that there will be no serious opposition from the intelligent portion of the electorate.
The Toronto ' Globe ' had a correspondent in the west at the time these Bills were in 3643 COMMONS                       troduced, Mr. Ewan. In one of his letters he stated :
Their attitude towards the school question is similar. Without exception all those I have spoken to have no apprehensions with regard to that feature of the settlement. They know by experience the system they have got. They are perfectly satisfied with it, and if its continuance is a part of the settlement there will be no objection from the people of the Territories. The Catholic portion of the population have at times exhibited dissatisfaction, but it has never been very serious, and the general expression is that if the present system is continued, practically everybody will be satisfied.
Mr. SPROULE. I would ask the hon. gentleman if he read the last letter in the series, the one written from Moosejaw ? In summing up the situation he declared emphatically that the sentiment of the people was against it. I think that was written by Mr. Thompson.
Mr. SCOTT. I have a large number of friends in Moosejaw, and I have heard from numbers of them since the modifications were made to these Bills, and I think I may say that they are quite satisfied with the modified Bill. Moosejaw is in my own constituency. Now take the expression of opinion at Regina, my own town. When the Bills were first introduced and it was thought that the school clause would continue the present situation, the Winnipeg 'Free Press' the next morning contained the following despatch from Regina :
Now that the people of Regina have had an opportunity of studying full details of the autonomy measures, the approval is even more pronounced than was expressed over the forecasts. The final terms are accepted on all hands as not only satisfactory but generous, in fact one and all regard the terms as much more favourable than could reasonably have been expected. So far your correspondent has not heard one word expressed that was not in praise of the measures submitted to parliament by Sir Wilfrid Laurier yesterday.
In last evening's Toronto 'Globe' there was an account of a protesting meeting in Toronto.
Rev. Dr. Chown said he was in Regina when the news of the details of the Autonomy Bills arrived. Every detail of these Bills was talked about except the school clauses, and the same was the case in other parts of the west.
In Lethbridge there is a Conservative paper called the 'News,' which stated on March 16 :
The separate school question in respect to the new Northwest provinces continues to exercise politicians in the east, and to read some of the articles published, one would be led to conceive the idea that people in the west were violently opposed to a continuation of the system that has been in existence since the opening up of the country, which, in fact, has given such general satisfaction that but few people have ever been induced to inquire into the basis on which separate schools in the west 3643 3644 were founded. These people in the east who are doing their best to stir up religious strife are no friends of the west, which is wide enough in area, aspirations and religious toleration, to permit a system of schools which are a concession to religious views without being a detriment to the educational standard adopted for the country and inflicting no injustice on any one in the community.
It concludes with the statement :
It is stated that the Northwest members will give unanimous support to a clause continuing the present privileges, but no more, and in taking this stand we believe they are fairly representing the feelings of the people as a whole.
I have another expression of opinion from the Calgary ' Herald,' with particular reference to a gentleman in Toronto who is so much exercised on this question—the Calgary ' Herald' is a Conservative journal :
A few journalistic firebrands in Ontario are as busy these days as hens in the month of April. The basis of their activity is to be found in a pathetic anxiety for the educational fate of the new northwestern provinces. We have not asked them to be anxious, we are not in fear ourselves, and yet they worry dreadfully lest his Holiness whose home is on the banks of the Tiber jollies or jockies or lobbies us into something really very awful.
One of the most distracted of these gentlemen is J. S. Willison, who moulds public opinion down east through the medium of the Toronto ' News.' Prior to January 25 last, he was engaged in a long and most strenuous effort to oust Mr. Ross & Co., and with the incidental assistance of tens upon tens of thousands of intelligent voters he won a victory over his foes somewhat in the style in which Bill Adams put Napoleon to flight at Waterloo. The 'News' had then a just and sensible cause to advocate and success is as easy under such circumstances as taking candy from a child.
Exhiliarated by his recent victory Mr. Willison has again removed his coat and has constituted himself the champion of a cause which affects people two thousand miles from the sanctum where he wields his anti-papal pen. He is determined that come what may Willison and not the Pope is to be the educational dictator of the western provinces. The hierarchy are to be made to run away back and sit down.
Unasked advice is seldom enjoyed. Newspaper blatherskites two thousand miles away should be heavily discounted. There is no room for any religious clash out here. We have more important duties to perform.
That is from the chief Conservative paper in the Territories. Then a letter from Medicine Hat :
All are pretty well satisfied with the school law in the Territories, and that is what is going to be continued as I understand it.
A gentleman in Regina writing on February 27 :
As to the Autonomy Bill, the satisfaction is very great, the dissatisfaction not visible to the naked eye.
Another gentleman from Regina with regard to the schools :
3645 MARCH 31, 1905
Prior to the reading of the Bill every one I spoke to was perfectly agreeable and satisfied, so long as the present school law was not changed.
Another gentleman from Yellow Grass, for many years a school teacher :
First let me say that the provisions of the Autonomy Bill were better than I expected from a financial standpoint. I must express my satisfaction with the terms secured by the Northwest. The result is all that could have been expected. As regards the educational clauses, I am prepared to accept the old law. I am not competent to judge of how far the proposed clauses exceed the clauses in the Northwest Territories Act, but where they do I believe Sifton and others are justified in opposing them. But I prefer that this question as an issue be removed from the provincial field. So long as the assembly retains control and enforces uniformity of teachers' qualifications, books, curricula and inspection, we have nothing to dread from the 'narrow and illiterate' separate school products. In fact I feel that we lose sight of our main privilege that we may always, when we so desire, act in unity and harmony with our Catholic neighbours, and my experience with the Catholic laity is that they will meet us half way.
I cannot but commend the unselfish interest of the Toronto ' News,' Sam. Hughes and others in our education. As for the position taken by Sifton, I hope he is prepared to agree to the re-enactment of the old law. I could not follow him further than that. I do not think there would be any difficulty in justifying before the electorate an adherence to the Northwest Territories Act. To so many of us the matter does not appeal, as the Catholic population in most settlements is so small as to have no power ; in other settlements so largely in the majority that the question is unimportant. In no case have I known of a duplication of schools when not required. Considered on its merits from a practical view-point and leaving sentiment aside the question is unimportant so long as uniformity is maintained in the course of studies and general efficiency.
I think my hon. friend referred to a meeting held at Medicine Hat where some resolutions were adopted. A gentlemen writing from Medicine Hat says :
You will get a copy of them, but don't think they express the true opinion of the people of Medicine Hat or even of the meeting, for they don't.
So, Mr. Speaker, I think we are justified in concluding that these measures in all respects are eminently satisfactory to the people who are mainly concerned. I promised to give the hon. member for East Grey some further information in regard to petitions. I believe it is a fact as I have stated, that the majority of the signatures in the Northwest Teritories to those petitions against this legislation, were given against the interpretation placed upon the original section 16, either that or they were given under an absolute misapprehension. A gentleman writes me from Moosejaw :
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                                                  Moosejaw, N.W.T.,                                                                  March 20, 1905.
Walter Scott. Esq., M.P.,                   Ottawa.
Dear Sir,—I take the liberty to write you for the purpose of finding out a little more than I know at present concerning the school question. Now, Sir, I am an Orangeman ; in fact I hold the position of master in our lodge. I have already signed a petition against the government's imposing a separate school law upon the two new provinces. But this was before I stopped to consider the matter carefully. I read a letter written by you to the Maple Creek Orange lodge secretary, which puts a different light on the subject. If this is straight, which I have every reason to believe it is, we are harping about a thing which has been in our midst for years and not a new thing at all as has been represented to us here. .    .    . If you have time I want you to answer and let me know in brief the real meaning of the situation in this separate school matter.
I believe that expression represents the views of most of the people who have been signing these protests and petitions. I believe that practically everybody in the Territories, ninety-nine people out of a hundred, would prefer to have these schools continued in the same way as they have been carried on for the last fourteen years.
Mr. SPROULE. In reply to that statement, may I ask the hon. gentleman this question : I understood him to say that these people were directing their attention to the original clause 16 and were not aware of the modification, or otherwise they would be satisfied. Is it not a fact that most of the petitions only expressed the hope that the government would not, by any enactment or otherwise interfere with the freedom of the provinces in legislating in regard to education ?
Mr. SCOTT. I venture to say that every one of these petitions originated in Ontario.
Mr. SPROULE. That is about as nearly correct as the other statement.
Mr. SCOTT. I venture to state again that most of the people who signed these petitions will later on express themselves as entirely satisfied with the school constitution. I say again that the proposition in the Bills is not a compromise to me at all. It is purely and exactly what I myself, and I believe the majority of the members from the Northwest Territories, wanted placed in the Bills. We have in the Northwest Territories in this very delicate and difficult matter of religion in connection with education reached a solution which has been in effect for fourteen years, which has no superior in any province of Canada, not excluding the province of Manitoba, not excluding the province of Nova Scotia or any other province. We have the most satisfactory solution of this difficult subject that is to be found anywhere in Canada, and why should we take away the advantages 3647                      COMMONS                           of that solution from the people in the initiation of these new provinces ? Why should we endanger the future prosperity of these provinces by subjecting them to the possibility of an agitation over this difficult and delicate matter ? The proposition which is contained in these Bills is the most successful and satisfactory proposition that could be devised in respect to this subject. Yet there can be no doubt about the disturbed state of feeling existing in various other parts of the country—a disturbance fraught with exceeding danger. There are two men in this country who could in a day settle all further difficulty in this matter. There is practically a unanimity of opinion on this side of the House and amongst all Liberals throughout Canada on this question. There are two men who could in a day take all possible further danger out of this question. These two men are Mr. Haultain, who, notwithstanding the fact that he lacks the constitutional position to enable him to represent the Northwest Territories, is still bound to be held by a great many people as being in a sense the representative of the Territories in this matter. If Mr. Haultain and the hon. leader of the opposition together could bring themselves to the plane that was adopted by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) in this House, entirely above party politics and take a patriotic stand, I say that we would come to a satisfactory settlement in regard to this question in a day or a week, and that we would hear no more about this difficulty in connection with the Northwest Autonomy Bills. If the hon. member for North Toronto were here, I would like to quote to him some very admirable words to which he gave voice in 1896 :
Let us plant our feet in the firm path of constitutional compact and agreement, of good faith, and of honest, fair dealing. Let us take and pass on that gleaming torch of prudent compromise under whose kindly light the fathers of the confederation marched safely through in times far more troublous and far less advanced than ours, into an era of harmony and continued peace.
The hon. member for North Toronto made a very excellent speech in 1896, which would apply with far greater and more proper force to the present situation than it did to the suggested legislation of that time ; and if he were here, I would say to him that I think that if ten years from this he reads both of these speeches—the speech of 1896 and the speech of 1905—he will be far prouder of his 1896 speech than he will be of the speech which he delivered two days ago in this House.
I repeat, in conclusion, that I am satisfied with the propositions contained in these Bills and that they are the most important that ever have been presented to this parliament nobody disputes. I am satisfied that they will result not only in the immediate future, but in the inter 3647 3648 mediate future as well as in the far future, in the existence of two provinces in no sense inferior to, in every way equal with, their sister provinces-enjoying absolute religious equality, full provincial rights, an efficient free public or common, non-sectarian school system controlled by the state and on a plan guaranteeing the perfect autonomy of every conscience and scruple -in a word, enjoying freedom in every resonable and British sense of the term ;-and that the provisions of these Bills will enable the people of these new provinces to carry on their great work and fulfil the duties that fall upon them as self-governing provinces in this Dominion with every measure of success. When I remember that this government and this parliament are undertaking, in addition to the generous terms which I have already described, to bear the cost of the lands administration, that they are undertaking to continue the free homesteading policy, that they are undertaking to continue to maintain an active immigration policy, that they are undertaking to continue the Northwest Mounted Police in that country for some time and that they are aiding and continuing to aid great railway projects in these new provinces, I say, and I am sure that in so saying I voice the sentiment of the Northwest people, that these measures are based upon those principles of justice, equality and above these, generosity, the observance of which in his whole public life has contributed to the position which my right hon. friend the leader of the government holds in the confidence and affection of the people of Canada.
I trust, that, notwithstanding the threats that were made this afternoon across the floor of the House, the 1st of July next, the 38th anniversary of the birth of confederation, will witness the admission of these twin provinces into full sisterhood of the provincial communion to continue in a path of development already well started and which each and every one of us may hope will lead as the years go by to greater and greater magnitude and perfection-helping to make in still more pronounced degree this fair Dominion of Canada the proudest gem in the great galaxy of nations forming the British Empire.
  Mr. W. J. ROCHE moved to the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, House adjourned at 11.05 p.m.


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



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