April 15, 1901

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

They did not do so. Moreover-the hon. gentleman is again astray-there are people who are Canadians, but were not born in Canada, and who have not got to be naturalized, because they were born in the British Empire, and are subjects of His Majesty the King, although they may not have been Canadians in days past. But, to-day they are just as good Canadians as anybody living in this country.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
Subtopic:   THOMAS COTE,
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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRIOR.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

The hon. gentleman, who has excused the circular issued by Mr. C0t6, if he will read the schedule will find that the country of origin is asked for in the ordinary way, without any special circular being needed at all. Any person reading that circular, and reading between the lines, can easily divine its object, and that is something which, up to this time, the hon. gentleman has not excused. The schedules provide for everything that is necessary to collect in a census of the Dominion of Canada. Every one knows that months ago the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) had stated, or was credited with having stated, that the government intended to arrive at a correct number of the French Canadians in the Dominion of Canada

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I hope so.

Mr. INGRAM-and that he was going to make a special effort for that purpose. 1 want to know why there should be any special effort made to secure the number of Frenchmen in this country any more than the number of Irishmen, Englishmen or Scotchmen ? Has it a tendency towards wiping out the racial cry in this country ? The effect is directly opposite, and I say the sooner they abandon that kind of thing, the better it will be for the Dominion of Canada ; and the fewer men we have in this House who are trading on different kinds of religious goods, the better it will be for this country. I do not care where my remarks land, because I am a Canadian in the first place, and I believe we should cultivate the idea of calling ourselves Canadians instead of Frenchmen, Irishmen, Englishmen or Scotchmen. The hon. gentleman says that that circular meets with his approval. The hon. gentleman is not in a position to say that that word ' confidential ' was authorized by him.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

He says he did not authorize it.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

It is there, nevertheless. The people of this country have to pay for the circulars that are issued by the officers of the department; then, I say that those officers have no right to issue a confidential circular to any class of the community. It is not a step in the right direction, it is a step in the wrong direction, and should be condemned by the people of this country. The hon. gentleman will not say whether | he authorized the word ' confidential.' Does the hon. gentleman say that again ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I need not repeat what I said.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Then, the hon. gentleman admits he did not authorize the word ' confidential ' to be placed on that circular. Could he say that the government approved of the circular issued by Mr. C6t6 ? Then, if he approves of

the circular without approving of the word ' confidential,' then, he must condemn that word ' confidential.' Mr. Chairman, I, for one, believe in giving the census enumerators all the information that is required by the schedules. When the enumerator called on me I thought it was my duty to give fair and candid answers in so far as a citizen of this country could be called upon to answer. When 1 looked over the other schedules which he had in his possession, I believed all the requirements of this government, or of any other government, were fully set forth, and that they comprised all the facts it was necessary for the government of this country to obtain in order to present the true status of our population. But, when I read this circular in the newspapers, I, for one, as a Canadian, strongly condemned it, and I will condemn any other circular of a similar character that is issued, whether it affects Frenchmen, Englishmen! Irishmen or Scotchmen.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. I am sorry that this matter has created such a tempest in a teapot. The last census that was taken in 1891 was unsatisfactory so far as the French population of Canada was concerned. That was the case not only in Manitoba and the Territories, but even in the maritime provinces. It was not the fault of the census takers, but It was owing to the state of mind that exists in some parts of Canada about the word Canadian. The French Acadians of the maritime provinces object to calling themselves Canadians ; they are Acadians. The French half-breeds of the North-west Territories object to be called Canadians ; they are half-breeds of French origin. The result was that after the census was taken not half the people of French origin, either in the North-west or in the maritime provinces, were recorded. This year a step was taken in order to avoid such a mistake. I must say, however, that it was a mistake to make that circular confidential. The circular should have been issued openly, and I am glad to hear from the minister that it was not done by his authorization. But, Sir, 1 believe that a census should be an accurate account of the population, and of the changes that take place in the population. In the United States they do not only take the origin of the father, but also the origin of the mother, and take very extensive and explicit information concerning the family. I believe that if we would consider the feelings that may exist, we should have a census that will give as full details as possible in regard to origin, not only of Frenchmen, but of all the other nationalities. I, for one, am proud of being of French extraction, and I believe that the Irishman, the Englishman and the Scotchman, or the men of any other nationality in Canada, are also proud of their origin. And, Sir, I believe that while it was thought proper to issue such a circular, a similar

one might have been issued in regard to other nationalities, so as to put every one on the same footing. But, there was cause here for the reason that when the former census was taken, on account of prejudice due to a wrong feeling, we did not get an accurate report of the status of the population of this country. There has been a step taken in the right direction, I believe, this time, but it should not have been done surreptitiously. This circular should have been issued openly, and, therefore, it is a good thing it has been published, because we all know the contents of the circular, and we hope the result will be satisfactory!

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

I would like to know, is Mr. Cote the assistant commissioner for the whole Dominion, or is there any other assistant commissioner besides Mr. Cotd ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Yes, there is another assistant commissioner, Mr. St. Denis.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

In what way do his duties harmonize with those of Mr. Cote ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

He is attending to the office work. He is an old employe of the office.

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Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

Mr. Cot6 represents the province of Quebec ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

No, he represents no special province. He represents the outside work.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

There are two assistant commissioners ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Yes.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

And a commissioner ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Yes.

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

I think it Is a most preposterous admission that has been made here to-night that a confidential circular was sent to a portion of the population. A confidential circular should not be sent to any of the citizens of this country. If a circular were sent out it should have been sent to every citizen of the country. There should be no * confidential ' about it. This circular was not sent to the other citizens. A particular number of citizens were selected to send this circular to, and it was to be a confidential circular. Why was not the rest of the population to know anything about this circular which was sent out ? Its contents were not to be divulged because it was marked ' confidential.' The hon. minister tells us that he did not know anything about it, that he was totally unaware of it. He says that he was unaware of it until it was sent out and published, but that he has since seen it, and that he heartily endorses it. That lowers him still more in my estimation as to his capability of

carrying out the census enumeration of this Dominion of Canada. He says that it is necessary to send out that confidential circular. Why ? Because he says there were stories circulating amoug the French that the census was meant to form a basis for increased taxation, that it was to get information that would enable the government to adopt conscription and that it would result in compelling these French Canadians to go out and fight for the nation at the beck and call of Great Britain, and so on. He says that this was the reason why these confidential circulars were sent out. If that was the reason, I would like to know why the 400,000 French Canadian families were not sent this circular ? Why did they pick out a few thousand to whom this circular was to be sent, and why did they decide that 400,000 families of French people were not to have this circular sent to them at all ? The excuse the hon. minister has given is a little too lame. It is one that may satisfy him, but it will not satisfy the people of the country. When the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Barker) calls his attention to another circular issued by this same Mr. Cot6 in regard to other matters, he says that if he sees a copy he will make inquiries, but he must confess that he did not study the newspapers. I think he had better study something or other, if it is only a newspaper. It appears that he does not study anything. He had not seen a copy of this confidential circular which was sent broadcast over the Dominion. What does he see or what does he know or what does he do ? Has he any other duty than to draw his salary and explain cold storage, that he did not know anything about and had to be prompted by the commissioner at his elbow, to be able to answer every question asked him by my hon. friends on this side of the House ? He says that if he happens to get a copy of this circular he will make inquiries, when the hon. member for Hamilton has told him of a most monstrous circular being circulated. If he happens to get a copy he will make inquiries. The census was supposed to be commenced to be taken on the 1st of April, just two weeks ago to-day. The taking of the census will be concluded, except in some sparsely settled districts, in a very few days, if the enumerators are properly doing their duty. I do not think that ten years ago it took, on the average, in the ordinary constituencies. more than three weeks, and I do not think that long, to take the census. The census ought to be completed in a few days. I know, up where I live myself, the enumerator was too busy to go to work from day to day, as the obligation of his oath would require him to do, to take the census, and so it is all round. Here are these things being done, time is urgent^ it is of pressing necessity if any wrong is going on. and yet, when some extraordinary circular is being issued, the minister does not say : I will

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

get up early to-morrow morning with the lark, I will inquire if anything wrong is being done, and if so I will set it right, but, he says if he sees anything of this circular, if he sees a copy that should stray in at his window, he will make inquiries about it. How condescending, how capable, how proper is the course of the Minister of Agriculture in this matter 1 It is a matter of vital importance that everything should be done rightly. Why, instructions are being sent out day by day to the enumerators and to the census commissioners through the country for the counties and the electoral districts. These instructions should have been sent out before the 1st of April, they should have been considered carefully, they should have been gone over, they should have received the endorsation of the minister and the government, they should have been sent out and the whole people should have known what they are. We are now, for the first time, confronted with that information. One copy is laid on the Table of the House to-night. Everybody ought to have known it a month ago. The enumerator comes round to your house and asks for information. You are not prepared at a moment's notice to give him that information. If it is printed in the public press, if the people get hold of it, they will see the questions that will be asked of them iand they will be ready to answer them. They will say : We had better hunt up and get the information, not only about our family, which would be easily got, but the information about our business, manufactures, the stock that is held and those things that form part of the information that must be given. Why should there be any secret about it ? Why should it be the 15th of April before the minister gives the House of Commons a copy of the questions that are to he asked and the instructions to the officers. We are all in a dilemma about this. I have had no opportunity of looking at the instructions and I do not know whether I am to be enumerated in Ottawa, as having slept here on the night of the 31st of March, or whether I am to be counted at my home in Woodbridge. I want the minister to tell me.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PENSIONS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF, PERMANENT MILITIA.
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April 15, 1901