House of Commons, 2 May 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan



House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.
Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Inland Revenue). Mr. Speaker, I desire to express my deep gratitude to the House that I have the opportunity of taking part in such an important discussion as the one now going on. We must all feel gratified that this debate has been carried on in such a manner that the citizens of Canada must feel proud of this parliament. In fact, we have not heard throughout the whole debate any expression which could hurt the feelings of any member of this House. The debate has been carried on in a dignified way, and I will try, in the few remarks which I intend to offer, to follow the example set by those who have preceded me. The first question which we have to consider is whether we should create new provinces in the Northwest, and, if so, what constitution we should give to those provinces. The unanimous feeling in this House is in favour of granting provincial autonomy to the Northwest. It has been suggested that we should have only one province instead of two ; but generally the opinion of the members is strongly in favour of the creation of two provinces. Now, what constitution should we give to those provinces ? On that question there has been some difference of opinion, especially with regard to the school question, and I will try to give the reasons why I think the educational clauses of the Bill, as amended should be supported by the members of this House. The hon. leader of the opposition the other day, at page 3096 of ' Hansard,' spoke as follows :
If my hon. friend is able to show me that there is, in respect of those proposed provisions, any such compact as that which was made before confederation between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, I will then readily accept his illustration.
The illustration referred to was to the effect that since Ontario and Quebec have their separate schools, the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan should not be denied that privilege. We see, therefore, that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has declared that if we can establish a compact or agreement with regard to separate schools in the Northwest such as there was with regard to schools in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, he is ready to concede that separate schools should be established in the new provinces we are now creating. Well, Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, there was a formal agreement and compact by virtue of which separate schools were to be established in the North 5211 5212 west Territories. I shall prove this by referring to what occurred in 1869 and 1870, and that consequently the parliament of Canada is to-day bound to give separate schools to the new provinces. I need not refer to the treaties which were passed between England and France in 1763, because those treaties cannot be called upon to establish any rights or privileges with regard to the Northwest Territories. We know very well that Rupert's Land or the Northwest Territories were under the sovereignty of England for more than two centuries. We know very well that they were under the laws and constitution of England from 1670 to 1870, when they were brought under the control of the Canadian government. We well recollect that in 1869 or 1870 there was a disturbance in the Northwest. The Canadian government, without having the necessary authority, sent up some persons to that country to take possession of it. At that time there was no law which had been passed by the British parliament, there was no proclamation issued by the British parliament, handing this territory over to the Canadian government. However, the Canadian government took upon itself to send people up there to exercise the sovereign power. An agitation and disturbance ensued, and a very serious agitation it was indeed. The imperial government then tried by all means to adjust the differences of opinion which existed at that time between the settlers of the west and the Canadian government. Lord Granville, then Colonial Secretary, sent a despatch to Sir John Young, then Governor General of Canada, in 1869, and Sir John Young wrote to Governor McTavish, of the Territories, a letter in which he transmitted the despatch from Lord Granville. Speaking of that despatch from Lord Granville, Sir John Young used the following language ,
The message conveys the matured opinion of the imperial cabinet. The proclamation I have issued is based upon it, and you will observe that it requests all who have desires to express or complaints to make, be referred to me as invested with authority on behalf of the British government, to the inhabitants of Rupert's Land ; and all classes of persuasion may rest assured that Her Majesty has no intention of interfering with, or setting aside, or allowing others to interfere with the religion and rights and the franchise hitherto enjoyed.
Thus we find, in the words of that letter from Sir John Young, the representative of the imperial government in Canada, that all the rights and privileges enjoyed by the settlers of the Northwest Territories were to be continued. Sir John Young at the same time issued a proclamation to the settlers, in which he said :
I do, therefore, assure vou that in the union with Canada all your civil rights and religious rights and privileges will be respected.
5213 MAY 2, 1905
At the request, both of the imperial government and the Canadian government, Archbishop Taché, who was then in Rome, came back to Canada for the purpose of inducing his people to come willingly under the control of the Canadian confederation. In a book which he published some years ago on this school question, Archbishop Taché quotes a personal letter from Sir John Young, in which Sir John Young said, in substance, that his people may be assured their rights and privileges will be maintained. That is not all. We find that after Archbishop Taché went to the Northwest, a delegation was sent from the settlers of that country to Ottawa to confer with the Canadian government and the Governor General, Sir John Young. Those settlers presented a Bill of Rights covering the demands which they intended to make upon the Dominion government. Among other things, they asked the Canadian government that the privileges which they had hitherto enjoyed should be continued. More than that. Let me call special attention to this fact, because it shows what was the agreement and contract then entered into. The imperial and Canadian governments had both been asking the settlers to formulate their demands, to mention what they wanted in connection with the establishment of Canadian authority in their country. The representatives of these settlers came to Ottawa, and among the demands they made is the following, which we find in article 7 of their Bill of Rights:
That the public money for schools be distributed among the different religious institutions in proportion to the number of people belonging to the same creed, according to the system established in the province of Quebec.
So we see that the representatives of the settlers came to the government here and asked that a system of separate schools should be established in the Northwest similar to that in the province of Quebec. And I may add that the governor, Sir John Young, afterwards telegraphed to Lord Granville the Secretary of State for the Colonies : ' Negotiations with delegates close satisfactorily.' And Lord Granville answered expressing satisfaction. Archbishop Taché, one of those engaged in these negotiations states that it was understood that the rights and privileges of the minority should be respected and that there should be separate schools in the Northwest Territories.
Mr. SPROULE. What Bill of Rights is the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brodeur) quoting ?  
Mr. BRODEUR. I am quoting from Bill No. 24.
Mr. SPROULE. Of the fourth Bill of Rights? The authenticity of that Bill of Rights is disputed.
5213 5214
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not know whether it has been disputed or not. But I know that the man who brought down this Bill of Rights to Ottawa swore in court, in the case of Lepine, that this Bill of Rights was genuine. And if my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) goes to the library he will find that this Bill of Rights is included in the papers brought down to parliament at that time. More than that, Lord Stratheona, a man whose word we cannot dispute, a man honourable in every respect, and one connected with these negotiations, -having been sent by this government to induce the settlers of the Northwest to accept the situation-says, as will be found in the House of Commons 'Debates,' 1896, page 4137:
It is true that not much was said about schools at that time, but it was distinctly understood by the people there, and the promise was made to these people that they would have every privilege in joining Canada, which they possessed at that time.
Is there anything plainer, anything surer, than that there was a compact at that time, by which separate schools should be maintained in the Northwest ?
Mr. SPROULE. I do not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brodeur), but, with his permission, I would like to ask him a question. If I understand him correctly, he says that these settlers were to continue to enjoy every privilege they then had. What privilege which they enjoyed then has been denied them since ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not say that these privileges have been absolutely denied. At the same time, in certain parts of the Northwest, they have been denied. Perhaps in the Northwest they have not gone so far as to destroy entirely the separate schools, but they have certainly to a large extent decreased the privileges which the minority enjoy with regard to separate schools.
Mr. SPROULE. They did not have any privileges of separate schools, therefore that privilege has not been taken from them.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) is entirely mistaken, they had privileges with regard to separate schools. Is it not perfectly clear that they had voluntary schools in the Northwest at that time ?
Mr. BRODEUR. Were not these schools, where Catholics, controlled by the Catholics, and where Protestants controlled by the Protestants? And let me put this question. to my friend : Is it not true that the authority then exercising rights of sovereignty in the Northwest Territories, the Hudson Bay Company, was giving a share of money to these schools whether Catholic or Protestant ?
Mr. SPROULE. May I remind the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brodeur) that what the peo 5215 COMMONS ple had were voluntary schools, and that the decision of the Privy Council with regard to the Manitoba case was that these people were not to be denied any right which they had in the church schools, voluntary schools. And that is clear, for they could have those schools today.
Mr. BRODEUR. There is one fact which cannot be disputed,—that the Catholics had their schools which they controlled, and the Protestants had their schools which they controlled. The people in the west were afraid that these rights would be taken away from them, and so they showed hesitation in accepting the terms of union. At last there was a promise made by the imperial government and by the Canadian government, and by Lord Strathcona, who had been sent out there to settle the difficulty, that these rights and privileges would be continued ;—that is to say, Catholics would have the right to their schools and Protestants to their schools. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) will not deny, I suppose, that the delegates who came from the west were recognized by the Dominion government. In fact, the cable which was sent by Sir John Young, to Lord Granville, the Secretary of State for the colonies, recognizes them as such ; and more than that, I am informed that the expenses of these delegates on their journey to Ottawa were paid by the Canadian government. So. Mr. Speaker, there was a formal agreement, a formal compact by which these rights and privileges, should continue to be exercised by the Protestants and Catholics of the Northwest. There is no doubt about that. And, now that we are called upon to give autonomy to the Northwest Territories, some elements in this country would have the government and parliament not carry out the promise which was made to the minority by the imperial government, by the Canadian government and by Lord Strathcona. Sir, the government of this country will not commit such an injustice; we will not go back on the promise which was made in 1869-70. The government of this country will give the minority their rights which were guaranteed to them by the promise then made, the rights which they enjoy under the constitution.
While on the subject of compacts, and before dealing with the constitutional aspect of the question, I would like to say a word or two with regard to the compact with the other provinces. I noticed a few days ago in the Toronto 'News,' a statement which has been made time and again in the course of this controversy. The Toronto 'News' is a newspaper of great importance, but one which, perhaps, in this agitation, has not done its duty to the country as it should have done. The Toronto 'News' has said that the compact with regard to separate schools was one which affected only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and not the others. Mr. Speaker. I am here to as 5215 5216 sert that there was a compact with regard to separate schools not only in connection with Ontario and Quebec but in connection with the other provinces which formed the union or might later enter the union. Now. what is the history of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867 ? There was a conference at Quebec in 1864, attended by representatives of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. After discussing the question of confederation for several days, the delegates came to the conclusion that the educational laws should be under the control of the legislatures of the several provinces. saving the rights and privileges which the minority in Upper and Lower Canada might enjoy. It is true that the compact then applied only to those two provinces, it is true that the compact then simply embraced Quebec and Ontario. But I am going to show, and I am going to put before this House conclusive evidence, that the compact later on was extended to all the provinces, not only to those which had entered into confederation, but to those which would come in later on. What have we then? Immediately after the Quebec conference, Mr. Galt, then representing the Protestant minority of Quebec, made a speech in Sherbrooke in which he said :
It is clear that in confining the general subject of education to the local legislatures, it is absoluntely necessary that it should be accompanied with such restrictions as shall prevent injustice in any respect from being done to the minority.
Now this applied to Lower Canada, but it also applied and with equal force to Upper Canada and the other provinces.
The same privileges belong to the one of right here as belong to the other of right elsewhere. There could not be greater injustice to a. population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their own religious belief.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we find this gentleman representing the Protestant minority of Quebec, saying that the compact should not only cover the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. but should cover also the other provinces, and especially the provinces of New Bruns- to a population than to compel them to have wick and Nova Scotia. But the negotiations did not stop there, there was something more. What was done? After the conference at Quebec, the negotiations went to London. they had a conference in London, and my hon. friend will find at page 98 of Pope's Confederation Documents, that the following provinces were represented in London : Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They discussed the question of confederation, and the way in which the Bill which was to be introduced into the imperial parliament should be drafted. What occurred then ? When they came to discuss section 43 of the Quebec conference, we find 5217 MAY 2, 1905 that Mr. Galt moved an amendment, which is to be found in the same book at page 112 ; we find this amendment moved, not by a Catholic, but by the representative Protestant of the minority of Quebec :
And in any province where a system of separate or dissenstient schools by law obtains, or where the local legislature may hereafter adopt—
Notice that, Mr. Speaker, not in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario alone, as we have so often heard it declared in this House and outside.
Where a system of separate or dissentient schools by law. obtains, or where the local legislature may hereafter adopt a system of separate or dissentient schools, an appeal shall lie to the Governor in Council of the general government from. the Acts and decisions of the local authorities which may affect the rights or privileges of the Protestant or Catholic minority in the matter of education. And the general parliament shall have power in the last resort to legislate on the subject.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we find in the same book and on the same page a facsimile of the motion which was made by Mr. Galt, in the handwriting of Mr. Galt, which motion proves that Mr. Galt wanted the compact with regard to separate schools extended so as to apply not only to Quebec and Ontario, but to all the provinces, not only to the provinces which were then in existence, not only to Quebec, Ontario. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but also to those provinces which might come in later and form part of the confederation. What then happened, Mr. Speaker ? We are told that the compact existed only between Quebec and Ontario. Well, Sir, we find in the handwriting of Sir John A. Macdonald. in the same fac.simile to which I have just alluded, that there was a vote taken on the question whether these powers with regard to separate schools should be extended to all the provinces. that is to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and others which might come in: there was a vote taken, and we find the result stated in the handwriting of Sir John A. Macdonald. a document which was found among his papers after his death. by his then secretary, Mr. Joseph Pope, and this is how it reads :
Nova Scotia votes, yes : New Brunswick votes, yes ; Canada votes, yes.
So, Mr. Speaker, the agreement did not cover only the two provinces but it covered all the provinces which then entered into the union, and the provinces which should be created in the future.
Mr. SPROULE. Might I ask the hon. member this question ? These were the delegates who went home after the resolutions were submitted to the parliament here and accepted by that parliament. and after the most emphatic assurance was given by the Attorney General of Canada here that 5217 5218 the delegates would bring back no Bill but one which was exactly in accord with the resolutions. Then that amendment was made in England, but it was not assented to by the parliament of Canada except in so far as the representatives of those provinces were satisfied and assented to it.
Mr. BRODEUR. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to see that my hon. friend wishes to deny this agreement. This is an important question, one to which I am sure he has given much attention, and I am surprised to hear him express the opinion that those who made that agreement in England were not authorized to do so. Will he say for one moment that Sir Charles Tupper was not authorized to speak for his province of Nova Scotia ? Will he say that Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley did not represent his province of New Brunswick. and was not authorized to do what he did on that occasion ? Will he say that Sir John A. Macdonald, that Sir George Etienne Cartier were in error, and did not carry out the promises which they made to this country ?
Mr. SPROULE. I will say this, if the hon. gentleman will allow me to say it, that when the question arose in the Canadian parliament as to whether the Bill, after it had passed the imperial parliament, should or should not be submitted to the Canadian parliament, an amendment was moved that it should be submitted, and it was claimed as; a reason for that amendment that laws were often brought back from the imperial parliament that did not exactly accord with the resolutions that were made and carried by the Canadian parliament, and that therefore it was necessary to review these laws and ascertain whether they were exactly in accord with the resolutions. In opposition to that amendment Sir George E. Cartier was the one who spoke on behalf of the government, and declared that he would bring back no law but one which was exactly the same as the resolutions.
Mr. BRODEUR. I think my hon. friend is entirely mistaken as to that. He reminds me of something which I have read somewhere, that it was perfectly understood between Mr. Galt, Sir George E. Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald that when they went to England they would see that the Protestant minority in Quebec was absolutely protected. and would receive special power to dispose of their money and control the administration of their schools. I think my hon. friend must remember that. Therefore it was not understood that those Quebec resolutions should be embodied in a law passed in England in precisely the same form as they were passed here. No, there was a conference de novo, the delegates of each province united together. discussed the question and they came to the conclusion, a conclusion which cannot be denied. that the compact in regard to separate schools should 5219 COMMONS apply not only to both Canadas but to all all the provinces—the provinces which were then entering confederation as well as the provinces which would come later on into the confederation.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. May I ask the hon. gentleman a question? Is he making the point that there is something in this compact which was not embodied in the British North America Act, or does he conceive that everything in this compact made at London was embodied in the British North America Act? What is the point?
Mr. BRODEUR. I have not discussed the British North America Act so far. I have simply been speaking of the compact which was existing and answering the assertion that has been made almost every day in some of the papers that the compact was only in regard to Quebec and Ontario and did not affect the other provinces.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. What I would like to know is if the hon. gentleman contends that in this compact to which he has just referred and which was made in London, there is anything which was not embodied in the British North America Act ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. There is not?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Well then you have every thing in the British North America Act.
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not think my hon. friend has understood exactly. It is probably my fault; it is probably my mistake; I speak so badly that perhaps I have been misunderstood by my hon. friend. The point which I wanted to make is this, that it has been asserted time and again in the papers, for instance in the Toronto ' News' of the 1st April, that the compact had reference purely and simply to both Canadas. That has been asserted almost every day. I wanted to prove by the book which I have just quoted and by the motion which was made by Sir Alexander Galt and which was assented to by the delegates from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that a system of separate schools should not only be maintained in the provinces which were then entering the union, but that a system of separate schools should be maintained that was later on, even after confederation, embodied in the laws and that future provinces in consequence should be bound also to maintain a system of separate schools Whether they should establish these separate schools at the union or whether they should establish them later on. That has been embodied in the British North America Act and that is the reason why I am surprised that papers that want 5219 5220 to inflame public opinion in all parts of the country are always repeating the story that the compact was simply in regard to the two provinces. I have proved that the compact affected all the provinces in the Dominion.
Now, before I discuss the constitutional question my hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, will probably forgive me if I discuss for a moment or two the amendment which he has moved and which we have now to consider. I have read this amendment over several times and I have had some difficulty in making up my mind as to its exact meaning. Perhaps it is my mistake. I am sure it is my mistake, because my hon. friend certainly wanted to put before the House a concrete motion embodying perfectly his views and ideas. I will read the amendment again in order to find out whether, with the help of my hon. friend, I will be able to understand exactly its meaning. It says:
Upon the establishment of a province in the Northwest Territories of Canada, as proposed by Bill (No. 69), the legislature of such province—
Here are the words which I do not understand exactly.
—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.
I understand perfectly well the latter part, that the provincial legislature shall have the right, if this amendment carries, to exclusively make laws in relation to education. Does it mean, however, Mr. Speaker, that these laws shall be subject to section 93 of the British North America Act? Does it mean that the provincial legislature shall have the right to exclusively make laws in regard to education, and that at the same time these laws should be submitted to the federal parliament control under section 93 of the British North America Act? That is the point which I have not been able to understand. It is true, as I have said, that my hon. friend is very clear in the latter part of his amendment, but he does not seem to be so clear in the qualification which he gives to these powers. What does he mean by 'subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Act"? Does he mean that section 93 will apply or does he mean that section 93 shall not apply as far as education is concerned? I would like to put to him a question to know exactly whether I understand the exact meaning of his amendment. Suppose that his amendment should carry, suppose the legislature of the province of Saskatchewan should pass a law creating separate schools—could this legislature vary, or decrease, or abolish these separate schools? I do not know 5221 MAY 2, 1905 whether my hon. friend understands the question I have just put?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Does my hon. friend desire an answer ?
Mr. BRODEUR. Yes. The question which I want to ask is this: Suppose the legislature of Saskatchewan to-morrow should pass a law establishing separate schools—I am supposing that this motion carries, and that the legislature, acting upon it, will pass a law to-morrow establishing separate schoolswould the legislature be entitled afterwards to abolish those separate schools, or to repeal the law?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. If the legislatures of the provinces were given full authority in respect to education, of course, they would be permitted to abolish separate schools. They would have the authority to abolish them. As to whether or not there would be any remedy by an appeal to the executive and to this parliament would bear upon the question as to whether the 4th subsection of section 93 had application to the new provinces, when you apply the constitution to these new provinces, not being provinces in the first instance but coming in as Territories.
Mr. BRODEUR. Well, that is not very satisfactory.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I assure my hon. friend that I am trying to answer him and I think my answer is quite as plain as his question.
Mr. BRODEUR. I though my question was very plain.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I think my answer is very plain.
Mr. BRODEUR. I will repeat my question in order to be fully understood. If this motion of my hon. friend passes and the legislature of Saskatchewan is organized. immediately after the organization—
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Just one moment. I must ask my hon. friend to be definite. Organized under what kind of legislation?
Mr. BRODEUR. Under this amendment.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Very good.
Mr. BRODEUR. Suppose the amendment should carry and it should be declared that :
—subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1886,—  
The legislature—
—is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of provincial self-government, including power to exclusively make laws in relation to education.
And that the legislature had established separate schools protecting the rights of the 5221 5222 minority, would the legislature have the right to repeal that law. and if it did repeal the law would, this parliament be entitled to pass remedial legislation?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The legislature would undoubtedly be entitled to repeal the law just the same as the legislature of Manitoba was entitled to repeal the law which had been passed after Manitoba came into confederation.
Mr. BRODEUR. And what about remedial legislation ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I suppose, so far as that is concerned, if you apply the constitution of Canada it depends on whether subsection 4 would apply. If my hon. friend had been careful enough to read my speech he would have seen that I had already pronounced an opinion on that and he need not have asked me the question. I said that in my opinion, the application of subsection 1 might give the answer as to the application of subsection 4, and I thought subsection 1 would not apply to conditions existing in the Territories. Some hon. gentlemen on this side of the House have not taken that view, and most hon. gentlemen on the other side have taken precisely the opposite view. That is a point on which I do not pretend to have a very strong opinion. I have not considered it very carefully. My proposition was simply to apply the constitution of Canada as contained in the Acts of 1867, 1871 and 1886 to these new provinces. I was prepared and am prepared to abide by the result of the application of that constitution. But in any event. I would point out to my hon. friend that the question of remedial legislation could not be one of very great importance in his opinion, because, if the minority in the provinces would apply for remedial legislation, undoubtedly my hon. friend and his leader would oppose it in the future just as they did in 1896.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) has not given me a very definite answer and I think I can go a little further and ask him: leaving aside what the judges may decide in the future, whether in his own opinion he is ready to declare that the minority will have the right to remedial legislation under the circumstances which I have mentioned. The hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) proposes to make the law now ; he should know exactly what he intends in making that law and he must be in a position to declare whether that law will be sufficient or not.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I told my hon. friend already—why does he ask me to repeat it—that in my opinion subsection 1 certainly does not apply. That surely is the important question.
Mr. BRODEUR. What about subsections 3 and 4 ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Subsection 1 as I understand it gives the key note. I believe that subsection 1 would not apply to territories coming in under legislation of the character I asked for in my resolution, and I thought also that subsections 3 and 4 might be governed by the considerations affecting subsection 1.
Mr. BRODEUR. I think my hon. friend is absolutely mistaken because While subsection 2 may not apply subsections 3 and 4 might apply.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I concede that, and the hon gentleman may be right; but my hon. friend asked me for my opinion and I stated there was a dilference of opinion in the House on the subject. I was simply giving my own opinion with regard to the matter and with every deference to the opinions of hon. gentlemen in this House who differ from me. I could not do any more than give my opinion in reply to his question, and I think I have given it with sufficient clearness. I have a strong opinion about subsection 1. but not a strong opinion about subsections 3 and 4. The question is not the same.
Mr. BRODEUR. I am not yet absolutely satisfied that my hon. friend has answered my question. I thought that when be undertook to propose this law he should be in a position to tell us whether remedial legislation would apply or would not apply. For my part I believe it is the duty of this parliament to decide to-day what is the law and what should be the law.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. As my hon. friend is in a questioning mood I would like to put him a question. Does he mean that this parliament can decide any matter of that kind by assuming powers which it may be found eventually not to possess ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I will be in a position in a few moments to discuss that phase of the question.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. That is a very pertinent point just now.
Mr. BRODEUR. I am here to assert that I consider this parliament has the right. I cannot be certain whether the future will agree with me or not. but I assert here that this parliament has today the right to decide what the law should be with regard to separate schools in the Northwest. I go further than my hon. friend does.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The only difference Is that I am not quite so cock sure as my hon. friend is.
Mr. BRODEUR. Then I stand in a better position than does my hon. friend, and the government stands in a better position than he .does because the government have decided as to its course While my hon. friend does not seem to be able to decide what is the meaning of 5223 5224 his amendment. I may be mistaken, but I do say here that if under the amendment of the leader of the oppostion, remedial legislation does not apply, then it is the most unjust proposition which has ever been brought before the parliament of this country. In view of the agreements which I have just quoted. in view of the agreement which was made in London in 1867, in view of the agreement which was made with regard to the schools in the Northwest in 1869, I say that we should be in a position now to declare whether we shall guarantee the rights and privileges which the minority should enjoy in this country; that we should not leave it to the future to decide what shall be the position of the minority, but that we shall be brave enough to say to them: here is the law under which you shall live.
Mr. BORDEN. May I ask my hon. friend one question. Does he attach importance to the remedial legislation which is provided for by subsection 4 ?
Mr. BRODEUR. Certainly I attach a great deal of importance to it, and for the reason that if the legislature should establish separate schools in the Northwest Territories and if it should afterwards abolish these separate schools. then this parliament would have the right to disallow that law as it should have the right to disallow a law so unjust.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Might I ask one more question ? Does he understand that the minority in Manitoba have their full rights today ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear
Mr. BRODEUR. I am not going to say—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Let us be brave.
Mr. BRODEUR. We are not discussing the Manitoba Bill. we are discussing the Northwest Territories Bill and we find on this side of the House a party which stands for a definite position. and on the other side we have a party which is divided against itself.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Do I understand that my hon. friend declines to answer that very disconcerting question which I put just now ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I will be very glad to discuss that question some other day. I have been speaking now for an hour. occasionally interrupted as I have been, and I will be very glad to discuss that question any time my hon. friend makes a motion. and which I trust will be in clearer language than the one he has now before the House.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear. hear.
5225 MAY 2, 1905
Mr. INGRAM. I would like to point out to the hon. gentleman—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Mr. INGRAM. I would like to point out to the hon. member (Mr. Brodeur) that I remember when he took hours to discuss the reasons why there should not be remedial legislation in Manitoba.
Mr. BRODEUR. Now that we do not know exactly where the hon. leader of the opposition stands with regard to his motion, we will proceed to discuss the question whether or not we have the constitutional power to pass this Bill. With regard to this question of constitutional powers, we must not forget one thing: Section 91 of the British North America Act determines what are the powers of the federal parliament; section 92 deals with the powers of the local legislatures ; section 93 deals with the powers of local legislatures in regard to education, but; at the same time gives the federal parliament a certain control over that subject; section 95 places some subjects. like agriculture, under the control of both 'the provincial legislatures and the federal parliament. Now, it has been asserted time and again that this legislation is an infringement upon provincial rights. I say with regard to education that it is not a question of provincial rights. It is not a question whether the province will have an absolute right or not, such as it has in regard to the matters embodied in section 92; but it is purely and simply a question of minority rights. It is a question whether the minority shall enjoy the rights and privileges which are guaranteed by the constitution or rights and privileges which they may acquire under the constitution.
Now, have we the power to pass the Bill now before us ? I say, without the least hesitation, that we have that power. I am not going to dwell on that question at great length. I hope my hon. friend the Minister of Justice will have occasion to take part in this debate, and he is certainly in a better position than .1 am to discuss that question ; but I may be permitted to say a word or two upon it. What says section 4 of the Act of 1871 ? It says:
The parliament of Canada may, from time to time. make provision for the administration, peace, order and good government of any territory not for the time being included in any province.
The parliament of Canada has absolute power over the legislation of the Territories; there is no doubt about that. Now, what does section 2 of the same Act say ? It says:
The parliament of Canada may, from time to time, esbablish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof, and may, at the time of such estab 5225 5226 lishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province—
The section does not stop there. It does not say, as section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867 does, that the provinces shall be admitted subject to the provisions of that Act. Section 4 of the Act of 1871 says that so long as the Territories remain territories the parliament of Canada will have absolute control over them; but under section 2 the parliament of Canada has also the right to create provinces in those Territories, to give constitutions to those provinces, and to provide for the passing of laws for the peace, order, and good government of such provinces.
Mr. SPROULE. Is this one of the laws making for peace?
Mr. BRODEUR. Certainly. If there is  legislation which is going to bring peace and order, and which should be dealt with by this parliament, the present is that legislation. I am glad that my hon. friend has drawn my attention to that point. Now, Mr. Speaker, in 1875 this parliament passed a law providing that Catholic and Protestant minorities in the Northwest should have the right to establish such schools as they thought fit. There was no objection to that law; why ? Sir John Macdonald was then the leader of the opposition in this House, and why did he not object to the establishment of separate schools in the Northwest ? Because he remembered the promise he had made in 1869 to those minorities. He remembered that he. Lord Strathcona and the imperial government and Archbishop Taché had promised that the rights of the minorities in the Northwest should never be disturbed; and, faithful to his word, he did not object to that legislation, and the rights of the minorities were preserved. In 1880 this parliament re-enacted most of the law which was passed in 1875. My hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) was then in the House, and I see by the Debates of that day that he made a speech—not on that question ; oh, no ; but he made a speech on some other question which was brought up on the same day on which the Bill was under consideration. Let us see what was declared in that Bill. Section 9, which was a new section, provided:
The Lieutenant Governor in Council, or the Lieutenant Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative assembly, as the case may he, shall have such powers to make ordinances tor the government of the Northwest Territories as the Governor in Council may, from time to time, confer upon him ; provided always, that such powers shall not at any time be in excess of those conferred by the ninety- second and ninety-third sections of the British North America. Act, 1867, upon the legislatures of the several provinces of the Dominion.
When this matter was up before, I remember that the hon. leader of the opposition asked me if this was a re-enactment. I have looked into the question since, and 5227 COMMONS I find that it was not a re-enactment. I find that that section was enacted in 1880, and the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), who to-day claims that the rights of minorities should not be protected, did not rise and protest against the incorporation of such a law in our statutes.
Mr. SPROULE. When the hon. gentleman asked me before in reference to that. I said that I had no recollection of it. I said that I was not then as familiar with the British North America Act as I am today, and I did not know the purport of many of the clauses of that Act; so that enactments bearing upon it might be passed in this House without my knowing anything about them. But when the question was brought before the House in such a way that I understood it, I always opposed such an enactment. In support of that statement, I need only mention the fact that when Mr. Dalton McCarthy moved a resolution with regard to one of the clauses of the Act of 1875, I both spoke and voted in favour of his motion, and what were the reasons I gave for doing so ? I said that while Sir John Thompson says we shall have power to give the Territories any kind of constitution we like when we come to form them into provinces, and while other members think the same, the tendency of members. especially lawyers, was to have great regard for precedents, and when we come to that time the very fact that the minority may have enjoyed those rights for a number of years will be quoted as giving them vested rights, which it will be held we have no moral right to take away from them. As I did not want to have that claim made, I voted against it.
Mr. BRODEUR. Is it true that before the introduction of this Bill which we are now considering, the hon. gentleman sent through the country some circulars asking people to protest against separate schools ?
Mr. SPROULE. That is not true at all.
Mr. BRODEUR. Is it true that the hon. gentleman was connected in any way, shape or form with the agitation which was excited before the Bills in question were introduced ?
Mr. SPROULE. There is not a word with regard to separate schools in those petitions. They simply ask that the provinces be allowed free and absolute right to deal with the subject of education.
Mr. BRODEUR. There is a great difference then between the position taken by the hon. gentleman in 1880 and the position he now takes, before the introduction of these Bills. In 1880 when a Bill was passed by this Parliament containing this section 10, which I shall read so that there may be no misunderstanding, he made no protest against it. My hon. friend says he does not know constitutional law. but this clause 10 5227 5228 speaks for itself and may be understood even by one who is-not versed in constitutional law. It is as follows :
When, and so soon was any system of taxation shall he adopted in any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, the Lieutenant Governor. by and with the consent of the council or assembly, as the case may he, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect to education. but it shall therein always be provided that a majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, or any lesser portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same may be known, may establish such schools therein as they think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor; and, further, that the minority of ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein, and that in such latter case, the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate schools shall be liable only to assessment of such rates as they may impose upon themselves in respect thereof.
My hon. friend says he did not understand that section, and that is why he did not protest against it; but this session, before the Bills were even introduced, and consequently before he could have seen the educational clauses, he started an agitation against them.
Mr. SPROULE. Will my hon. friend allow me to correct him ? I am not aware of having said that I did not understand that clause. I do not know that I was in the House at the time it was passed. It certainly was not brought to my notice.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend was certainly in the House when that clause 10 of the Act of 1880 was passed because he spoke on that day.
Mr. SPROULE. Will my hon. friend allow me to be responsible for what I do say ? I said I was not as amiliar with the clause of the British Nort America Act then as I am to-day. I did not say that I did not understand it.
Mr. BRODEUR. I suppose my hon. friend was then able to read that clause 10, and understand it. and I presume that when it spoke of separate schools, he knew what it meant. and when it spoke of the rights of minority he must have known what it meant. He did not then object. He did not then say a word against that clause 10 of the Act of 1880 establishing separate schools. He did not protest that it was in violation of the British North America Act. He had a speech to make that day on some other question, but on that question he had not a word to say. This session however, before the Bills to establish these new provinces were introduced, and consequently before he could have known what clauses they contained regarding education, he started an agitation against them.
5229 MAY 2, 1905
Mr. SPROULE. The hon. gentleman must be aware that when the same question was brought up by the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy and discussed in this House, I took part in that discussion and stood exactly where I stand to-day. I then condemned, as I do now, the principle of taking the question of education out of the control of the provinces.
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not want to continue the discussion longer with my hon. friend. I suppose, however, we can agree that his position to-day would perhaps he more consistent, if he had taken a firmer stand in 1880. I am not complaining. I am glad, however, to note that to-day he is giving to his duties a little more attention than he was then giving them. Perhaps the change of government may have something to do with the change in his position.
Mr. SPROULE. And that change may equally account for the difference between the position which my hon. friend took in 1896 and that which he takes in 1905.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, said the other day that the Northwest Territories became entitled in 1870 to the provisions of the British North America Act with regard to education. I am not sure that I could accede to that legal proposition, but if there be any doubt that the minority acquired certain rights in 1870, there can be no doubt that section 93 of the British North America Act was applied to the minority in the Northwest Territories by the Act which we passed in 1880. Well, since 1880 the minority have acquired some rights and privileges. They got some ordinances passed in connection with education; and I am glad to say that the legislation which was passed in 1883, and which gave to the minority in the Territories the full measure of their rights and privileges, was prepared by two of my colleagues, one of whom is the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver). My hon. friend, the Minister of the Interior, was then a member of the territorial assembly and one of those who passed this legislation giving the minority the full measure of justice and the full measure of their rights. Whether the minority acquired those rights in 1870 or whether they acquired them by the legislation of 1880, there is no doubt that in 1880 separate schools were established, and there is no doubt that the minority have since been enjoying these rights in the Territories. Why then today, when we are constituting these Territories into provinces, should we not carry out the provisions of the law as embodied in the constitution of 1875 and in the British North America Act ? My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition says that section 93 of the Confederation Act should apply to these Territories when 5229 5230 they entered confederation in 1870. Well, if it does, the rights which the minority have since acquired can be protected by this government. The rights which they have achIired since their entry into confederation in 1870 can he and should be protected by this government. We certainly have the right to legislate in that sense. I suppose my hon. friend will not dispute that We have the right to pass remedial legislation. Well, if We have the right by remedial legislation to give to the minority their rights and privileges, why should we not do that when we are giving these new provinces a constitution ?
Mr. SPROULE. You are acting as an appellate court before an appeal is made.
Mr. BRODEUR. No, we are simply embodying in the constitution of these new provinces what we would have the right to give them by a special Act. If we can pass remedial legislation to secure these people in their rights, why should we not do that immediately when we are constituting those provinces ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. My hon. friend is putting words into my mouth, and I do not wish to be understood as concurring in what he says.
Mr. BRODEUR. Does my hon. friend question the accuracy of the quotation ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. No, but the application by him of what I said.
Mr. BRODEUR. I understood the hon. gentleman to say that my quotation was not correct.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Not at all.
Mr. BRODEUR. I say that if my hon. friend's contention be correct, namely, that section 93 of the British North America Act applies to the Territories on the date of their acquisition by confederation in 1870, then the rights they have acquired since 1880 couid be preserved under that same section 93.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would not agree with that proposition, as I understand it.
Mr. BRODEUR. I want to deal for a moment or two with an argument which was made the other day by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster).
Mr. MONK. Will my hon. friend allow me to put him a question before he leaves that part of the subject ? If, as he contends. section 93 of the British North America Act applies absolutely to the new provinces, can we, under the proposed amendment before us. vary that section 93 ? He will remember that under the proposed amendment we eliminate subsection 1 of section 93— a very important clause—and substitute a new section. Have we power to do that?
Mr. BRODEUR. I have not the least thought that we have power to do it. But section 2 of the Act of 1871 provides not only for giving a constitution to the Northwest, but also for passing laws to preserve law and order in that portion of the country. If we have the right to pass laws to maintain peace and order within these provinces, I say we certainly have the right to vary section 93 as we have done.
Mr. MONK. Then, section 93 does not apply absolutely if we have the right to vary it?
Mr. BRODEUR. It does apply, but we have the right to change it, which is a different proposition.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. With the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Brodeur's) permission, I would like to ask a question in order that I may understand his argument. Does he mean that the Act of 1871 is broad enough to permit us to provide, in a Bill such as that we are now discussing, that the customs or the post oflice, for example, should be within the legislative control of the new provinces?
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not think so ; and for this simple reason—that the address presented by this parliament asking for the passing of this Act of 1871 expressly asked that the powers of the federal parliament should not be encroached upon by the legislatures.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Then does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brodeur) say that we could take any subject confided to the provincial legislatures by section 92 and transfer it to the authority of this parliament, when creating the new provinces ?
Mr. BRODEUR. Yes, that is my opinion. Because the rights given under section 92 are broad enough to even cover that. And we have to do it ; we actually are doing it in the case of the lands. My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) discussed that question the other day, contending that we had not the right to change the law with regard to the lands. I do not know whether the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) is of the same opinion. I think we have the right to dispose of the question of lands as we are doing.
Mr. MONK. Is my hon. friend (Mr. Brodeur) of opinion that we could take, for instance, exclusive jurisdiction over the subject of agriculture?
Mr. BRODEUR. I think so. Now, I must deal for a minute or two with a subject which was not brought before this House, but was discussed in an address by my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) at a meeting held in Montreal some time ago, and also in a letter which he wrote to 5231 5232 'La Patrie.' My hon. friend said that our Bill may protect the rights of the minority as to separate schools, but that the Catholic public schools would not fall under the constitutional enactment. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) relies simply on subsection 1 of section 93. Confining our attention to that subsection we find that, perhaps, his argument may have some weight. But I think that in order to have a proper understanding of the subject we should not confine ourselves to that subsection, but should also consider the effect of subsections 3 and 4. In his letter to ' La Patrie,' he forgot to quote the first part of the amendment moved by the leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), which is as follows:
Section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, shall apply to the said provinces with the substitution for subsection 1 of said section 93 of the following subsection :
Section 93 of the British North America Act includes two different things ; Subsection 1 deals with powers which the minority enjoy in regard to separate schools at the union, and subsections 3 and 4 provide for remedial legislation, and concern not only separate schools but any rights and privileges which any minority may acquire with regard to education. Now, let us see section 93. Subsection 3 provides:
Where in any province a system of separate or dissentient schools exists by law at the union or is thereafter established by the legislature of the province, an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education.
We see that this subsection is much broader than subsection 1. Subsection 1 simply protects the minority with regard to separate schools. But, under subsection 3 not only the rights of the minority with respect to separate schools are protected, but all the rights of the minority in relation to education. So it comes to this,— if the legislature of the Northwest, after the Bill has been passed, should try to prevent the minority in any section of the province establishing schools to give education satisfactory to them or to use the French in these schools, there would be occasion to discuss the advisability of pressing remedial legislation and exercising'the power of disallowance of the Act. So, I think the argument of my hon. friend from Labelle is not a very strong one.
Mr. HENRI BOURASSA. Would the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brodeur) permit me? I did not hear the beginning of his argument in reply to the remarks I made in Montreal. But I understand that he contends that, according to subsection 3 of section 93, there would be an appeal to the Governor in Council, and therefore an opening for 5233 MAY 2, 1905 remedial legislation, in case the legislature of one of the new provinces should deprive the Catholics of any rights they may possess in relation to education outside the subject of separate schools. But I presume that he agrees that under subsection 1, is the only one under which the minority could come before any tribunal to have a law that encroaches upon these rights declared null. The proposed amendment deprives them of the right to ask for anything except protection of their rights in separate schools. I am not asking the hon. gentleman to express any view on the subject, but, in view of the history of the last thirty years I have come to the conclusion that while remedial legislation, so far as the Catholic minority are concerned, may exist in the letter of the law, it does not exist in fact. Anything that is not legally granted to minorities so that they may come before the tribunal and get a remedy of their grievance is no protection of their rights.
Mr. BRODEUR. I do not quite agree with my hon. friend. I have always believed that every legislature in this country must be supposed to carry out the law with a certain degree of honesty and rectitude. Perhaps my hon. friend will not agree to that, but I may say this, that any law that might be passed in this parliament, if the provincial authorities did not try to carry it out according to its terms, that law would be of no effect, even if drafted by the ablest men you can find in this country. I say we must always rely to a large extent upon the honesty and rectitude of the legislatures. I know very well, Mr. Speaker, that in the province of Ontario, in spite of the law which now protects the minority in their rights, any provincial government could defeat the effect of that law without passing any legislation which would be declared illegal or unconstitutional under section 1. My hon. friend knows very well that the same thing could be done in the province of Quebec with regard to the Protestant minority. But I repeat, we must have some faith in the rectitude and in the honesty of provincial legislatures. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, why should we say that the rights of a minority are not sufficiently protected when the minority itself does not even complain of What has occurred since 1892? In 1892 an ordinance was passed by the Northwest legislature by which the rights of the minority were toa considerable extent curtailed. The minority came before this government for relief, and the government refused to disallow the ordinance. My hon. friend from Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) said the other day that the government refused to disallow that ordinance because it was too late ; and also, because Mr. Blake had made a motion by which the government could not disallow that ordinance. I suppose my 5233 5234 hon. friend will not make that contention to-day ? 
Mr. Bergeron. Mr. Blake was speaking about the Manitoba Act.
Mr. BRODEUR. No, about the Northwest. My hon. friend, in discussing the Northwest ordinances, said that they could not be disallowed because Mr. Blake had secured the adoption by the House of Commons of a certain motion which prevented the government from acting.
Mr. BERGERON. I was speaking about the Manitoba law, not about the Northwest law. I gave another reason regarding the ordinances, I said that the ordinance of 1892 was not disallowed because it was a reenactment of an ordinance of 1891, and that it was too late to disallow the ordinance of 1891. Then in answer to my hon. friend who asked why the government had not disallowed the ordinance of 1891, whether it was too late to disallow the ordinance of 1892, I said, No, it was not too late, but the disallowance of the ordinance of 1892 would have been of no effect because it was a re-enactment of the ordinance of 1891. That was the answer I gave my hon. friend.
Mr. BRODEUR. Well, Mr. Speaker, I was pretty sure- that my hon. friend, in discussing the question of the Northwest, had mentioned the motion of Mr. Blake. But he must remember that the motion of Mr. Blake had not the effect which he say it had.
Mr. BERGERON. I have just said that I was not talking about the motion of Mr. Blake in regard to the Northwest Territories. When I mentioned the motion of Mr. Blake, it was in connection with the Manitoba question, not the other, although it might have the same effect. But I was not talking about that.
Mr. BRODEUR. Well, the government refused to disallow the ordinance of 1892, because the minority did not come here to ask the disallowance of an ordinance previously passed. I speak subject to correction, but that is my recollection.
Mr. BERGERON. It was the ordinance of 1892 that came down here in 1893.
Mr. BRODEUR. At all events, the minority since then has accepted that state of affairs. They had a right to come here and ask for remedial legislation. My hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) did not deny that they could have come to the government here and asked for remedial legislation. But they did not do so, they accepted the situation, they abided by the decision of the government.


Hon. Frank Oliver, member elect for the electoral district of Edmonton, introduced by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. Lamont.
Mr. BENNETT. Where is Greenway ?
Mr. BRODEUR. Before continuing my remarks on the question under discussion, I may be permitted to express my congratulations to my hon. colleague the Minister of the Interior. We heard some days ago that this government was afraid to open any constituency in the Northwest. Some members on the other side, and especially the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean)—who I have not the pleasure of seeing in his seat just now—boasted that if the government dared to open a constituency in the west, so strong was the feeling of the people against this Bill that no Liberal candidate would dare present himself. Now we have the answer in the election by-acclamation of my hon. colleague the Minister of the Interior.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Mr. Speaker, I understand that the hon. gentleman made some reference to myself at a moment when I happened to be out of the chamber. Would he please repeat it ?
Mr. BRODEUR. I was merely saying for the benefit of my hon. friend that before the present Minister of the Interior was called upon to enter the cabinet, the hon. member for South York boasted that the government dared not open any constituency in the west, and that if a constituency was opened no Liberal member would dare resign his seat and accept a portfolio in the cabinet. I remember the member for South York making that boast, and now I am surprised that the hon. gentleman was not sufficiently courageous to go into the Northwest and oppose my hon. friend and colleague the Minister of the Interior.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Mr. Speaker. the challenge I made I repeat to-day.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN Yes, and it was. a challenge—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The hon. gentlemen will listen surely ? If they mean fight they will be fair in fighting.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The challenge I made—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. SPEAKER. Order.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Now, will you listen ?
An hon. MEMBER. Yes.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Well listen then. The challenge I made was that if the government would open a seat in Ontario—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
5235 5236
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I named the seats, and this in intolerant Ontario of which we hear so much, in which I would run. I will resign my seat to-day and run in South York against the hon. Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), or I will resign my seat and if the hon. Postmaster General will resign his seat I will run against him in North York, or I will run in London or in Oxford. That is the challenge I made and, Mr. Speaker, you may have my resignation now if any hon. member will accept this challenge.
Mr. BRODEUR. I accept, Mr. Speaker, the explanation which has just been given by the hon. member for South York. I thought that he intended to go and fight in the Northwest, but I see now that he wants simply to confine himself to the province of Ontario. Who are the people most interested? Who are people who should take the most interest in this question ? Is it the people of Ontario, or should it be the people of the Northwest ? That is the question. In view of the alleged shackles which we are going to put on the new provinces it was in the west that the fight should have been made and I am sorry that my hon. friend who is full of vigour and energy has not enough vigour to go and fight in the Northwest as he should have done.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Mr. Speaker—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.
Mr. SPEAKER. Order.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I would go farther.
Mr. BRODEUR. My hon. friend, I suppose, does not intend to make a speech.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. No, but my hon. friend asks me about the Northwest and he has thrown it up again at me. I will resign my seat to-day—
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. And run against my hon. friend from Lisgar (Mr. Greenway) or the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). Let the hon. member for West Assinilioia, or the hon. member for Lisgar— Thomas Greenway—resign his seat to-day and I will run against him in his own constituency.
Mr. BRODEUR. We have had enough of all that. We know very well that this agitation which has been brought up by the hon. member for South York is now subsiding.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Well then take the challenge.
Mr. BRODEUR. We know very well that every day his friends are complaining of the action which he got his paper to take on this question. No, I will not follow him any more. He must accept the humiliating position in which he put his party 5237 MAY 2, 1905 when to-morrow night the vote is taken on this question.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. All right.
Mr. BRODEUR. Now, I was discussing—
Mr. BENNETT. Greenway.
Mr. BRODEUR. I was discussing the question which was brought up the other day in Montreal by my hon. friend from Labelle and I was saying that if the minority has accepted the state of affairs which has existed since 1892, there is no reason why in this parliament we should go farther than what the minority has been accepting. Bishop Legal, who is certainly a good authority on this subject—
Mr. BOURASSA. Will the hon. gentleman permit me a word again ? I am sorry to interrupt him so often, but as he has paid special attention to me, I suppose he will allow me an opportunity of expressing my opinion. As far as the right of interference by this parliament is concerned in respect to the Northwest Territories I was under the impression, as was expressed, I think, by Sir John Thompson himself, that so far as the Northwest Territories were concerned, this government had no power of remedial legislation, but simply the power of disallowance. The minority came here and asked for disallowance in 1892, and it was refused by the then government. It is only because they were refused this justice to which they were entitled that they accepted the I repeat in a nutshell that all I stated in Montreal was that the minority of the Northwest Territories are expecting from condition of affairs that then existed. But this parliament a full guarantee under the law of all they possess now and not simply the guarantee that this government may pass remedial legislation in respect to nine- tenths of what they are enjoying.
Mr. BRODEUR. For my part I rely on what the minority have been doing since 1892, and I say that they get some protection under the legislation which we are now passing. If the legislature undertakes later on to destroy or abolish separate schools, or to abolish the Catholic public schools, then there will be a remedy at the hands of this parliament and besides there will be the right of disallowance. My hon. friend says that Sir John Thompson declared that remedial legislation could not exist in regard to the Northwest Territories. I never knew of any such opinion being expressed—
Mr. BOURASSA. Under the Act of 1875.
Mr. BRODEUR. I have never heard of such an opinion being expressed, and I would be inclined to think that Sir John Thompson, if he did so express himself, was mistaken, because, in the statute of 1880 and the Revised Statutes of 1886, it was specially provided that section 93 should 5237 5238 apply to the Northwest Territories. Under section 93 the power of remedial legislation exists and if section 93 was incorporated in the law of 1880, and 1886, I claim that there was the right of remedial legislation. But, the minority did not go so far. They accepted the situation as it was.
Mr. BOURASSA. They had to.
Mr. BRODEUR. They accepted that state of affairs and I do not see why we should go into the province of Quebec and say the Catholics are asking for much more than is presented in this Bill.
I am sorry that I have detained the House so long. I had some other points that I wanted to make but I have kept the House so long that I think I will go no farther. We are now engaged in the consideration of a most serious question. Confederation, is now being submitted to a severe test. Old appeals on racial and religious grounds have been revived. We all remember how, a few years before confederation, these appeals contributed to render the government of Her Majesty absolutely impossible in this country. Governments lasting a few years, a few months, a few days, were succeeding themselves and none was strong enough to carry on the affairs of the country. In spite of the most prosperous times the development of the country was at a standstill. Some of these engaged most actively in that sectional warfare found one day that their unhappy policy was the cause of that unfortunate situation. They reflected and came to the conclusion that they had to lay down their arms and adopt a more sensible policy. Then, the confederation scheme was brought before the country. They thought that a confederation of all the British provinces would remedy the existing evil and they were right. Since confederation a spirit of toleration has animated the great men that have been at the head of both political parties. Macdonald. Campbell, Tupper, Tilley, Mackenzie and Blake always respected the creed and the views of the minority. Confederation developed in a most extraordinary way. New provinces were brought into the union, a vast territory was acquired, a great transcontinental railway was built, our canals and waterways were deepened, railways were subsidized throughout the country and millions have been spent to bring immigrants from all parts of the world. We are all glad to know that during the last few years Canada has developed in to one of the most prosperous nations of the world. It was expected that those sacred traditions of the Conservative party would be kept up and that we would continue to enjoy peace and harmony. But, unfortunately, a section of the Conservative party today is forgetting the lessons of history and refuses to give to the minority the rights to which they are entitled under the constitu 5239 COMMONS tion. What are going to he the results? Already newspapers friendly to the opposition, but which are not in this fight of hatred, have given a warning note. The Montreal ' Star' which is known as being one of the best organs of the Conservative party said on the 7th April :
With all seriousness we believe that a greater matter than the school question is at stake, and that is the future of Canada as a British colony. We must dwell together in mutual harmony and toleration. Neither race and neither religion can wholly have its way. We must give and take.
The 'Star' though a Conservative newspaper deplores the conduct of some of its political friends in relation to this question, and it sees that they are going too far. I do not know whether the 'Star' would be justified in suggesting that our colonial relations might depend on the result of this short-sighted policy of its friends. I sincerely hope that is not the case, and I trust and believe that those who for political purposes have been creating a deplorable agitation in this country will not be seconded in their unpatriotic efforts by the electorate of Canada. In the name of my countrymen I can declare here that we are too much devoted to the British Crown to think for a moment of breaking the British tie. And why? It is because we are always certain to find under the British Crown protection for our rights and privileges ; it is because we will always find on the throne of the British empire a sovereign desirous of supporting the cause of the weak and feeble ; it is because Great Britain will always respect her treaties. And, Sir, if mayhap. one day the agitators, backed up by a majority, should succeed in depriving the Catholics of their rights and privileges, we know that Great Britain will come to their rescue and protect them against injustice. Is not the mother country to-day showing consideration for the sentiments of the minority by sending to Canada a representative whose family traditions are all on the side of toleration. We cannot forget that the Lord Grey of 1805 moved in the British parliament to abolish the restriction that prevented Catholics from being officers in the army and navy ; we cannot forget that the Lord Grey of 1848 proposed in the House of Lords to restore the use of the French language in this parliament of Canada, and we remember his conduct with feelings of gratitude. Sir, what has been the attitude taken by the opposition in this House during this controversy. We have them praising the institutions of the United States and casting slurs upon an institution which all the best men of Great Britain have undertaken to preserve. Gladstone once said:
The root of political connections between the mother country and the colonies lay in the 5239 5240 natural affection of the colonies for the land from which they sprang, and their spontaneous desire to reproduce its laws and the spirit of its institutions. From first to last the really valuable tie with a colony was the moral and the social tie.
But, in this parliament we have men who uphold the neutral schools of the United States against the religious schools of Great Britain, and try in consequence to create distrust in British institutions. Gladstone's idea was that the colonies should try to reproduce in their laws the laws of Great Britain, and not seek inspiration for their laws in a foreign country. I submit, Sir, that the very legislation which the government now proposes is in conformity with our duty to incorporate in our laws the British ideas in order to cement our tie with the mother country. I have already said, and I repeat it now, that if by any misfortune, the ties between Canada and Great Britain should be strained, it will not be on account of any action on the part of my fellow- citizens in the province of Quebec. How can this country continue to enjoy prosperity and progress if the normal happy relations between different sections of the population are to be supplanted by feelings of mutual distrust and discord ? The only wise policy for Canada is a policy based on broad toleration, frank recognition of differences of opinion, and scrupulous regard for the feelings of those who may he in the minority. May I urge here the wisdom, and not only the wisdom but the patriotic duty of every Canadian at a time like this when questions are at issue calculated to arouse rancorous feelings and heated prejudices; or the dangers of sectarian strife the result of which no man can foresee ; may I urge here that true patriotism decrees that the utmost tenderness and consideration for the conscience of others is perfectly consistent with the most valorous defence of the dictates of ones own conscience.
Mr. A. C. MACDONELL (South Toronto). Mr. Speaker, I can assue you that it is with a great deal of temerity I rise to contribute a few words to this debate. I feel that I can add but little to what has been already said, but I believe it my duty, to give reasons for my vote on such an important matter as this. I formed an opinion upon the merits of the question when the Bill was first introduced, and I have listened to the discussion which has taken place with the intention of becoming informed as far as possible from the views of others older in this parliament, older in the public life of this country and abler in debate than I am. I may say, Sir, that I am of the same opinion now that I was when this matter was first brought before the House. I regard this as a measure intended to give autonomy to two new provinces ; a measure giving birth to two province; probably 5241 MAY 2, 1905 the last to enter the confederation of the Dominion, and I feel that in granting that autonomy we should do so to the same extent as other provinces have been given their rights and powers. I believe that the word 'autonomy' as mentioned in the Bill should have the significance that is given to it in common parlance and in the dictionaries which define autonomy to mean 'living according to one's own law or mind ; self-government.' I desire to view this Bill purely from the standpoint of the legal and constitutional questions involved, and I regret that on this occasion we are called upon to deal with acrimonious questions that were discussed in former days and which we had hoped were set at rest when confederation was formed. I believe it was the intention of the founders of confederation to arrive at a final decision as to what should be the underlying principles, the substrata of the confederation of Canada, and it seems to me that the idea of the public men of that day was that the questions which we are now discussing were then finally settled. In my view the powers which the then provinces were to have, and that all new provinces were to be accorded were laid down in defined and well understood axioms of our constitution. I believe that the educational question which is a very important one was sought to be set at rest by the Confederation Act of 1867, as amended by subsequent Acts. In looking at this Bill from a general standpoint the two most important features of it refer to the control of the lands and question of education. It is my opinion that the public domain of the new provinces should be controlled by those who are to administer the affairs of that country, and I found this opinion largely upon the statements of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie and the Hon. Edward Blake, which were made during the discussion in this parliament when the Northwest Territories were being admitted into the union as Territories, and when the question also arose as to the then proposed admission of Newfoundland. It was proposed that Newfoundland should be given $150,000 a year in lieu of its lands. and the Hon. Edward Blake is on record as having said :
He was very strongly opposed to the Dominion acquiring the Crown lands of Newfoundland, and he has as strongly objected to Newfoundland being deprived of its Crown lands. He commended the policy of the framers of the constitution in leaving to each of the provinces the control of their own public lands. This was from the Canadian point of view. Then as to Newfoundland the arrangement was equally objectionable : (1) its distance from the seat of government, (2) and its small representation in parliament would lead to an unsatisfactory management .
I think these two reasons exist to-day in regard to the lands. the public domain of the Northwest Territories. Hon. Alexander 5241 5242 Mackenzie went on record shortly afterwards as follows :
There was a difference between the two cases——
That is the case of the Northwest Territories then under consideration and that of Newfoundland—
There was a difference between the two cases. In the Northwest Territories there were at present no constituted authorities as there were in Newfoundland, and it would not be pretended that after a government was established in the Northwest Territories we would administer its lands from Ottawa.
I think that is a very fair statement of the principle that should guide parliament to-day ; and I cite the case of my own province of Ontario, in which we exercise actual ownership over the public domain—the land, the timber and the minerals —as do the other provinces. There may be minor reasons why it might be Wise to keep the lands under the management of the Dominion ; but we are not legislating simply for to-day ; we are legislating for all time, and I think all the larger points of advantage are in favour of allowing the public domain to remain in the hands of the provinces and not in the hands of the Dominion. I think that the policy we should pursue in Canada in regard to the administration of the public domain should be the British policy ; and the British North America Act lays down in its very first recital that it is intended to establish ' a Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom.' Now, we find that it has been the custom of the imperial authorities, I may safely say at all times, to allow the colonies, be they great or small, after they have ceased to be Crown colonies, and have become entitled to representative government, to retain in their hands the administration of their own affairs with regard to the public domain. We are to-day giving these provinces an indemnity in lieu of their lands ; and I venture to say that that is only a matter of guess work. We are giving them what is now considered a fair compensation for depriving them of their lands. That may or may not be an adequate amount in- the future. It may work out as a hardship on this parliament, or as a hardship on the Territories, as the case may be. Further, pursuing what I understand to be the policy of the Liberal party, the policy of decentralization, which has always commended itself to my mind, I think it is best to let the local authorities have such power as they are entitled to, and as it is reasonably possible to let them have, so as to prevent congestion at one particular point of interest which may be diverse in character.  
Coming to the educational question, I desire to say this at the inception of—that 5243 COMMONS 5244 question ; as a representative of the city of Toronto, I regret to have heard in this House on more than one occasion references made to that city which I think were highly unfair. I submit, Sir, that the language was unparliamentary, it certainly was untrue, in which Toronto was referred to as being a hot-bed of bigotry and intolerance. This remark was made by the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) by the hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. Grant) and I think by other hon. gentlemen opposite. I myself stand here in this parliament as a living protest against that statement, being a member of the minority, not only the minority in this country, but the minority in the city of Toronto, where there is a disparity of about five or six to one in the riding which I represent and some ten to one throughout the whole city ; and I think it fair to say that that city is not bigoted and intolerant, which elected me in the face of the opposition of two governments, the late Ross government and this government. I am not complaining of that. for we have to face opposition in the political world as in other departments of life ; but I am placing on record the fact that in the face of the opposition of these two governments, I a Roman Catholic, was elected by a very substantial majority in a constituency where there were some ten thousand votes on the list, about two thousand of which were Catholic votes ; and I attribute that to the fairness, the liberaiity and the toleration of my non-Catholic brethren, my friends and neighbours in the city of Toronto. I will go further : I will say that hon. gentlemen opposite found the city of Toronto not a bigoted place in 1896. I recollect the hon. Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) coming there as the representative of the present premier of this country to attend a public meeting, and expressing sentiments and opinions which were then in accord with the public sentiment of that city. He took advantage of that public sentiment, and his government took advantage of it then and have taken advantage of it ever since. I will go further, and will quote an authority. I think no hon. member of this House, either present or past, can be regarded as a more representative exponent of the French Canadian race than the late member for L'Islet, the Hon. Mr. Tarte ; and when he on more than one occasion, as one of the ministers of the Crown, visited that city, he was always given a most handsome and cordial reception, and he is on record as saying that there was no place which he had greater pleasure in visiting than the city of Toronto, to make new acquaintances and to renew old ones. And if the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) comes to Toronto, notwithstanding all the heat there may be over the discussion of this question, I will promise him a cordial reception and a fair hearing. He 5243 5243 can freely address the electors of that city, and I give my pledge in parliament that nothing objectionable will be said to him, but he will be given a courteous hearing, he Will receive British fair-play, and he will return to this parliament with a different opinion from what I believe he has to-day of the people of that great city.
I ventured a moment ago to say that the question of the legality of the Bill now before the House was purely a constitutional question. That Bill, as now framed, is, in my opinion, a direct invasion of the provincial prerogative in regard to the matters therein contained, those more especially which are referred to in the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition. We have to see in what way this parliament is empowered to pass an Act creating two new provinces. These provinces are being created or erected under the Act of 1871. What does that Act say ? By section 4 it gives plenary powers to this parliament to administer the affairs of those districts so long as they are territories ; but when they are to be created into provinces, we have to look to section 2, which is the authority under which these provinces are now being created. It is unnecessary for me to read that section to the House, which is already familiar with it. I desire to refer for a moment to the correspondence that took place regarding the passing of this imperial Act of 1871, because it is contended by some that the powers vested in the Dominion by this Act are what are called plenary powers and give to this parliament the right to clothe these provinces with any constitution it may deem fit. It is well, therefore, to see what was the intention of the framers of this Act, what was the view they had in mind when it was being framed and put through the imperial House of Commons. When it was found necessary for Canada to pass what is called 'the doubt removing Act,' both with regard to Manitoba and the Territories, an Order in Council was passed by the Canadian government and sent to the home authorities requesting that legislation of this nature be enacted. and I shall read now an extract from the report of the then Minister of Justice of Canada, the late Sir John Macdonald, approved by His Excellency the Governor General in Council on the 27th December, 1870, and which was in effect a petition to the Earl of Kimberly, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, to have the imperial Act of 1871 passed by the British parlia» ment. That Act is entitled 'An Act to empower the Dominion parliament from time to time to establish other provinces in the Northwest Territories,' and it goes on to say:
Provided that no such local legislature shall have greater powers than those conferred on the local governments and legislatures by the British North America Act of 1867.
A little later, when a draft Bill was sent 5245 MAY 2, 1905 out by the Earl of Kimberly, that draft Bill was considered and returned to the Earl of Kimberly by the then acting Minister of Justice for the Dominion, Sir George Etienne Cartier, dated 29th February, 1871, and approved by His Excellency the Governor General in Council, transmitting the draft copy of the Act of 1870. It is as folows:
The undersigned has to observe that it is absolutely necessary that the province of Manitoba, as well as any that may hereafter be erected, shall hold the same status as the tour provinces now comprising the Dominion and British Columbia when it comes in, . . . . and like them shall hold its constitution subject only to alteration by the imperial parliament.
I submit that this correspondence shows conclusively the intention of the framers of the Act, and I submit that the Act contains this underlying principle, namely, that it was absolutely necessary that any province to be created under this Act shall hold the same status as the four provinces then in the confederation. We can understand very readily why such language was used. The then provinces comprising this Dominion were jealous lest any other province should, by any possibility, in the future obtain greater powers than they themselves enjoyed. There had been a struggle for equality all through. All through the framers of confederation were struggling for equality. Sometimes the elfort was to repress the struggles for supremacy that would break out here and there on the part of certain provinces, and they were all exceedingly desirous that no new province should have any greater powers than they themselves possessed. Undoubtedly it was not thought necessary then to suggest to the imperial authorities to pass an Act which would give the Dominion parliament the right to create new provinces with less power. No one then considered the possibility of our creating new provinces with less powers than those which the older provinces had acquired. Suppose, for instance, that in this Bill we omitted to provide for certain powers which properly pertain to a province with regard to many matters that suggest themselves, and which are provided for in section 92 of the British North America Act— suppose these powers were left out, who would supply them ? That is a very pertinent question. This parliament could not do so. I apprehend that the powers of this parliament would be exhausted by enacting the constitution, and consequently would be ' functus officio ' as regards the amending of it afterwards. These provinces would simply have to go to the imperial parliament in order to obtain imperial legislation to rectify any omission that might have occurred in the Act creating them, and to which they are entitled by law as members of the confederation.
We had that Act passed—the Act of 1871. Then the Act of 1886 was passed ; and by 5245 5246 section 3 of that Act we find that the original Act of 1867 and the Act of 1871 and the Act of 1886 are all to be construed together as the BritiSh North America Act of 1867 to 1886. In that way I consider that the full force and effect of the original British North America Act is brought in, and it is made to form part of the Act or 1871 and the Act of 1886, so that they are all to be construed together in the creation of these new provinces. And I submit, therefore, that wherever you find the words ' subject to the provisions of this Act in the original Act of 1867.' You must read them as applying to these three Acts concurrently and correlatively, and that these new provinces are to be considered as being constituted under these combined Acts.
I would like to refer for a moment to the bargain, if I may describe the transaction by that term, which took place when these lands first came under the jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada, and I think it will be found to bear out my contention, namely, that the constitution of these provinces must be in accord with the terms of the British North America Act of 1867. I shall refer first to the address from the Canadian Senate and House of Commons to the Queen, praying that the territory, then known as Rupert's Land, be taken over from the Hudson Bay Company and that Canada be given the right to legislate for its peace, order and good government. From that address I take the following extract:
That it would promote the prosperity of the Canadian people, and conduce to the advantage of the whole empire, if the Dominion of Canada, constituted under the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, were extended westward to the shores of the Pacific ocean. That the welfare of a sparse and widely scattered population of British subjects of European origin, already inhabiting these remote and unorganized territories, would be materially enhanced by the formation therein of political institutions bearing analogy, as far as circumstances will admit, to those which exist in the several provinces of this Dominion.
In pursuance of that, an Order in Council was passed admitting into confederation these Territories on the 23rd June, 1870. the preamble of which is as follows :
Whereas by the British North America Act of 1867, it was (amongst other things) enacted that it should be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, on address from the Houses of the parliament of Canada, to admit Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories, or either of them, into the union on such terms and conditions in each case as should be in the addresses expressed and as the Queen should think fit to approve, subject to the provisions of the said Act.
That is the British North America Act. And then, later on, the parliament of Canada was given power to legislate, for the peace, order and good government of that territory. And, by the deed of release from the Hudson Bay Company—which, in pass 5247 COMMONS ing, I desire to point out was made not to Canada, but to Her Majesty, that is, to the imperial authorities,—it is declared in the preamble as follows :
Whereas by the British North America Act, 1867, it is (amongst other things) enacted that it shall be lawful for Her present Majesty Queen Victoria, by and with the advice and consent of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, on address from the Houses of parliament of Canada, to admit Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories, or either of them, into the union of the Dominion of Canada on such terms and conditions as are in the address expressed, and as Her Majesty thinks fit to approve, subject to the provisions of the said Act.
So, throughout all the documents leading up to the transfer of this territory to Canada, stress is laid upon the fact that when this territory becomes part of Canada, it shall do so under and in accordance with the terms of the British North America Act. Now, in that view of the case, and having the British North America Act imported into the Act of 1871, under which this Bill is brought down, it seems clear, according to my reason and judgment, that the whole Act applies, and that these provinces are entitled to the same measure of responsibility as the other provinces under all the sections of the Act, except where by direct statement of reasonable intendment only one or more provinces and not all the provinces is intended. That being the case, it seems to me that section 93 applies to the Territories referred to in this Bill. It seems to me that section 93 applies by force and operation of the law, and, by section 2 of the Bill it is made to apply expressly, for it is so stated in the section, and the side note states 'British North America Act, 1867 to 1886 to apply.' And so the minority in that province will have every benefit of these sections and every benefit of the law. And, whatever the law may be, in all parts of Canada, the minority equally with the majority have to submit. It may be that to-morrow the minority may be seeking the protection of the statute that is now being invoked ; they may need the protection of the British North America Act. It does seem to me that it is better that the law should be lived up to, that in these matters we should, as it were, hue to the line, and that the law as laid down in our constitution should be maintained with regard to all classes of the community. And I believe that the minority in this country have no desire to wrest from the majority anything to which they are not entitled. Moreover. I believe that the minority in these new provinces will receive a larger measure of justice if they are left to their legal rights.
Mr. A. LAVERGNE. With the hon. gentleman's permission. I would like to ask him a question. Suppose that section 93 were left to apply and suppose the rights of the 5247 5248 Catholics in the Northwest were taken away from them, would the hon. gentleman favour a Remedial Bill ?
Mr. MACDONELL. Absolutely. Most certainly. The party to which I belong favour remedial legislation where necessary to protect minorities. We favoured it yesterday ; we favour it to-day ; and I believe we shall be found favouring it to-morow, for it is law. We stand upon the constitution. Now, I am not alone in the belief that the people of the west will receive a larger measure of protection and be more clearly guaranteed their rights by letting the law take its course and supporting the amendment. Let me quote the words of some hon. gentlemen opposite. The hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. Grant) said:
Now, Sir, I have said that the hon. leader of the opposition made it a point that the merits and demerits of separate schools did not enter into this discussion. Hon. gentlemen opposite apparently did not think so, and I have wondered too how some of them conlld bring themselves to support in its entirety the amendment offered by the hon. leader of the opposition to this Bill because it might quite possibly be the logical effect of the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition to bring into force a full dual system of sectarian schools in the new provinces. I do not say whether that would be a blessing or whether that would be a great detriment to those new provinces, but I do say that hon. gentlemen opposite who have gone out of their way to attack separate schools should think twice and that they should think long before they vote for an amendment which will have the effect that I have just pointed out.
And the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. L. G. McCarthy), in the course of his remarks on this Bill, spoke as follows :
Now, Sir, upon this legal proposition, I do ask some consideration at the hands of my hon. friends. It I am right, as I think I am, I cannot endorse the view of the leader of the government, nor can I endorse the view of the leader of the opposition, because I think that in the event of there being litigation over this Bill, it will be found that if you leave clause 2-
(That is clause 2 in the Bill now before the House.)
——in there as it stands—and they are certainly entitled to something like that—if you do not vary it, you will have a system of separate schools imposed upon these provinces, a more effective system, in the interests of supporters of separate schools, than the present clause 16. In that respect I agree with the hon. member for Beaurharnois (Mr. Bergeron), who made the suggestion last night that such would be the result. Now, if that is so, I ask again for protection in that regard for those who think as I do upon that question. It is necessary to vary this Act if you want to get rid of the effect of clause 93 of the British North America Act, and to do that you will have to insert in this Bill some such clause as that the provinces shall have unconditionally the exclusive right to legislate on educational matters. If you do not do that. then I say that the constitution will take its course, and the courts will decide that 5249 MAY 2, 1905 clause 93 shall apply, and the difference will be what is in clause 16 now and what clause 93 would give them.
I venture also to quote the Prime Minister upon this question. In his speech in moving the second reading of the Bill he said :
Now, Sir, a word as to the changes we have made in that clause. I stated the other day that we propose to make a change and we have given notice of an amendment which we intend to move to clause 16. What is the reason of this change ? It is a fair question to ask and a question to be answered. Sir, we have taken the ground on more than one occasion, we again take this ground and it is the ground upon which we stand in dealing with the present case, that wherever a system of separate schools exists that system comes into force and is constitutionally entitled to the guarantees which are embodied in secion 93 of the British North America Act. Be that system much, be it little, whatever it is, it is entitled to those guarantees. That is the position we take, and when we introduce section 16, as it is in the Bill, we had no other intention than to give to the minority the rights and privileges to which they are entitled under the law which they have to—day.
And again :
So, Sir, now whenever a province comes here knocking at this door asking to be admitted into confederation, if in that province there exists a system of separate schools, the British North America Act has provided that the same guarantee we give to the minority in Quebec and Ontario shall also be given to the minority in that province.
I think that is a fair statement of the effect of the law as it stands. Now I submit, this is a legal question, not a question or a matter of policy. I repeat what I said before, that I believe this question was set at rest when confederation was formed, because in the Acts embodying confederation and carrying out its principles we find all the machinery, so to speak, and, I may safely say a method of working out all questions which might come before the parliament of Canada in the then future. It does seem to me that the foundation was laid sufficiently broad and sufficiently deep, and that the terms of confederation were sufficiently elastic in themselves to permit of an honest and fair interpretation of that Act by the parliament of Canada in such a way that it will at all times bear the fruits intended by its founders, and at all times work out, the good that it was intended to produce for the Canadian people. There is little we can differ upon in that Act. It does seem to me to be a great pity that we in Canada who agree upon so many and who differ upon so few things, should be at variance on this question, a question which has aroused so much unpleasantness, and I am sorry to say, so much bitterness in this country. I regret it exceedingly. I say it is a lamentable condition of affairs that we should be face to face with the heat of discussion in this 5249 5250 House and with the heat of discussion outside of this House and in the press of the country. I must say that in my opinion I think all that is unnecessary. I believe that the law as it was laid down could have been admirably worked out in such a way as to have avoided all this discussion.
Sir, I desire to revert once more to that feature of the constitution, because to my mind it is an all important question. In discussing this matter in parliament hon. members may have different opinions, the opposition may differ from the government, hon. members on the same side of the House may differ from one another. But after all, where are these questions ultimately to be settled, where do they wind up ? I am safe in saying that constitutional matters of this kind, matters of great weight and moment, do not end in parliament. The courts are to that extent above parliament in their right of deciding that they may interpret the powers of parliament, they have the power of deciding whether an Act of this parliament is ultra vires or intra vires. whether this parliament can invade the provincial domain with impunity or whether it cannot. That principle has been invoked a hundred times in respect of provincial legislation, the correlative remedy has been applied, for in many cases where it has been invoked against provincial legislation which has been declared null and void. So it will be in the future with regard to this Bill. Acts of this parliament have been passed upon by the courts and they will be in the future. It seems to me to be begging the question to say that we must take a business man's view of a constitutional question, or we must take a statesman's view, because after all the view that will prevail will be the legal view. Why not view this whole question as a legal one, because that is what it will ultimately be, If I am correctly informed, the question of the validity of this Act will not rest here. If I am credibly informed—and I have very little doubt of the correctness of my information—it will pass on to the courts. It will not end here, but it may come back here in the shape of an application for remedial legislation. History may repeat itself. I hope sincerely on behalf of the minority that history will not repeat itself in the calamitous disasters that resulted from the last appeal to this parliament by a minority for remedial legislation. Now, Sir. I pass on to the View of this question, not of a legal gentleman, not of a statesman, but of a layman, the Postmaster General. What does he say upon this question ?
In fact there are just two ways of looking at the British North America Act; you may look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer, or you may look at it from the standpoint of a statesman. If you look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer—and I submit that is the standpoint of the leader of the opposition 5251 COMMONS —you take the letter of the constitution without regard to its bearings and its application to the time being. and apply it literally, whether the application fits the time and occasion or not. But taking the spirit of the Act on each occasion of creating a new province, you adopt the constitution, as far as possible, to the new province, having due regard to the conditions then prevailing.
That is to say, that the powers given to the provinces from time to time as the provinces are created, must differ according to conditions then prevailing. Prevailing where? What conditions ? Conditions of expediency, or conditions of party exigency ? What does the Postmaster General mean by ' conditions then prevailing.' Again he says later on :
I sympathize with the view of the premier, and I put him in contrast on this occasion with the attitude of the leader of the opposition. In one case you have an interpretation of the constitution by a lawyer; in the other case, may I be permitted to say, by-a statesman. Which view is the more likely to be correct? Which view is the more likely to be in the best interests of the country? I take this view of it then; I began by arguing that there could be no infringement of provincial rights until they have a right, or until they are created into a province.
That is a peculiar distinction I had not observed.
They have no rights until this parliament has declared what their rights are, that according to the spirit of the British North America Act and according to the letter of the amending Act of 1871 it is in the discretion of this parliament to-day to say what new constitution we shall give to these new provinces.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I submit with all due deference to the hon. gentleman who uttered these words, that this parliament has no discretion to grant or to withhold from a province, when creating it, what it is legally entitled to under the British North America Act. I submit that parliament has no discretion in regard to what powers the provinces shall receive; because if it has a discretion, where does that discretion end ? Parliament might go the full limit, they might confer upon the province all those powers that the British North America Act reserves to the Dominion, they might give to the province all the powers the Dominion has, and they might withhold from the province all the powers the province has under the British North America Act. In referring to this subject, 1 mention the question of education. I am taking it from the lawyer's standpoint, from the standpoint of the framers of the constitution. If, as it is contended, the parliament of Canada has a right to pass the Bill now before the House, which contains legislation in regard to education, we admit the principle, and how far can that principle be carried ? If you admit the principle where are you going to end ? Parliament might go to the full extent of legis 5251 5252 lating in regard to education for all time to come, they might take all educational matters out of the hands of the province absolutely. I submit with all deference to the hon. gentleman that it cannot be argued that the parliament of Canada who created this province can take from it every vestige of a right to legislate in regard to matters of education, because another government might come in who would act in a very different way, another government might act in direct opposition to the way this government has acted, because, after all, governments go and governments come. If the government have the right and power to legislate in the domain of education, no doubt they can legislate to the full extent either adversely to the minority, or in favour of the minority, or adverseiy to the majority or in favour of the majority. Where is it going to end? Surely the argument, if they have the right to pass this legislation, in view of that statement, must hold good. It does seem to me that the British North America Act opposes very strongly the passing of this legislation because we have always thought that we had the British North America Act as our guarantee and we have relied upon it as we should rely upon our constitution. It does seem to me that it is ignoring and overriding that Act because the Bill in its very terms does proceed to amend the British North America Act in vital points. I do not know what the intention of hon. gentlemen opposite may be whether it is their intention to ask the imperial parliament to confirm this legislation or not, but certainly in the absence of confirmation by the imperial authorities, I do not think it will be seriously contended in this House that the parliament of Canada has the right to pass the legislation now before the House. I think if they do it will be a matter of regret, because I believe the question will find its way into the courts, and if my opinion is worth anything on, this subject, and if the opinion of eminent counsel whom I have consulted is worth anything, then I say the Act is ultra vires. I have consulted counsel who will probably be concerned in this case if it ever reaches the courts and I believe I am correctly informed by counsel as to what will be in all likelihood the result of this legislation. The hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) also went on record as against the constitution as follows:
I do not propose to go into that constitutional question, not because I say it should not receive any consideration, but because I say it is not the great question involved, and I prefer to go on and deal with the practical questions which are before us. If it is a constitutional question above all others, then, perhaps the best thing we can do will be to request the legal members of this House to adjourn to the Railway Committee room and thresh it out while we who have not the good fortune to belong to that learned profession will stay down here 5253 and discuss the practical questions involved or proceed with the ordinary business of the House.
And later he said :
Now, I have not been discussing the constitutional question as my hon. friend will observe. I have been discussing entirely what I may call the practical side of the question, and I do that with the firm conviction that most of the people of this country will not bother themselves very much about this constitutional question, but they will want to get at the actual facts of this very important question.
Now, it seems to me that if they do not bother themselves about the constitutional aspect of the question the courts will. I desire to point out that parliament today is not, as it were, dealing with children or babies in regard to this Northwest question. It is dealing with Territories which parliament itself has been treating as provinces, to which it has been giving the power of provinces, and parliament has been dealing with them in regard to the matter of education as if they were under the British North America Act and subject to its terms. In 1880, 43 Victoria, chapter 25. was passed, which, by section 9, provided that :
The Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Lieutenant Governor, by and with the consent of the legislative assembly, as the case may be—
That is as the case may be.
—shall have such powers to make ordinances for the government of the Northwest Territories, as the Governor in Council may, from time to time, confer upon him, provided always that such powers shall not at any time be in excess of those conferred by the 92nd and 93rd sections of the British North America Act, 1867, upon the legislature of the several provinces of the Dominion.
That was re-enacted by the Northwest Territories Act, chapter 50, section 13. Revised Statutes of Canada. 1886. Further, these Territories have been treated as provinces in the Interpretation Act. It is provided by the Interpretation Act. Revised Statutes of Canada, 1896, chapter 1, section 7, that :
In every Act of the parliament of Canada, unless the context otherwise requires.
Subsection 13. The expression ' provinces ' includes the Northwest Territories and the district of Keewatin.
Subsection 14. The expression 'legislature,' ' legislative council,' or ' legislative assembly,' includes the Lieutenant Governor in Council and also the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories, and the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the district of Keewatin.
Susbsection 15. The expression 'Act,' as meaning an Act of the legislature, include an ordinance of the Northwest Territories or the district of Keewatin.
I submit that these provinces have been in possession of these rights and powers to deal with education and to deal with it 5253 5254 subject to section 93 of the British North America Act, they are familiar with the Act, it has been applied to them already, and it ought to have someweight in the consideration of the question.
Now, I just desire to say a few words more. I desire to put on record my protest against legislation by reference such as this is. This measure embodies a form of legislation that is not now enacted in regard to any important matter. At the present time this form of legislation has almost entirely disappeared from the British House of Commons. This is legislation by legislatlng into an Act some other Act, or parts of another Act or parts of other Acts. The legal authorities are all very clear upon this point. Hardcastle on the Construction and Effect of Statute Law is a book that is well known, a leading authority on that matter, and at page 28 of that book we find the following statement :
Legislation by reference is usually the outcome, not of negligence, ignorance, or incapacity in the draughtsman, but of the foibles of parliament, and is excused on the ground that it lessens political difficulties and simplifies the process of getting Bills through committee by lessening the area for amendment. The same excuse is made for the practice of putting very long clauses elaborately divided into many subdivisions, in what are called fighting Bills.
Legislation by reference, which was increasing in 1876, and has since that date still further developed, was described by the committee as making an Act ambiguous, so obscure and so difficult that the judges themselves can hardly assign a meaning to it, and the ordinary citizen cannot understand it without legal advice.
That was in 1875. Since then the practice has been gradually discontinued and is today looked upon with disfavour in the British House of Commons. I think that is a good reason Why the Bill should not be approved of in its present form. Now, I claim that it is unwise to stereotype and crystallize into law for ever a certain condition of affairs existing at any one time. I think that to remove the elasticity which should be about a measure of this kind and to limit for all time to come a set of principles which in future years may become a hardship to the minority or to the majority of the people of that country is a mistake, and that it would have been better to have left it subject to the power to change from time to time. Now, it cannot be changed except by legislation by the imperial House if this Act is held to be good which I very much doubt. What will the minority get by the Bill? It is said that it is going to give them something of very great value and importance. The hon. ex-Minister of the Interior spoke of it as follows :
What does that preserve ? I have read these ordinances through, and all that I can find this section to preserve—and it is an important thing—let us not exaggerate or minimize, let 5255 COMMONS us know exactly what we are doing—I think that this is what we are doing and all that we are doing. This section preserves the right of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority to have their school. a separate school in name, but a public school in fact, in a separate building it they wish. That is the right it preserves. It preserves, secondly, the right of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority in such school to have religious teaching from 3.30 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
Before I conclude, I desire, Sir, to put myself personally on record as being strongly in favour of religious instruction in the schools. I hold that opinion myself, and it is the opinion of the church to which I belong. I believe lt is good for Catholic children; I believe it is good for the children of all religious beliefs, that religion should have a place in the schools. I believe that the character of the child can be better moulded in the love and fear of God than by any other training. I believe that youth is the proper time to inculcatethe knowledge between right and wrong. But, Sir, I do not believe that this Bill would conserve that great principle. I believe that the law existing today in the Northwest Territories gives the minority of that country rights at least equal to those embodied in the Bill. I fear that there will be retaliation against the enactment of this measure. and I believe that if this Bill were never enacted the legislatures in the new provinces would at once have a revision and consolidation of their law,. and in that revision and consolidation they would have inserted the reenactment of these school ordinances, which, after all, is all that this measure provides for. I believe that for all time to come the minority would be under the protection of section 93 of the British North America Act; and I believe, Sir, that the minority in these provinces would in future stand a better chance of obtaining concessions from the majority, and that there would be greater amity and greater harmony among the people of that country if they were left to themselves to settle whatever differences might arise. And if these Bills should ultimately be held to be ultra vires, what a spectacle will be witnessed. The feeling that prevails here to-day, if it has not already extended to that country, will certainly spread there, and mutual distrust and mutual ill-will may arise. Taking it all in all. I believe that it is best that the provinces should be left to themselves to legislate on the subjects mentioned in the amendment proposed by the leader of the opposition. It is my opinion that the Cathollcs in the Northwest, will in the end be granted greater rights and more extended privileges if that amendment is acted upon. The minority in Canada do not want to wrest from the majority anything more than they are by law entitled to obtain, and the law is there for the protection of minorities and majorities alike. There is no church ; there is no organization. civil or religious, ex 5255 5256 isting in the world today which obeys the laws of the various countries in which it is established than does the Catholic church. Throughout the civilized world the Catholic church is planted and is flourishing, and I challenge a denial of my statement, that no matter what the law may be, no organized body is more obedient to that law than is the Catholic church. I believe that the minority in Canada will be willing to take what the law gives them and what the constitution guarantees them, and that is what they will get under the amendment of the leader of the opposition. Just one word in conclusion. It is not a question of separate schools or no separate schools; it is first of all a constitutional question, and, for the reasons I have given, I believe that the constitution as it stands today must in the end be applied to these new provinces. When I say it is not a question of separate schools, or no separate schools I say so for this additional reason: that the establishment of separate schools is a matter that is already concluded, because the history of the question in the United States, in Great Britain and elsewhere is that if the minority wants separate schools they Will have them, and the question is simply a matter of whether the minority are going to pay taxes for their own schools and taxes for the public schools, or whether they will have their schools separate and apart, as we have them in the province of Ontario, and as we would have them in the new provinces of the west for all time to come if the amendment of the leader of the opposition is adopted.
At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.
Mr. J. B. KENNEDY (New Westminster). Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that this question is being debated in rather a peculiar manner. As I understand, on the second reading of a Bill the main principle of the measure is discussed: but in this case we have been discussing one clause almost altogether. However, I suppose that must be right, for we have heard no objections made to it so far. Before I go any further, I want to define my position personally with regard to the educational clauses of this Bill, around which the whole debate has centred. Personally, I have no use for separate schools. As I understand it, our public school system exists for the purpose of training our young people for the battle of life—preparing them to do business, not only with those of their own religious persuasion, but with all comers. Now, fancy a young farmer coming to market with his first load of produce, and saying to his first customer, 'Before I do any business with you, I want to know what church you belong to.' Or imagine a young merchant opening up his shop. and seeing 5257 MAY 2, 1905 5258 what seems to be a good customer coming along, saying to him, 'Excuse me, but have you the same religious belief as I have ?' Even the young lawyer who has just hung out his shingle would be in rather a peculiar predicament if he were to ask his first client about his religious belief before he would do anything for him. As we expect all our young people who go out in the world to fight the battle of life, to deal with all they come across, no matter what their religious belief is, surely, in preparing them for this fight, we ought to prepare them all together. In fact, I go so far as to say that I think even the sexes should not be kept apart in school. When I went to school down here on Le Breton Flats—for I was born in this town, then called Bytown—there were no separate schools here, except one somewhere in lower town. The boys and girls all went to school together, and friendships were formed then which have lasted through life. Those who went to that school have to-day all a warm feeling for each other; but those who went to the separate school in lower town—and there were very few were to us as aliens and foreigners. On my return to this city after twenty years absence. I could not receive a warmer welcome from any of my own relatives than I have received from some of the Roman Catholics with whom I went to that school; and I felt almost as warmly towards them as in my own kin. I could name a number of men who went to that school, and I do not think one of them is a worse Catholic or a worse Protestant from having been educated side by side in the same room. Although this is my personal belief, I am a Liberal—a Liberal in more ways than in name—and I wish every person to enjoy his own opinion. I know that a great many of my fellow men do not believe as I do on this question, and I am quite willing that they should enjoy their belief and act accordingly. There are a great many Protestant clergymen nowadays who are clamouring for more religious education in the public schools. We hear of it every year at all their public gatherings. At their synods, their general assemblies and their conferences, there is nearly always some deliverance made on this question, demanding more religious teaching in the schools; but it has been a question to me how we could accomplish anything of this kind and please all these bodies and at the same time please our Catholic brethren. I am sorry to say that the Roman Catholics can get on more easily in that respect than the Protestants can. It is a hard thing to say. but it is true all the same. Now, I think the educational clauses of these Autonomy Bills solve this problem to a great extent. The half hour of religious teaching every day after half-past three o'clock can be conducted according to the wishes of the trustees. which will depend a great deal on the wishes of the people themselves. That is one way to 5256 5256 have more religious teaching in the public schools. I am sorry to say that these Bills have been misconstrued, and in a great many instances I believe purposely misconstrued. Many petitions have come in here professing to be in favour of provincial rights ; but it is a peculiar thing that in not one of these petitions, so far as I have seen them, was any reference made to anything in regard to which provincial rights were being invaded except the schools—not a word about the public lands, although any one who has read the British North America Act knows that the public lands belong to the provinces as exclusively as education. The people have also been allowed to go on the idea that it is the old separate schools such as we have in Ontario and Quebec that are being established by these Bills. I do not think that is the right thing to do. I think the members of this House who sent out the headings for these petitions should have seen to it that the people understood what they were signing. I do not believe that outside of the Orange body one man in twenty who signed those petitions would have signed them had he understood what the Bills were meant to do. I have had letters from some of my constituents, and I have seen sonle curious scraps in the papers; and just to let you see what peculiar ideas some people have on this question, I am going to read one or two things which are almost too good to keep. The following, from the Grand Master of the Orangemen in British Columbia, appeared in the Orange 'Sentinel :'
In reply to your request for my views upon the Autonomy Bill as it affects the educational standing of the new provinces, I would denounce it in the strongest terms possible. I believe it to be the most serious retograde movement that has arisen within this fair Dominion of ours for many decades. Now at least the critics will cease to cry that we Orangemen have no work to do. I can see just one possible blessing arising out of this unworthy attempt to force separate schools upon the district concerned, and that is, that Orangemen from ocean to ocean should be so roused that the order will receive an impetus such as it needs, and after the conflict enter upon a period of growth hitherto unapproached. This is not a question of party politics, nor yet of anti-papery; it is a direct assault at the foundation of our liberty and rights. It is very evident that Sir Wilfrid Laurier has sold himself and his country to the Roman Catholic church, and in return has received his return to power with such an overwhelming majority. There is no denying the fact that we have been deceived ; the time is short; we must fight like men, with the spirit of our noble ancestors. The victory may long be delayed, but we shall win. In the name of the God of battles have We unfurled our banners; this is His fight, and with a prayer upon our lips let us face the foe, fight honourably and doubt not; we shall win such a victory as shall make history and wonderfully advance the cause of religious liberty. Let us remember Sir Richard Grenville and his little ship 'Revenge,' as, wounded in the side and head, he raises himself and cries:
' Fight on! Fight on!' And dying exclaims:
'I have fought for Queen valiant man and true; I have only done my duty, as a man is bound to do.'
We in British Columbia are earnestly working in this matter, and no question engaged our more serious attention during the splendid meetings of our grand lodge just closed. You can count on the brethren of British Columbia solid. We are preparing a monster petition and in every way we are at work. With greetings to our champion in the cause.
I felt inclined when I read that,_to ask what is all this whirroo about? Did that man really understand what he was talking about ?
Some hon. MEMBERS. No.
Mr. KENNEDY. I am not personally acquainted with him but I know a great many of his followers, and I know that there are a great many very decent men among them. i think too a good deal of the Orange order. I know something of its principles. And I say that the man who can issue such a manifesto as that, without knowing the facts of the case, is hardly fit to be at the head of that order. But this is not the only appeal of the kind. A very short time ago, the Loyal Orange Lodge, number something or other of another place—I am not going to mention any names—held a mass meeting at which we are told g'eat enthusiasm was exhibited. At this meeting the Grand Master and several other gentlemen—a good many of whom I know—were present, and the following resolution was unanimously passed amid cheers given for the Grand Master :
That King Edward L. O. L., No. 1819, heartily approves of the resolutions passed by sister lodges respecting the Autonomy Bill, and the controversy between the Hon. Mr. Rogers and the pope's representative at Ottawa, published in the Vancouver papers.
Be it further resolved, that we endorse the action of. our grand master in the above matter.
And be it further resolved, that all loyal subjects should be warned against the insidious and jesuitical statements and arguments made and used by those opposed to the course the Orangemen are taking in the present great crisis; that if the truth were known most of such Laurier champions are seeking oflice or selfish gain.
Mr. SPROULE. Hear, hear.
Mr. KENNEDY. (reading)—
And are not worthy of the confidence of Orangemen; and, further, that if there are any members of the order who are not prepared to openly and manfully follow our grand master in upholding the obligation taken by them and unite with us in our great and tremendous fight against the school clauses of the Autonomy Bill and Romish aggression, such members should be given an opportunity to withdraw from our glorious Orange order; as their presence is inimical and dangerous to the good of the order and to the cause we have so much at heart.
5259 5260
Be it further resolved, that we keep up the fight against the separate school clauses of the Autonomy Bill and against Papal interference in Canadian affairs in the most aggressive manner, believing that the time has come when every true Protestant should buckle on his armour and have emblazoned on his shield the good old watchword:
No Surrender—Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
Liberty is one of these things to which these people lay the strongest claim, which they are always prnting about, and yet they do not give their members the liberty to think for themselves but to tell them that they must follow the Grand Master or leave the order. That is liberty for you. Now. these men are forgetting the principles of the order to which they belong—the principles of charity and friendship and I do know not what the others are, for I forget the words. But they seem to forget their cardinal principle of charity altogether. No doubt I shall hear about this when I get back to my constituency.
Mr. SPROULE. Hear, hear.
Mr. KENNEDY. I have a lot of good friends in the Orange order, who, I am confident, will not allow themselves to be led by men who do not know what they are talking about. and I am convinced that if there should be an election in my constituency to-morrow, I would have a good solid support from these very men.
With regard to religious teaching in the public schools such as is provided for in these Bills. I believe that even if this measures be a little infringement in that respect on the autonomy of the provinces, they still should pass in their present form as they will give peace to these new provinces —peace, such as some of the older provinces did not know about some years ago and which some of them are in danger of losing now. Why did these gentlemen send out these circulars and petitions ? Why did they not instruct the people so that they would know intelligently what they were doing and not require them to sign what they did not understand. I do not think that was exactly a square thing to do, as I think these gentlemen will find out to their cost later on.
I just wish to make a few remarks on some of the observations I have heard from some of the other speakers. Our hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor) must be a mind reader or a prophet or he must have some secret spies in his pay among the cabinet ministers. In what other way could he have secured all the information which he gave us the other day? He seemed to be able to tell us everything that was said and done in the secret cabinet councils and in the interviews between cabinet ministers 5261 MAY 2, 1905 and outsiders on this question. How he got all this information I leave him to explain. It is indeed difficult for us to understand how he secured it, if it be true. Of course it is well to put in that proviso. No doubt in 1894 he was just as prophetic about what was then going to happen at the next election as he was the other day; and I suppose his prophecies concerning the. result of the next election will be just about as true as they were concerning the last.
My hon. friend from Haldimand (Mr. Lalor), I do not want to say very much about. But, really, as an older man. I cannot refrain from giving him a little advice. I cannot refrain from telling him that I think, and a great many other members think the same, that a young member, just come to the House. should not speak in quite so flippant a manner about men on the other side whom our late Queen thought worthy of honour. Now, he made some, as I thought, very insulting remarks about the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), and about the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock). I would be very sorry to hear any one on the government sidemake any such remarks about the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), and I have never heard anything of that kind yet. I would advise the young gentleman. a budding politician. that if he evér expects to occupy such a position as these gentlemen occupy, he will have to learn to he a little more courteous, in his demeanour to those to whom he is opposed.
Just one other matter and I am done. My hon. friend from East Middlesex (Mr. Bison) spoke of the danger which would arise through Mormons being able, under this Bill, to use the schools for the advocacy of their tenets amongst the children. He drew us a very startling picture of a family who happened to be in a Mormon settlement and whose children would be obliged to attend the school controlled by the Mormons. And he read the clause from the Act, which I will read you again, as the hon. gentleman (Mr. Elson) did not read far enough. Here it is :
(1) No religious instruction, except as hereinafter provided, shall be permitted in the school of any district on the opening of any such school until one-half hour previous to its closing in the afternoon, after which time any such instruction permitted or desired by the board may be given.
(2) It shall, however, be permissible for the board of any district to direct that the school he opened by the recitation of the Lord's prayer.
Now, the hon. gentleman went that far and then stopped, leaving his hearers who were not familiar with this provision of the law, I am sure, under a wholly wrong impression. I can hardly believe that this was intentional, because I liked the tenor of his remarks, and I do not think he is a man who would intentionally mislead. But 5261 5262 the omission of the next clause certainly would leave a wrong impression upon the minds of those not familiar with the law. The next clause says:
Any child shall have the privilege of leaving the school room at the time at which religious instruction is commenced, as provided for in the next preceding section, or of remaining without taking part in any religious instruction that need be given, if the parents or guardians so desire.
I think that alters the case. The parent, by simply telling his child to leave school at half-past three, can prevent the child receiving any religious instruction of which he does not approve.
There has been so much said on this question that I am not going to take up the time of the House longer. I close by asking all my friends in the House, and all Protestants everywhere, in this case as in all cases, to be charitable, generous and just.
Mr. W. H. BENNETT (East Simcoe). Mr. Speaker, I have no apology to make for entering upon this debate, though it has continued now for upwards of a month. for a large majority in the constituency I have the honour to represent, irrespective of politics, will expect not only that I should vote, but that also that -I should give utterance to the views that they hold, which, I am glad to say are the views I hold myself. No question in Canadian politics for many years has attracted so much attention as this. In 1896 the attention of the Dominion was directed to what was known as the Remedial Bill, relating to the province of Manitoba. But that public attention was as nothing compared to the attention that has been aroused in the present instance. This is due primarily to the fact that the people of the Dominion regarded the boundaries of the province of Manitoba as settled and that province as pretty well populated, so that, even if there were a principle embodied in the school laws by which a system of separate schools was foisted upon the people of Manitoba only a comparatively small number of people would be affected. But the development of the Northwest, which has gone on so rapidly, and which we hope to see increase even more rapidly, means that there will be there no limited population, but a population of millions upon millions. In view of the number of people to be affected, the whole population of the Dominion are interested in the question whether there is to be riveted upon that country for all time a system of separate schools.
Now, this question has been dealt with by this government in a most peculiar fashion. Up almost to the very day of the general elections last fall. not a single word was heard as to proposed legislation of the Dominion parliament for the establishment of provincial government in these Territor 5263 COMMONS ies. In fact. Sir, this idea had rather been opposed by hon. gentlemen opposite when, on more than one occasion, legislation of that kind had been proposed on this side of the House. And it ls a notorious fact that the proposal that there should be provincial autonomy with a system of separate schools fixed upon the province was practically unheard of up to the last campaign. Hon. gentlemen opposite have on different occasions seen fit to shirk responsibility for important legislation by resorting to plebiscites. That was the case in what was known as the temperance legislation of the Dominion. It was within the power of a strong government to bring about the enactment of so- called temperance legislation. And yet this government, when they had an opportunity to legislate on that subject, shrank from the task and took refuge behind the ramparts of a so-called plebiscite. Why did not they, as they had no mandate from the people on this school question, refer the matter to a plebiscite? The reason is manifest. These hon. gentlemen knew well that they had stolen a march upon the people and were anxious for a five years to run their course after this legislation was passed with the hope that the question might meantime be forgotten.
The Prime Minister, in introducing this Bill on February 21st, made an address which certainly was not likely to conciliate all classes or to allay feeling. The principle feature of that address was a discussion of the utility or advantage of separate schools. The right hon. gentleman must have known, and, judging by the forced speech he made, he did know, that he would draw upon himself the fire of those opposed to separate schools in this country whether in this province or the new provinces. The right hon. gentleman seems to have taken it into his head that there was only one way to drive this Bill through parliament, and that was by means of the bludgeon of force. Aside from the reference to separate schools, which was the prominent feature of his address, one of the startling statements made by him was that the government, in the introduction of this Bill—I refer particularly to the educational clauses— were threatened on both sides. Surely, the right hon. gentleman received no threats from the Conservative press. The fact is that the right hon. gentleman was threatened by men on his own side, and those threats have been carried into force in a very plain manner. Where is the press of this country on this question ? Go into the great province of Ontario, and I challenge hon. gentlemen opposite to name one newspaper on the Liberal side that is not opposed to this Bill.
Go into the province of Quebec and where does the Montreal 'Witness' stand. a journal that has always stood behind the right hon. gentleman and his party ? Where does the Huntingdon 'Gleaner' 5263 5264 stand, a party organ, and has been such for years gone by? So I might go on and cite what is known as the county press, the weekly newspapers in Ontario, strongest on the Liberal side in the past. These are the journals that to-day are denouncing the right hon. gentleman and his government for the course they are taking. Come into this House and what an astonishing spectacle is presented. The strongest denunciation of the policy of the government was made by the hon. member for Brandon, an ex-minister of the cabinet. While it is quite true that his course has not been followed by many other gentlemen, it was followed by the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. L. McCarthy)—and there is not a more subservient follower of the government than that hon. gentleman—and by my hon. friend from South Perth (Mr. McIntyre), who is an independent, for the fact is well known in the locality in which he resides that he is not an ofl'ice seeker. he is not one who is looking for favours from this government and the very fact that the government cannot hold on this occasion the vote of that hon. gentleman must be as gall and wormwood to the Postmaster General and the Minister of Customs.
Now, Sir, a stage has been reached in the career of the right hon. gentleman. He has played fast and loose with the question upon which be secured a party adyantage. He stole a chance in the general elections of 1896 to ride into power on the so-called Manitoba school question, and pledges were then made by that right hon. gentleman which must be redeemed, and we are being brought face to face with this question in the acrimonious and bitter manner in which we now have it brought up in this House, by reason of the pledges made by the right hon. gentleman in 1896 and by his followers, throughout the province of Quebec. But the right hon. gentleman has been threatened, though I deny he has been threatened by the Conservative members or supporters. The public will have no difficulty in saying, on the day when this vote is taken, who has been threatening him. It is not the Conservative party who has threatened him, but it is the men in the Liberal ranks who will sit in judgment on the right hon. gentleman and his government for their course on this question. There have been some very striking features in connection with the introduction of this Bill. And here one may call to recollection the fact that on every occasion when this government has seen fit to dragoon its supporters on any question, the same inordinate speed, the same inordinate haste has been resorted to. What was the action of this government on the so-called Yukon Railway Bill, on the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill. and many other matters I might mention? Brought down to parliament, thrown at their supporters: and it is quite true 5265 MAY 2, 1905 that while most of them responded to the crack of the party lash, I am glad to be able to note that I see opposite me a gentleman who did not so respond, and I congratulate the Minister of the Interior who did not on that occasion respond to the crack of the party lash. The Minister of the Interior is to-day in this cabinet, he was acclaimed with great gusto, and he sits in this cabinet to-night as a geographical and a national freak. He sits there by reason of the fact that there must needs be a cabinet representative from the provinces, west of Lake Superior. The hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) went through the lobbies day after day, read the public prints day after day, and read with the greatest relish that he was to be made a cabinet minister, and received the congratulations of his friends. We remember when that hon. gentleman spoke in the House, and after he had spoken, how warmly he was congratulated as the next Minister of the Interior. But unfortunately he was not nationally well placed, there were not enough Galicians, Roumanians, Russians and hundreds of other what-nots in his constituency, and so perforce my hon. friend from Edmonton had to be chosen. The hon. gentleman himself disclaimed that the school question was a burning question in 'his re-election as minister. I see in the public press that he has announced that to be the case, and everybody knows to-day that the great question in the riding of Edmonton was whether or not Calgary should be the seat of government, or whether it should be his own town of Edmonton. That question, fortified by the fact that two-thirds of the population were foreigners who cared little about public schools, and, I suppose, much less about separate schools, explains how it is that the hon. gentleman to-night has dropped into the office of a cabinet minister. But I hope and expect that those kicking proclivities he has evinced in the past—if he will allow me to say so—which have signalized him on different occasions when he made strong protests against the action of this government, will, even before this vote is taken, once again assert themselves, and that he will come out even at the last moment as an opponent of this Bill.
Now, Sir, what was the action of the government in reference to the introduction of this Bill? Here was a Bill fraught with the greatest moment to the western Territories, and where was the Minister of the Interior, the minister who is specially charged with conducting the affairs of that great western country? The Minister of the Interior was absent from the city, the reason assigned was that of ill health. He was absent, he was not here to defend the sacred principles for which he was always ready to lay down his life a few years ago in the province of Manitoba, provided al 5265 5266 ways that the salary of a cabinet minister went wlth it. It was a patent fact that he was coming back speedily, but this government could not delay the introduction of the Bill until he returned, and so forsooth it was forced in before that hon. gentleman could even place his foot in the House. But worse than that. A special committee of this cabinet was formed to engineer the progress of this Bill, and the composition of that committee is a marvel to all men who will look at it. First and foremost was the Prime Minister, who had a place on it as was to be expected by virtue of his position. I do not presume any claim will be made for the premier as being in the past a constitutional lawyer, or even at the present time. But he was expected, by virtue of his position in his government, to be accorded a place on that very select and supreme committee. Next to him came, of necessity, and probably by reason of his legal attainments as well as of his olfice, the Minister of Justice, and I am sure nobody will complain on that score. But in the name of all that is good in this country of representative institutions, where the House of Commons is supposed to be amenable to the people, they had to go over to the charnel house for decayed politicians, as it has been described by hon. gentlemen opposite in years gone by, and from its long hidden recesses was drawn forth the Secretary of State, a gentleman eighty years of age. The fact goes without saying that the views of Senator Scott, the Secretary of State, on this question were well known. Then my own province of Ontario was granted a seat on that committee in the person of a gentleman who is prepared to distinguish men in this House on two great lines, either as statesmen or as lawyers—I refer to the Postmaster General. That hon. gentleman did not arrogate to himself that he was a lawyer, but he does arrogate to himself that he is a statesman.
Now, Sir, I fancy I see the meeting of that committee. The hon. Minister of Justice told us in reply to my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson) the other night that he prepared the Bill, word for word and line for line, and that he was responsible for every portion of it. I accept that. I believe that statement is true, and I fancy I see these four gentlemen drawn up together, the Minister of Justice laying down the Bill and saying: There is the Bill; and the Postmaster General saying: So must it be. The hon. Postmaster General is never known to object, and it would not be expected that he would object to this Bill. Why was not the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) included in that committee? The Bill was introduced before he could reach the city, and the government hoped that after the committee had made their finding and after they had brought down their Bill, the right hon, Prime Minister's speech would 5267 COMMONS bring about such terrific results as to fairly drive everybody on both sides of the House into acquiescence. Then the hon. ex- Minister of the Interior turned up, and if ever there was a panic stricken crew it was this government and their supporters for the next thirty days. There was another gentleman who was not consulted, although that gentleman was here at the time. I refer to the premier of the Northwest Territories. Mr. Haultain was here, not in his personal capacity, but in the capacity of the premier of these Territories, and the statement has been made in the public press, and it has not been denied, that this Bill was only handed to Mr. Haultain an hour before it was ready to be presented to the House, and no time was allowed for him to properly digest it, to discuss it with his colleague who was here with him, or to give an opportunity for proper consideration or reflection in regard to its provisions. This lack of consideration is on a par with the treatment that was accorded him afterwards by the government, because, when the second Bill was brought down, the right hon. leader of the government stated in a cavalier way that he did not allow Mr. Haultain to see the Bill at all. That statement is on record. Did the right hon. gentleman think that the proper way to reconcile people, to conciliate the people, was to tell their premier who came here as the accredited representative of the Northwest Territories that he would not condescend to show him the legislation that the government proposed to submit? Well, then we had these terrible thirty days of suspense and agony. We saw the government marching and counter-marching, we saw hon. members lobbying around the corridors wondering what was to be the next move, and then we heard the statement made by the hon. member for Brandon as to the stand he took. That hon. gentleman came back, and within three or four days after his entrance into the city we know what happened. The right hon. Prime Minister rose up in his place and announced that he had received the resignation of the Minister of the Interior, and the Minister of the Interior made a speech on that occasion which showed a determination upon his part to oppose this Bill and to oppose any legislation to this end, if the English language meant anything. But, Sir, no sooner had the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior announced his intention to defeat this Bill, if it were possible, than all the force and power of government press were turned upon the hon. member for Brandon. Insinuations were made as to his conduct while in the discharge of his duties as Minister of the Interior. One of the Quebec papers, and a strong supporter of the government, came out with a cartoon. Did they depict the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior as dying for principle ? Did they depict him as a man who could not support the government by reason of the strong views which he held? No, Sir; they de 5267 5268 picted the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior as a man who was fleeing from the wrath, from the exposures which were to be made. There had been scandals in his department, and the pistol was put at his head by the other ministers through the press, and the hon. member for Brandon was simply and solely told if he did not acquiesce in legislation that would be acceptable to hon. gentlemen opposite he must expect what would follow—exposure and disgrace by reason of scandals connected with his department. Hon. gentlemen opposite cannot gainsay this. It was in the public press, and no member of the government has risen in his place to express a word of dissent in connection with these ideas which have been disseminated by the press friendly to the government. But if this legislation is along lines that are compatible with the principles and views of the hon. ex—Mlnister of the Interior, why did not the hon. ex- Minister of the Interior come back into the House and take his place ? That is a question that must suggest itself to the people. If the legislation was to his mind, he should have come back as a hero and have said that he had stemmed the whole tide of this policy, and forced them to come into accord with his views on this question ; but this has not been done, and the public must draw their own deductions that the threats held out by the ministerial press and the insinuations made against that hon. gentleman were the influences that brought him back. Now, we have heard a great deal about the constitutional triumph of the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior. But we have not heard a word about the terrible downfall that his party got in. Manitoba the other day—not a word. Hon. gentlemen opposite went to a riding of their own selection and they won. But there was the riding of Mountain in Manitoba, and the hon. gentleman who represents Lisgar (Mr. Greenway) was delegated to go up there. He was accompanied by a number of hon. gentlemen from the province of Manitoba ; but, Sir, there is no acclaim for them, there is no applause. These hon. gentlemen have found that in the west, in any riding of strong Liberal proclivities, where the population is not strongly foreign, they can only court one thing, and that is disaster, such as they met with in Manitoba.
Now, this question has been discussed from both sides. I shall not repeat the words of the hon. Postmaster General— from the lawyer's standpoint and from the statesman's standpoint. I shall use the words that are commonly used—from the legal point of view and from what may be termed the sentimental point of view. What is the legal point of view ? First and foremost. lt is a matter of comment, and it must be a matter of comment, that although this debate has gone on week after week, no hon. gentleman, until today, in the person of the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Brodeur), has risen to give an official legal 5269 MAY 2, 1905 opinion on this question. Why did not the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) rise in the first instance and give an opinion, more particularly in view of the fact that weeks have elapsed since the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) spoke on this question and gave a legal opinion which stands to-day unshattered, and has not had one particle stricken from it or from any of the strong arguments that were adduced in it? We have two Bills, and it is hardly worth while going into the merits of the two owing to the fact that on the question of principle the two are almost the same. The whole question is involved in this school matter, whether or not there shall be two systems of schools in the Northwest Territories. Two grounds have been taken, and I propose shortly to speak on this question, because the ground has been well traversed. The first ground taken by the Prime Minister was, as I understood it, that in the original Act which gave power to these Territories a system of separate schools was conferred upon the people there. But, as the law that gave these people the system of schools which there prevails was a law framed by this parliament, it is an admitted fact, and it has not been contradicted, that this parliament had exactly the same right to take away as it had the right to give. The people of these Territories had, in addition to their separate school system of education, under the Acts, the right to the official use of the French language in the Territories, and yet, although that right was similarly given to them, it was taken away by this parliament. So, on the same line of argument, and on the same line of reasoning, as they had the right to remove the privilege of the official use of the French language in the Northwest Territories, they had the right to divorce these people from the system of separate schools. I do not propose to give my opinion on this question, because my opinion, as I expect the opinions of many legal gentlemen in this House, will have very little weight. I can rely upon the opinions of admittedly great constitutional lawyers: I will cite the opinion of Sir John Thompson, who, when the question arose as to doing away with French as an official language in the Northwest Territories, said:
What the constitution of the future provinces shall be, in view of the pledges which have been referred to, or in view of any other set of circumstances, will be for parliament to decide when it decides to create those provinces.
That opinion has been quoted in this House before, and no gentleman opposite has attempted to controvert the dictum of Sir John Thompson. The Hon. David Mills was the acknowledged constitutional authority of the Liberal party when in opposition, and on account of his legal attainments he afterwards was elevated to the Supreme Court bench, and Mr. Mills said:
5269 5270
When the people of the Territories or any portion of the Territories are sufficiently numerous to constitute a province, when, in fact. they attain their majority in regard to local matters, and when they propose to set up for themselves, this parliament has no right to exercise control over them, no right to exercise any authority; it can give good advice, but it has no right to give commands. But we are not dealing with the future. When the Territories have a sufficient population to entitle them to become a province they must decide for themselves whether they will have separate schools or not.
I quote the opinion of Sir Louis Davies, another eminent Liberal lawyer and now a judge of the Supreme Court, who said :
The vast territory west of Manitoba through which the railway was to run was practically at the time uninhabited by white men. The provisions made for its future government were temporary, tentative and entirely subject to the control and guidance and supervision of the Dominion parliament and authorities.
Most of the powers of the Territorial government were to be given in the discretion of the Governor General in Council from time to time and withdrawn when and as he thought fit.
I might quote the opinions of other jurists of repute, all laying down the principle that this parliament had no right to interfere with these new provinces in their educational legislation. We have heard the argument advanced on the other side of the House, that these provinces stand in exactly the same position under the British North America Act that the provinces of Quebec and Ontario did at the time of the union. That contention has been to some extent abandoned by the government, and I do not believe the Minister of Justice will attempt to justify it. The fact of the matter is that so far as the law on the question is concerned the government has not a ghost of a case and the House awaits with expectancy to hear what arguments the Minister of Justice will advance to buttress up the position of the government. If the position of the government is weak in its legal aspect that weakness is in the main due to the utterances of certain cabinet ministers. When they saw their weakness and when they saw that men like the member for South Perth (Mr. McIntyre) could not be convinced by the so-called legal argument, they endeavoured to arrest the stampede by dwelling on the political expediency of the case. The Minister of Finance in an impassioned address turned to his followers and told them : If you don't support this Bill the government goes out and the Tories will come into power. The Minister of Finance evidently thought that it is not a question of principle or a question of the legal rights of the minority, but that the whole question at issue was one of practical politics. I want to be fair to the Minister of Finance who did offer one argument in favour of the Bill, and were he in the House to-night I would ask him a question. He pointed to the fact 5271 COMMONS that out of the ten members from the Northwest seven were supporting the Bill, and for that reason he held that there should be no complaint against it. But, if the members from the Northwest stood five for and five against, then the argument of the Minister of Finance would go for nothing. I would ask those gentlemen who applauded the Minister of Finance to remember, that when the Manitoba Remedial Bill was before the House every member from Manitoba with the exception of Mr. Joseph Martin was in favour of that Bill, and using the argument of the Minister of Finance then the Remedial Bill should have been adopted by parliament. The Minister of Finance threatened his followers into supporting this Bill, and for fear that they still might be fleeing away from the government my genial friend from Brockville (Mr. Derbyshire) came to the rescue and he offered a wager that the Bill would be supported by the people at the next election. What have we descended to ? An important Bill, a Bill that is fastening a system of schools for all time upon millions of people who are not yet in the Territories; such a Bill is to be driven through the House by the impassioned appeals of the Prime Minister, by the threats of the Finance Minister and by the persuasive eloquence of my hon. friend from Brockville who tries to stiffen the backs of gentlemen opposite by wagering dollars on the result of the next election. Shades of George Brown ; if Edward Blake or Alexander Mackenzie came into this House of Commons, how they would sigh for these degenerate days when Liberal leaders can make such appeals for the support of a great constitutional measure. And if this were not enough, my benevolent friend the Minister of Customs rises and he cries for, peace, perfect peace. There was no argument in his speech which all through was pervaded with the one sentence : brethren there should be perfect peace, and he ended by saying that he loved the premier and by the love he bore him he could not possibly oppose his will. Is that the serious way in which important legislation should be treated. The Minister of Customs excelled himself that night in his eulogy of the Prime Minister ; he had only to go one better to equal the member for Centre York (Mr. Campbell) who in a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm declared that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the greatest man that ever lived. Napoleon may have been a great general, but he was nothing to Laurier ; Vanderbilt may have been a Napoleon of finance, but he was not in it with Laurier. Hon. gentlemen opposite seem to be inoculated with the idea that whenever they address parliament they must raise a paen of idol worship to the Prime Minister. I had not the honour of being in the House when Sir John A. Macdonald was Prime Minister. but I have read a great many of the speeches delivered then, and it may have been that Sir John Macdonald 5271 5272 stood so prominent in this country that his followers did not feel it necessary to advertise him as a great man. But the debate proceeds, and now and then we have a gentleman like my hon. friend from Westminster (Mr. Kennedy) who gets up and does the acrobatic feat. He balances on both sides ; he starts out by denouncing separate schools as the curse of the country and he winds up by saying that for the sake of perfect peace he will vote for the government. And then last but not least we have the Minister of Agriculture who gave to us bigots from Ontario a lesson in peace and conciliation.
I was rather surprised that the Postmaster General did not take up the cudgels as an Ontario representative, and deal the city of Toronto a body-blow too, and denounce that city as a hot-bed of bigotry and intolerance. But, Sir, if the Postmaster General did not do it, his understudy from North Ontario did it to his heart's content. I do not wonder that these hon. gentlemen have no feeling of kindness towards the city of Toronto, in which they always thought they had such magnificent voting chances, where in 1896 Mr. Lount was elected by a handsome majority in the same riding which Mr. Bertram a year or two afterwards succeeded in carrying by a considerable majority. The fact of the matter is that the Ontario representation in this cabinet is so weak and this policy of the government is so weak that they dare not make any attempt to carry a Toronto constituency. But my hon. friend the Minister of Customs says: Peace, perfect peace. Does the hon. gentleman believe that majorities have no rights in this country—that we are always to yield to the will of the minority ? Does he not know that the old rule must prevail, that the majority should rule ? How does he expect that there is going to be peace in this country if, when the majority have the law and the constitution behind them, they are expected to pander to the wishes of some politicians who want to retain their positions as Cabinet ministers, with the accompanying salaries, and in return are to have the support of a lot of hon. gentlemen who are to seek seclusion in a few years in fat government offices ? I need not go into the question of who are to be rewarded. An object lesson has been presented in the person of the Minister of the Interior who could go out and revile and denounce this government in every possible manner for the Yukon Bill and other measures, exactly as the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals denounced the government, and then, by reason of certain qualifications of a geographical and national kind, secure an appointment to office. I am not saying this in a belittling way of the hon. Minister of the Interior, because I think he is far above the average in point of intelligence.
But, Sir, we are told that there are rea 5273 MAY 2, 1905 sons why this government and this House must accept this policy of granting allowances to the minority in the Northwest. We are told that even if the law is against them, as a matter of sentiment we must pander to the minority. The hon. gentlemen should remember that that was the question in Manitoba in 1896, when they were quite willing to take advantage of party exigencies and flaunt into power at the sacrifice of the will and the wishes of the minority. The Minister of Finance, in his impassioned appeal to his supporters the other night, begging and pleading with them to vote for the government for fear the Conservatives should come into power, said this : It is quite true, I am against separate schools; it is quite true, we have none of them in the province of Nova Scotia from which I come ; but there is in that province a feeling of conciliation and ainity, and for that reason we allow certain innovations in the school laws which suit the Roman Catholic part of the population. And yet the Minister of Finance is not willing to allow the majority in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan to extend to the Roman Catholic minority there, that same spirit of conciliation that is extended to the minority in the province of Nova Scotia.
We are told by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) that there is a risk to be feared in that country, as a reason why the power of educating the people should not be given to the provinces. He pointed out that there was likely to be a large influx of Americans into those provinces. If there is to be, I for one as a Canadian am glad of that fact, I believe American citizens are preferable to the foreigners we are importing into that country ; I believe they will make better citizens. And it is not to be expected that men coming from a country where they have not enjoyed separate schools, but where they have a system of national schools, will be the men to accept this whip of coercion which this governemnt propose to lash them with when the time comes.
But we are told in extenuation by the hon. member for Centre York (Mr. A. Campbell) and others : After all, these are separate schools only in name ; they will be so handled and regulated as to textbooks, certificates for teachers, and equipment, that they will be practically nullified as to any religious instruction. All I have to say is that I do not accept these schools for that reason. If there is to be a separate school system in the Northwest Territories, I think my Roman Catholic friends are intelligent enough to know how to conduct their own schools ; and I do not think they will thank the hon. member for Centre York and other hon. gentlemen who are taking refuge for voting for this Bill in the plea that these schools are going to be controlled by the state. and that for 5273 5274 that reason they will not be church schools as they are commonly known.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Do you deny that they are controlled by the state?
Mr. BENNETT. No, I no not deny that they are controlled by the state.
Mr. CAMPBELL. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) did.
Mr. BENNETT. I care not what the hon. member for East Grey says. He is perfectly free to have his own opinion as I am free to have mine, and I am going to take a stand different from that of the hon. member for Centre York. I am not going into a constituency in Ontario to tell the people that I supported these school because I knew that they were useless schools for the Roman Catholics. I am going to the riding of East Simcoe, which has 1,600 Roman Catholic votes, and I am going to argue, just as I did when I voted against the Remedial Bill in 1896, that I believe that in this country, in every province, it would be better for all parties concerned that there should be no separate schools, but one system of national schools. That is the ground I am going to take, and I will be bound to say that when the time comes for my hon. friend to go back to the constituency of Centre York, the whole burden of his song will be: True, I voted for the Bill, but what does it amount to ? The schools are controlled by the state; the law gives no special rights to Roman Catholics, and, to use words which I saw quoted in the public press a short time ago, they will be of so little good for their own purposes that they will soon all die out.
Now, what are we going to do in these two new provinces ? we are going in there, with their sparse population as it is to-day, and we are going to fetter these provinces with a system of schools that will be irremovable, that cannot be eradicated, that under the constitution of this country must continue for all time to come. We are to saddle on these provinces, before the population that is to be in there will have anything to say on the question at all in the years that are to come, what we have in the province of Ontario. I am here to say—and I believe I have the confidence and I have the confidence and good will of many Roman Catholics—that the same opinion prevails throughout the province of Ontario that prevails in the town in which I live, where there have been French Roman Catholic priests and Irish Roman Catholic priests, and where there is a large Roman Catholic population. In that town they want no separate school at all. What do the returns show as to the separate schools in the province of Ontario to-day? Let any hon. gentleman consult the returns, and he will find that town after town of 2.000. 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 population in 5275 COMMONS the province of Ontario have no separate school at all.
They have the right under the law of the province to establish those schools if they wish, but they do not desire them or care for them. Let me give a list of the towns in and near the county of Simcoe where there are no separate schools. There are none in the following towns: Uxbridge, Aurora, Bradford, Gravenhurst, Midland, Staynor, Collingwood; and when I go outside of the county I find such towns as these: Simcoe, Port Hope, Brampton, Bracebridge, Orangeville, Meaford, Wingham, Clinton, Brussels, Exeter and Aylmer. I could go on through every county in Ontario and show that the separate school system is not making headway in that province, but the Roman Catholics, as well as Protestants, are realizing the benefit and better effect of not having separate schools. In Ontario we have no such schools as separate high schools. Roman Catholics and Protestants, boys and girls, alike, go to the same high school, and the best of fellowships are engendered there, and yet these hon. gentlemen opposite are to-day going to force on this western country— a country that does not know its own requirements or the class of people that are going to populate it—a system that will have the effect of weakening the efficiency of the schools in every section. If the ordinance goes into effect. should there be four families in any neighbourhood and twelve children, they will be entitled to establish a separate school in that district. What do we find regarding the number of separate schools in Ontario? I have here a list given in the report of the education department for the year of 1904. It shows that in that province, outside the incorporated towns and cities. there are 254 separate schools. 70 of which are in the French county of Prescott and Russell alone. Nearly one-third of the whole number of separate schools in the townships are in one county. Go down to Essex, where there is a large French population, and you will there find 23 separate schools. In Renfrew, where there is a large Catholic population. there are also 12 schools: and in the district of Nipissing there are 16. so that in the prov: ince of Ontario to-day this system of separate schools in not being looked on favourably.
I propose to vote for the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Borden) for several reasons. First. because this government has no mandate from the people to bring in this legislation. It was not an issue in the last election and ought to be made an issue before being adopted. because it is a matter of great import. I propose to vote against it. in the second place, because it will be injurious to the well-being of the Northwest Territories, which to-day are only in their infancy, the future population of which is unknown, and 5275 5276 I believe that we should not fasten on that country any such system. I am further going to vote for the amendment, principally and primarily, because I do not believe in the separate school system in Ontario or any other province. I do not wish to be understood as saying that I am in favour of doing away with the separate schools in Ontario. They are here as a matter of right, under the constitution, and are here to stay. But I for one shall protest by my vote against passing any legislation which will place in the great Northwest Territories, among the millions who must inhabit them in the years to come. a school system which will be a matter of regret to those people and of reproach to those who fastened it upon them, if the vote of this House should be in favour of this Bill, as I fear and regret it will be.
M. A. K. MACLEAN (Lunenburg). Mr. Speaker, in rising to address this House I must express my diffidence because of the fact that this measure has been discussed so long and by so many hon. members. But nevertheless I desire to express my views concerning it before casting my vote. But before proceeding with my argument. I Wish to refer for a moment or two to the remarks that fell from the hon. gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Bennett). I hardly know that hon. gentleman well enough to understand why he should waste so much time in commiserating with the Liberal party over what he deems to be their troubles. Surely if commiseration is needed by any party it is required by the party he is following to-day. I suppose that in the history of party government in this country or any English-speaking country, there never was an instance of such a lack of discipline, such a violation of the theory of party government, as is evidenced here today. That party stands without a leader, without a policy, with every one of its supporters going whichever way he chooses. Yet still my hon. friend wastes time pointing out the weaknesses which he sees in the government supporters. I am sure we do not resent the good feeling and the interest which the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) evinces towards us, but I would like to console him by the assurance that the friends and supporters of the government are quite capable of taking care of themselves.
My hon. friend is rather exercised over the fact that several newspapers in Ontario are not favourable to the administration on this issue. Well, no doubt the Liberal party, as a party would be better pleased if every newspaper in the Dominion were supporting it ; but we cannot get everything; and if it does happen that a newspaper here and there does oppose this measure, we must accept the situation. But if my hon. friend is so much agitated over the want of sup 5277 MAY 2, 1905 port shown by certain newspapers towards the administration. I am sure he could render good service to his party if he would go down to the city of Montreal and get the Montreal 'Gazette' and the 'Montreal Star' to mend their ways and back up the policy of the opposition. Perhaps, however, the attitude of the newspapers is not so very important; and if my hon. friend desires to promote party unity, surely he will find in his own party ample room for missionary work.
The hon. gentleman referred to the recent election of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver). A short time ago our friends to your left, Mr. Speaker, were challenging the government to open a constituency in the Northwest. The leader of the opposition— or rather I should say the hon. gentleman who usually leads it, but who does not in this matter—expressed upon the floor of this House his approval of the selection of the hon. gentleman who is now Minister of the Interior. He publicly stated that he would make a good Minister of the Interior, and while my hon. friend has just spoken (Mr. Bennett) attributes the election of that minister to the fact that the electors of the district of Edmonton are largely composed of Galicians and Russians and other foreigners who came into this country from the continent, we have it upon the authority of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) that the Galicans and the Doukhobors were all oppposed to separate schools. Speaking in this House on the 23rd March. he said :
I have letters stating that if petitions had been sent to the Doukhobors, translated into their language, seventy-five per cent of them would sign those petitions. So would the Galicians and so would the Roman Catholics of this country.
Mr. SPROULE. The hon. gentleman is not justified in saying that I said all of them were oppposed to separate schools.
Mr. A. K. MACLEAN. I was not aware that I said all, and if I did so I was certainly mistaken, but the hon. member said seventy-five per cent of them would sign those petitions and that so would the Roman Catholics. He went on to say :
The Galicians say we left one country because of the tyranny of the church and we were told that we were coming to a free country, and we do not want it in Canada.
Surely that constituency is just the sort of one that our hon. friends desired. Surely it is one after my hon. friend's heart. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition made the statement that the present Minister of the Interior would make a very capable minister, that he was a personal friend of his and would like to see the First Minister select him. My hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) said that the people generally of the constituency of Edmonton were opposed to the idea of separate schools.
5277 5278
Mr. SPROULE. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) did not mention that .
Mr. A. K. MACLEAN. I submit that if the hon. gentleman's words have any meaning, the interpretation I have placed upon them is a fair one. Now the hon, member for East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) also complains that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) has not made his address, I presume, upon the legal aspect of the measure. The argument of the Minister of Justice is in the Bill; where everybody can read it. But the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) has given no legal opinion on this measure— absolutely none. And I submit that there are very few hon. members on the opposition side who have given such an opinion. The leader of the opposition has stated that he stands by the constitution, but he has not endeavoured to explain what the constitution is, he has not uttered a single word which would make clear what the effect of this Bill would be legally or what would be the effect if the constitution were applied. So, upon that score, I think my hon. friend has not very much reason to complain concerning the delay of the speech of the Minister of Justice.
The attitude assumed by the opposition on this question is a strange one. I believe it is not a fair one. For instance, the hon. member for East Simcoe stated that he would support the amendment of the leader of the opposition on several grounds. There is only one ground upon which a member of this House can intelligently support that amendment, and that is upon the constitutional ground. The leader of the opposition stated that the educational clauses constitutionally were ultra vires. Therefore he moved the amendment. He deliberately stated in this House, and stated more than once, that it was not a question of separate schools or national schools. But the hon. member for East Simcoe declared a moment ago that he was going to support the amendment because he was opposed to separate schools. The same remarks might be made regarding the speeches of all those hon. gentlemen opposite who have spoken on the measure. And what has been the result ? I submit that the result has been the creation of an agitation in the country that is most undesirable. I say that this agitation is largely due to the fact that the Conservative party as represented in this House to-day has no policy and the members have been permitted to go here, there and everywhere. One hon. member was allowed to make one statement, and another hon. member a different statement. There were just two ways to deal with this issue. It could possibly be argued fairly on constitutional grounds, or it could be dealt with as a matter of public policy. And the opposition, I contend should have taken one or other of these grounds. But they agreed to go every man for himself, upon the 5279 COMMONS theory that that was the best method to create an agitation the best method to secure some political advantage at the next general election. And I contend. that there is ample evidence that the opposition seek to play upon the quickly responsive cord of religious and racial prejudice for political effect and nothing else. They talk about provincial rights and about the constitution. They talk against separate schools and some of them talk against national schools. I submit that all this is simply a patch work of fig-leaves to hide the naked fact of political expediency.
Let me refer to one or two matters which afford evidence that this is the policy of the opposition. Take the land clause of the Bill. Now. the speech of the hon. leader of the opposition on that clause of the Bill occupies a very small space in 'Hansard.' Surely it was a very important matter. The question of provincial tights might have been as easily raised in reference to the land clause as to the educational clauses. And the people of this country, I can quite understand, were very much interested in the way parliament should deal with the public lands. The reason. I suppose. why we had no petitions in reference to the land clause was that it did not afford so responsive a cord to play upon as the eduaational clauses. I have a word or two to say about the conduct of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) in reference to this measure. I am not going to say that the hon. gentleman is not conscientious in the position he takes on the educational clauses of the Bill. His conduct in 1896 lends strength to the position he takes upon this occasion But I think he has had his weather eye open for his party. Now, I very seldom tell a story, and a story is never improved by my telling it. But the conduct of the hon. member for East Grey on this occasion reminds me of a story of Max O'Rell's designed to illustrate a phase of the Scotch character. He was seeking to show how close the ministers of the old school regarded themselves in their relations to the deity. An old Presbyterian minister desiring on a certain day that the wind should blow got down upon his knees and prayed 'Oh Lord, give us a wind ; not a rantin' tantin,' tearin' wind, but a nice, gentle winnin' wind.' It happened that at that moment a breeze came up, which blew the parsons manuscript off the table and scattered the leaves over the room, whereat he said: 'Now, Lord, this is ridiculous.' I think the hon. member for East Grey was playing for an agitation not a 'nice, gentle agitation' but a 'real rantin tantin,' tearin' agitation. And when the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) blew in here to-day. the hon. member for East Grey must have said 'Brethren this is ridiculous.' The hon member (Mr Sproule) is at the head of an organization. Concerning that organization of course I have nothing to say. But I would say this 5279 5280 that when a gentleman is elected to parliament his palamount duty is to the state. and, as issues arise he should be in a position to give his untrammelled judgment to them, and that judgment should not be affected by any alliance or connection with any fraternal organization. The action of the hon. member in sending out his letter before this measure was introduced, I submit, was not quite the proper thing. He was. of course, within his legal rights in so doing, and one cannot very well complain of it on that ground. But still I think it is open to the contention that the purpose and intention of his circular letter addressed, ' Dear Sir and Brother ' was largely for poll- tical effect.
My contention in this respect is confirmed, I think, by the fact that down in the province of Quebec we find a Conservative political club known as the Jacques Cartier Club, issuing a letter to a different class of people altogether, asking them to oppose the administration for the reason that the educational clauses of the Bill do not go far enough. Now I say that the effect of these petitions was bad for this country. They created an agitation. In the first place, the hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) became agitated, and he was going to shoulder his musket and fight for provincial rights. Of course, nothing happened. It affected many newspapers in this country. For instance. the Hamilton 'Spectator' of a recent date used the following language:
The attempt made by Sir Wilfrid Laurier to force separate schools on the new provinces of the west will settle one thing. Never again will a French Canadian be entrusted with the premiership of Canada; never again will a French Canadian have the opportunity to betray the people of this country. Canada cannot afford to take chances again.
This was one of the results of that agitation. I am sure that very' few hon. gentlemen who sit with the opposition will approve of these remarks of the Hamilton 'Spectator.' But unfortunately that paper and many others are daily using similar remarks. they are all bringing grist to the mill of the Conservative party, and unless the leaders of that party exercise their influence and have these papers desist from such a low tone of discussion of a public issue. they must bear responsibility for what they say. Now that extract from the Hamilton 'Spectator' was read in this House by the Minister of Customs some two or three weeks ago. The leader of the opposition and the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osler) atempted to apologize for this statement of the Hamilton 'Spectator.' But we find immediately a Toronto paper coming to the support of the Hamilton 'Spectator.' I wish to read something from the Toronto 'Telegram' in reference to that :
5281 MAY 2, 1905
Trucklers to Quebec.
What will it profit R. L. Borden, M.P., E. B. Osler, M.P., or any other Conservative leader to run away from the Hamilton Spectator's declaration that 'never again will a French Canadian be premier of Canada ? '
Messrs. Borden and Osler do not edit the Hamilton ' Spectator,' fortunately for the readers of that journal.
The Hamilton 'Spectator' does not lead the Conservative party, or it might be better and could not be worse led.
Ontario is just about tired of having the Conservative party led from. the Montreal 'Star' office, or from the latitude and longitude of Mr. Monk's ideas and Mr. Bergeron's ideas.
The Hamilton 'Spectator ' may have erred in saying what everybody thinks, but if Mr. Borden and Mr. Osler apologize for their own errors they will have no time to waste apologizing for the errors of the Hamilton ' Spectator.'
It is, unfortunately, true that Mr. Borden and Mr. Osler and other Conservative leaders share the views of the Montreal ' Star' rather than the opinions of the Hamilton ' Spectator.'
Quebec will not give Mr. Borden votes in return for his subservience to the ideas of the Montreal ' Star,' Mr. Monk and Mr. Bergeron.
Ontario is already alienated from Mr. Borden by his lack of decision and courage upon this school question.
Quebec is the shadow, Ontario is the substance, and it will be Mr. Borden's own fault if a solid Ontario for freedom does not supply the logical answer to a solid Quebec for coercion.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I say that does not speak well for the press of this country, it does not speak well for the Conservative party. to have its leading organs uttering such unworthy sentiments as that, and it will be a sad day in the history of this country if the time should ever come, and I believe it will not come, when the highest position in this land, that of Prime Minister, is not open to any Canadian. whatever be his religion or whatever be his race. I could give many other illustrations to show how public feeling has been aroused in this country, a result largely due I think to the course pursued by the Conservative party. I have recently seen two letters addressed to hon. members of this House both from residents of the province of Ontario. The writer of one letter inquired if it were not true that the Roman Catholics of Canada serving in our militia got bigger pay per day than the Protestants. I saw another letter inquiring as to whether it was not true that all through the province of Quebec there were being stored rifles and ammunition in the basements of the Catholic churches. These gentlemen scented danger, and they may have been quite honest in their fear: but I say they were aroused to this particular form of excitement largely by the position taken by the Conservative party.
Now I wish to refer for a moment to the remarks of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). He made the famous 5281 5282 declaration in discussing this Bill that he felt himself quite free to reverse the position Which he took in 1896 by reason of the fact that the Conservative party was defeated in that year, and had been defeated twice since. Now, Sir. no declaration has been quoted more frequently in the United States than that of Henry Clay. who said that he would rather be right than be president. But the declaration made by the hon. member for North Toronto is that he will follow the people, whether they are right or whether they are wrong. He is like the immortal. Flannigan from Texas, who, in closing a speech, addressed his audience saying: ' Gentlemen, them's my sentiments, and if they don't suit you they can be changed.' Now certainly these are not high ideals to put before the youth of this country. There is a distinction between right and wrong, and there is surely no reason in this country why a person should desert what he considers to be the true position merely because his party meets with a political reverse, and possibly upon some other issue altogether. But I do not for a moment admit that the Conservative party were defeated in 1896 upon the school question. I may not agree with some of my own political friends on that point. The Conservative party about that time were in rather a bad state, they could not get along With themselves, and certainly they could not get along with the country. The hon. gentleman who leads the opposition in the other chamber said that on New Year's Day, 1896, that day when the whole world breathes forth hosannas of peace on earth and good will towards man, he made a call upon one of the ministers, and he tells us that while he was paying his respects to the ladies, this minister was trying to seduce one of his other ministers away from the cabinet. Now if such conduct prevailed on New Year's Day among cabinet ministers. surely we could expect almost anything to occur in the ranks of the Conservative party. But I notice that the principles of the hon. member for North Toronto. his political ethics, were not of a much higher standard in the past than they are to-day. He addressed this parliament in 1896 upon the Manitoba school question and I think he was the last speaker on the government side. I must admit that he made a speech which was an exceedingly able and admirable one, notwithstanding that there are portions of it with which I do not agree. I wish to read just a short quotation from that speech to show what was the standard of political ethics of that hon. gentleman then and when I read that I am sure hon. gentlemen will not be surprised at the position taken by him the other day. He was then addressmg the Conservative party. He knew that there were to be many desertions from the ranks 5283 COMMONS of his party and he was making a last appeal to them and it was a clever one. He said, referring to the opposition.
But, Sir, are those gentlemen opposite playing a part? I do not ask that in any offensive sense. Are they playing a part? Let us see. I think they are, and I submit my opinion. The stake that they are playing for I know, and so do our friends here. They are playing for power. They are desperate players. I do not play myself, but I take leave to ask those who do a question. If they had been playing all night and had been losing continually and had got to the last cent they had in their pockets, would they not become desperate? Cards up their sleeves, cards in their laps, cards all around—anything to win. These hon. gentlemen have been out for over eighteen years. They have been playing for power and they have lost. every time. Their last nickel is invested. If they are desperate players, can we wonder at it?
I think the hon. gentleman was really expressing his own mind at that time, and with a slight transposition these words would now probably represent the ideas of the hon. member for North Toronto and many of those who are supporting him. Speaking for the oppositon the hon. member for North Toronto would say about this: 'But, Sir, we of the opposition are playing a part. Let me see. I think we are and I submit we are. The stake that we are playing for I know and so do our opponents. W'e are playing for power. We are desperate players and I am a player myself. We have been playing for the past eight years, and have been loosing continually, personally, I lost in St. John in 1900 and North Ontario in 1902. We are up to the last cent we have in our pockets, and we have become desperate. We have cards up our sleeves, cards in our laps, cards all round, conscience cards in Quebec, a provincial rights pack of cards in Ontario, and Mr. Rogers is making cards for Manitoba. The premier of the Northwest Territories is now designing cards for the two new provinces. Anything to win. We have been out for over eight years. We have been playing for power and have lost every time. Our last nickel is invested. I can turn myself inside out or eat myself if necessary. We are desperate players and can you wonder at it?'
Now, I say that I have not the slightest doubt in the world that the hon. gentleman who was the Minister of Finance was really speaking his mind at that time, and I have no doubt that what I have just read really represents his own mind to—day and also that of hon. gentlemen supporting the opposition. But, there is another portion from the very same speech which I wish to read to show also what the political ethics of that hon. gentleman were in 1896 and I read it also in the complimentary sense, because it was a courageous statement to make. I wish to read it so that I may contrast it 5283 5284 with the position taken by the hon. gentleman who now leads the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden). He was appealing to the Conservative party to stand by the ship of the administration. He negatived the old scriptural interrogation: What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul. I hope I have given the quotation correctly.
Mr. DERBYSHIRE. All right.
Mr. A. K. MACLEAN. If my hon. friend from Brockville (Mr. Derbyshire) says it is all right I have no doubt it is all right. He spoke as follows :
You see the Liberal party utterly discredited in the country. You see that party without any policy which can appeal to the business interests and the solid common sense of the electors of Canada. You see that Liberal party to-day, marching up to a test before the people of this country, and their whole hope of victory—I say it earnestly and honestly—is that they may get into power, not because of the strength of their own arms and batteries, but because they hope for some desertions from the citadel of their opponents, which shall sally out to their help and enable them to take the position to which they aspire.
This is the portion to which I particularly desire to refer :
What answer is it to the country's best interests, if we go back to them with a defeated policy and a defeated government, putting into power a policy and a government in which we do not believe, but which we do believe will not be for the best interests of Canada. If we have nothing to place against such action but this one question, upon which we hold honest beliefs, maybe, can we not to some extent subordinate one opinion, strong though it be, for the greater good, the larger policy, the more valuable and the more precious interest of the whole. What will it have profited us, even it we gain a point of sentiment or of principle in one respect; what will it have profited us if we lose the soul of a progressive policy anl a wise administration of affairs.
In other words the hon. Minister of Finance in 1896 said: Sacrifice principle to keep our party in power and there can be little wonder, of course, that to-day he has stated that so long as water runs and grass grows he will not bind himself to adhere to that which he thinks is right.
There is one thing about this speech which claims the admiration even of the friends of the present administration, and it is, that the hon. member for North Toronto was making a splendid effort to induce his party to stand together. He did it cleverly; I give him all possible credit for it, but I say the position taken by the hon. leader of the opposition stands in sorry contrast with the position then taken by the hon. member for North Toronto. Before I proceed let me first refer to one or two things. When this measure was first 5285 MAY 2, 1905 introduced to the House the cry and prayer of the hon. leader of the opposition was : Don't rush the Bill. Then there were many requests from the hon. leader of the opposition, day after day, to bring the Bill down immediately and one would imagine that the whole Conservative party were united, that there were no dissentients in their ranks, that they had settled upon a sound and fixed policy. They were practically saying : Bring forth the beast of separate schools so that we may get our hands on it right now and here. That was not the fact when the second reading of this Bill was moved. The position which the hon. leader of the opposition took upon that occasion was, I say, not creditable to himself or to his party. It was not fair to the country and I submit it is open to criticism. The hon. gentleman made a legal argument and it was, I concede, a very able one. He seemed very sure about the correctness of his argument, because he postulated everything from his premises to his conclusion andin effect he said that this was the straight and narrow path to sound political principle and statesmanship. He said the administration had no more right to pass the educational clauses of this Bill than they would have to amend Mahomet's Koran. He says it is not open to argument, and then he turns to his followers, but he does not exhort them to stand together in his support as did the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) in 1896, but he tells them that he does not expect them to follow his lead if for reasons of conscience they cannot see their way to do so. I would like to know what conscience has to do with the consideration of a question of constitutional law ? I never saw in any text-book upon the interpretation of statutes, that conscience was a canon of construction. I have heard that at one time in England, law was measured by the length of the chancellor's foot, but I never heard of legal principles being aflirmed on the rule of conscience. I never saw in Holman vs. the Crown. or in the Queen vs. Robinson, or in any other constitutional case any reference to conscience. Nevertheless, the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) for some reason or other turns to his followers and says : While I am absolutely sound in my opinion, and while the legislation is clearly ultra vii-es. still for conscience sake you are at liberty to oppose it. This brand of conscience seems a very peculiar thing to me—
Mr. INGRAM. Hear, hear.
Mr. A. K. MACLEAN. I am referring to the particular kind of conscience which the leader of the opposition was speaking of. If you try to define it, or measure it, or size it up in any way, you are puzzled. It does not seem to be governed by latitude, or by longitude, or by altitude. From the island of Montreal there are three Conservative members, and they have expressed their 5285 5286 willingness to support the government measure. While an hon. member from Toronto told us this afternoon that he was going to support the amendment—I suppose on conscientious grounds. I am curious to know what effects this change of conscience within an area of a few hundred miles. Does the atmosphere of the St. Lawrence in the neighbourhood of Montreal generate a different form of conscience from that which the atmosphere of Lake Ontario does ? The hon. member for Cornwall and Stormont (Mr. Pringle) has expressed his intention of supporting this measure, and I wonder if the climatic conditions in his neighbourhood produces another kind of conscience. This conscientious argument submitted by the leader of the opposition does not appear to me to be fair. I look upon it as an intimation to his followers to pursue whatever course might suit their constituents. It is possible, of course, that some members of the opposition may not have any conscience at all on this question, but possibly their constituents have a conscience, and it might be right to respect the conscience of your constituents. I sympathize with any member supporting the opposition who represents a constituency where there is perhaps a fair division of conscience, for it may be very difficult for him to decide which form of conscience he will be guided by, as to whether he will vote for the Bill or support the amendment. I am reminded of another story which will illustrate this, though perhaps I am breaking my record for storytelling. During the days of the American civil war a settler lived upon the Mason and Dixon line, in the state of Missouri, and he was very careful whenever he was questioned by a sentry of the northern army to declare that he was against slavery, and to a confederate sentry he was as careful to state that he was in favour of secession. But one day both sentries met together, and his declaration then was: I am nothing at all, and not much of that. I fear that some members of the opposition will find themselves in that very predicament.
Possibly it may be good party tactics, and possibly these manoeuvers are not at all discreditable to the intellect of the leader of the opposition, for it may be that these gentlemen who have been given leave to vote as they like under the conscience rule, are the doves which the Noah of the Conservative party is sending out to carry some message of good-will to hierarchies and to minorities, so that possibly during the next election they may come back to the Conservative ark hearing from here and there an olive branch.
I submit that the position taken by the leader of the opposition was not fair to this country ; I submit that it was not fair even to his own political friends. The people of Canada are not agitated about provincial rights or about the constitutional question. Possibly not one per cent of Canadian elec 5287 COMMONS tors have ever read the speech delivered by the leader of the opposition, and possibly not one-hundredth of one per cent of them would understand it if they did read it. There is no disguising the fact that the issue in the country in reference to this measure is on the abstract question of separate versus national schools. It is a condition that confronts us and not a legal proposition, and I submit that the leader of the opposition should have adopted the course which most of his followers have pursued, and discussed the question on its merits. It is said that this matter should be left to the new provinces. and that in any case the provincial governments will treat the minority fairly. Well, there are some things upon which one man will not trust another, one race will not trust another, one religion will not trust another. In ordinary business transactions it is not considered shrewd to enter into a contract without reducing it to writing. and where religious or racial prejudices may surround a bargain, I submit that it is only right that people who are asking for protection Should have protection guaranteed to them in some form or another. Many good reasons have developed why the minority in the Northwest Territories should not trust the provincial governments to do them justice. If the legal argument made by the leader of the opposition means anything. it means that the Territories came into confederation in 1870. He quoted the Barrett case, and from that he concluded that there was no system of separate schools in the Northwest Territories, and he therefore submits that section 93 of the British North America Act could not possibly apply to the new provinces. and that the minority there would have no legal standing whatever. We have some hon. gentlemen stating that the provinces, when established. would. if they had the opportunity, legislate against these separate schools. The hon. member for Algoma (Mr. Boyce), a few nights ago. criticising the administration for submitting this measure to a new parliament, said:
It was kept in the shade by the hon. gentlemen opposite until they had obtained a large and substantial majority in this House. The moment that majority is obtained. it is used for the purpose of passing through a measure to brand by coercive methods these Northwest provinces with a system of education which they do not desire.
I gather that this is an attack on the system of schools which the minority desire to establish there, and it is sufficient to lead the minority to think that there would be no protection or guarantee of their rights. I say further that the tone of the Conservative press in this country to-day, particularly in some of the provinces. justifies the minority in believing that their rights cannot be protected in any other way than by providing for them in this Act. Now. there is nothing unreasonable in the 5287 5288 minority of a new province asking to have these rights provided for in the constitution. The province of Nova Scotia, when it entered confederation, was not satisfied to take the word of the fathers of confederation that the Intercolonial Railway would be built; it was provided for in the constitution. The province of British Columbia in the same way would not take the word of the Dominion government that the Canadian Pacific Railway-would be built. The construction of that road was one of the conditions on which that province agreed to enter the confederation. and that condition was placed in the Order in Council bringing in that province. And there does seem to me, Mr. Speaker, no reason why there should be any agitation in this country over this issue, or why there should be any opposition to this measure. In fact, very few members who have spoken in this House have expressed any aversion to the separate schools as they exist in the Northwest. Not one single member coming from the Territories has spoken a word against them. In fact, I doubt if more than two members of the opposition altogether have spoken against the system of schools which they have. That being the case. there is not in my judgment any ground whatever for the apparent disturbance of public opinion which has recently existed upon this question.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that this is a question of policy; and, if we read the history of this country, it will aid us in no small degree in reaching a proper conclusion in this case. The history of Canada is a history of compacts from the very beginning up to the present time. The beginning of Canadian history dates from the Treaty of Paris. when this country passed from French to British control. By that treaty the rights of the French and the rights of the Catholics were protected. The next compact was the Confederation Act, in which special provision was made for the protection of the minorities in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and particularly for the continuation and perpetuation of the school systems as they existed in those provinces. Provision was also made for the continuation of minority schools which might be established in any other province coming into the union, and for granting a remedy in case any provincial legislature interfered with any system of separate, schools that had been established. In 1875. when the Northwest Territories were given a form of constitution, it was specially provided that the minority might under certain conditions establish separate schools. That proposition received the support at that time of men like George Brown. Alexander Mackenzie. Edward Blake and Sir John Macdonald: and I have not the slightest doubt that when these 5289 MAY 2, 1905 men expressed their assent to the establishment of that system of schools, it was with the idea that it once established it was to be continued. Therefore I submit that there rests on this country a moral obligation to give to the minorities in those two provinces that system of schools under which they have existed in the Northwest Territories for the past thirty years, and it would be an unwarrantable repudiation for us not to grant that which they have had for the past thirty years, and for which they now ask.
The task of building up a nation in British North America is no easy task. The diversity of race brought to us other diversities. To mould the constitution and our public policy along lines that will receive the recognition of these diversities is the task of every Canadian. The fathers of confederation recognized this difliculty, and the education issue was perhaps the gravest that-confronted them. Their mode of settlement as applied to the provinces at that date is the method sought to be applied to-day to the new provinces. I have not the slightest doubt that it was the intention of the framers of the constitution that when these Territories should enter the confederation, the educational rights of the minorities should be protected just as the educational rights of the minorities in the other provinces were protected by section 93 of the British North America Act; and any attempt to disturb this policy which has been lived up to in the past would, I believe, he disastrous to the country. This is the only way in which we can secure national contentment and national unity. Canada to-day is making such progress as to satisfy the aspirations of the most ambitious of us; and, as an hon. gentleman said the other day, we. are simply at the morning star, at the cock-crowing, of our national existence, but any interference with those rights which have been established, and which are so dear to certain classes of our population would, I fear, seriously injure the country. To maintain our present position and develop further with the years to come internal calm is necessary. It would take little to disturb the unity of the Canadian spirit, and perhaps threaten the compact of confederation. It is our duty to face our conditions and build up our growing country on lines that will meet our conditions. It is due to our national integrity that we religiously adhere to the compacts a-nd compromises made by the fathers of confederation—that we adhere to the legislative compact made with the Territories in 1875; and I believe, Sir, that the people of this country will approve of the clauses of the measure now before the House, which seek to preserve the rights granted to the minority in the Ter 5289 5290 riorities in 1875. For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I Purpose giving to the measure my support.
Mr. A. N. WORTHINGTON (Sherbrooke). Mr. Speaker, smce the commencement of the debate on the Bill which the right hon. the First Minster has brought before the House, I have listened to the speeches delivered on both sides, and have endeavoured to form an independent and unbiased opinion that would guide me in registering my vote when the time came for a division on this important question.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Bill contains many clauses relating to the distribution of lands, public moneys and educational matters, only one clause seems to have occupied the time of the House to any extent, and that is the educational clause. Whether due to a religious zeal or for other reasons. all other questions seem to pale before this one, and to such an extent that the man on the street speaks not of the Autonomy Bill but of the Separate School Bill. So many and so varied are the arguments brought forward by hon. members on either side of the House and so diametrically opposed are the views expressed that a layman, of non-legal mind and attainments might well pause and wonder where we are at. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, I think it would have been wiser and more in the interest of peace and harmony if the government had submitted this Bill to the highest legal authorities before presenting it to the House. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition, in his amendment to the second reading of the Bill, laid down the principle that upon the creation of a province in the Northwest:
The legislature of each province, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts of 1867 and 1886, is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of self-government, including the power to exclusively make laws in relation to edution.
By this amendment the question in issue is simply whether or not by an Act of the federal parliament   the new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta shall be restricted in their freedom to deal with the question of education as they see fit. The amendment is in no sense an attack on separate schools, nor is it necessary, in order to oppose it, to defend separate schools; if the issue raised in the amendment was rigidly adhered to, the advantages or disadvantages of separate schools need not be mentioned. The issue raised is simply a constitutional one and not a sectarian one. The limitation in power in What the British North America Act says is a matter exclusively within provincial control, is what the amendment condemns, and a strict regard for the constitution should 5291 settle the question as to whether or not the          new provinces shall have the same control                 of education as is enjoyed by the provinces         of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, and since the                 defeat of the Remedial Bill, by the then               apostles of provincial rights, the province               of Manitoba.                    
When the debate began, the rock of the      constitution stood out in bold relief with a             danger signal on its summit, but the ex-                   Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) was the                       first to see that danger signal and strike                   for term firma, and the waves of discord and                   dissention were loosed in deference to the             man on the street. The rock has been sub-                   merged and nought remains save the danger                 signal; and a government with convictions             which change with dates, are as strongly             opposed to provincial rights to-day as they               were ardent in favour of them 1896. My               hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. Roche)                   quoted the speech of the ex-Minister of the                 Interior (Mr. Sifton) which was delivered                     at Caledonia Springs in April, 1895. In that                 speech the ex-Minister of the Interior was                   very warm in his denunciation of separate                 schools, but as this speech has been fully                 quoted by my hon. friend from Marquette,               I will content myself with citing only one                 item which deals more especially with pro-             vincial rights The hon. gentleman (Mr.                 Sifton) there said:
I will venture the statement that the true               interests of the Roman Catholics ofManitoba will be better advanced by a policy of conciliation than by a policy of coercion. This Remedial Bill which the government are trying to force upon an unwilling parliament, even if it should pass, cannot settle the question. It would be an attack upon provincial rights. If the Roman Catholics are ever to obtain a solution of this question which is worth having they must obtain it from the good will of the majority of the people of the province to which they belong.
What has since come over the spirit of the hon. gentleman's dream? What magic spell, what hypnotic influence has sent this doughty champion of provincial rights back into the rank and file of the great Liberal party to-day—that party which has bartered its principles for power? Some men die hard; others are dead easy, and in the latter category the right hon. the First Minister seems to have found the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) alld the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Greenway).
Though this Bill is a working model of a plan submitted to the House for inspection, before the plant is laid down on a larger scale, and though some alterations have been made in the machinery to enable it to run more easily and smoothly—perhaps with less vibration and danger to its boilers for the adoption of turbines—it practically remains the same working model, and as such has taken up the attention of the House for many weeks. Consequently at 5291 5292 this late hour of the debate, I do not intend   to devote any extended remarks to its perfections or imperfections.
As a junior member of the House, I shall not presume for a moment to discuss the question of the constitution, and for excellent reasons, the most important of which is, not that it does not appeal to the man on the street, but because the constitution seems, in the latter stages of the debate, to have been lost sight of. What I will have to say in defense of the action I may take will be drawn from the records of British fair play and from the traditions of the Conservative party; from that sense of equity and justice which prevails wherever the flag of the motherland floats to-day— that sense of justice which gave equal rights to Frnench and English Catholics and Protestants in Quebec, and which, after an arduous struggle of three years in south Africa, entailing the loss of thousands of her sons and the expenditure of many millions, has given to a valiant foe equal rights of language, religion, and education; from the traditions of a party that has always been true to the principles of equality and justice to the minority, Proestants or Catholics. Personally I would be in favour of national schools, but representing a constituency composed of all classes, creeds, and nationalities which go to make up our great Canadian nationality, I consider that I am not here to advance my personal ideas at the expense of my constituents, that I am not here to express the opinions of Catholics or the opinions of Protestants, but to endeavour to arrive at a conclusion which will be satisfactory to all. and to make my views subservient to those of the great majority of the people I have the honour to represent.
I do not intend to make more than a passing reference to the school ordinances of 1891. I would like to include them in my I remarks, but they have been fully explained by hon. members on both sides of the House. In these ordinances there is nothing that can give offence to anybody. Under these, the regulating of the duties of teachers and the control of the schools is given to the commissioners appointed by the Territorial goveriinlent and will be within the jurisdictiOn of the new provinces under the Bills creating them, subject to the religious instruction provided for under clause 137, and this should commend itself to all loyal and God-fearing people. As I have said, this part of the question has been referred to frequently and at length, and I shall not continue the discussion. In the first public school I attended in-my native town there were two teachers a Protestant and a Catholic. One or the other opened the daily exercises with the Lord's prayer. And this was acceptable to every one. Since then some of my warmest friends professional, socially and politic 5293 MAY 2, 1905 ally have been people of diflferent faith to my own. I believe the educational clauses as amended are generally acceptable to them and if adhered to, as we are told by members of the government they will be, they cannot but be satisfactory to people of my own faith. On the other hand, many contend that they do not go far enough. There are certain members of the church in the province of Quebec and members of the government who are dissatisfied with the amended clauses of the Bill. The following article giving an account of a sermon by the bishop of Three Rivers shows that gentleman is dissatisfied :
Monseigneur Clouthier, bishop of Three Rivers, in a sermon preached last week in the cathedral of that city, referred to the school clauses of the Autonomy Bills as follows : The original Bill was far from assuring to Catholic children that Christian teaching to which they are entitled. The amended Bill now before the House gives, it is true, separate schools, but teaching submitted to the will of the state will be almost neutral in practice. The teaching, as a matter of fact, will only be given in English, and the half-hour of catechism after school is only a decoy and can in no way satisfy the proper formation of Catholic children.
The confederation pact centainly assures us more than that, or Catholics would never have consented to form a part of it. We may ask what will become of the confederation should such a measure become law. The amended Bill, which hands over to the new provinces the absolute control of their schools, is not acceptable to Catholics. We must have federal legislation that will guarantee to the minority the right to have schools of their choosing, both as regards religion and language.
The object which a certain number of people have in view, of establishing so-called national schools, tends to stamp with the same imprint every citizen of this country. Now, this fusion of races, as far as the French Canadians are concerned, is a dream, a utopia, for it would mean the renouncing of their providential mission, and we have every reason to hope that they will be faithful to that mission.
Our duty for the moment is to live alongside our English fellow citizens, respecting their rights, but forcing them, as the occasion may require, to respect ours.
It is, therefore, the imperious duty of all Catholics to work courageously to obtain confessional schools for the two new provinces and not to let up till we have obtained full and ample justice.
This gentleman and others to whom the educational clauses are unsatisfactory, I would respectfully refer to the right hon. First Minister and the members of his government. Had they adopted a different attitude in 1896, this sermon would never have been delivered. But with a thirst for power and a policy that changes with dates what can be expected ? In connection with this sermon, I would like to say that his Excellency Earl Grey is reported to have said, in the course of a speech delivered during his recent visit to Toronto, that in the union of our two great races lies the secret and strength of our future. But as I read 5293 5294 the words or the reverend gentleman from Three Rivers, I am forced to hope that there are other secrets and other sources of strength available, otherwise our future, this dream, this utopia about which the reverend gentleman seems not over sanguine, may be indefinitely postponed. And who is responsible for this postponement? I do not venture to suggest that the reverend gentleman is responsible. I do not venture to suggest that the right hon. leader of the government is responsible. I would rather on the floor of this House assume the responsibility for our fathers who instead of making for union at the beginning in their wisdom, made provision for separation, not only on race lines, but for separation between people of the same race and with each succeeding government for political reason, aye, and through honesty of purpose, there has been a tendency to accentuate rather than minimize this mistaken wisdom of our fathers.
Even the views of the Liberal organs have changed within the last few years. I will read from the Montreal 'Herald' of May, 1896, which after discussing the tariff, goes on to say :
Can Montreal attord to have Canada rent and torn for the next decade—perhaps for the next generation—with racial wars, with sectional enmities, with religious conflicts ? This is the question which every voter in Montreal who has a real stake in the country should seriously ask himself. A triumph for Sir Charles Tupper means such lamentable divisions. It means an attempt to pass at Ottawa, in July, a Remedial Bill, against which will be arrayed a strong contingent of members from every other province. If by the use of means now threatened, which will be repugnant to the enlightened sentiment of Canada, the support of Quebec to such a measure is solidified, the hostillity to it of the other provinces will be all the more intensified and we shall have in parliament a lamentable division, in the main between Quebec and the other provinces. The measure may not pass, in which case the agitation in its favour will be continued. Nor will the question he removed from parliament it it should pass, as so many people affect to believe. That would mean the opening of the second stage of the struggle, the preaching of a Protestant crusade through the length and breadth of Canada, the appeals to prejudice and passions, which if aroused will run their course untempered by cooler considerations; and the inevitable political cleavage of our people not into Liberal and Conservatives, but into Protestant and Catholic camps. The possibilities of such a crusade are of the gravest ; they may involve (we speak in all seriousness) the breaking up of confederation and the shedding of blood.
And this, Mr. Speaker, from a newspaper under the control of that harbinger of peace who lately on the floor of this House, but like the voice of one crying in the wilderness. enunciated the blessed tenets of his religious ethics ' Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you.' Mr. Speaker I would commend these blessed tenets to this hon. 5295 COMMONS gentleman in the hope that he may carry them beyond the precincts of this House.
To be candid Mr. Speaker, and I wish to be candid, I regret that separate schools exist in Canada to-day, I regret that they exist in the province of Quebec, and for this reason ; that Protestant and Catholic boys meet for the first time in the struggle of life only after their education has been completed, and after having been kept apart during the best years of their life. I regret it also for the reason that I do not think that two languages are too much for any child to acquire, especially if those languages are the tongues of our two national mothers. England and La Bule France. In almost every   county of Quebec there are teachers With a salary ranging from $60 to $120 a year, teaching a school year of 10 months. What qualifications can you expect in a teacher receiving such a miserable pittance as that ? I noticed an article in a Township paper some time ago describing a very happy state of affairs that is to come into force in parts of the counties of Drummond and Athabasca, and this will be of interest to the First Minister, as that was his old constituency before he found the air of Quebec more bracing and salubrious. Here Catholics and Protestants, unable to support, two systems of schools. are united in a common school. I have extracts from two papers in the eastern townships giving a description of the meetings which were held at Kingsey village in one of those counties on that subject. At one, Mr. Parmelee, secretary of the Protestant committee:
Gave a most interesting account of the working of consolidated schools in Massachusetts and elsewhere during the last thirty years, and pointed out the notable fact that although in nearly ever case provision had been made for reversal to the old way, it the new way proved impracticable, there had not been a single case of going back.
This, Mr. Speaker, I think is a consummation devoutly to be wished, a school system under which all creeds and races would grow up together, forgetting the prejudices which have kept their fathers apart, if not at enmity with one another, and which would enable them to meet on a common ground of union and Canadian citizenship. My reason for objecting to separate schools lies in the fact that the differences do not stop at separate schools, but that the lines drawn by these divisions extend to all walks of business and social life and strike at the root of that great national spirit which it should be the true aim of every loyal Canadian to foster and maintain. It means the perpetuation of national societies and benevolent organizations on religious lines; it means fĂŞte days, street parades of one section or society equally objectionable to the susceptible imagination of one party as the other. National schools do not mean Protestant schools and should, in my opinion, be conducted by the laity. Therefore I 5295 5296 say in the working out of the destiny of this great country, of this nation, and I believe I have the highest authority in this House when I speak of Canada as a nation. For the Prime Minister has described how when in the mother land, some years ago he was presented one bright morning with a babe in swaddling clothes, which proved to be young Canada destined to be known henceforth among the peoples of the world as a nation, whereas the happy parent. on the evening preceding this momentous event, in utter ignorance of his condition, (immaculate, I trust) had 'drawn the drapery of his couch about him and lain down to pleasant dreams.' Therefore, I say, in working out the destiny of this young nation we should endeavour to forget our different origins. I know it is hard to forget one's origin, but I believe that in so far as it is possible these ties and traditions should be forgotten and relegated to oblivion. We should endeavour to forget the distinctions which have divided us in the past, and should strive to be known only as Canadians. For my part I would be sorry to see the 17th of March go by Without wearing a sprig of shamrock in honour of the patron saint of Emerald Isle, but beyond these annual tokens of respect, we should endeavour to forget our different origins. The Minister of Finance, with wonderful descriptive power. has painted the picture of a visit he made to a school in Nova Scotia conducted by a reverend sister of some holy order, on whose bosom there hung a crucifix. In the course of his speech he said :
The Prime Minister once when in Halifax visited one of these schools and he alluded to it as a separate school, and one of the sisters interrupted him and said: No, Sir, it is a public. school of the province of Nova Scotia. And so it was, but it was a school which was recognized as a Roman Catholic school and it was attended only by Roman Catholic pupils and it was taught by the Roman Catholic sister of charity wearing the garb of her order and the cross upon her breast. We have made concessions to our Roman Catholic brethern in the province of Nova Scotia.
Evidently the Minister of Finance thinks the Roman Catholic minority of that province has no rights, evidently he was much struck with what happened on that visist. But I can assure him that it is an every day occurrence in the province of Quebec where Protestant girls attend Roman Catholic convents and where Roman Catholic boys attend Protestant schools, and vice versa. The hon. gentleman goes on to say in another connection:
If my right hon. friend should retire on an issue like this, then the only thing that could possibly happen, it my hon. friend the leader of the opposition should agree to form a government at such a time, would be that he must form a Protestant government and he must have a general election.
5297 MAY 2, 1905
As the hon. gentleman has seen fit to give us this description of his visit to this Catholic school, I will endeavour to go him one better, and to say that in far-off Africa I have seen a reverend father of the Roman Catholic Church and a chaplain of the English Church standing side by side by the grave of a Canadian who had laid down his life for the empire, one or other of the reverend gentlemen conducting the service, while the other stood with bared head in silent prayer. Here was the union of hearts diametrically opposed on the question of creed and dogma uniting in the sacred ceremony of wafting to its heaven of rest in the arms of the First Minister of the universe the soul of a departed brother—
I may say, en passant, that I have frequently remarked to a friend of mine, that if at any time I should need the services of a clergyman, and if my own chaplain were not available, I should be very glad if this reverend padre. whom we had all grown to love and respect. would come to me. These, I may tell you. hon. gentlemen, are scenes which bring men together, which make us feel that we should see more of one another and mingle more together, English and French, Catholic and Protestant, particularly in boyhood's earliest days, and not wait until our education has been completed before mingling in the strife of life. Experiences of this kind would also dispel the idea from the minds of honest men that in the formation of a government the personnel thereof need be all Protestant because some of its members are in favour of provinciail rights or opposed to separate schools. One of the epochs in the life of the hon. member for North Wellington (Mr. T. Martin) seems also to have been in connection with a visit to a Romana Catholic establishment. This hon. gentleman, after treading the heather of his native heath for some hours and quoting the biography or autobiography—I do not know which—of one Dr. Robertson, goes on to tell how he got over the priest's fence in his town. I think that the good— will which this hon. gentleman bears to the Roman Catholic Church rests on the fact that the reverend gentleman did not catch him on this occasion, and if the facts were known we would find that the hon. gentleman probably got under the fence and that it was the garden or orchard fence. This hon. gentleman has been pleased to accuse the opposition of bigotry and prejudice. Personally, I deny the allegation, and I venture to say that if he reads ' Hansard ' since the commencement of this debate, he will find that over ninety-five per cent of what the right hon. First Minister was pleased to describe as the exaggeration of that noble sentiment as passion, has emanated from the government benches.
' Le Canada,' which is, I believe, the organ of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Préfontaine), has shown a solicitude about certain Protestant members from the 5297 5298 province of Quebec who applauded their leader in the eloquent appeal for provincial rights. and fearing lest they should have trouble with their constituents, has counselled them to refrain. May not a man mark his appreciation of his leader's sentiments and words on this side of the House as well as on the other? Is the collective wisdom of this House centred in the brain of the right hon. First Minister ? May not words of wisdom emanate from the opposition benches or a pearl of thought fall from the scrap book of the opposition leader ? However, with my hon. friend from Huntingdon (Mr. Walsh), I thank the paper for the timely warning, and, for myself, I promise to be more careful in future. Its advice I regret being unable to follow, as, constitutionally, I firmly believe that this country will pronounce my hon. friend the leader of the opposition to be right, and I believe that this country is of the opinion that should his amendment carry the minority of the new provinces would receive equally as great. if not greater, consideration than it would at the hands of the right hon. leader of the government. I believe that this country will pronounce my hon. friend the leader of the opposition to be constitutionally right when we read that such an eminent man as Christopher Robinson, K.C., has expressed an opinion adverse to the legal and constitutional basis of this separate school legislation, and that Dr. Goldwin Smith attacks it on its political side. Dr. Goldwin Smith, so a Toronto paper says, writes to his friend the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) that he cannot agree with him on the school question. He says :
The legal question the lawyers must decide. For my part, I fail to see how a purely provisional power, such as that with which the Dominion government is invested for the administration of a territory, can legally prolong its edict beyond the term for which the power is held, and make it perpetually binding on the province; in face of the plain words of the British North America Act, assigning to the province exclusively the subject of education. It would seem that we are bound, at all events, to take a judicial opinion on that point. Left doubtful, it would be the seed of future trouble.
Some of our French Canadian friends on the other side of the House have told us in eloquent, poetic and tragic language, of the advance of education and civilization in the Northwest, and of how the French missionaries were the pioneers of religion and civilization. What they say of their countrymen I firmly believe is true. We all know that they were the pioneers of civilization and Christianity in the great west. We have, with these gentlemen, followed the advance of civilization up the mighty rivers, across the great lakes and boundless prairies, not only to the foot of the gigantic Rockies, but to the very summits thereof. What these hon. gentlemen say of these missionaries is no doubt true, and let us hope, Mr. Speaker, 5299 COMMONS that when Bernier, pushing through regions   of thick-ribbed ice, awakens with the eally rising, rosy fingered dawn to find himself farthest north, ties his dog team to the end of the pole and looks aloft, he will find seated on the top some reverend gentleman administering the last sacred rites to an unfortunate creature who would withhold from the minority of that frozen region the rights which their forefathers, now, like the beaver, the buifalo and the redman, becoming extinct, had inherited from their prehistoric ancestors; and let us trust that if he returns by the overland route through the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, he will find no trace remaining of the religious questions that are stirring the people of this country today, but all living together as one harmonious whole and worshipping a universal God, Who is the Father and Maker of all.
Before I conclude, Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back to my own county and to the neighbouring counties, as it was there that the Protestant minority, before confederation, started the agitation in favour of separate schools in the province of Quebec. I find in the history of Compton county. page 49, that the following resolutions touching the rights of the Protestant minority were adopted by the county council, and these resolutions show that Compton county at least was alive to the interests of the Protestant minority :
On June 13, 1866, it was moved by Councillor Chaddock, seconded by Councillor Lebourveau, and resolved, that the warden and secretary- treasurer petition parliament at its present session to the eflect that previous to the confederation of the North American provinces the rights of the Protestant minority in Lower Canada, as respects municipal and school matters, be guarded and protected in such a manner that hereafter, should confederation take place, the majority may not have power to interfere with the action of the Protestant minority on these points.
At the forty-fifth quarterly session, September 12, 1866. Councillor L. Pope moved the following resolution seconded by Councillor Lebourveau :
That the warden and secretary-treasurer shall, on behalf of this council, petition the Imperial parliament to the effect that the rights of the English-speaking Protestant community in Lower Canada be protected by the introduction into the constitution of Lower Canada of clauses therein similar to those introduced into the last session of the House of Assembly, but withdrawn, referring to educational matters. And that the Protestants of Lower Canada be allowed the management of their own schools and tax of contributing their money to the support of Protestant schools only, if they see fit, and that a committee consisting of the warden, secretary-treasurer and Councillor Robinson prepare such petition. Carried unanimously.
On March 13, 1867, the warden read and presented the copy of a despatch from the 5299 5300 Secretary of State for the Colonies acknowledging the receipt of a petition through the Hon. A. T. Gait, addressed to Her Majesty, the Queen, and forwarded to him by the Governor General's secretary, for the information of the council and municipal authorities of the county of Compton. This petition stated that the Secretary of State for the Colonies would see that the subject of education for the minority should be thoroughly discussed with the representatives of British North America. At this time the eastern townships was the English speaking portion of the province of Quebec and it was there that the agitation in favour of separate schools for Protestants in Quebec originated. I am only reading from the history of Compton county because it is the only one available, but similar resolutions must have come from the other English counties of Stanstead, Richmond. Brome, Shefford and others. And, Sir, if these people to-day thought that the Catholic minority itself, of the Northwest was crying for these same educational rights they would be the first to ofler them. In my own case, I go back to the old court house in the town of Sherbrooke. which is the centre of the county I have the honour to represent, and find in 1867, Sir A. T. Galt. the representative of the county at that time, coming back to his electors to explain the terms of confederation, and insisting that when Quebec entered the union that the rights of the Protestant minmity of that province shall be respected and maintained in perpetuity. Sir A. T. Galt said:
Mr. Galt, who, on rising, was received with great applause. addressed the chairman and said the practice had obtained in England of late years for the leading politicians and those charged with the administration of the government to meet their constituents and the public during the recess of parliament and discuss with them the questions then occupying the public mind. He believed that great advantage had arisen from the practice of instructing the public with reference to the question then before it, from the fact that when parliament afterwards met it had the intelligent ideas of the people brought to bear upon its deliberations.
I commend these remarks to the government, because had they followed the practice which Mr. Galt says existed amongst the English parliamentarians, and if they had taken this question to the people before bringing it to the House all the trouble which has arisen might have been spared the country. I heard one member of the government state the other day in connection with the 'School Bill that we were making Canadian history. I can only say that if the time of the House for the last few weeks has been taken up in making history. then the next time we want history we had better get it ready-made. Sir A. T. Galt after discussing the terms of confeder 5301 MAY 2, 1905 ation, the different conferences that were held in the different provinces, the geographical positions and the question of the upper and lower Houses. went on to say:
He would now endeavour to speak somewhat fully as to one of the most important questions, perhaps the most important—that could be confided to the legislature—the question of education. This was a question in which in Lower Canada they must all feel the greatest interest, and in respect to which more apprehension might be supposed to exist in the minds at any rate of the Protestant population than in regard to anything else connected with the whole scheme of federation. It must be clear that a measure would not be favourably entertained by the minority of Lower Canada which would place the education of their children and the provision for their schools wholly in the hands of a majority of a different faith. It was clear that in confiding the general-subject of education to the local legislature it was absolutely necessary it should be accompanied with such restrictions as would prevent injustice in any respect from being done to the minority. (Hear, hear.) Now, this applied to Lower Canada, but it also applied and with equal force to Upper Canada and the other provinces; for in Lower Canada there was a Protestant minority and in the other provinces a Roman Catholic minority. The same privileges belonged to the one of right here as belonged to the other of right elsewhere. There could be no greater injustice to a population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their religious belief.
In conclusion he said:
He hoped and believed when the question came up in parliament for disposal the legislature would rescue the Lower Canadian institutions for superior education from the difficulties in which they now stood; and this remark applied both to Roman Catholic and Protestant institutions. (Hear.)
The speech as here reported is copiously interlarded with cries of 'hear, hear' applause and cheers. And although there may be very few living to-day who were present on that occasion, I feel satisfied that the descendants of the men who then cheered when Mr. Galt urged the rights of the Protestant minority will not oppose a measure asking for the Catholic minority of the west, the same privileges which their own co-religionists extended to the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec at confederation.
Mr. J. D. REID (Grenville). Mr. Speaker, before casting my vote on this important question I wish to state my position and as the hour is late I shall endeavour to do so in as few words as possible. The hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Maclean), who spoke last on the government side of the House, undertook to criticise the opposition for lack of discipline and unity, but, I venture to think that in this respect the opposition side of the House compares very favourably with the government supporters. 5301 5302 Does the hon. member for Lunenburg remember that when the Prime Minister first introduced this Bill with so much gusto, he declared he would stand or fall by the measure, and does he not see that the Prime Minister has since then experienced a complete change of front. What was the position of the party at the back of the premier after he introduced that Bill? Was there discipline and unity in the party ? Is it not a fact that the first man to fall out of line was the ex-Minister of Interior (Mr. Sifton). So serious was the matter that he resigned his portfolio. Then, what about the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding)? Was he not following immediately in the footsteps of the ex-Minister of the Interior ? Is it not a fact that for several days he was, as it were, walking the plank, or intending to follow the ex-Minister of the Interior? Then, what about the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa)? Does it not appear from the remarks he is making in different parts of the country at the present time that that hon. member does not agree with the Prime Minister ? If the Prime Minister had given the members on his side of the House the same latitude that the hon. leader of the opposition gave to members on this side, and allowed every man to vote and act as his conscience dictated, this Bill would not go through the House in the form that I suppose it is now going. The hon. member for Lunenburg also referred to the position of the Montreal 'Star' and the Montreal ' Gazette,' and said that we should get them into line. He referred to Conservative newspapers as not being in accord with the leader of the Conservative party on this question. At the same time, I thought he would have been kind enough to have referred to the Toronto ' Globe,' and explained to us why it was not in unity with the Liberal party. I mention these facts to show that the Liberal party are not at all in unity on this Bill. The hon. gentleman also stated that the Conservative party were without a leader or a policy. I have been in this House since the year 1891, and have sat here with several leaders of the different parties since that time, and I do not believe that we have ever had a leader of the Conservative party with greater ability or more respected throughout this country than the present leader of the Conservative party. I believe that the Conservative party under the leadership of the hon. member for Carleton would have been in power to-day had it not been for the way the Liberal party stuffed the lists in Manitoba, the Northwest and other provinces, stuffed the ballot boxes, used bogus ballot boxes, used a large amount of money which was subscribed by the Grand Trunk Pacific, and promised or pledged contracts under the Grand Trunk Pacific previous to the last general election. The hon. member also said that the hon. leader of the 5303 COMMONS Conservative party had not expressed a legal opinion upon this question. Well, I listened to the argument of the hon. leader of the opposition, and I believe he expressed a legal opinion second to none in this Dominion, and one which has not been disputed by any equal or higher authority in this country.
Mr. ALEX. JOHNSTON. What is it?
Mr. J. D. REID. I thought that was the hon. member for Cape Breton,, because he usually asks a question merely to show his ignorance. through not having heard or read the remarks.
Mr. ALEX. JOHNSTON. Mr. Speaker. if my hon. friend will permit me for a moment, I can assure him that I am just as anxious as he or any other member of this House is to ascertain exactly where the hon. leader of the opposition stands on this question. He has not informed us himself, and I am quite sure that the hon. member for Grenville, before he sits down, will tell us. I expect him to do so.
Mr. J. D. REID. If the hon. member for Cape Breton will kindly read the speech of the hon. leader of the opposition, I am satisfied that he has equal intelligence to the rest of the members of this House, and he will Lnoroughly understand his opinion on the question.
Mr. ALEX. JOHNSTON. I have read it.
Mr. J. D. REID. The hon. member for Lunenburg referred to the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), and did it in such a way as to cast slights on the Orangemen of this Dominion. I am not an Orangeman, but I think it ill-becomes any hon. gentleman of this House to cast a slur upon or to speak lightly of that body. They are an honourable body, a body who I believe wish to do what is right. fair and just to every party and every religion in this country. The hon. gentleman referred to the Jacques Cartier Club in Montreal speaking in one way and to the Orangemen in the province of Ontario speaking in the other way, saying that this was done for the purpose of stirring up political strife. What about the Liberal members of this House in the province of Quebec and the Liberal members in the province of Ontario? You see members in the province of Ontario going to their different constituents and making speeches entirely opposite to those made by other members in the province of Quebec; they are doing that for the purpose of creating strife or truoble. I believe that every hon. member in this House will agree with me when I say that the hon. leader of the opposition made his speech with the greatest care not to cause any religious strife throughout this Dominion. I believe he wished to do what was fair, and the fact that in winding up his speech he left every 5303 5304 member of the opposition free to act on this measure as he conscientiously believed to be right, showed that he was acting fairly. I thought the leader of the government should also have left the members on his side-free to do what they thought right in the matter. If he had done so, I believe that there would not have been any strife in this country on this question.
So far as I am personally concerned, I agree that the time has arrived when autonomy should be granted to the Northwest Territories. I believe that the population of the Northwest Territories has reached such numbers that they are entitled to provincial autonomy. I also believe it, for the reason that they have practically had provincial autonomy for a great many years. I also believe that there should be two provincial parliaments, as the country seems to me to be too large for only one parliament. Therefore, in so far as that is concerned, I am fully in accord with the granting of provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories. But in doing so, I consider that we should be entirely governed by the British North America Act and do nothing inconsistent with it. The other provinces were formed in accordance with that Act, and I have yet to hear where there has been any trouble in any of them, namely, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec or Ontario, or even I might add Manitoba, in so far as the British North America Act is concerned. Even in the province of Manitoba, where there was supposed to be a great deal of trouble, they have been getting along nicely and quietly, and the majority there have been treating the minority fair and right, at least as far as I can judge from reading the newspapers, according to the newspapers there has been very little trouble in that province since the advent of the Conservative party into power in its legislature. In my opinion, the amendment moved by my hon. friend the leader of the oposition is in accordance with the British North America Act and is consequently fair and just. I believe further that if this government persists in attaching the educational clauses to these Bills, that will have the effect of retarding immigration. I believe that people intending to come and settle in this country, when they see this agitation raised and this quarrel going on probably in the provincial government of the new provinces, many of them. both Catholic and Protestant, who may feel strongly on this question, will not emigrate to this country. Therefore, I think that if the schools were left entirely in the hands of the provincial government, there will not be any strife or trouble, but these governments will meet the wants of the people as these wants manifest themselves from time to time. In my opinion, these educational clauses are tacked on to these Bills on account of a pledge made by the First Minister in the year 1896 In that year when all 5305 MAY 2, 1905 the strife and trouble was created by the right hon. gentleman over the Remedial Bill in order to defeat the Conservative party, I believe he then made a secret pledge that if he should be returned to power he would :see that certain rights were granted to the minority. That pledge he was not able to carry out, and I believe that it is in persuance of that pledge that these educational clauses are added to these Bills. I have yet to see any great agitation in the Northwest Territories in favour of these school clauses. In reading over the speech of the hon. member for Brockville (Mr. Derbyshire) I see that he stated that these school clauses have been endorsed by public opinion in the west, and he cited the reception given to the newly appointed Minister of the Interior by the most important constituency between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains as a most significant evidence of that feeling. I was just looking over the Calgary papers in order to see what kind of a reception was given the Minister of the Interior at the banquet in Calgary. I have read the address which was presented him by Mayor Emmerson. I shall not weary the House by reading it at this late hour, but I do not find one word in it referring to the school question. But if the people of that constituency are satisfied with the position of the school question out there, why did they not refer to it ?
Mr. A. JOHNSTON. Did they say they were dissatisfied ?
Mr. J. D. REID. No.
Mr. FIELDING. There is no such question in the Northwest. It is only outside of the Northwest we hear of it.
Mr. J. D. REID. The Minister of Finance evidently does not read the newspapers.
Mr. FIELDING. Yes, I do.
Mr. J. D. REID. And he has not seen any agitation at all ?
Mr. FIELDING. Nothing serious.
Mr. J. D. REID. The hon. gentleman admits now that there is some agitation in that country ?
Mr. FIELDING. Did my hon. friend hear the statement made by a western member who came back recently from that region and who says that out there he only met one man who said a word about it? I refer to the hon. member for Humbolt (Mr. Adamson).
Mr. SPROULE. Does the Minister, of Finance know that the Reform Association of Medicine Hat deliberately passed resolutions condemning the educational clauses?
Mr. FIELDING. Some time ago resolutions were passed all over the country under an entire misapprehension as to the nature of the Bill.
5305 5306
Mr. A. JOHNSTON. On information supplied them by hon. gentlemen opposite.
Mr. FIELDING. Do you not think that if the people of Edmonton were disturbed over the school question. they would not wait for the Minister of the Interior to refer tol it but would have referred to it themselves ?
Mr. J. D. REID. The newspapers in Edmonton have been referring to it.
Mr. FIELDING. And the Minister of the Interior was elected unanimously.
Mr. J. D. REID. I am admitting that, but does the Minister of Finance know what that constituency is made up of ?
Mr. FIELDING. It does not make any difference.
Mr. J. D. REID. If the hon. minister analyses the vote in that constituency, he will see that it is made up of twenty-five per cent of English. Irish and Scotch combined. and that the Russians. Austrians. Hungarians and Half-breeds form together fifty-one per cent of the whole.
Mr. FIELDING. Does my hon. friend not know that these are British subjects and Canadians ?
Mr. J. D. REID. The hon. minister does not know that himself.
Mr. FIELDING. I know that they cannot vote unless they are.
Mr. J. D. REID. They did not vote.
Mr. FIELDING. If they did not, the rest voted. Somebody must have voted or voted to that extent that they allowed the Minister of the Interior to be elected without a vote.
Mr. J. D. REID. They did not vote because there was no election.
Mr. FIELDING. Why did not the hon. gentleman give us an election ?
Mr. J. D. REID. It is impossible to identify these people. They are foreigners. They are a class of people like the Chinamen, if you see one you can hardly tell him from another, and for that reason they are recorded and the lists are made up entirely by the government. It is an impossibility for any one to follow the lists and prevent those people from voting, especially if those lists should turn out like the lists of Manitoba. Would the Finance Minister admit for one moment that lists like those in the province of Manitoba, where the returning officer deliberately scratched out name after name, are lists under which any election can honestly and fairly be held ? By this means hon. members are sitting in this House who, in my opinion. are not honourably elected.
Mr. FIELDING. I do not know anything about the Manitoba lists. We are discuss 5307 COMMONS ing now the Northwest, and I have not heard of any complaint about the Northwest lists. If hon. gentlemen on the other side think that the Manitoba lists are stuffed and fixed, why do they not take steps to put a stop to that. The lists are managed there the same as elsewhere; and if they are not properly made up, the courts of the country are open.
Mr. J. D. REID. Well, we had one election in the west, in the constituency of Mountain, some time ago.
Mr. FIELDING. No, we had not. The local government had an election in Mountain, and I saw it stated in the public press that the Prime Minister of Manitoba said title school question had nothing to do with it.
Mr. J. D. REID. I have read the press. and the Hon. Mr. Greenway, a member of this House, and several other members here went out there and discussed the school question and made it the main issue, and they claimed that the result of that election would decide a great deal, in so far as the Liberal party in this House was concerned.
Mr. FIELDING. I must not contradict my hon. friend, but I see no statement which treated the Mountain election as having had any effect on Dominion politics.
Mr. BARR. You do not read the papers.
Mr. FIELDING. I read some but not all my hon. friend does.
Mr. J. D. REID. Perhaps the Minister of Finance—
Mr. FIELDING. I beg my hon. friend's pardon, I should not have interrupted him.
Mr. D. ROSS. Will the hon. gentleman be good enough to inform the House where he gets his authority for the statement that the electors of Edmonton are like Chinamen .
Mr. J. D. REID. I said that a lot of these foreigners, Russians, were men who were hard to identify. Those are the words I used. I did not say that all the electors of Edmonton were that kind, and the hon. gentleman should not try to misrepresent me.
Mr. D. ROSS. I should be very sorry to misrepresent the hon. gentleman. The statement made as I understood it, was that fifty-one per cent of the electors of Edmonton were foreigners who were like a lot of Chinamen.
Mr. J. D. REID. No, I did not say that. I assume that the hon. gentleman (Mr. D. Ross) does not Wish to misrepresent me. I read a statement from the papers showing the composition of the electorate of Edmonton, and I said that a great many of these electors were Russians. foreigners, whom in case of an election it was hard to identify. 5307 5308 I did not state that they were like a lot of Chinamen.
An hon. MEMBER. Correct ' Hansard.'
Mr. J. D. REID. No, ' Hansard ' will show what I stated. Now, I feel that, for this country at least, church and state should be kept entirely separated. I do not believe it is right that the church and the state should have any connection whatever with each other. The country should be run entirely independent of the church, and the church should be allowed to manage its own affairs. And in thus speaking I do not refer to any particular church. As far as my constituency is concerned, we had no trouble with the separate school question. Mine is an Ontario constituency, and in the province of Ontario the school question has been settled since confederation, and we have had no trouble. Concessions have been made in the Separate School Act by the provincial government from time to time, though the government always has a majority of Protestants. I believe they have always done what is fair to the minority, and I believe that in the great province of Ontario, where the majority is Protestant, they will always do what is fair and right to the minority. And I have the same faith in the Northwest Territories and the new governments to be established. Even if there is a Protestant majority, they will do what is fair and right to the minority. Should there be a Roman Catholic majority in the new provinces, I should have the same faith in their willingness to do justice to the minority. I believe that if the matter is left entirely in the hands of provincial authority the minority can trust them without fear.
Mr. J. J. HUGHES. Is not the government of Manitoba or some of its members, at the present moment making statements to the effect that the privileges now enjoyed by the minority may be withdrawn.
Mr. MORIN. No.
Mr. J. J. HUGHES. I have seen the statement.
Mr. J. D. REID. I have not seen that statement published as having been made by any member of the Manitoba government, though I have read in the newspapers that such a thing might be done. This, however, may be mere newspaper agitation. On the other hand, I believe the present government of Manitoba have been doing their best to make things satisfactory for the minority. And I believe that from time to time they will help the minority if they find it necessary. And I also believe that so far as any provincial government throughout the Dominion is concerned, be it Protestant or Catholic, the same thing is true. So believing, and also believing that this measure will be injurious to immigration and that will still create an agitation that 5309 MAY 2, 1905 would not be in the best interest of the country, and believing that we should stand by the British North America Act as it is, I shall vote for the amendment of the leader of the opposition and shall hope and trust that it will be carried and that we may have peace and prosperity from this time forth.
Mr. R. D. WILMOT (Sunbury and Queens, N.B). Mr. Speaker, though an old member of this House, both in years and in service here I have never accustomed myself to addressing the House. Therefore, I claim from my confreres here an unusual degree of leniency and kindness. I ask them to overlook any mistakes I may make, assuring them that those mistakes will be of the head not of the heart. Before I go further, I appeal to hon. members for consideration especially upon one point. I would ask an avoidance of interruptions such as we have just heard. If any statements I make are such as hon. members cannot agree with, they will have their opportunity to reply. I would ask, therefore, that I be spared interruption of the few remarks I am to make and I know that my friends on both sides will treat me in accordance with my desire. Even in so important a question as the one now before us, were I left to my own choice, I would not speak. But I feel that I have behind me a constituency that should be heard on the floor of this House on this momentous question. But, it against my own will, I occupy the time of the House, I can assure hon. members that it will not be for long.
The question before us has been discussed threadbare. A man would need to be heaven- born, or at least heaven-inspired, to find anything new to say upon this subject. Everything that can be thought of by the human mind has been thought of already, and everything that can be said has been said. I shall not even attempt anything of an original nature. Among the drawbacks to parliamentary life is the fact that we are called upon to hear again and again the same things said until they grow wearisome and make one look back to private life with longing.
I said that I am here to speak, not in my individual capacity. but as representing the sentiments of the people in my constituency. The whole Dominion of Canada, I believe, is in favour of the establishment of the new provinces in the Northwest. I think there is no difference of opinion on that matter. But I think the government should have taken the people into their confidence before taking a step of such grave import. Had they done so we would not have seen so much difference as has been in evidence on the part of our hon. friends of the Liberal party. The premier, when he brought in this measure, said that he would stand or fall by it. Well, we all know that he took four or five weeks to amend his measure, owing to 5309 5310 the difference of opinion that existed in the ranks of his own party. I think that time was not lost. I think every moment of those four or five weeks could have been used to the great profit of the country. I think it was a great mistake to introduce legislation so important as this after a general election in which the subject of such legislation had scarcely been mentioned. The government should have given the people an opportunity of expressing their opinion on this legislation before it was introduced. But the government did not see fit to do so, and consequently this legislation has been brought before a House elected, in my humble judgment, without any warrant to deal with the question. Had the boundaries of the new provinces been known to the people of the Northwest, I think the result of the election would have been very different in the Northwest Territories. Had the proposed boundaries been known, would Manitoba have given this government one supporter? Would the men from the Territories have sent the same contingent had it been known that the control of the lands was to be wrested from their possession ? I pause for a reply. Would they have been satisfied ? I say unhesitatingly that defeat would have overtaken the government had this Bill been in question at the last general election. I think that Manitoba has been treated with extreme injustice in leaving that province with an area only one-third that of each of the new provinces. There must be a mystery attached to such an apportionment. Can the government defy or set aside the will of an entire province ? A new province bereft of the control of its lands is little more independent than the Indian reserve. I think that the local government is in a better position to deal with the lands of the province than is the federal government. They are on the spot, they are more directly in touch with everything concerning those lands than is the federal government situated at Ottawa. Another objection I have to federal control of these lands is the temptation to spoliation offered to the Dominion government. I do not refer to this government any more than to any other government that might be in power at Ottawa. I think there is less liability to act unfairly in regard to the disposition of those lands when they are left to the local authorities than when they are left to the Dominion authorities.
Now, Mr. Speaker, in regard to the discussion of the educational clauses, I think this House is to be congratulated upon the fairness and upon the freedom from disagreeable language with which the discussion has been conducted. There has been little or no acrimony. I have not attended the House all the time, but I have been here a good deal, I have heard a great many of the speeches, but I have heard none of an acrimonious nature. It may have occurred 5311 COMMONS without my being present to hear it. I think it is very much to the credit of this parliament that such should be the case. I think that the new provinces should be free to choose their own educational system. The Protestant majorities will give, I feel confident, their Roman Catholic fellow citizens even-handed justice. No reasonable argument can be presented by any member in this House to lead us to believe that such will not be the case. I come from a province where we have free schools, where the people, Roman Catholic and Protestant, get on in perfect harmony. There is no jar. The Catholic people of that country educate their children according to their own religious beliefs, especially in the large centres of population. I recollect when what is called the free non-sectarian school was first established there was a little friction but it soon became a lnatter of compromise. There was a desire on the part of the people to get on harmoniously with their neighbours and everything went on as our best citizens could desire. So. it has continued. 
Now, Mr. Speaker, I will refer in a few words to my position, and also to my position on the Remedial Bill when it was before the House. I happened to be a member at that time, and I voted in favour of the Bill. I voted in support of the government. I was nine years younger in age then, and I had nine years less experience than I have now. I voted largely from party exigencies. I am frank in saying so, and I think I will have many sympathizers amongst my friends who are supporting this measure on this occasion. I acknowledge that I made a mistake. I now, before this House and the country. disavow my action at that time. And why ? I found that when I went to my people, when I went to my Roman Catholic citizens and supporters, after voting in favour of the Remedial Bill, in the interest of that church and in the interest of the minority of Manitoba, they would have none of it. I found that they were frank, honest, open and above-board. When I went to them I told them, and they knew as well as I could tell them, the position that I occupied. They were frank, open and square, and they told me they would not vote for me, that they were supporters of the Liberal party, and although they did not tell me so, I inferred that, inasmuch as the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the leader of that party, it was particularly attractive to them. They received me in the most hospitable manner and spoke to me in pleasant terms, but vote for me they would not. Of course, this is a personal matter, but it has some bearing on my action on the Remedial Bill. At the close of the poll in the election of 1896, in one of the most populous Irish Catholic districts, it was reported to me by a very intelligent supporter of mine. an active man engaged in the election, that out of 98 votes in that section I had received 3. That legislation was in the interest of the minority in 5311 5312 Manitoba, and it would naturally be supposed that Sir Wilfrid, being a co-religionist of the minority, would have stood by them. Did he do so? No. Had he done so the Conservative party would have remained in power. Had he done so the Liberal party would have continued to remain in opposition, and therefore I was led, as any reasonable man would have been led, to the natural conclusion that the course adopted by the Liberal party at that time was adopted for party reasons and party reasons alone. Because of the manner in which my Catholic constituents, my fellow-citizens, treated me, and because of the manner in which the people of the Dominion of Canada treated Sir Charles Tupper, I felt absolved from any obligation to continue my support to any such legislation. Therefore, I say now before you, Mr. Speaker. and this House, that I took the course I did, and that I regret the vote I gave on that occasion. Had I voted against the government at that time it was a moral certainty that I would have been successful in my appeal to my constituents. I was defeated only by a comparatively small majority. My Protestant friends I found were very much dissatisfied with the course I had taken. However. that is all past and gone. But my position I feel in duty bound to clearly define. I know that my fellow-members will bear with me, for I do not pretend to be a speaker. I wish a few minutes more, and then I will give them relief. I remember, Mr. Speaker, it was stated at the time of the Manitoba agitation that certain agreements had been arrived at and put in shape. At that time, as you all know, there was a territorial government established to rule that country. Certain agreements had been entered into regarding schools by a few scattered people in that vast country in conjunction with the good Christian missionaries of the Catholic Church, and all praise and credit should be given to these pioneers of religion and morals in that great country. Certain agreements were entered into with these people at that time, and the question arises whether it is reasonable to suppose that such agreements should be carried out for all time. These good people, on one part poor ignorant half-breeds, honest and good as they were, in conjunction with these worthy pioneers of the Catholic Church were then the only people living in that country, and I ask in all fairness and sincerity whether it can be considered reasonable that the future generations in that country which will be populated by millions, should be restricted in their social and political and educational life by such an agreement. Personally I do not think so ; I cannot make myself believe any such proposition as that would be reasonable. It has been said that this is not a question of sectarian against national schools, but that it is a constitutional question. Well, the good God in Heaven if he heard this dis 5313 MAY 2, 1905 cussion, and no doubt he did, would doubtless be able to decide from it what the constitution is, but I am forced to say that so far as I am concerned, the more talk I have heard as to what the constitution really is the worse I am confounded. I have had no legal training, and I am not in a position to form a legal opinion, but I am able to exercise whatever intelligence is given to me. My constituents represent a fair average of the intelligence of this Dominion, and I do not claim any greater intelligence than the average elector in my constituency, and if I cannot form an opinion as to what is constitutional and what is not, then the majority of my constituents must be in the same predicament. This all tends to show that there is such division of opinion on this important question, the results of which may be likely to cause unrest and friction between different religions that it would have been far better in the interests of Canada had the government before proceeding so hastily, taken the people into their confidence and submitted this measure to them. We hear that the voice of the people is the voice of God, and that being so the government would have made no mistake had they submitted this measure to the electorate. I may say frankly, Mr. Speaker, that had the government consulted the people of Canada, I do not believe the people would have approved of this measure. There is a good old proverb which says: It is never too late to mend, and I do not think it is yet too late for the government to take the people into their confidence. I know that hon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House would feel more comfortable individually and collectively, if they knew that they had the approval of their constituents in this matter, so that the government in the interests of their own friends should have taken the course which I now suggest. Just fancy that great Northwest country, comprising hundreds of millions of acres, being disposed of and divided and re-arranged without consulting the people. We should transact the public business as we manage our own private affairs, but in this case a most important Bill has been launched on the country without consulting the people directly interested, and that Bill will no doubt be passed by a great majority in this House. Of course it will remain to be seen whether in the end it will be approved by the people. We are told by hon. gentlemen on the other side that when the Bill passes the House, the whole question will be settled. I am afraid that the government and its supporters are living in a fool's paradise if they believe that. It is said, and I believe correctly said, that the schools at present existing in the Northwest Territories are second to none in this broad Dominion. If so, why does not this government leave the school system alone; 5313 5314 why do they not let that school system prevail?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. WILMOT. But not by an Act of this parliament.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. WILMOT. The people who are most directly concerned are those which should control their own educational affairs. I do not know why the people of the great Northwest should be treated by this government after such a fashion. I cannot understand why the people of the Northwest were not consulted by the government on this question. Why had not the government sufficient confidence in the people of the west to say to them: You are intelligent people, you are fit to manage you own affairs and we want your opinion on this measure. If that had been done by the government, it would have been the best course to adopt, and it would have avoided a great deal of trouble in the future.
Mr. O. E. TALBOT. Would New Brunswick say that, or the Northwest Territories themselves ?
Mr. WILMOT. New Brunswick is already settled for. We are told that this is a question of constitution and'not a question of schools; but I must say that while the constitutional view is one thing, the schools are a very large incident. In comparing separate schools with free schools, I have some figures which have been taken from the Statistical Year-book covering the years from 1891 to 1900, and they show the following results:
- Average Population for 10 Years. Average Number Convicted Yearly. Percentage. — 1 in every
Separate School Provinces— Ontario. . 2,148,634 2,594 827
Quebec.. ....... 1,568,716 1,536 1,021
Public School Provinces— P. E. Island.,,.. 106,178 32 3,318
New Brunswick.. 326,151 112 2,900
Nova Scotia. . . 454,984 224 2,075
I find further that Quebec sent to the penitentiary an average for the ten years of one in 10,120, Ontario one in 10,251 and the maritime provinces one in 12,667. I give these figures to show that in the provinces which have non-sectarian schools the average of morality is quite equal to and even surpasses that of the provinces which have separate schools.
Now, I will not occupy any more of the time of the House. The government can by force of numbers enact the Bill before 5315 COMMONS parliament; but let them remember that the people are not with them ; they are not consulted. No Act of parliament can bind an unwilling people. From a constitutional standpoint this Bill is beset with doubts and difficulties. If carried, it will lead to trouble. Let us start fair; let us give Manitoba and the Territories what is just and right; let us give the new provinces full control of their educational affairs and of their lands—' A bad start makes a worse ending.' We possess a great and glorious heritage, populated by people of different races and different creeds. We should by mutual concession, tolerance and forbearance, so harmonize our relations, that our people Will live in peace and goodwill, and that our undivided aim and object may be the greatness and prosperity of this Canada of ours.
Mr. A. JOHNSTON moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Fielding, House adjourned at 12.15 a.m., Wednesday.


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



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Personnes participantes: