House of Commons, 9 May 1870, Canadian Confederation with Manitoba



Monday, May 9, 1870

The Speaker took the chair at 3 : 25 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Morris brought down returns relative to Revenue Seizures.


Hon. Mr. Langevin produced respecting Clergy Reserves.


Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier begged, before commencing business, to announce that Sir John A. Macdonald was much better.


The debate on the Message from his Excellency of the 4th of May, and the accompanying resolutions respecting the establishment of the Government of Manitoba was resumed.
Mr. Mackenzie said that although there might be differences of opinion as to the details of the Bill, and thought there would, no doubt, be amendments proposed to it, still, as it was the desire of all to provide a form of government, as soon as possible for the new Province, the Bill would only meet with the legitimate opposition to its provisions which they were bound to exercise in the House, to secure the best form of government, and at the same time to secure in their rights, and privileges, and liberties, the people concerned.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier said the Government were bound to acknowledge the liberality of the honourable gentlemen opposite. The agreement to the second reading of the resolutions did not preclude a discussion on the concurrences. The promise of Saturday night given by himself would be carried out. It had been understood by both parties that amendments should not be moved in Committee to avoid a double discussion. If they again preferred concurrence, he hoped that course would be followed, and when the formal stages had been passed he should ask for the Bill to be placed for its next stage as the first order in evening sitting.
Hon. Mr. Holton thought that the most important stage of the Bill and the best for discussion was when it was in Committee of the Whole. No one wished to prolong the discussion. (Hear.)
1446 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Hon. Mr. McDougall said that the amendments he had given notice of would be submitted in Committee, but he should not attempt to discuss them. He wished to see them upon the Journals of the House and before the country. Whether they came to a vote or not, would depend of course partly upon the way in which they were received by the House.
The resolutions were then read a second time and referred to the Committee on the Manitoba Bill.


The House then went into Committee on the Bill.
Mr. McDonald (Middlesex) in the chair.
Several clauses were agreed to.
On section 27,
Mr. Ferguson said that he considered that section unnecessary, the 26th stating that all waste lands were vested in the Crown. That placed such lands under the control of the Government, and the 27th section would only have the effect of trammelling Government, it was most objectionable to reserve 1,400,000 acres of land for a population of 14,000 half- breeds. He would be sorry to give them any reason to complain, but this was really doing too much for them, and would leave not quite a million of acres for incoming settlers. Although he did not wish to obstruct the passage of the measure, he would feel it his duty to move that clause 27 be struck off.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier hoped his hon. friend would not press his motion. The land question was the most difficult one to decide of any connected with the measure; it was one of the most important connected with the welfare of the Territory; it would soon be necessary to construct a railway through Red River and consequently the Dominion Parliament would require to control the wild lands. If the lands were left in the hands of the Local Parliament there might be great difficulty in constructing the British Pacific Railroad, although the Dominion Government held the control of the lands it was only just to give something in return for them. Thus arose the reserves. Was it not just and liberal to provide for the settlement of those who had done so much for the advancement of the Red River country—the Indian half-breeds? The intention of the Government was to adopt a most liberal policy with respect to the settlement of the Territory.
Mr. Bowell wished to know whether a provision was made for the descendants of those early settlers who were not half-breeds.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier replied that it was the intention of the Government to deal most liberally with all occupants of lands in the Territory. It mattered not what their descent might be. There would not be a penny exacted from anyone holding a title from the Hudson's Bay Company. The descendants of white people had no pretensions to the lands of the Territory, and consequently no provision was made for them in the Bill. In further reply to the hon. members, he (Sir G.-E. Cartier) said that the Indian Reserve was to do for all the tribes in the North-West. With regard to the provision for pure Indians there were only 1,700 in the Province, and their claims would be provided for.
Hon. Mr. McDougall said there was really no Indian claim such as was alluded to in the Bill. As soon as the Indian mingles with the white he ceases to be an Indian, and the half- breeds were just as intelligent and well able to look after their own affairs as any white man. He referred to the half-breeds who accompanied the delegates to Canada, as an instance of what he asserted. Mr. Monkman belonged to the tribe known among the Americans as Swampies, his mother being a full-blooded native, and he would prove the intelligence of those men. The Indians of the Province claimed the lands given by Lord Selkirk. The first negotiation that he had at Pembina was with Indians, who, with their usual sagacity, said that the insurrection arose with those who had come into the country, and not with the Indians. They asked him what the Government intended to do with their lands, and he had communicated with the Secretary of the Provinces. The clause made no provision for them, and they could not go on the land and survey it with a view of settlement, without raising a war. The claim of the half-breeds was not founded on justice or  law, and would lead to great inconvenience. The provisions of the Bill, that he had prepared, had a clause that every man going in and settling should have the right of ownership of land, and that would meet the claims of the half-breeds. If there were any young half-breeds wanting land, they could obtain it by a free grant. But agriculture was not the natural pursuit of those men. They were hunters and trappers, and the only effect of those reserves would be to retard the settlement of the country, but not to settle the half- breeds. If free grants were given and a homestead provision made, the Government would have done their duty and acted as justly and liberally as could be expected of them. What 1448 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 was it that kept Canada back, what but those reservations of land for one thing or another. Their very best lands had been shut off from settlement in that way, and the country had been placed at a disadvantage compared with the neighboring Republic. Emigrants had passed through Canada to settle in the United States, where they could appropriate the best unsettled lands they could find. Canada's very best lands had been reserved under the old English idea which hon. gentlemen opposite had in their heads, and which had been the curse of the country through that reservation. If they would agree on some conclusion respecting a Homestead Law and strike out those appropriations, they would follow the most just and liberal course.
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks said the hon. gentleman had lately had opportunities of negotiating with those men and knew that compromises had to be made. He had seen articles written in the leading opposition paper in Ontario—the Toronto Globe—with reference to arrangements made by the Hudson's Bay Company and the Indians; and the concessions made by the Hudson's Bay Company were accepted, although it was contended by that paper and by the Canadian Government and people that that clause was not a good one; and the hon. gentleman agreed to pay £300,000 and to grant land to them, yet he now talked of the monstrous folly of reserves. The half-breeds were the insurgent party, and the English Government and people were very desirous that everything should be done that justice required. The Government had to do two things, either they had to send an army to conquer those people and force them to submit, or to consider their claims as put forward by their delegates. They had at first claimed not only the whole Province, but the whole Territory, and it was of the utmost importance that those delegates should return with the impression that justice had been done. There was no necessity for making provisions for white men; but those half-breeds wanted some security that those who came into the Province under a liberal land policy would not take possession of their lands. These settlers would be able to get all the land they required. Under the circumstances, was it not wise to yield to that small reservation? That was one of the few conditions of getting peaceful possession of the Territory, and it would be folly to refuse such a small concession when compared with the amount of land which the Hudson's Bay Company had been allowed to retain. That was a different question from Indian titles, which would have to be dealt with by treaty with them.
Mr. Mackenzie said they had every thing to do with the extinguishment of the Indian title. It was one of the conditions of obtaining possession of the Territory. The extinguishment of the half-breed title took one-sixth of the lands of the new Province and the extinguishment of the claims of the pure blooded Indians would take two-sixths of the entire area. There was half the Province gone. There were now 600,000 acres settled, and the Hudson's Bay Company, besides holding 10,000 acres in possession, claimed one-twentieth part of the land of the Province. Taking water and waste lands from the country there was absolutely little or nothing left for emigrants to settle upon. That would be the result of the policy of the Government. Before they proposed to extinguish the half-breed title the House ought to know what the Government intended to do with the Indian title. With regard to the pressure of the English Government for the consideration of this claim, gentlemen on his (Mr. Mackenzie's) side of the House were always at a disadvantage in those matters. He had moved for the production of correspondence with the Imperial Government in this matter, but it had never been laid before the House, and, so far as they were concerned, it had no existence. He advocated the policy that the half-breeds who were the head of a family should have the title of 200 acres of land, and that a white settler should be put on the same footing. By that means they would avoid the possibility of keeping land in reserve for an indefinite time, and would promote its settlement. The fact that the hon. member for North Lanark consented in 1868 to the Hudson's Bay Company's land reserve was not a bar to his making objections now; it ought to be remembered that the propositions of Lord Granville were accepted by the two Canadian delegates as that of an arbitrator whose decision both parties were bound to accept. He (Mr. Mackenzie) would rather have paid a large sum of money to the Company, and not have granted the land, but under the circumstances he did not hesitate to say the Government, when negotiating for the transfer of the Territory, had acted in a most wise and liberal manner, and although opposed to the Government of the day, he took occasion last Session to thank them for the manner in which they had conducted that transfer. The Finance Minister was but a recent addition to the Cabinet, and he might almost say to the population of the country. It ill became the hon. gentleman to berate the hon. Minister of Militia for locking up the lands of the country. The new members of the Cabinet seemed to forget not only 1450 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 the proclivities, but the actions of their colleagues, and on every public debate that arose some hon. gentleman of the Government got up and soundly thrashed some of his colleagues before he was aware of it. Thus it was that he (Mr. Mackenzie) found it necessary to defend the hon. Minister of Militia from the attacks of the hon. Minister of Finance. (Laughter.)
Sir Francis Hincks and Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier rose together, when,
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier ejaculated—I will defend myself, if you please!
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks sat down discomfited, amid laughter.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier then contended that any inhabitant of the Red River country having Indian blood in his veins was considered to be an Indian. They were dealing now with a territory in which Indian claims had been extinguished, and had now to deal with their descendant—the half-breeds. That was the reason the new Province had been made so small. He concurred with the opinion of the hon. member for Lanark and his objections to the establishment of land companies. It would have been better for Upper and Lower Canada that such companies had never been incorporated in their borders.
Hon. Mr. Howe, in reply to Hon. Mr. McDougall, quoted from the Congressional Reports an instance in which the half-breeds had been recognized by the Government of the United States.
Hon. Mr. Cameron said that there had been no provision made for pure Indians in the organization of the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, because they had not the power to extinguish the Indian titles, since it rested with the Imperial Government to do so by treaty. There was no comparison between that settlement with the half-breeds and the land companies objected to by the hon. member for Lanark. That was more like grants made to the United Empire loyalist. He deprecated recriminations and useless controversies between hon. members, and hoped all would vote in framing a fair and reasonable measure, recognizing the rights of those already resident in the Territory, and making proper provision for future settlers in the country. He would join the hon. member for Lanark, or any one who would advocate the framing of measures which would permit emigrants to settle in the new Province and choose lands without restraint.
Hon. Mr. McDougall contended that they had never recognized the half-breeds. The 1451 American statute cited proved by its language the facts he had stated. The hon. member for Peel should recollect that if any acrimonious language had been used it had commenced on his side of the House.
Mr. Ferguson could not see how they could confirm the titles of minors, which Indians were considered to be, and could accept the delegates as their guardians. He could not see how that grant could be taken to extinguish their rights. He asked the Finance Minister whether the representatives of the loyal portion were consulted with regard to these reserves if those rebel delegates were considered to represent the whole loyal population, the Bill would create ten rebels in place of one. He moved that the said Clause 27 not form a part of the Bill.
A division was taken; yeas, 37; nays, 67.
The remaining clauses were then agreed to and the Committee rose and reported.


Hon. Sir Francis Hincks presented the eighth report of the Committee on Public Accounts, relating to the improved manner of keeping the accounts.
At six o'clock the House rose for recess.
After recess


Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier moved concurrence on the amendments to the Bill intituled: "An Act to amend and continue the Act 32 and 33 Victoria chapter, 3; and to establish and provide for the government of the Province of Manitoba."
Hon. Mr. McDougall said the resolution of which he had given notice, and which he was about to move, was one which was much more likely to give satisfaction to a great majority of the people now residing in the proposed Province; and, also in his judgement much better calculated to give satisfaction to the people of the Dominion. He did not believe that the circumstances of the country either now or within the next two or three years would be such as to justify the establishment of a Government of the kind proposed by the Bill of the hon. gentlemen opposite. The House at its last session almost unanimously, with a full knowledge of the settlement of that country, of the position of the people, their numbers, habits, and probable wants, decided on a measure of a very different character from that now proposed by the Government. The measure of the Government was complained of in the country, 1452 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 and some of the newspapers of the Dominion objected, after that measure passed the House, on the ground that he did not recognize in any way the political rights of people of that country, or rather their right to a voice in the formation of their Government. He thought it unfortunate that they did not, and as a member of that Government he took his share of the blame for not more strongly recognizing the rights of the people there to some share in the Government of their country. If the Government of the day had come down with a measure to amend that Bill so as to concede to the people there and those shortly to go there the right of managing their own affairs, although in some of its details it might have been objectionable, he would not have proposed an alternative measure to that which the Government had proposed; but instead of framing a measure of that kind, the Government had gone just as far to the other extreme. They now erred just as much in proposing a measure calculated for people accustomed to Government, and the machinery of Government, in the Bill they expected to pass that House, as they did last session in adopting an autocratic system of Government. Why should not the Government take the happy medium? What pressure was behind them which compelled them to give those people, just emerging from a condition of serfdom, that complex form of Government? He had not heard from any source of information, reasons why it was expedient or necessary in any degree. It was an expensive system, and that expense would fall, not only on the people of the new Province, but would burden the whole Dominion. It would create dissatisfaction throughout the entire country. They had been obliged to make great concessions to Nova Scotia. They had made great sacrifices to obtain the good will of the Secretary of the Provinces. But what inducement was there to make a Bill of that kind for people who did not ask for it? He protested against the Bill, and called upon many of the members opposite, whom he knew were zealous friends of the Government and had discussed the various difficulties which met them in an earlier part of their career, but whom he knew were as anxious as any one on his side of the House to see a successful Bill framed, he called on them to aid him in his endeavours to perfect the measure. In the Lower Provinces the Government had lost many supporters in consequence of the course they had taken in the matter. In Lower Canada, though he was not aware of any special causes of dissatisfaction, since the views of that Province were likely to prevail, he did not see any cause of complaint, but since the rebellion of 1837, of which he had some recollection, he had not known a time when there was so much political excitement and 1453 dissatisfaction respecting the administration of public affairs as in Ontario to-day. He had never known so unpopular a Government; and he had never known an Administration that had lost friends to such an extent as the present Government in dealing with that question, to say nothing of others. If the measure passed in its present shape it would add to the dissatisfaction to such a degree in the Province of Ontario, where the desire for Confederation was the greatest, that the people would look about for some means of release from that state of affairs. He should move his resolutions, in order to have them on the paper, and to give hon. members an opportunity to vote for a cheap Government for the North-West, in the place of the expensive one proposed by the Government measure. He had brought forward his resolutions in the way he had in reply to a taunt that had been thrown out by the Minister of Militia.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier said he had not thrown any taunts out.
Hon. Mr. McDougall said that he might have brought forward a simple amendment advocating the same principles which would be more likely to gain votes. The Government scheme was an obscure and defective one, and could never be worked out by an ignorant people, which the member for Toronto said the people up there were. In the 2nd clause, the Bill referred to an Act which was puzzling in its terms, and had already created difficulty in Ontario. The Bill did not state the subjects on which they could legislate, but sent them to a doubtful Act. In his scheme he proposed to make the Legislature the Government for local purposes, that being a single Chamber; and he had also adopted a franchise which was much better suited to the requirements of the country than that proposed. The requirement of one year's residence would deprive the best settlers of a vote, while leaving it in the hands of the less educated inhabitants it would drive away emigrants. They should give the franchise to every British subject who stopped sufficiently long in the country to show their intention to remain there. He provided for no representation in the Dominion Legislature; but the time would come, of course, to reconsider this measure. He thought, in the changing circumstances of the country, that they ought to legislate for the present and not for the future. He denied, owing to the want of sufficient evidence, that the House had any right to accept the Bill proposed as meeting the wishes of the people in the Territory. With the exception of Judge Black, they could not accept the so-called delegates as being the best authorities to express opinions on that subject. The representatives 1454 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 of the loyal people, who were all intelligent men, would not pretend to discuss the two schemes in their details in the character of representing the whole people. They could only express an opinion. The House, therefore, had to consider merely what it thought was most suited to the present state of the country, (hear). The other difference between his plan and that of the Government was in regard to land. They must offer greater inducements to emigrants than they would find in Minnesota, if they wished to get them to come to their Territory. He proposed to give them 200 acres of land, a residence of 3 years, and a fee of $5, instead of, as in the United States, 160 acres, 5 years, and $10. There were difficulties of various kinds in Minnesota, and several Canadian emigrants who had settled in that State had waited upon him at Pembina, expressing their wish to go into the Red River Territory if a liberal land policy were adopted. That was the case with many of the western States. The superiority of the land was acknowledged. He had adopted, with modifications, the American homestead law, to which there was nothing similar in the Government Bill. There was also another provision very important which he did not find in the Government Bill. He referred to the school reserve lands. That principle was adopted in the western States, and the good results were very great, and it appeared that in forming that new Province, they should adopt that new system. He had put a provision into his Bill with that view, putting the whole control of them under the local authority. The member for Toronto had on Saturday spoken as if he held a brief from the Government— (laughter)—and contended, on legal grounds, that if any ill results had followed from his (Hon. Mr. McDougall's) taking any steps to put down the riot that he would be liable for them until he had received the authority of the Queen's proclamation. He denied entirely the truth of his reasoning. Some remarks of his in his dispatches had been referred to, but proved nothing. The proclamation by the Queen was required by the Act, and an Order in Council only was required.
Mr. Chamberlin—Did you receive the Order in Council?
Hon. Mr. McDougall said he had the agreement of Government that it would be issued. He had no notice that they had agreed to break their bargain, and had a right to assume that they would keep their faith. He had received a few days before a letter from the Deputy-Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, which 1455 stated: "We have received notice from the Colonial Department that the transfer will take place on the lst December in accordance with the wishes expressed by the Canadian Government." The date of that letter was the 25th of September. In addition to that letter he received a letter from a member of the Administration which though marked private contained those words which might be made public: "I received a letter from Mr. Rose, who is making necessary arrangements for the payment of the £300,000." This letter was dated the 4th of November. There he had the most direct information that the transfer would be made at the date agreed on. Then it had been asserted that he ought to have remained on the frontier for further instructions, but what was he to do, was he to send messengers who at that time of the year might have lost their way, or who might fail in carrying the document through to its destination? No, under the circumstances, since he could not do anything else, he had acted in the manner in which he had done, not anticipating in the failure of the Government to keep faith with him. It seemed to some persons that the acts of Riel were nothing, and one hon. member had said with lugubrious countenance, if they were noticed there would follow a war of race against race. Did he mean to say that there were any persons in Canada who sympathized with the rebels? He did not believe that there was any foundation for that view. The insurrectionary party were the most disreputable inhabitants of the country, and were collected together by a bar room loafer, and knowing the character of those men, he was amazed to find that hon. gentlemen would allow any expression to fall from them to the effect that any attempt at restoring law and order would occasion offence to the mind of any one. So much for the charge brought by the member for Toronto that he (Hon. Mr. McDougall), was not right in appealing to the people, in asking the civil magistrate to call together the posse comitatus to put down the riot that then existed. Instead of being guilty of any crime, any loyal subject in that country should have used every means in his power to put down the rebellion, and should have been supported by his country whatever the consequences might have been. The course which the hon. member for Hants pursued in Red River was at least a most injudicious one, and made his (Hon. Mr. McDougall's) position in Red River a most difficult one. But what he felt more keenly was that when he met the hon. member for Hants, and when that hon. gentleman saw that he had his children with him, and was taking them to a wild and distant country, the hon. member did not warn him that he might be prepared to defend himself or find means of leaving them in safety if resist 1456 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 ance was threatened. He (Hon. Mr. McDougall) did think it was an inhuman act on the part of that gentleman, knowing the difficulties to be encountered in the beginning of winter, and his party likely to be repulsed—that the hon. gentleman did not whisper that it would be expedient to leave his defenceless ones behind and go forward alone. The hon. gentleman might have made that suggestion and perhaps that might account for the hard feelings he had displayed towards the hon. member since; but he (Hon. Mr. McDougall) had dealt with him as a public man and with his public acts. He thought it was very wrong that the hon. member did not perform his duties, and for much of the expense, trouble and difficulties in Red River he thought that hon. gentleman was responsible. He would conclude by moving that the report be not now concurred in, but the Bill be recommitted for the purpose of amending it by the resolutions, which have already appeared in the Globe.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier said he was a little surprised at the remarks of his hon. friend—who belonged to the Liberal party of Ontario, while he (Hon. Sir George E. Cartier) belonged to the Conservative party of Lower Canada, which was in reality the most liberal party in the Dominion—had made. In proof of that assertion he had only to refer to the struggle of the Lafontaine—Baldwin Government. At that time the Government of the day was supported by only 10 members out of 41 representatives from Upper Canada. When Mr. Baldwin was in power he was supported, not by Liberals, but by Conservatives. He therefore claimed for his party that they were the most liberal in the country, and he claimed to be more liberal than the Opposition. The Government scheme was, if anything, too liberal, judging from the terms of the hon. member. The scheme of last year was said to be too illiberal, and that one too liberal, and so he came forward with an intermediate one. The scheme of last year was, however, only to last one year. He did not approve of what had been done by the Red River people, (hear, hear). He did not approve of their being always termed rebels and insurgents, for they never pretended that they were opposed to the sovereignty of the Queen, (hear, hear). Not that he had the least doubt that that was a prospective rebellion, so far as Canada was concerned, but as Canadian authority did not exist there, the rebellion did not affect them, except by preventing them from exercising that power which they were to claim under the Act. He did not intend to refer to what had taken place in the Territory.
Mr. Mackenzie—Better not.
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier said they ought to drown those difficulties by liberal measures. He thought the people in the Territory were educated, and the conference at Red River would contrast favourably with theirs at Quebec. (Ironical hears.) The original inhabitants of Upper Canada were only 10,000 when the Province was formed; and the settlers now at Red River Territory would contrast favourably with them. The scheme of the Hon. Mr. McDougall would cause discontent, and keep alive alarm and contention, thus preventing the settlement of the country. The Government Bill, if carried, would go abroad as the settlement of the Red River difficulty; whereas the bastard Municipal Government proposed by the amendment would not achieve any such end. It would put off the formation of a Province for three years, and the population being increased, the amount to be received by them, instead of that proposed by the Government Bill, would be the Dominion would have to pay $13,000 on account of 80 cents per head for 17,000 of population, $23,604 being the amount which ought to be credited to them on account of the debt, and $30,000 to carry on their Government—making a total of $67,204. That would carry on the Government for the next ten years; and then, supposing their population to have reached the limit of 400,000, to which the grant of 80 cents applied, the expenses to the Dominion would be $320,000 for 80 cents a head, $23,604 representing the debt, and $30,000 for Civil Government, so that the highest charge to which the Dominion could be subject was $373,604 to secure what was to be so prosperous a Province. There could be no doubt about these figures, but in his scheme the hon. gentleman would launch them into a territorial Government. The present was the most advantageous time to take in that Province on the score of economy. Then he thought he had demolished the argument of his hon. friend, and here they were offered an opportunity of erecting this Province at a cost of $67,000. If the hon. member for Lanark had succeeded in entering the Province, and establishing a Government as he proposed the cost would have greatly exceeded this sum. Then with respect to retaining lands, as he had before asserted, it was mainly with the object of constructing a British Pacific Railroad, and the cost of managing those lands would fall on the Dominion Government, and consequently the Government of Manitoba would be the most economical of all local Governments in the Dominion. The hon. member for Lanark had rendered a just tribute to Judge Black who was without doubt the most eminent man in the Territory. Father Ritchot had been denounced by the hon. member, but the only crime that could be brought against him was that he was little 1458 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 conservant with political affairs; whether it was so or no, he (Sir George—E. Cartier) would say that since he had the honour of being acquainted with Father Ritchot, he had found him discharge his duty as a delegate in a very moderate way, and with a strong desire that such a measure should be passed as would secure what was called the North-West Territory as a portion of Her Majesty's Dominions. He had had plenty of opportunities to listen to the reverend gentleman's loyal sentiments, (hear, hear, and laughter.) Hon. members opposite might laugh, but they should not dispute what had passed. In different interviews with the rev. gentleman he found in these delegates gentlemen who were ready to accept anything that was likely to produce peace. The hon. gentleman said that those delegates did not speak the wishes of the country, but did the hon. gentleman mean to say that he did so, (hear, hear). Had they not a better right to accept the opinion of those men as being better than that of the hon. gentleman opposite? With regard to land grants, there had been a discussion before recess, and it was unnecessary to repeat the arguments then advanced. The Government intended to be liberal, and the claims of the half-breeds would be seen by those interested, to have been considered. The Government agreed that the lots should be 200 acres. He might say that the intention of the Government was to pursue a land policy which would not be surpassed in liberality by any Province in the Dominion, or any State in the neighbouring Union, or by the Federal Government itself, (hear, hear.) If the children of half-breeds should fail to avail themselves of the liberal offers made them to settle on the reserves, the land would be forfeited to the Crown. With respect to the personal remarks of the hon. member for Lanark, he would say that after the affliction that hon. member had sustained, and his appointment to the Governorship of the North-West, he (Sir George-E. Cartier) offered him his support; but the Government was obliged to disapprove of his course in issuing the proclamation at Pembina. The delay of payment was, no doubt, a plausible argument; but in the instructions sent him, he was told to wait further instructions before taking any course of action. All his colleagues were united in believing that the hon. member had acted in the manner he thought best under the circumstances. The hon. member should have seen that, although Government could not approve of the course he had taken, and though there had been illegalities in his conduct, they had never impugned his motives. He would conclude by reiterating that their measure was more liberal, just, and economical than the measure proposed by his hon. friend.
Mr. Mackenzie had seconded the motion of the hon. member for Lanark, not because he approved of it altogether, but because its general principles were sound. He believed the Government were proceeding now as much in a wrong direction as last session, when passing a Bill practically ignoring the right of the people of that Territory, and which ultimately led to the difficulties which brought on that discussion. He believed it was necessary in preparing a form of constitution, by which those people should have some other expression of popular will than that which had been proposed by the so called delegates of Riel or of other representatives of the loyal people of the North-West. In other words, it was absolutely essential to form a Constitution by which they should have some legal expression of opinion of the people of that Territory. A state of tutelage was necessary for that country, such as was in existence in the Territories of the United States before aspiring to State constitutions. An error in the beginning was much more serious and more difficult to be overcome than an error of any period of its subsequent history, and while at the present time, they might provide what would meet the views of the people for a temporary period, that would be the wisest course to pursue under the circumstances. If hon. gentlemen had consulted the people of that Territory they would have found that the Constitution which the Government had prepared did not meet with their approbation. In the Bill of Rights it was demanded that a portion of the public land should be appropriated for the benefit of public schools; but the Bill did not do so. They required Free Homestead and Pre-emption Laws; but the Government provided nothing of that sort; and yet the Government contended that, in the absence of those two very necessary provisions, that had obtained in all the American Territories—although without all those it was still more liberal than the scheme submitted to the House by the hon. member for Lanark. There was nothing more conducive to the prosperity of the people than ample provisions for schools, and to give the freest access to public lands to enable them to prepare homes for themselves. The restrictive policy embraced in the 27th clause was entirely unasked for by the people there. He had listened during the debate on the Bill to ascertain 1460 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 where the demand for that came from; but from the beginning till now, no one had vouchsafed an explanation as to who this demand for these reservations came from. The effect of this policy would be to shut up that portion of the Territory from immediate settlement, and turn emigrants from Manitoba to lands not more inviting, but less difficult of access, on the other side of the line. He was a little pained by the assertion of the hon. Minister of Militia that those people had never thrown off their allegiance, and had never done anything wrong, but stood up for the protection of their rights. If the people had been in any way oppressed or if any violation of their rights had taken place, he would not only justify but assist them so far as he could, if in the Territory or where he could render them assistance. A people suffering under oppression had a right to use almost any force to preserve their rights; but in that case there had been no oppression, but merely a groundless fear that their rights might be interfered with, as the only incentives to their acts of disloyalty and violence. But the hon. Minister of Militia was entirely wrong when he asserted that they never threw off their allegiance. Did the hon. Minister ever read their declaration of independence? He would read it further—"We solemnly declare, in the name of our constituents and in our own names, before God and man, that from the day the Government we always respected abandoned us to the people of a foreign land, Rupert's Land and the North-West became free and exempt from allegiance to that same Government." Yet, after that declaration, the hon. gentleman said the people never threw off their allegiance. Could the hon. gentleman, at any period of his own history, have used more violent language?
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier—What Government is mentioned in that declaration?
Mr. Mackenzie—It could only be one Government—Great Britain.
Hon. Sir George É. Cartier—It means the Hudson's Bay Company.
Mr. Mackenzie said they must be exceedingly obliged to the Minister of Militia for being their constant defendant. They owed no alle 1461 giance to Canada or the Hudson's Bay Company, and could only throw off their allegiance to the Government of Great Britain, and he believed if that measure were submitted to the people of that Territory it would be a most effectual way to secure the peace and contentment which this House desired to see. The hon. Minister of Militia seemed to treat very lightly the treatment received by the member for Lanark in the North-West; while he (Mr. Mackenzie) felt little political sympathy for his hon. friend, he in common with the majority of the people in Upper Canada sympathized with him in the way the hon. member had been treated by his colleagues. He would therefore move that the Bill be committed, with a view to the adoption in the Bill of a Temporary and Territorial form of government. "That the Legislature should be chosen by popular voice, and there should be representation in the Dominion Parliament, combining with due regard the rights of the people and the economical administration of local affairs, the means of obtaining a knowledge of the public will as to form of the Legislature and the tenure of the lands of the Province, thus obviating the putting upon them of a form of government to which they might object." (Hear.) If that notice were carried it would have the effect of modifying the Bill, and he did not move it against the Bill as a whole, but merely desired to adopt a temporary mode of government that would leave the House a year or perhaps two years for consideration, to obtain a more intimate knowledge of the country than at present they possess. At the time the last Bill was framed very few hon. members knew anything of the matter. Their information was then very defective, and was so yet. He did not doubt that the information as to the Territory, derived from Father Ritchot and Judge Black might have been tolerably correct. He had no doubt the information derived from the loyal delegates was quite correct; but Judge Black was prejudiced in his views by his connection with the Hudson's Bay Company, if they had in the first place a territorial form of government, a Legislature elected in the same way as provided by the Bill of the Government, that would give an indication of the Government and Constitution, knowing that it was in accordance with the views of the people, and not in accordance with the views of a few parties who were interested more or less in having a particular Constitution. At the present time they knew that the Hudson's Bay Company were, to a certain extent, responsible for the whole trouble in that Province. They knew that Judge Black was connected with that Company, and that all his feelings looked in that direction, and he was therefore the most dangerous man to consult in framing this 1462 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 measure. As to the question of boundary, he thought the proposed limit was too small—at any rate it ought to be 100 degrees west. So insignificant was the Province that the Government might well put up a board fence around it and whitewash it. (Laughter.)
Upon the question of concurrence in the resolutions reported from the Committee of the Whole, respecting the proposed new Province of Manitoba,
Hon. Mr. Howe said—I did not think, sir, that it would facilitate the progress of this important measure to enter into personal explanations or to reply till this moment to some of the speeches made by hon. members; but the time, I believe, has arrived when the House must feel that some explanations on my part are called for. Now let me say here that I listened the other day with a great deal of patience to a long tirade from the hon. member for Lambton, in which he was as usual personally abusive; and I may repeat in his presence here, what I have had occasion to say in the Committee of public accounts not long ago, that that hon. gentleman, with all his pretensions to moderation and fairness, never loses an opportunity of saying a savage and offensive thing in an exceedingly disagreeable and unpleasant manner. (Hear, hear.) Not only did the hon. member for Lambton assail me, but some of his followers—all the small curs, "Tray, Blanche, and Sweet-heart," (laughter) one after the other ran barking at my heels. I felt a little like the man who was struck in the pillory for an hour, and after everybody had pelted dead cats and brick-bats at him for their own amusement, exclaimed at the end of the hour, "my turn has come," and then got up and returned all the dead cats and brick-bats at the heads of his tormentors. (Laughter.) I do not, however, think it would be quite in accordance with good taste to return all the foul and unclean things that have been hurled at me in the course of this debate. I will, therefore, pass over a great deal of the bitter, unjust and unnecessary language of the hon. member for Lambton. I pass over also the observations of the hon. member for South Waterloo (Mr. Young), partly because I was not present throughout, and did not hear the whole of them. I will pass over too the skim-milk oratory of the hon. member for South Oxford. (Laughter.) And I will pass over the philosophical declamations of my hon. friend from Bothwell, but I may say of him in passing that I am not aware he ever says an ill-natured thing if he can help it. Now, the burden of all these people's songs, as it has been the burden of the 1463 hon. member for North Lanark's violent oratory, has been my ill-treatment of the ex-Governor of the North-West Territory. With regard to that, perhaps the House will allow me to make an explanation or two. The hon. member for Lambton complained that I was opposed to the policy of the acquisition of the North-West Territory; but the hon. gentleman forgot to tell the House what my policy was in regard to that question, as developed in a long speech which I addressed to the House two years ago. Was it to maintain the authority of the Hudson's Bay Company? No. Was it to lock up that great country as a hunting-ground for the benefit of that Company? No. What then was it? It was to call upon the British Government to do its duty to British America, to do its duty to the empire at large, by throwing that country open to settlement, and inviting the starving millions of other parts of the Empire and of Europe to enter and find homes—to populate the land, and make it fruitful for their own happiness. (Hear.) My impression was, that the Imperial Government owed it to us, owed it to their own dignity, owed it to the integrity of the Empire, to so deal with that country that no man would ever wish or ever dare to hoist there any flag except the British flag. My policy was that the Imperial Government should have hoisted the British flag in that Territory, thrown it open to settlement, assumed all the responsibility of governing it, and ultimately organize it as a British Province, one of the family of nations in the Empire. Sir, I did object to Canada assuming the responsibility of all that work; I pointed out, with the forecast, I think, of statesmanship, the perils we would run, the difficulties we would encounter, by pursuing such a course, and I thought the burden thrown upon Canada was a burden too heavy for this young country to bear. Now, in view of the events that have occurred within the past few months, in view of the very things we have here to deal with to-night, in view of the difficulty we have in obtaining possession of that country, and in view of the obstacles which may still exist to our getting into it, I think I may well claim that I foresaw and pointed out the perils into which the policy of a majority of this House was likely to lead us. Was I right or was I wrong? Why, if that country had been opened up and developed by Great Britain as I proposed, we would have had the benefit of its trade, our young men would have found there a field for their energy and enterprise, and Canada would no more have been bound to defend and protect it, than she is bound to protect other Provinces under the British Crown. But a majority of this House decided otherwise; and when I came up from my own Province and joined the Government I accept 1464 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 ed that policy, as I accepted also the policy of Confederation, and I appeal to hon. gentlemen sitting around me, who have been my colleagues in the Cabinet for the last year, to say whether there is one of them who will for a moment countenence the belief that in working out that policy they have not had my loyal, warm and earnest support. (Cheers from the ministerial seats). As for the hon. member for North Lanark, I will admit at once that, having acted with him, as a colleague, associated with me in transacting the business of the country, if I had shown him the evil treatment which he and other hon. members on that side of the House complained of, I would be undeserving of the character of a gentleman and unworthy to address a body of gentlemen, such as those who are sitting around me. Now, what are the facts? I had known the Hon. Mr. McDougall—I beg his pardon for naming him—for some years, as I had known most of the other leading public men of Canada. From the moment I sat down with him in the Privy Council this was his position; Mr. Ferguson Blair was dead, Mr. Howland had been appointed Lieut. Governor of Ontario, and he sat there as the only Liberal, except my hon. friend from New Brunswick, Hon. Mr. Tilley, in the Cabinet. Now, if I have been anything all my life in politics, I have been a Liberal. The party with which I acted in Nova Scotia, and which for many years I had the honour of leading—that great party which secured for that Province all its important and useful public Works, and which carried into practical operation every broad and liberal principle of responsible Government and civil and religious liberty—was the Liberal party. We called ourselves Liberals and were not ashamed of the name. When I came up here, then, I found the hon. gentleman the only Liberal representing Canada in the Government. Was it not natural that he should have my sympathy, as he had my cordial support, in every measure which he proposed? He had my sympathy and as far as I know or can remember an unkind word never passed between us. When I changed my place in the Government and became Secretary of State for the Provinces, the proposition made to me to accept that office was made on his own sofa in his own house, with no one present but the Premier, the hon. gentleman and myself. I had reason to believe that that offer had his full approbation or I would have never considered it. Well, what then? The moment that I ascertained that our colleagues, who were then scattered about, approved of the appointment, I accepted the position. What was the next step? I felt that I could not assume the duties of that office with justice to my own character, to this House, and with satisfaction to the country, without using every means in my power of 1465 acquiring that information with regard to the North-West which it is now apparent not a man at the Council-board was possessed of, although the hon. member for North Lanark was the man of all others who ought to have had that information. The moment it was determined that I should accept the office, I consulted with that hon. member, and in accordance with what was then decided upon, he and I went up together to Thunder Bay to overlook the progress of the road-makers under Mr. Dawson at that place and to examine the approaches to the country. Now, it is very easy after events have transpired to perceive errors and mistakes and where they ought to have been corrected, (hear, hear). I am willing to give the hon. member for North Lanark credit for everything that is his due; but I tell him in presence of this House that the first mistake he made was this: when we were at Thunder Bay he should not have come back to Canada, but if he had taken a canoe and gone quietly into the North-West Territory—(hear, hear)—he would have done an act of superlative wisdom for which he would have got infinite credit at this hour. He preferred, however, to go into the Territory in great state. He talks of my not stopping on the prairie to confer with him, but if any one could have seen the great cavalcade of carriages, the number of women and children in his train on that frosty morning, it would not have been wondered at that I did not stop, (laughter). Why, Sir George Simpson, who for years was governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, or Governor McTavish never went in such state through the country before. Sir George Simpson in his frequent and arduous journeyings over the country often went in a bark canoe attended by a few Indian guides and living upon the roughest fare; governor McTavish, I have no doubt, travels as plainly; but the hon. gentleman went out there as a great satrap paying a visit to his Province, with an amount of following, a grandeur of equipage and a display of pomp that was enough to tempt the cupidity of all the half-breeds in the country, (great laughter). That, I say, was his first blunder, and a great blunder it was. Now, then, what was my object in going to the North-West? I have already said, for information. Was information concerning that distant country so abundant that no more was required? Why, not a member of the Privy Council, nor so far as I am aware, not a member of this House had ever seen or read the records of the council of the colony—the governing body of the district of Assiniboia. I performed that work, and of the seven or eight days I spent in the Territory it occupied two of them. There was here at Ottawa no copy of the statutes in operation in that country. I brought copies of them home with me for the informa 1466 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 tion of the Minister of Justice and the other members of the Government. And does not everybody now feel that there was a vast amount of information that ought to have been acquired before the hon. gentleman started upon his journey? I profess to know nothing more of the country than anybody else. I entered into it in entire ignorance of the state of affairs there, but I was not long in ascertaining that all was not so serene as our friends imagined, (hear, hear). I have said that to gain information was my object. When I started from home I intended to go there alone, but when I got to Toronto, I had the honour of dining with the Hon. Mr. Macpherson, a Senator of the Dominion and the Hon. Mr. Carling, and it was those gentlemen that first suggested the propriety of my associating myself with a party of Canadian merchants who were going out to that country, (hear, hear). The hon. member for Lambton, with that ill-natured spitefulness which he so often exhibits in this House, spoke the other day of Mr. Sanford, one of those merchants, in a very offensive way, and I think that among other things he called him a Yankee annexationist. Well, I make the declaration in this House that if he was or is a Yankee annexationist, my introduction to him was by hon. gentlemen of this House who knew him intimately and who represented him as being entirely upright and honest. I was three or four weeks in his company, and I do not hesitate to say that a more intelligent, thoughtful and upright man cannot, in my opinion, be selected from among the ranks of the commercial men of Canada. (Hear, hear.) I have no knowledge as to where he was born, whether it was in the Mother country, the United States or Canada; but if I can say, that every word he uttered, every thought that he expressed, was indicative of a high and honorable character, and of a warm regard for the interests of Canada in that North-West Territory. (Hear, hear.) At all events, if I got into bad company—and I do not for a moment admit that I did—my hon. friends whom I named are a little to blame for it, and not myself. Now, it has been said that I ought to have held public meetings while I was in the Territory, and explained to the people the intentions of the Canadian Government. Why, sir, while I was at St. Paul I met many commercial men who had heard and seen me at the Detroit commercial convention, and who did me the honor of saying that they would like to hear me speak again on public questions, and that if I consented to attend they would call a meeting there, so anxious were the people to know what Canada meant, and what policy was intended to be pursued in regard to the North-West. It would have given me great personal gratification to have appeared before an 1467 assemblage of the people of St. Paul in the large hall which they offered to procure for the purpose, and to have made a speech to them upon a subject in which they as well as ourselves took an interest. But I was not sent abroad to deliver lectures and make speeches to the public. I was sent abroad for a totally different purpose—to get information. I therefore declined the invitation which was so courteously and flatteringly given to me, and held no meeting at St. Paul. When I got to Winnipeg I soon began to get an inkling into the state of affairs there. We hear a great deal about the "loyal" people of the Territory—the Canadian party as they are called, Why, sir, I am old enough to remember when the people of Nova Scotia first claimed the great right of Responsible Government, who it was that raised the loyal cry then in that Province; and what was that loyal cry? Why, that we who demanded that right, and who were opposed to the "loyal" people of that day, were malcontents and rebels to the Crown. And do we not know that in every one of these Provinces there was a jolly lot of nice old people, very good in their way, and highly respectable and influential, who in all our struggles for responsible representative government have always claimed that they were the "loyal" people par excellence, and that the masses of the people were rebels and traitors? Do we not know that it was to the obstinacy and injustice of the "loyal" people in Upper Canada that much of the responsibility for the troubles of 1837-8 is due; and that the same characteristics of the "loyal" people in Lower Canada went far to cause the unfortunate events which occurred at the same time in that Province? (Hear, hear.) And with regard to the Lower Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, all I can say is that we had a body of people there who claimed all the loyalty, all the intelligence and all the respectability, and held that the masses of the people counted for nothing.
1468 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Mr. Rymal—That's so. (Laughter.)
Hon. Mr. Howe—Well, I found that they had a similar class of "loyal" people in the Territory, who assumed all the airs of the superior race. Who were they? People who had chiefly gone in to survey the country or make a road, and their quality may be guessed from the fact that they allowed themselves, one and all of them, to be cooped up in Dr. Schultz's house, forty or fifty in number, and were captured like a coop of chicken by this man Riel, who has been called a bar-room loafer, but who, at any rate on that occasion, showed sufficient resolution and strategical ability to secure them. He may be a bar-room loafer, but he had brains enough to coop them up in that house, and then to drive them into Fort Garry like a flock of sheep. (Laughter and signs of dissent.)
Mr. Mackenzie—And murder one of them.
Hon. Mr. Howe—Why, sir, with all their professions of loyalty not one of them fired a shot for Canada; but surrendered at discretion, were marched off to prison, and there they stayed. And that shows pretty conclusively, I think, what their power and influence was in the Territory, and what their tact and military strategy were. This was the handful of people for whom we were to sacrifice the North-West Territory and its inhabitants! Why, I do not hesitate to say that if we were to adopt the policy urged by the hon. member for North Lanark, and take this handful of men into our councils—shutting out from all consideration the descendants of the original owners of the soil, who form the mass of the people there, and framing a measure to please this body of "loyal" people alone, instead of a measure of justice to all—we would have done an act of madness which we would never cease to repent and regret. (Hear, hear.) Among the other accusations that have been made against me was that I hauled down the British flag or somebody's flag with the word "Canada" upon it. Now, what are the facts touching that matter? They are simply these: as I rode into Winnipeg I saw a flag flying over a house at the roadside with "Canada" upon it. I was told it had been hoisted in honor of my arrival by a person putting himself forward as the representative of Canada and Canadian interests, 1469 and who was nursing and fostering this little clique, and holding out the idea that he was something very little less than the Government of Canada. (Cries of "Name.") I need not mention any name just now. The moment I ascertained that fact I found further that there was an individual who made himself marvellously conspicuous by writing letters home to the Canadian newspapers ridiculing the half-breed people. I had no desire—rather a decided objection—to have my name associated with parties of that kind, and by refusing to do so it seems I incurred the undying hostility of those people who afterwards were largely instrumental in deceiving the member for North Lanark as to the real condition of affairs in the Territory. But as to the flag, did I pull it down? Not I. I never went near it. Did I order any one to pull it down? No, not I. I never gave or had a right to give any order about it. How long it hung there I do not know. The man who hoisted it seemed to enjoy his demonstration without interruption, for so far as I saw or knew no attempt was made to interfere with him. At any rate, there is not a word of truth in the accusation that I either hauled it down myself, or ordered any one else to do so. (Hear, hear.) But the member for Lambton says I ought to have held meetings and "seen everybody" in the Territory, explaining to them the intentions of this Dominion. Well, I think that hon. gentlemen who know me know that I very rarely shrink from attending a public meeting wherever I may be asked, if I should consider it my duty to attend. Since I have resided in Ottawa I have attended a dozen or more literary or social gatherings of one kind or another, and I rather approve of the practice of members of the Government setting a good example, by appearing on such public occasions wherever the object is a worthy and creditable one. But hon. members must see that in Winnipeg it is altogether a different matter—that the population there who it now seems it would have been desirable to operate upon were those French half-breeds who have since prevented the hon. gentleman's entrance into the Territory. Now, I appeal to hon. gentlemen to say how it was possible for me to address them intelligibly, however anxious I might have been, when in early life I neglected to do what I advise every young man in Canada to do—to speak the French language fluently? (Hear, hear.) Suppose I had called public meetings, could I have addressed them in their own language with which alone they are familiar? What possible good could I have effected? Suppose I had called meetings and made speeches which would have had the effect of agitating the people there—one party siding with me and my views and another perhaps opposing them-what would have been said then? I 1470 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 would then have been told—and hon. gentlemen opposite would have been the first to say it—that the people there were all quiet when I went amongst them, that I started them up by my speeches, that their feelings were roused and their jealousies excited by my over—anxiety for personal display—that, in fact, everything would have gone on quietly and satisfactorily if I had not set the people in motion by my very maladroit statements. (Hear, hear.) Sir, I was not such a fool. I am rather too old a bird to be caught in a trap like that—(laughter)—and for the reasons I have given now and on a former occasion those meetings were not held; and looking back at the course of events as they have occurred since, I am delighted that I resisted the invitation that was given to me. When I say invitation I do not mean that any public invitation was extended to me. Two or three people came into my room and asked me whether I would not address a meeting of the inhabitants; but no requisition was got up, nor was any formal proposition made to me in any shape, to hold a public meeting in the Territory. So much for that charge. (Hear, hear.) Now, who were the chief persons that I saw? We were told that I threw myself into the hands of one Bannatyne—that I would not see any of the loyal people. Why, sir, that is not true! I saw Dr. Schultz, and if he had chosen to walk into my room, he could have come there and given me any information that he pleased. My room was open every day to any one in Winnipeg—to every man of the loyal party: they came and went as they pleased, and were free to give any information they had to impart. Well, sir, I saw the Bishop of Rupert's Land, Archdeacon McLean, Judge Black, Rev. Mr. Young, Mr. Kennedy, and many others, and I saw, also, Governor McTavish, and if there was going to be an insurrection, was it not probable that some of all these gentleman would have told me of it? Was it likely that there could be such a thing known to these hon. gentlemen, and yet none of them impart it to me? (Hear.) Surely not a man of them knew of it, and if not a man of them knew of it, how was I to find it out? (Hear.) Colonel Dennis was there, and I saw him several times—but he had no information to give, and he gave me none. Mr. Snow was there, and he never came near me, for reasons which were sufficiently clear to his own mind. He had lived there fifteen months, and if he had any reason to believe that there was to be an insurrection, why did he not come and give me information of it?
Hon. Sir George-É. Cartier—Hear, hear.
Hon. Mr. Howe—Now, sir, I was bound to be back here by the lst November, but let me say that as I was driving about, I found that there were sources of uneasiness in the population, and there was a good deal of fear and alarm about the result of what was to occur. Well, sir, to every leading man who called upon me, and to every leading man I called upon, I frankly and openly avowed what the policy of Canada was and would be. I frankly declared that although the measure passed last session was to some extent a preliminary measure, they might be assured that the Government meant fairly by them—that the intention was to draw in the talent and information of the country round Mr. McDougall, and that as soon as the population were ready, we were prepared and intended to give them the same institutions as existed in the other Provinces, (hear). Now, sir, with regard to the hon. member for Lanark himself, I anticipated no personal objections. I knew nothing to his prejudice, but I found many rumours afloat, and much suspicion. First, there was the Manitoulin case. I never heard of it till I got to Winnipeg. I could not explain it, for it was beyond the reach of my comprehension, (hear). But I found that there was a great deal of objection in certain quarters, arising out of this Manitoulin difficulty, (hear). Whatever that was, sir, I accept the explanation made by the hon. Minister of Justice, when he said, being cognizant of the facts, that he acquitted the hon. member for North Lanark of any blame. But, I say, perhaps the people of that country had not all the facts, for if they had a strong prejudice existed against the hon. member for North Lanark, arising out of that transaction. What more? Why, sir, there were scattered personal objections to the hon. gentleman. And when I found that this sort of prejudice was afloat in the minds of the people, I declare in the presence of the hon. gentleman, as I do in the presence of this House, that one-third of every sentence I uttered on the borders of the Red River and Assiniboine, was a personal defence of William McDougall, (hear, hear). After defending him from all comers, I often used a phrase to which exception was formerly taken, that if "he was a sensible man" he would do just as I am doing— 1472 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 he will come in here and see for himself. He will not make an appointment until he has seen who people are, and what interests they represent. This is what he will do if he is a "sensible man," as I certainly, at that time, believed him to be. Perhaps I have changed my opinion since, (hear, hear, and laughter.) Now, I must say that in some way or other, there was a strong prejudice against him—they did not like his manners and distrusted his fitful temper, and I begin to have great doubts whether on that score their information was not better than my own, (renewed laughter). But at all events, to sum it all up, the general feeling, I must say, was that he was not "the man for Galway"—that he was not the style of man that they wanted. But I declare in his presence, upon my honour, that against all assailants in all circles I made a loyal defence of my colleague, the hon. member for North Lanark, (hear). Then came the complaints of the hon. gentleman as to my conduct when I met him on the Prairie. He complains that I did not tell him something that I did not know, (laughter). Why, sir, I explained on a former day—and if I did not make the explanation clear and perfect then, let me make it clear and perfect now—the last interview that I had was with Governor McTavish, who is a man I take it that will not falsify his word. I took him by his hand and begged of him to sink all feeling of antagonism, and when Mr. McDougall came into the Territory that he would take a seat in his Council and give him the best advice, (hear). That was the last advice that I gave to Governor McTavish. What were his last words to me? Shaking me by the hand, he said: "Mr. Howe, if this experiment fails, the Company will cease to exist," (hear), and he said also that he had summoned the Council of Assiniboia to prepare an address of welcome to the hon. member for North Lanark on his coming into the Territory, (hear). Now, sir, I rode out and met the hon. gentleman on the Prairie, and what could I have told him if I had kept him there a month; I could have told him nothing but that whatever the uneasiness, whatever the personal objections on one side, there was the assurance of Governor McTavish, at the last interview that I had with him, that the existence of the company was bound up in the success of Canada's experiment, and that he was preparing an address of welcome to Canada's Governor. (Hear.) And what then Sir? I felt if it had not been such a day as it was; that it would have been pleasant to have had an hour's chat and to tell him what had occurred, and how I had met objections. Then the hon. gentleman complains that I did not write to him. Well, Sir, as I have shown I had nothing very particular to write about. When I got to Fort Abercrombie, I was tired and 1473 weary—I was to start next day in a coach for a three days' ride—there was no quiet place in which I could write, and I felt that three or four days would make very little difference; and now, Sir, I hold in my hand a letter marked private, which has not been brought down, and I will read it, leaving out a single passage. It is as follows:—
St. Paul, Oct. 31st, 1869.
My Dear McDougall,—I got here yesterday at noon, and go east to-morrow morning. I was sorry not to have had an hour's chat with you, but what I had to say lies so obviously on the surface that your own judgment will guide you correctly, even if it be unsaid. I found a great deal of misapprehension and prejudice afloat, and did my best to dissipate it. * * * * * It would be a great mistake to patronize a little clique of persons at war with the more influential elements of society. These are sufficiently mixed and heterogeneous to require delicate handling, but they must form the basis of any successful Government; and if dealt with firmly, courteously and justly, I have no doubt can be organized and utilized, till the foundation is widened by immigration. I hope that MacTavish, who is much esteemed, will take a seat in the Council, and give you cordial support. The half-breeds are a peculiar people, like our breeds are a peculiar people, like our fishermen and lumbermen, but they do a large amount of the rough work of the country, which nobody else can do so well. I hope the Priests will counsel them wisely, and that you may be able to draw in some of their leaders to cooperate in the business of Government. With the English population there will be no difficulty, if we except two or three American traders, who are annexationists. The Indian question was not presented to me in any form, as I saw none of their chiefs, but they repudiate the idea of being sold by the Company, and some form of treaty or arrangement may be necessary. Anything will be better than an Indian war at that distance from the centre. I have a keen insight into the difficulties before you, and will do my best to make your mission a success.
1474 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Believe me, yours truly,
Sir, what more could I write to any man than that, (hear). Well, I returned to Ottawa, and by and by came the news from the hon. gentleman of the obstructions presented to his entrance, and then at the back of that came the issue of his proclamation and of the commission which he had given to Colonel Dennis. Now, let me say that I have had some periods of anxiety in my political life. I have passed through some exciting scenes. I have had in the course of my life to assume some heavy responsibilities, but, sir, whatever the hon. member for North Lanark may have felt in his lonely hut at Pembina, he cannot conceive—at least he seems never to have appreciated—the feelings with which his colleagues at Ottawa read these remarkable documents, when we found that he had precipitated a crisis—that without waiting for instructions he had issued a proclamation in the name of the Queen, founded upon an Act which had never been performed. He says, "You ought to have paid the money?" I gave him an answer to that question the other day. His own letters, his own despatches were an answer, the very fact that he was barred out of the country by an insurrectionary force was sufficient warranty for the non—payment of the money. When these extraordinary documents came to Ottawa, I have no hesitation in saying that I entertained no unkind feelings for the hon. gentleman. My hon. friends here know that there was not one of his colleagues but felt that in issuing this proclamation, he had acted in advance of the Sovereign, probably with good intentions, but had misconceived his instructions and exceeded his powers, that he was not the lawful Governor of the Territory, and had issued a commission to Colonel Dennis, which no man could read then without horror, or can read now without laughing. For several days the letter of censure was laid before the Council and it was thoughtfully considered. I have been taunted in this matter, and a personal quarrel with the hon. gentleman has been attempted to be forced upon me. Sir, I have no hesitation to accept the responsibility of that despatch. There was not a member of the Council who could sleep in his bed from doubt and apprehension during that week of suspense. Why, sir, if the Almighty had not interposed, and we are told that "there's a divinity doth shape our ends rough hew them as we may" and the ends of the ex-Governor were rough enough God knows, but the divinity robed around that people with too much good sense to rise at the bidding of a stranger and cut each other's throats. With all the zeal exerted by the missionary he sent into the country, he could not persuade the people to 1475 rise. At last, the Bishop of Rupert's Land took him in hand, and told him that his proceedings were calculated to involve the settlement in carnage. (Hear.) Now, sir, how did we feel? Day after day we met in Council, and waited for information. Suppose Col. Dennis had succeeded in raising the population—suppose fire and sword had passed up the Assiniboia and down the Red River—do you suppose that one of us, sitting on the Treasury benches now, thought that the loss of office was a matter of deep consideration? No sir, sorrow and apprehension were the feelings uppermost at the moment because, lovers of our country, and anxious for a peaceful solution of the difficulties in the West, we did not know at what hour we might be arraigned as murderers, having sacked houses, committed outrages and destroyed the whole thriving settlement, (hear, hear). Now sir, I have no hesitation in saying that I would not have sat one hour in the council, if I had been called upon to assume the responsibility of that man's acts, or of the proceedings of his Lieutenant acting under him. Sir, I am proud to know that we stand here to-day with our public despatches in our hands. By and by, when these are collected and put together in a brief pamphlet, I may bequeath them to my children as honourable testimony of the way in which their father acted in these trying, harassing and difficult circumstances, (hear, hear). Now I may say, Mr. Speaker, that I am almost inclined to apologize to you and the House for using a few words the other day, that were intemperate and unparliamentary, but the language of the member for North Lanark was so unbecoming—his language to his own colleagues on the Treasury benches, was so discourteous, that perhaps my temper got the better of my judgment. All I can say is, that I leave it to the House to decide whether I have ever before violated the decorum of debate—whether I have ever made an unkind, unjust attack upon anybody, (hear)—if I have, all I can say is, that I am sorry for it. Now sir, I think this—that when that gentleman was charging us with holding negotiations with the emissaries of Riel, he was hardly making a fair charge, because, when he wrote to Riel, he was as much a rebel as he is now. He had not, it is true, committed a murder, but he was as much up in arms then as he is now, (hear) and if it is wrong for us to hold any negotiations with the delegates, it was equally wrong for the hon. member for Lanark to write that letter, and above all things, to say that he "trusted in his honor," and hoped to meet him in secret without any of his friends being present. (Hear.) Now sir, I come to the hon. gentleman's return. I admit at once to the House that if he had returned to Ottawa, and said to his colleagues, 1476 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 "I think you have acted hastily and unkindly by me. Hear all the circumstances and all my explanations, and judge of me then." We would have judged fairly and treated him kindly. But before he returned we heard rumours of interviews with the hon. gentleman, and in all sorts of reports we had evidence of his feelings. In his speech at Lanark his ill-temper broke out, and afterwards, in one of the papers which supports the hon. gentleman—I will not undertake to say that he writes in it—but at any rate it supports the hon. gentleman, we found that Sir George-É. Cartier was denounced as a murderer! Langevin was a murderer! Howe was a murderer! (Shame.) And all this language hurled at hon. gentlemen who were labouring to re-establish peace, (cheers). Now, with regard to this man Riel who shot Scott? Somebody has said that "a blunder is worse than a crime," but to shoot Scott was a blunder as well as a crime, (hear). The man could not have understood the policy of his own position. He made a gross mistake in shooting that man; and not a member of the Privy Council, nor a man in this House but condemns him for it, (cheers). By and by a gentleman named Alcock was quoted, and it was said that he was so disgusted with me that he refused to drive me again, but I have here a letter written by him to an Ontario paper, and afterwards republished in the Canadian News, in which he speaks of "the honour of driving Mr. Howe" about the Territory, (hear); and I have the testimony of gentlemen who were with us on that drive, who knew that Mr. Alcock invited us to go with him the following day to Portage la Prairie, which we were unable to do. Then, Mr. Sanford was challenged as a witness, and we were told that he and I drank champagne with Riel, but I never saw Riel in all my life, and I never drank champagne either with him or with anybody at Red River. In fact, I do not believe that there was a bottle of champagne in the Territory fit to drink. Then Mr. Turner, who is a highly respectable man, and is, or was, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce at Hamilton, and who travelled with me for a month, contradicted all that had been written. Captain Kennedy was next appealed to, and by and by out comes a letter from the Captain, flatly contradicting my assailants, and I have here a letter from Mrs. Kennedy, which a friend sent me the other day. I will not read it (cries of "read" and laughter). It is hardly fair to read it, she heard every word I uttered in her house, but I would not like to read a lady's letter in Parliament, (laughter). I am sure that anybody who saw the lady herself would not doubt her, for intelligence and ladylike manner she could not be exceeded by any lady in Canada, (cries of "read, read"). I hold in my hand a piece of evidence of another description 1477 from the Bishop of Rupert's Land, written in a letter to a gentleman here in Canada; and does he charge Mr. Howe with uttering disloyal sentiments or anything of the kind? No, sir, but the Bishop of Rupert's Land says that he himself had no suspicion that there was to be an outbreak, and he says, speaking of Mr. Howe, personally, he only regrets that he had not come into the country six months before, (hear, hear). Now, sir, I need not, I think, waste more time with these absurd slanders. Gentlemen who surround me here have been charged with being the cause of Scott's murder. But let me trace the causes of that unhappy event. The ex—Governor and his lieutenant created an impression in the Territory that any man might take up arms and make war, and the very movement of Col. Dennis led to the capture of the Canadians. The expedition from the Portage followed, and led to the capture of Captain Boulton and his people, and that to the subsequent death of Scott, without any man in the Government, or any man in Canada, having any knowledge of the state of things there, or anything to do with it. But there is one thing that ought to be remembered: Captain Boulton himself was sentenced to die, and who saved his life? Why, sir, Donald A. Smith, the delegate sent there by this Government.
Mr. Mackenzie—I don't believe it.
Hon. Mr. Howe—Well, I believe it. The hon. member for Lambton says that the Bill for last year was defective because there was no popular choice. Well, sir, if it was so, who is most to blame? I, who was a comparative stranger here last spring, or the hon. member for North Lanark, who had the whole conduct of that matter? Then we were told by the hon. member that the country belonged to Canada. Yes, but has Canada got it? Why sir, we have got a long wearisome journey to travel before we can say the fertile belt belongs to Canada. We have an expedition to send to that country, and by and by we may be able to say with some degree of truth that the fertile belt belongs to us. The hon. member made another observation about an apostate Canadian that, he says, lives at St. Paul's. Why, sir, the apostate Canadian, the hon. gentleman does not know. In the beautiful county of Annapolis lives Mr. Joseph Whelock. He is a man wealthy and highly respectable. I have long known, and have been a welcome 1478 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 guest in, his cultivated and charming family, and, sir, a more honourable name and a more upright man than Joseph Whelock never existed. His son, a printer, emigrated to Minnesota, and commenced to publish a newspaper where he now lives and, by dint of thrift, great ability, and energy, he has worked his way up to be to-day the editor of the leading organ of the Republican party in that State. When I went to St. Paul, this gentleman did me the honor to call upon me. I was pleased to see him, having known that he had, by his profession, made for himself an honorable position, and since the last few weeks he has been elected by his party to be postmaster of the city of St. Paul. Now, that gentleman showed me, going and coming, all the courtesy which one gentleman could show another, and when, sir, hardly knowing who to trust to get a letter to the hon. member for North Lanark, when the roads were unsafe, when the mails were opened, I sent two letters to his care. But I would not ask young Whelock to commit an act that might compromise his political sentiments and position in that country, but I know that I could trust him. As the Minister of Justice testified, the other day, he was worthy of confidence, and the letters reached their destination through the Collector of Customs, who the member of North Lanark himself acknowledged had acted fairly by him. Now, sir, I say this in explanation because I know Joe Whelock above anything dishonorable, but he resides in St. Paul, and in his high political position, he advocates, of course, the opinions of his party.
Mr. Mackenzie—And misrepresents Canada.
Hon. Mr. Howe—The hon. member for Lambton thought proper to apply to me the other night the word traitor.
Mr. Mackenzie—I did not.
Hon. Mr. Howe—I beg the hon. member for Lambton's pardon, it was the honourable member for North Lanark, who made use of the term. I am just as well pleased, for I don't much care what the hon. member says. Why, sir, I used to read in the Canadian papers of one "look to Washington McDougall," who was represented as a dangerous character—something like a "traitor." I do not mean to say it was true. In point of fact, I do not believe it was true, but I only give it, by way of illustration, to show how easily foul names can be used, and how apt they are to stick; but what is more, I took up a number of the Toronto Globe, and what was the reason Mr. George Brown 1479 gave for not sustaining the nomination of the member of North Lanark to the Governorship of the North-West? Why, sir, it was that the people there who read the Globe would not receive or accept him because they looked upon him as a "traitor" to his party. The hon. gentleman should talk more moderately, and as to personal, unkindly feelings, all I can say is this—that I have never deserved them at his hands, and never returned them, until he laid himself open to attack, by hard language so scurrilous and unjust. For the serenity of debate and for the dignity of this House, it perhaps will be becoming that we should both hereafter weigh our words well, but I can only say this to the hon. gentleman, when foul names are applied to me by anybody whether within the walls of this House or beyond them, I have too much of the spirit of a gentleman to allow anybody to take liberties with impunity. The hon. member for Lambton thinks that he is not bound to defend the hon. member here. Why, sir, during the last three years, since I sat here, the hon. member for Lambton seemed to hate with an undying hatred the hon. member for North Lanark, but there they are now like twin brothers. I fancy the hon. member for Lambton folding him in his arms with his peculiarly sanctimonious countenance, and saying "come to my bosom my own stricken deer." (Laughter.) The member for Lambton told us they knew everything that was going to be done at Red River. Well, sir, I can only say if they do, it must be by inspiration, for I have never written to a living soul in that country since I came out of it. My feelings, my opinions and my policy are embodied in the instructions given to our delegates, and in the public papers that are signed by my hand, but if there is any information of a surreptitious or improper character, I can only say it has never been given by me. Sir, the hon. member told us, that had I known of the impending insurrection, I should have remained in the North-West. Now, Sir, there the member for Lambton and I are in accord. I have no hesitation in saying that if I had had the slightest idea that there was to be an armed insurrection there, I would have stayed under any circumstances of inconvenience, difficulty or danger. Sir, the hon. gentleman has spoken of Scott, the person who was sent as a delegate here, as a wretched, drunken loafer. Perhaps so. I have no reason to know what he is, but all I can say is that it is hardly fair for gentlemen on the floor of this House to apply opprobrious language to men who are not here to defend themselves. (Hear, hear.) The hon. gentleman told us that he would not confirm any of those old grants to the clergymen. Why would any hon. member take away the lands that belong to the clergy of Canada? Certainly not. And if these clergymen have got 1480 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 grants they will not require us to confirm their titles. The law will do that, and to the law we leave them. I will not discuss the education clauses of the Bill. The Minister of Militia has ably put all the points in reference to that matter. I have, however, one or two words to say on another branch, It has been said here that we are giving to those people extravagant grants of money. Now, sir, I have here among my papers a statement showing how, year by year, the State of Minnesota, when that State was organized, received amounts granted by the General Government; and it appears that we are not dealing more liberally with this new Province than the Government of the United States dealt with Minnesota. Now, I have only another word or two to say and then I shall sit down. I have been especially anxious to see what the hon. member for North Lanark would give us instead of the Bill upon the table of the House. Sir, he wishes to continue very nearly the policy of last year.
Hon. Mr. McDougall—No, no.
Hon. Mr. Howe—The hon. member says "no, no," but is he not desirous to establish a grand sort of paternal despotism? He is at all events giving us machinery which has not hitherto been tried in any of the British Provinces, and which we have had no opportunity to test. But look at the contrast between our measure and his own. We are giving a measure so generous, liberal and just, that we can hand it to the Imperial Government with pride, and we can show it across the border to our American neighbors, and say there is our measure for the pacification and happiness and settlement of that country, as liberal and as fair as any territorial institution that you ever established; and, sir, we can say to the people of Canada we are giving these men the same institutions under which the larger and smaller Provinces of this Dominion have flourished—a measure worthy of the age in which we live, and which we can hand down as a testimony of its justice and liberality, to be read and prized by our children. (Applause.)
Mr. Bodwell denounced the personal character of the Speech of the hon. member, and felt that the House and country must feel ashamed and humiliated at it. The hon. member had countenanced rebellion in the course of his remarks. If he (Mr. Bodwell) wished to be personal he might show how the hon. member before he came out against Confederation was under contract to edit a Confederate paper for a salary of $3,500 per year. The hon. member in an after-dinner speech, and while under the influence of liquor, lost that situation by expressing publicly anti-Confederation speeches. Not content with opposing Confederation in the east, he found his way to Red River, and the result was the Winnipeg rebellion. The man who could speak in terms of praise of the rebels at Fort Garry, and compare the loyal settlers who were imprisoned there to fowls in a hen coop, was deserving the contempt of the country, and would be properly estimated by the people of Ontario. If the speech the House had just heard from the hon. gentleman was a defence, he believed that the House and country would agree with him that it was a very lame one.
Hon. Mr. McDougall rose to say that he had no great occasion to complain of the remarks of the hon. member with respect to him personally. Any hon. member, however, who could stand up to palliate and defend the acts of those who were in armed rebellion to the Dominion could hardly be called a loyal man. What was wrong with the Cabinet? Did they wish to encourage rebellion? Here, to—night, the members of the Government had attempted a defence of the rebellion. He denied that they expounded the views of the country at large. If there could be any excuse for that rebellion, he could not blame hon. gentlemen for speaking as they had done; but he denied that anything had ever been done in the North-West to provoke that rebellion. There was nothing to justify it, and nothing in its whole course to palliate its enormity, or deserve the defence of the hon. member for Hants. It was unfair to blame him (Hon. Mr. McDougall) for the fatal results of his journey into Red River, and the blunders which brought about the rebellion. The blame, if it lay with any one, lay with the Government, which had sent him Up and failed to keep faith with him. Whatever differences might 1482 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 have arisen between him and his hon. friend from Hants, he gave that hon. member the credit of having left a bright name on the pages of the history of Nova Scotia; but in the North- West he (Mr. McDougall) had been informed that the hon. member had fomented rebellion. When he heard it repeated on every side and found the country in rebellion, he felt that the hon. member had not treated him fairly—that he had not acted honestly towards the Government of which he was a member and the Dominion at large; and he certainly expected to hear the hon. member explain away those things, instead of dealing with other and more trifling matters. Then, with respect to the charge against the hon. member for assenting to the hauling down of the British flag at Fort Garry, the remarks of the hon. member himself in a former debate on this subject were very different from his denial during his speech that night, and only confirmed the report that had been circulated against him. The hon. member produced a letter from Mrs. Kennedy as a certificate of character, but did not read it. No doubt it was very flattering to the member for Hants, for that hon. gentleman was quite a lady's man; but even taking it as a valuable document, who was this Mrs. Kennedy? Why it was a notorious fact that she was an active sympathizer with the rebels, and made clothing for them. The hon. member for Colchester had been kind enough to produce a letter from the Postmaster at Pembina, containing some sneering remarks towards him (Hon. Mr. McDougall) and party, and complimenting Capt. Cameron. Well, he hoped the hon. members opposite could obtain better recommendations of character. He referred to the issue of the proclamation, and could not see anything in the document at which any sensible man should laugh. With respect to the blame cast on Col. Dennis and his followers, he considered it unjust to condemn men who endeavoured at the risk of their lives, to sustain law and order and make the British flag respected in the Territory. With respect to the assertion that he (Hon. Mr. McDougall) had either written or inspired neWSpaper attacks on the hon. member for Hants, he denied that he had writ— ten anything for the press since his return to Canada, except the couple of letters which had appeared over his name, and he had not inspired any newspaper article on any subject. He 1483 would read a letter he had written to the Minister of Justice, stating his position.
Ottawa, January 20th, 1870.
My dear Sir John,—As I intend to leave for Toronto to—morrow, and shall visit, and probably speak to my constituents before my return, I desire to recapitulate, for greater certainty in future discussions, some of the views and opinions in regard to the present crisis in the N orth-West, which I have expressed to you and other members of the Cabinet since my arrival in Ottawa. I also desire to mention some of the points in your policy, in respect to which I shall feel it my duty to raise an issue in Parliament and in the country. In the first place, I have tried to impress upon you, what I firmly believe is the fact, that the resistance of the priests and the French half—breeds to your representative was not in any sense a personal matter, as has been represented in Canada, but was the result of a deep-laid, well planned, and so far, well executed conspiracy to prevent the union of Rupert's Land with Canada; that the movement is directed, aided, and will, in the spring, be openly joined by American politicians, filibusters and sympathizers, both within and without the Territory, with a view to its annexation to the United States—that the rebels now in arms aver and believed that they have sympathizing friends in Canada in high places, even in the Cabinet, who will delay, if they do not entirely prevent, all coersive measures until they can establish their Provisional Government on a firm basis, and support it with a force that will render any attempt by Canada to displace it impossible: that all attempts to pursuade or talk over the leaders of the conspiracy by the missionaries you have sent them, and by the offers of such terms of concessions as you can constitutionally make, will certainly fail; and that if they seem to listen or yield, which, so far, they are not inclined to do, for they have imprisoned your missionaries, you will soon discover that their only object is to gain time—that in a word the movement of Riel & Co., is a political revolution, and not the mere outbreak of ignorant half—breeds exasperated by stories mostly untrue; of individual wrong-doing, which they fear may be repeated, and have taken up arms to prevent that—while they are tools of cunning men, and these stories have helped to sharpen them for their work. The leaders and secret abettors of the conspiracy know what they are about, and will yield to one argument, and one only—"force." Viewing the case in this light, and with the best opportunity which any Canadian official has had to see and judge, I have urged immediate preparation for the transportation of a sufficient force in the 1484 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 spring to crush the outbreak at a blow. Volunteers of the right stamp and in sufficient numbers can be had at a week's notice. The Indians are all on our side, and if properly handled, will prove most valuable allies. More than half the settlers in the Territory will join your force, the moment it appears beyond the Lake of the Woods; and the result in such a case could not be doubtful. I have suggested the sending of the men now under Mr. Dawson, at Thunder Bay, to clear the portages for the passage of carts and supplies; the building of boats for the rivers, and the purchase in Scotland of two small iron steamers for the lakes, to be sent out in pieces of not more than 500 or 600 pounds. I have also suggested the purchase of telegraph cable for Lakes Huron and Superior, to be laid down at the earliest moment practicable so as to establish a prompt communication with the expedition by the Government. I have told you, and I repeat the statement here, that my Commission, or Charter, prescriptive though it be, is at your service, and that my opinion is that it should be held by a military man until law and order are restored in the Territory. On the second head I have denounced your refusal to accept the transfer of the Territory on the lst of December, as agreed upon by the three Governments, as an act of unpardonable folly, not to say a crime which placed me in the position of an impostor, and but for the providential interference in the eye of the law, a filibuster and a felon; that by your continued refusal to accept the transfer, you are abetting the rebels, giving them the very encouragement and position they seek, to wit: that of a Government ex necessitate and exposing your agents to be bold, as they have been bold, without the power of reply,—that they have no business there as the representatives of Canada, until Canada acquires a right to the country; that your pretence of an agreement, expressed or implied, that the temporal Government was to hand over the Territory to Canada with all its inhabitants, half-breeds and Indians, in a friendly mood and without arms in their hands was unwarranted in law and unjust to both the Hudson's Bay Company and the Imperial Government; and finally, that your hesitating half-hearted policy for the future, predicated upon the representations of the rebels and their abettors with whom Mr. Howe established friendly relations when in the Territory and from whom you have derived your chief council in this whole matter, is the sure and speedy mode of establishing an independent Government in the North-West hostile to Canada and friendly to the United States, and before the summer is over, able to maintain its position by force. Only yesterday Mr. Howe, the Secretary of State, in whose hands this matter is placed, met my arguments 1485 for a prompt, decided and sufficient preparation and the immediate acceptance of the Territory by asking:—"How can we prevent the Americans from taking it? Where shall we find money to pay the cost? What will it be worth when we get it, etc.?" When I used the word 'rebels' in speaking of Riel, McKenny & Co., he objected, and declared upon his soul that, if he was in their place, he would feel and act just as they have done. I shall answer all these questions in another place, as I answered them on the spot, but with a little amplification. I believe that all our struggles and sacrifices, and hopes of the last five years are on the eye of failure and disappointment through the blunders and incompetency, not to say the bad faith, of a majority of your Cabinet. Believing this, I have a plain duty to perform, and I shall endeavour, God giving me health and courage, to do it effectually.
Believe me, still, personally, your friend and well wisher,
Sir John A. Macdonald, K.C.B.
With regard to the Bill at present before the House, the matter discussed and proposed in it was a great one, for they heard that a deputation was on its way from British Columbia with a view to seek an entrance into the Confederation. He should always aid any attempt to aid any scheme of Confederation, but did not think that the Government Bill would aid in accomplishing the object, and he therefore could not give his support to it.
Hon. Mr. Cameron hoped this would close the personal discussion. He was bound to confess, however, that he had never heard a more injudicious speech than that of Hon. Mr. Howe this evening. He could not be surprised if the hon. gentleman had spoken in that manner that his words had been misunderstood, and the advice he had tendered had been accepted in a stronger sense than perhaps he intended. He objected to the amendment of the hon. member for Lambton as being vague and offering nothing to the consideration of the House, whereas in the Government scheme they had something to discuss. He thought it essential that definite steps should be taken, and while disapproving some of the clauses of the Government Bill, he could not but support it as affording a settlement of the question in dispute.
1486 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Mr. Jones (Leeds and Grenville) said from calculations he had made, there would be only 280,000 acres left for settlement after providing the reserves. He dreaded the responsibility of sending an army.
A division was then taken on Mr. Mackenzie's amendment with the following result:— Yeas, 35; Nays, 95.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bolton, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Connell, Drew, Hagar, Holton, Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Redford, Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Rymal, Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—-35.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Archibald, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau, Burton, Cameron (Peel), Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.-E.), Cartwright, Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Currier, Dobbie, Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, Ferguson, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Gibbs, Godin, Grant, Gray, Grover, Heath, Hincks (Sir F.), Holmes, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Irvine, Jackson, Joly, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Lunenburg). McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois-RiviÉres), McKeagney, McMillan, Merritt, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Perry, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, Tremblay, Walsh, Willson, and Wright (Ottawa County).—95.
Mr. White paired for, with Mr. Ross (Champlain) against the amendment.
Mr. Young explained that he could not vote for the whole of the resolutions of Hon. Mr. McDougall, although some of them he approved of. If there was any chance of their being carried, and therefore of their being considered and amended in Committee, he would vote for them; but as there was not he should not vote for them and thereby accept them in their entirety. He was still opposed to the Government scheme.
Division was then taken. Yeas, 11; Nays, 120.
Yeas—Messrs. Bolton, Connell, Macdonald (Glengarry), Mackenzie, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Metcalfe, Rymal, Wallace, Wells, and White.—11.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Archibald, Ault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bodwell, Bourassa, Bowell, Bowman, Bown, Brousseau, Brown, Burton, Cameron (Peel), Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.-E.), Cartwright, Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Currier, Dobbie, Dorion, Drew, Dufresne, Dunkin, Ferguson, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Gibbs, Godin, Grant, Gray, Grover, Hagar, Heath, Hincks (Sir F.), Holmes, Holton, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Irvine, Jackson, Joly, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Lunenburg), McDonald (Middlesex West), MacFarlane, Magill, Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McConkey, McDougall (Trois-RiviÉres), McKeagney, McMillan, Merritt, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Morris, Morrison (Niagara), Munroe, O'Connor, Oliver, Pelletier, Perry, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Redford, Renaud, Robitaille, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), R0ss (Victoria, N.S.), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scatcherd, Scriver, Shanly, Snider, Stephenson, Stirton, Thompson (Haldimand), Tilley, Tremblay, Walsh, Whitehead, Willson, Wright (Ottawa County), Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young.—120.
Mr. Ferguson moved in amendment—That the boundaries begin at a point where the meridian 96 degrees west intersects parallel 52 degrees north latitude, thence due west along said parallel of 52 degrees north to the intersection of meridian of 100 degrees west, thence due south to the 49th parallel, thence across the Lake of the Woods to the Mouth of the Winnipeg River, then due north to Lake Winnipeg to the place of beginning.
Mr. Cartwright moved in amendment a provision that it shall be lawful to the Parliament of Canada to enlarge and make such changes in the boundary as may appear expedient from time to time.
After some discussion,
Mr. Cartwright's amendment was put to the vote and lost by yeas, 52; nays, 72.
1488 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Cartwright, Connell, Currier, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Forbes, Gibbs, Grant, Grover, Hagar, Holmes, Jackson, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Kirkpatrick, Lawson, Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Merritt, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Pope, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Rymal, Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Willson, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—52.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Cartier (Sir G.-E.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Godin, Gray, Heath, Hincks (Sir F.), Holton, Huot, Howe, Hurdon, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, McDonald (Lunenbul'g), McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois-Rivieres), McKeagney, McMillan, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, Tremblay, and Wright (Ottawa County).—72.
Mr. Mackenzie moved a further amendment to the amendment, to fix the boundary two degrees further westward than in the amendment by Mr. Ferguson, viz; 102 degrees west.
After some discussion a division was taken, yeas, 47; nays, 74.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Cartwright, Connell, Currier, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Forbes, Gibbs, Grant, Grover, Hagar, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Merritt, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Rymal, Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Willson, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—47.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau,, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.—E.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Dorion, 1489 Dufresne, Dunkin, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Godin, Gray, Hincks (Sir F.), Holton, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Jackson, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Lunenburg), McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois- Rivières), McKeagney, McMillan, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, Tremblay, and Walsh.—74.
A division was taken on Mr. Ferguson's amendment, yeas, 49; nays, 73.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, BOWell, Bowman, Brown, Cartwright, Connell, Currier, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Forbes, Gibbs, Grant, Grover, Hagar, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Lawson, Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Merritt, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Rymal, Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Walsh, Wells, White, Whitehead, Willson, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—49.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Archibald, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.-E.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, For- tier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Godin, Gray, Hincks (Sir F.), Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Jackson, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, McDonald (Lunenburg), McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois-Riviéres), McKeagney, McMillan, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, and Tremblay—73.
Mr. Mills moved an amendment with a view to extend the provisions of independence of Parliament Act to members elected by Manitoba.
After some discussion a division was taken, yeas, 45; nays, 72.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell Bowman, Brown, Connell, Dobbie, Dorion, Drew, Ferguson, Geoffrion, Godin, Grover, 1490 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870 Hagar, Holton, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Kierzkowski, Killam, Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Pelletier, Perry, Pozer, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Wellington, C.R.), Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—45.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.-É.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Currier, Dufresne, Dunkin, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Gendron, Gibbs, Grant, Gray, Hincks (Sir F.), Holmes, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Joly, Keeler, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois-Rivières), McKeagney, McMillan, Merritt, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, Tremblay, Walsh, and Willson.—72.
Mr. Ferguson moved an amendment striking out clause 27, providing half-breed reservation of 1,400,000 acres; lost by yeas, 40; nays, 77.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Connell, Currier, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Grant, Hagar, Holmes, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Macdonald (Glengarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Metcalfe, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Willson, Wright, (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—40.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Bown, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir. G.-É.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Gibbs, Godin, Gray, Hincks. (Sir F.), Holton, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Jackson, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Kirkpatrick, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Ter 1491 rebonne), McDougall (Trois-Riviéres), McKeagney, McMillan, Merritt, Mills, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, and Walsh.—77.
Mr. Mackenzie moved an amendment to the clause defining qualifications of voters,
Lost—Yeas, 38; Nays, 74.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Conne11, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Grover, Hagar, Jones (Leeds and Grenville), Macdonald (G1engarry), MacFarlane, Mackenzie, Magill, McConkey, McDouga11 (Lanark), McMonies, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Scatcherd, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Willson, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young—38.
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.—E.), Casault, Cayley, Chamberlin, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Crawford (Brockville), Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin,
Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Gibbs, Godin, Gray, Hincks (Sir F.), Holmes, Holton, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Jackson, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Killam, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, Lawson, McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois-Riviéres ), McKeagney, McMillan, Merritt, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pope, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's N.B.), Scriver, Shanly, Stephenson, Tilley, and Walsh.—74.
Mr. Drew moved an amendment that the first Parliament should continue for two years,
Lost—Yeas, 41; Nays, 66.
Yeas—Messrs. Ault, Bodwell, Bowell, Bowman, Brown, Connell, Crawford (Brockville), Currier, Dobbie, Drew, Ferguson, Grover, Hagar, Lawson, Macdonald (Glengarry), Mackenzie. McConkey, McDougall (Lanark), McMonies, Merritt, Metcalfe, Mills, Morison (Victoria North), Munroe, Oliver, Perry, Pope, Redford, Ross (Dundas), Ross (Prince Edward), Rymal, Scatcherd, Scriver, Snider, Stirton, Wallace, Wells, White, Whitehead, Wright (York, Ontario, W.R.), and Young.—41.
1492 COMMONS DEBATES May 9, 1870
Nays—Messrs. Archambault, Beaty, Beaubien, Béchard, Bellerose, Benoit, Blanchet, Bourassa, Brousseau, Campbell, Carling, Caron, Cartier (Sir G.-E.), Casault, Cayley, Chauveau, Cheval, Cimon, Costigan, Coupal, Dorion, Dufresne, Dunkin, Forbes, Fortier, Fortin, Gaucher, Gaudet, Geoffrion, Gendron, Gibbs, Godin, Gray, Hincks (Sir F.), Holton, Howe, Huot, Hurdon, Joly, Keeler, Kierzkowski, Lacerte, Langevin, Langlois, McDonald (Middlesex West), Masson (Soulanges), Masson (Terrebonne), McDougall (Trois- Rivières), McKeagney, McMillan, Morris, Morrison (Niagara), O'Connor, Pelletier, Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Pozer, Read, Renaud, Robitaille, Ryan (King's, N.B.), Savary, Tilley, Walsh, Willson, and Wright (Ottawa County).—66.
At 3 a.m. Mr. Mackenzie moved the adjournment amid cries of "No, no", from the Ministerial side.
After a few remarks from Hon. Mr. Holton and Sir George-É. Cartier, the House adjourned at 3:05 a.m.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1870. Edited by P.B. Waite. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1979. Original scans accessible at: http://parl.canadiana.ca/.



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