If my hon. friend wishes to interrupt me every little while with a question, I would like him to make his own argument. I am not talking about that at all.
In 1688, when the settlement was made between the state, the church and the people, this was part and parcel of the agreement ; and every member of the state from that time to the present, acknowledges allegiance to the Queen or King, with the understanding that he is obeying that part of the compact, and therefore, it cannot be insulting to his faith. The late Queen took that declaration sixty-four years ago. Has any Catholic suffered in consequence during the last sixty-four years ? Has the late Queen been any the less tolerant of the religious convictions, the religious rights, or
even the prejudices of Catholics ? I do not think any one will successfully contend that she has been. Yet she took it, and they have lived under it all that time. The present King has taken it, and are they likely to enjoy any less freedom or any fewer advantages under him than they have done under the late Queen ? I do not think any one will contend that they are. That being the case, what ground is there for complaint ? In my judgment there is none.
I see great objections to the periodical introduction into this House of these disturbing questions, which have a tendency to divide the people and destroy that spirit of charity and tolerance which is the spirit of the nineteenth century, and rake up ancient history and the quarrels of the past, which many of us would gladly leave to be hidden in oblivion. It is because of these opinions and feelings that I am disposed to vote against this resolution. I never view with complacency the disposition to introduce these controversial questions. They are very troublesome questions, and those who introduce them must be held responsible. There are some who live and thrive on that class of work. I do not grudge them any little popularity they may obtain from It, but I think they are doing a great injustice, not only to the people of the country, but to the very class of people whose interests they profess to serve.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to relieve at once the mind of my hon. friend who has just spoken as to the feelings of Roman Catholics on this very important question. Speaking as one of the descendants of those Frenchmen who were ceded by a French and Catholic King to an English and Protestant sovereign. I have no hesitation in saying, as my leader very eloquently said this afternoon, that, Catholic and Frenchman as I am, I am prouder to have lived under a wise and constitutional sovereign like Queen Victoria, than under an arbitrary ruler like Louis XV.
I rise to give my humble but earnest support to the resolution presented by the hon. member for Victoria, N.B. (Hon. Mr. Costigan).
The question now submitted to you, Sir, is not raised with the object of creating any religious agitation. If it were, I would not speak in favour of the resolution. The Roman Catholics of Canada, united with their co-religionists of the British Empire, are anxious that a grievance should be removed, that an evil should be remedied and that a wrong should be righted. Without going any further, I wish to answer at once a preliminary objection which has been raised. It is stated that this is not the proper place to discuss the declaration of the King against transubstantiation-it being a subject-matter, coming within the purview of the Imperial parliament. This
opinion is presumably based upon the following reply sent to tbe Marquis of Lome by tbe Earl of Kimberley, at the time tbe resolutions, adopted by this House in favour of home rule, were sent to tbe Imperial government :
Her Majesty will always gladly receive the advice of the parliament of Canada on all matters relating to the Dominion and the administration of its affairs; but with respect to the question referred to in the address, Her Majesty will, in accordance with the constitution of this country, have regard to the advice of the Imperial parliament and ministers, to which all matters relating to the affairs of the United Kingdom exclusively appertain.
This same view is shared by a portion of the Canadian press. It is contended that the parliament which prescribed the declaration against transubstantiation, is the only parliament that can abolish or amend it.
Sir, I quite agree that this parliament cannot substitute itself for the Imperial parliament, but surely we have the right to express an opinion upon a question deeply affecting twelve millions of His Majesty's loyal subjects, and at the least 42 per cent of the total population of Canada. Granted, that we can not legislate for the British parliament, but who can deny to our parliament, but any of our legislatures
that expressive power or expressive function, without which, parliament would be nothing but a mere name ? True, we cannot interfere with the functions of the Imperial parliament, but, Sir, we would be unworthy of our British citizenship if we could not, in this House, ventilate a grievance, and even humbly petition the King himself.
After all, the declaration against transubstantiation, which is made the subject of this debate, is a relic of past ages. At the time it was framed, the English people thought it was absolutely necessary that such a declaration should be made by the King. It was, perhaps, considered more as a political move than as a sectarian one. But, Sir, the fear of the Stuarts exists no more, and the Protestant House of Hanover is now deeply rooted in the British Isles, nay in the whole British Empire. The Pope of Rome is, and has been, for years and years a firm advocate of peace ; the disabilities against Britisli subjects belonging to the Catholic faith have also disappeared in the course of time, and today they form an important and numerous body of His Majesty's most loyal subjects. Why then, should the British sovereign be forced to make a declaration giving needless, -wanton and studied offence to his Catholic subjects ? Why then should their dearest belief be officially declared idolatrous and superstitious ?
As Catholics, we hold as tenets of our faith: (1) the real presence of Our Saviour in the Blessed Eucharist; (2) the invocation
of the Blessed Virgin ; (3) the invocation of the saints ; (4) the sacrifice of mass.
Yet, Sir, these fundamental and essential articles of the Catholic creed are pilloried by Act of parliament. What are we asking ? We are asking that Catholic doctrines held sacred by twelve million British subjects should not be made the object of royal condemnation.
This vast British Empire is composed not only of Protestants, but of Catholics, Brahmins, Mahommedaus, Budhists, Pagans as well. Strange to say, Catholics alone-twelve million of Catholics-are obliged to listen to a severe condemnation, to a rebuke, from the lips of their sovereign. This declaration, Sir, is, as I have already said, a relic of past ages. Let it disappear. Other relics have been done away with in conservative England. Not a century ago, according to public documents, the King was not only King of England, but also King of Prance. This title disappeared in the course of time, proud as the English were of this relic of past ages.
We also, in Lower Canada, were, after the cession, subject to the disabilities affecting the Catholics of England. An oath -a test oath-was required from our ancestors which practically debarred them from holding any public office. They protested, and Sir, Great Britain wiped out that vestige of past ages, and granted them civil and religious liberty.
We hope-we earnestly hope-that this resolution will be received in England, as the expression of the sincere and loyal wishes of the united Canadian people, and that the Imperial parliament will soon remove from the statute-book a declaration most offensive to Roman Catholics. This is not a national question ; this is not a religious question. It is a matter of public policy, a request for equal rights, for the exercise of that fair-play and broad toleration which characterize British institutions. In conclusion, I will say that I, as a Catho-lie, would not object to a Protestant declaration from the British sovereign, but I object to a purely anti-Catholic out-of-date declaration.
The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).
If I may be permitted to speak again in this debate, I desire to say, in view of the appeals that have been made to me from some quarters of the House to ascertain whether it would not be possible to amend the resolution, the principle of which seems to be generally acceptable, but the language of which seems to be the subject of some exception, after conference with my hon. friend the mover of this resolution, and with some other members on both sides of the House I have to propose, that my hon. friend would accept and agree to a change in the motion. The change I would suggest is in the last
paragraph of the motion, which is in these words :
That in the opinion of this House, the above mentioned Act of Settlement should be amended by abolishing the said declaration.
And substitute the following words :
That in the opinion of this House the declaration referred to in the above mentioned Act of Settlement should be amended by eliminating therefrom all those expressions which are especially offensive to the religious belief of any subjects of the British Empire.
Of course, it is a well known rule of the House that such an amendment could not be accepted except by consent of the House; but I imagine that, in a matter of this kind, no one would object and that these words could be substituted in the motion of my hon. friend.
If it is a personal explanation the hon. gentleman has, no doubt, the right to give it. I suppose also that, with the unanimous consent of the House that the hon. member could have an opportunity of giving the explanation he wishes to give.
This is a most unusual and extraordinary state of affairs. They first violate the rules by amending the resolution originally proposed, and, in the second place I suppose, as it is a new resolution, every one will be allowed to speak again.
It is proposed to withdraw the resolution now before the House, and substitute a similar motion except with the alteration proposed. Is is the pleasure of the House that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Costigan) shall have leave to withdraw his motion.
That all the words after ' That ' be left out, and the following added instead thereof :
That a humble address be presented to His Most Gracious Majesty the King, as follows : - Most Gracious Majesty:
. Your Majesty's most faithful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Canada in parliament assembled, beg leave most humbly to represent : That as a token of the civil and religious liberties and of the equality of rights guaran-Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
teed to all British subjects In the Canadian confederation, as well as under the British constitution, the British sovereign should not be called to make any declaration offensive to the religious belief of any subject of the British Crown.
That by virtue of the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, the British sovereign, on the first day of the meeting of the first parliament, or at the coronation, is called upon to make the following declaration :-
' I. A. B., by the grace of God, King (or Queen) of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever ; and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do make this declaration, and each and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted me Tor this purpose by the Pope or any other authority or person whatsoever, or without any hope of such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I am nr can he acquitted before God or men, or absolved of this declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.'
That such declaration is offensive to the convictions of all Roman Catholics.
That the staunch loyalty of Your Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Canada and throughout British possessions should exempt them from any offensive reference to their religion by their sovereign.
That in the opinion of this House, the declaration referred to in the above mentioned Act should be amended by eliminating therefrom all these expressions which are especially offensive to the religious belief of any subjects of the British Crown.
I am not familiar with the rules of the House, but I understand that every hon. member is at liberty to discuss this question before the motion is carried. With all sincerity I crave the indulgence of the House in rising to speak on this very important question, more particularly perhaps, as it is not the feeling of tile House that I should speak. On an ordinary question, one affecting only the financial interests of the country I would not feel that I needed the consideration of hon. members to the same extent. But, rising to speak at this late hour, and at a time when it may seem to many hon. members that debate is less necessary than it was at an earlier stage,
I am obliged to ask the hon. members for every reasonable latitude. I feel, like the last hon. gentleman who addressed the
House (Mr. Lemieux) that it is such au important question that it almost justifies a written address, which is contrary I understand to the rules of the House, rather than those unstudied remarks which may fall from the lips of one who attempts to speak without that assistance. I assure lion, members on both sides, that I approach this subject with diffidence, and also with an honest desire not to say one word which can he offensive to any hon. member of the House or that can be construed as often- j sive to any of the people that go to make up the Dominion. I realize that it is important too, in this country that the law should be such, as not to unduly or unfairly cause offense to any class of His Majesty's subjects. I realize also that it may well be said that the language in which the declaration which has been so frequently referred to is couched, may be reasonably offensive to some of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects. I recollect, too, that the loyalty and devotion of British subjects of the Roman Catholic faith have been tested on many occasions. Therefore, I should be sorry indeed if there should be perpetuated in any of the statutes of the British Empire anything that is likely to cause offence to His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects. But, I ask leave to say also that I have not varied very much in my opinion of this matter during the progress of the debate. One subject has become reasonably clear in my mind in a way, that I did not quite anticipate at the beginning of the debate. I had a great deal of doubt as to whether it is competent for this parliament to deal with this question. But, the remarks which fell from the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) were so plain and so convincing in that regard that I am perfectly convinced that it is competent for this House to pronounce upon this question, if properly presented to it.
I venture to say that there is a wide difference between the competency of this House to present a petition to His Majesty and the propriety, or the wisdom, of the policy of pursuing the course we are asked to take here to-night. I still hold the view I entertained at the beginning of the debate, that this question is fraught with the greatest danger to the peace and harmony of this great Dominion, and the constant introduction of questions of this kind is calculated to arouse religious strife among the people. I desire to protest as vigorously as I can against the introduction of these questions on the floor of the Dominion parliament. Whilst we have the right and the privilege to present petitions to the sovereign of the empire, the introduction of this subject at present is unnecessary, and worse, because it is calculated to injure this country. We have already had sufficient racial and religious difficulties in this country without going across the Atlantic and importing
others. The great curse of this country is that from time to time some gentleman whose motive I do not wish to asperse, seeks to drag questions of race and religion into parliament. While these questions will do injury to the country, they will not ruin it, because nothing can withstand the progress of this great Dominion. I am astonished that so old a parliamentarian as the hon. member for Victoria should be so wanting in astuteness as to have committed this great error of introducing a measure which can have no other effect than to arouse strife. Notwithstanding that the resolution has been modified, I am prepared to vote against it. I do so for many reasons, and one is that I believe the parliament of Great Britain is prepared to treat this matter on the broad and enlightened principles of the century on which we have just entered. One of those principles is that the Roman Catholics of the empire should receive every consideration at the hands of the British parliament. I am content to leave this matter where it belongs. Almost every gentlemen who has spoken in the House to-night has spoken in favour of the resolution, and claimed liberties which they would never have enjoyed in any other land. I am confident that while the present dynasty reigns over the British Empire the liberty of no one will be in danger, and no Act will remain on the statute-book which is necessarily offensive to the Roman Catholic people of the empire.
Several hon. gentlemen have maintained that the present is an opportune time for bringing forward this question. I do not share in that opinion. It is not an opportune time when the Crown is passing from one head to another to raise such a question as this. If I had any doubts as to the expediency of passing this resolution in its first form, those doubts have been much increased by some of the speeches that I have heard this evening. We find hon. members differing very widely, both as to the existing laws and as to the effect of the resolution if it is passed. For instance, we have the hon. member for West York referring to the Thirty-nine Articles and the Westminster Confession. That fact alone suggests to my mind that there are too many questions surrounding the proposition before this House to justify us in dealing with it, there are a great many questions connected with it that the parliament of Great Britain is more competent to deal with than we are. We should understand exactly the position we are in before making any move in this matter. Then we have the opinion that has been so ably put forth by the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart). I followed him as closely as I could, and I am inclined to think there is a good deal in what he said, showing again that we are in doubt as to the exact position of the question we are dealing with. Then, we have the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. COMMONS
Bourassa), who put his construction upon this resolution. He argues that under the sovereignty of Britain men of all religions and all creeds have equal rights. Surely we all assent to that proposition. He goes further and says that all creeds ought to be on the same footing. If that is what is aimed at by the resolution, that is not the understanding of many hon. members who have spoken here to-night. There is no distinction at present between the civil status of Romaic Catholics and Protestants in the British Empire.
Speaking for myself, I am not prepared to subscribe to that proposition. An hon. gentleman says that we have a right to deal with this question. He puts that right very emphatically, but although he puts that right so emphatically, declaring that we have a right to take part in this matter as regards the British parliament, the hon. gentleman does not look at both sides of the shield. When it comes to the Canadian people supporting Great Britain in the field, the hon. gentleman takes an opposite view. He proclaims, in a resolution which is to come before the House, an opposite doctrine to that which he has just propounded to the members of this parliament. For these reasons, in addition co others which I have given, and desiring as honestly as any hon. gentleman on the other side of the House that there shall be no differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants before the Crown, that there shall be no differences of creed or nationality in this country, or the old land, I wish it to be distinctly understood that this is not the place nor the time to introduce a question of this kind. I submit this with all deference. I feel that I have been speaking at a great disadvantage. I feel that, coming before the House at this time and under these circumstances, I am handicapped, but I want to see the great people of this country, of one origin or the other, whether they are Roman Catholic or Protestant, grow up in peace and harmony together. I do feel, that at the beginning of this new year, the first of the century, it is time to realize the importance of keeping such questions out of the debates of this parliament. I rejoice that our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens have joined with us to fight the battles of the empire. I remember that when Great Britain was in her hour of need Roman Catholics and Procestants went out together as Britons to fight her battles, that whilst, perhaps, they knelt before different altars, they worshipped the same God and waved the same old British flag, and that while worshipping the same God and owing allegiance to -the same sovereign, they marched on together to victory, which has always perched upon the banners of Great Britain. My Roman Catholic fellow-citizens. gentlemen of French origin as well as of English origin, unite in wishing prosperity to the great British Empire and the Mr. LENNOX.
great Dominion of Canada. I am, perhaps, in my earnest desire to see carried out my idea that all shall live in peace and harmony together as His Majesty's subjects, speaking more excitedly than is consistent with a calm declaration of the ideas I have, but coming belore this new parliament, at the beginning of a new year and at the beginning of a century which I believe will be the greatest in the annals of Great Britain and the Dominion, I feel it is time for us to unite in this one grand sentiment :
This is our country, strong and broad and grand, God guard thee Canada, our native land.
Mr. Speaker, I presume that it will be pleasant to lion, members to know that I do not propose making a speech at this late hour of the night. The only reason that 1 rise here now is because I desire to correct a misapprehension of a number of hon. gentlemen in the House. It seems to be taken for granted that the only church to which this declaration is offensive is the Roman Catholic Church. That is quite a mistake. I wish to draw the attention of the Plouse to the fact that there is a large portion of the Protestant Church to whom the first clause of this declaration is quite as offensive as it Is to the Roman Catholics. I refer to the Lutheran Church or the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This body of Christians is composed of followers of Luther, and their creed is to be found in the Augsberg Confession of Faith. Luther contended for the doctrine of transubstantia-tion, and upon that question the Calvinists split and seceded from the church. This is an important body throughout Canada, and more especially in the county of Lunenburg, where I happen to reside for many years. I make this correction in the interest of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Kaulbach) who represents that fine county. I do not purpose engaging the attention of the House beyond this point. I am going to support the resolution, but I do not wish to do so without expressing myself openly, and I express myself openly for the purpose of showing the House and the country that the constituency which I have the honour to represent is far above and beyond all bigotry and uncharitableness.
tlie member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmer-son) suggested that I did not go heart and hand with my leader, I almost laughed in his face. I never was prouder of a leader in my life than I was of the hon. leader of the opposition to-day, in the high position he took. Without a caucus, without conference with his party, without any reference to the gentlemen who sat behind him, and newly come to his responsible position, he said to his followers : I leave you all free, but as for myself, I stand out on this broad plane, that I want to see equal justice done to every race and creed in Canada and the empire ; X take my stand for justice, equal civil and religious rights, and I do not wish to see included in this coronation ceremony, or in any of the great functions of state, an epithet that is considered offensive to my Itoman Catholic fellow-subjects, or to any of my fellow-subjects of the ICing. I repeat that I was never prouder of the position taken by any leader of a party than I was of the manly, sturdy, and truly Canadian position taken by the leader of the opposition to-day.
1 would not have risen, except to add my poor voice, by way of appeal, to all those gentlemen with whom I generally act, that they should do a generous thing, forget the manner in which the resolution was introduced, and the opportunity taken for its introduction, on going into Supply, when no suggestion could be made to amend it, as could be done if the ordinary course were adopted. That course might have been pursued here, which the hon. seconder of the resolution (Mr. Kendall) pointed out, was adopted in the province of Nova Scotia many years ago, when a unanimous vote was obtained, because there was no attempt to force on any one a particular phrase or a particular sentence, and a committee being appointed to draw up an address, there was a strong resolution framed that was acceptable to every man in that chamber. I believe the same thing could have been done on this occasion, and the responsibility of any difference of opinion rests upon the shoulders of the member for Victoria (Mr. Costigan). He has been ill-advised, in my humble judgment ; but notwithstanding all that, I would make as ardent and earnest an appeal for unanimity on this question as I can possibly make to hon. gentlemen on one side of the House or the other. We can strengthen the hands of our fellow-subjects in the United Kingdom to-day in a cause that is good, a cause that has nothing in it which in the slightest degree imperils an interest in the empire, and we can promote that cordial feeling which seems to be growing, and happily growing, in our own country, and particularly in this Chamber.
EOWLER (King's, N.B.) Mr. Speaker, although the hour is late, I propose to inflict a few remarks on the House, for the reason that I do not wish to give a silent vote on this question. I may say at the outset that I am in favour of the resolution before the House, because I believe that the declaration which the sovereign of this empire makes should be made without giving offence to any class or race, or creed, throughout his vast dominions ; and I do not agree with the statement which has been made by some hon. members that this is not the place nor this the time to bring up a matter of this kind. I think this is the very place. It would be a hard reflection upon this honourable House, which is supposed to represent the" intelligence of this Dominion, if we 213 men could not discuss a question of tins character without arousing race or creed prejudices ; and I am glad to be able to bear the same testimony as the hon. member for Pictou (Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper), who congratulated the House on the manner in which this debate has been conducted up to the present time. I must take this opportunity to congratulate the government upon the course which they have taken with regard to this resolution. X wish to congratulate them upon the fact that they have had the good sense to appreciate the suggestion which was made to them by the hon. leader of the opposition. I am glad to be able to congratulate them upon the fact that they saw the peculiar position in which they were placing the House by adhering to the resolution of the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Costigan), ns it was first introduced, because the resolution which they had evidently determined to support in its entirety was a resolution which wont vastly further than the statements which the hon. members made as to the object they had in view. I therefore, congratulate them, that, as in the case of the binder twine discussion the other night, they have adopted the suggestion thrown out on this side of the House.
There is one thing I regret exceedingly, that is, that two of the hon. members from the maritime provinces who have spoken, have shown lamentable ignorance-the one on a question of religion and the other on a question of history. The hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson), who made a very eloquent speech, made a statement with reference to the expulsion of the Acadlans a great many years ago. The hon. gentleman said that the reason the Aeadians were expelled from Nova Scotia was that they refused to take the declaration which is embodied in this resolution.
I am very sorry that the hon. gentleman should have displayed such vast ignorance of that subject, because he comes from the maritime provinces. As a matter of fact, the Aeadians were expelled from Nova
Scotia because they refused to take the simple oath of allegiance to King George, and not the test oath at all.
The hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Y\ ade) brought up the grievance of the Lutheran Church, a church which lias a great many adherents, he says, in the province of Nova Scotia ; and he said this declaration affected them and their prejudices. The hon. gentleman has not that knowledge of dogmas or of the creed of the Lutheran Church which he ought to have, in order to speak with authority, or he would know that the Lutheran Church does not subscribe to the doctrine of tran-substantiation at all. It subscribes to an entirely different doctrine, the doctrine of consubstantiation. and the hon. member does not seem to distinguish between the two. For the information of the hon. member, and in order to correct the wrong impression which hon. members who are not well versed in religious matters may have gathered from his remarks, let me read from the Encyclopedia Britannica, as to the difference between these two dogmas :
To commence with the Roman Church. With regard to the doctrine known as transubstantia * tion, it must here suffice to say that the Church of Rome teaches that the whole substance of the bread and wine in the Eucharist is converted by consecration into the body and blood of Christ, in such a manner that Christ in His entirety, including His human soul and His divine nature, are contained in the elements.
Now, with regard to the Lutheran Church :
While the continental Reformers were of one mind in repudiating the Roman doctrine of tran-substantiation and the sacrifice of the Mass, very wide difference existed between them in their estimate of the grace imparted by the Eucharist and the mode of the presence of Christ in that sacrament. The symbolical books of the Lutheran Church, following the teaching of Luther himself, declare the doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body and the blood in the Eucharist, together with the bread and wine (eonsubstan-tiaticn), as well as the ubiquity of His body, as the orthodox doctrine of the church.
A wide distinction ; and when my hon. friend has further studied the dectrines