March 26, 1901

LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

He says the vote in Quebec was entirely due to racial feeling.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I did not read that ; but I must confess that if that is what the hon. member for Pictou stated, he is not a resident of the province of Quebec, and in that regard I think he is mistaken.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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Mr. MONIC@

The fact is, Sir, we on this side of the House are in favour of freedom of elections, and we consider that the province of Quebec was free to vote as it liked. That great province during a long time supported the Conservative party- gave a most generous support to that party. Upon the question of the national policy, which is so derided by hon. gentlemen op-

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jjosite, 1 do not think the province of Quebec has any reason to be ashamed of its record, because it supported that policy -.for many years. Speaking as a member of the Conservative party, I do not consider the province of Quebec as estranged entirely from us and our policy-by no means. In fact, I must state frankly that I believe elections in the province of Quebec are carried on pretty much as they are anywhere else. Public questions are studied and examined and judged by our people with great accuracy. That is my own personal opinion. In fact, 1 would go the length of saying very frankly that 1 do not believe there is any province In this Dominion where such a keen interest is taken in the great public questions, such as the one now under discussion, as in the province of Quebec ; and the great issues before the country were certainly amply discussed in that province during the last election. Of *course, any man who would say boldly that considerations of race, so far, at any rate, as the right lion. Prime Minister being of the nationality of the majority of that province was concerned, were absolutely not considered by the electorate, would, I think be considerably mistaken. But in that, as lion, gentlemen will admit, there are limits, which it is easy for any man of judgment to establish in his own mind. But other questions were discussed, and to my mind it would certainly be unfair to that great province to say that in the verdict which it gave in the last election it was led purely and simply by racial considerations. The fact is there were other causes affecting the result of the elections in that province and it would be most unfair to say that that cause alone operated. Of course, hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House know that not only in the province of Quebec, but everywhere else, in the heat and struggle which accompanies an electoral contest, parties who are not very responsible sometimes give utterance to sentiments which savour of violence and perhaps appeals to prejudice. But I say truthfully that I am not aware that in that respect the province of Quebec is any worse than any other province. I will give you an instance. Any one who would calmly and coolly sit down and group together and print in a pamphlet, opinions which might hurt the members from the province of Ontario- any one who would cull articles taken from the Quebec press, supposing such articles existed, and group them in a pamphlet, and coolly circulate that pamphlet through the province of Ontario, would be considered as acting unpatriotically and without judgment. Hon. members know that in the heat of the last election there was issued a pamphlet which did ns on this side of the House a great deal of harm. That pamphlet purported to contain -I never myself had time to verify it- articles from certain newspapers, purported , Mr. MONK. to give chapter and verse for those articles; and it was circulated just before the election. I speak of it with some knowledge, because when I saw that pamphlet, I confess to you frankly, I thought I was a goner.


LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOTJRASSA.

When you had your friends' literature ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

We had our press literature, but we had not a red pamphlet. We know that in England, where elections are properly carried on, as far as they can be, things of that kind are sometimes resorted to. But that red pamphlet, I tell yon frankly, I believe accounted for the defeat of some of us.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure).

Does the hon. gentleman allude to pamphlet No. 6 ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Oh, no ; it was a far more deadly pamphlet than that. At that moment, when I deemed that everything was lost, the man who came to my rescue was a gentleman who sits on the front row of government benches ; I speak of the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) ; and I for one felt like crossing the floor of the House and giving him my thanks for the service lie had rendered me. I do not know how he would take it, so I prefer giving him my thanks from this distance. When we got the manifesto of the hon. member for North Norfolk, in which he proposed over his own signature that a British corps should be sent to garrison Quebec, I thought he had rendered me a great service ; and I must confess to you, if it was raising the race cry, that I made good use of that manifesto. After I had used it several times, I thought the red pamphlet had lost a good deal of its virtue.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Will the hon. gentleman add that in consequence of that manifesto the hon. member for North Norfolk was chosen by the Conservative party as their candidate in Ontario ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I did not know that, and I am not aware of It yet.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDAEE.

I can only say that ' the hon. member for North Norfolk is paired with a good Conservative this session on all .party questions.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

He was not opposed by them.

Mi'. MONK. I would not like the House to suppose that the election in the province of Quebec turned on these questions. I mention them simply as incidents. After we got that manifesto, the people in my county at any rate thought things were pretty well squared up, and they came to the conclusion that if, as alleged, the hon. member for West York (Mr. Wallace) breakfasted off a Catholic every morning, then that the hon. member for North Nor. folk dined off a Frenchman.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The diet seems to have agreed with them.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I could give numberless instances in which the population of that province was by no means governed by mere sentimentality. Hon. members from that province will bear me out when I say that there probably never was or will be a man who was a greater popular idol than the late Honors Mercier. In 1890 he was in the zenith of his power, in 1892, as far as I could judge, the affection of the people for his person had not in any way changed, but on account of the acts of his government-acts for which probably he himself was not responsible-there was a vote which swept him and his friends from power. That with other incidents which I could quote prove that the people of the province of Quebec, when it comes to an election, exercise their better judgment and are not, as is believed in some quarters, entirely governed by feelings or prejudice of race and religion.

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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES (North Victoria).

Are we to infer that there is a sweep coming soon now ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I believe there is, but if I entettained the idea that that population was governed solely by feelings of that kind, I would despair almost of the advancement of this country. I would despair of an element which allowed itself to be governed entirely by such feelings ; and if I remain in public life, and give, such as they may be worth, my services to that province, it is because I entertain the conviction that (such is not the case. I entertain a firm abiding hope in that population. Hon. members who are perhaps strangers to that province will believe me when I say that it is almost incredible the progress which the French Canadian population of Quebec have made within the last quarter of a century. Within the time I have attained the years of manhood, their progress in elementary education, in the higher education, in science, arts and literature, and in agriculture, has not been excelled, if equalled, by any other population in this Dominion. Their progress in agriculture alone is something which does them infinite honour. In every calling of life, banking, business, there has been progress ; they are a population gifted in an extraordinary degree by Providence-a population that has realized that there is no bar to their progress, and that is the greatest hope I have in them. They desire to go forward, they have no other home but this country, no other desire but to build up this country in common with other nationalities. Some people would perhaps say that they entertain the expectation of establishing here a dependency of France, but those who know the people of Quebec know that that idea never had any existence in their minds. The people of Quebec know as well as I do what

the colonial rule of continental nations is, and I venture to say that they would not for a moment think of accepting the colonial rule of France, though attached, as they are, to that country, by tradition. They could not stand it for six weeks. And the annexation sentiment, which has existed in some part or other of this country at times, does not exist in the province of Quebec today. Our people have only one desire-this is essentially their home, their country-and that desire is to build up this country and to act in that respect in conjunction with other nationalities. This is calculated to give every man who has the future of this country at heart great hope, because these people are an important element, an element that must be counted with, and I believe that when important crisises come upon this country, when we require to stand together, whatever may be the reason, when we require to put our shoulders to the wheel in order to make this great inheritance which Providence has given us a grand and powerful country, they will not be found behind any other nationality.

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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS (Hon. Wm. Paterson).

The debate, Mr. Speaker, which has gone on for many days, has been interesting and brought out many subjects which I would like to discuss, but I recognize the fact that there are others who desire to address this House on the policy of the government and that proposed by the opposition, and that it is desirable a vote should soon be taken, and therefore I shall endeavour to make the few remarks 1 have to offer on this occasion as brief as possible. I may say at the outset that, in my opinion, the concluding remarks of the hon. gentleman who has just spoken are of a character which meets with my approval, and which I think will tend to the benefit of the country. With the tone of the hon. gentleman's speech I have no fault to find, but when he endeavoured to point out that on this side of the House it was difficult to ascertain what particular views we held with regard to tariff matters, it seemed to me that the hon. gentleman's remarks would have been more apt if applied to his own side. After stating that we on this side did not all hold the same views, as might be expected from a party supposed to act together, he very frankly told us that he had his own views peculiar to himself, and that while the opposition held certain views, it was no part of their plan or policy to let the country know what these were. We all believe, the hon. gentleman said, in lying low. Our policy, I understood him to say, is to let the government go on and not interfere, and if we have any plan that we think would be better for governing the country, if we have any policy that would conduce more to its best interests, it is no part of our duty to give the country the benefit of it. but we will content ourselves with just playing the part of critics on any course pursued by the party

In power. Tlien I would ask the hon. gentleman, it that be the policy of liis party- and he, as first lieutenant ought to be able to speak for it-how comes it that this amendment was brought in by his leader. The hon. gentleman is second only to his leader, he is the first lieutenant of his party, but did not happen to be In the House at time the resolution was introduced. That resolution was therefore seconded by the hon. member for West York (Mr. Wallace) and by it we are given the declared policy of the Conservative party. These hon. gentlemen then did not follow my hon. friend's advice, they did not lie low. But the hon. gentleman happened to be absent at the time, and in his absence that policy which he advocates was lost sight of, and we have now a declaration of what the policy of the opposition is. If the hon. gentleman desired that the course he advocates should be followed, he should not have left his seat.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Perhaps the hon. minister will allow me to say that I was here all the time.

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March 26, 1901